Friday, February 29, 2008
(12:50 PM) | Brad:
15-MInute Break ConfessionI confess that this unexpected break in tradition has been good for the soul.
I confess that I've been working full-time all this month, the longest stretch of time I've ever worked 35+ hours, and have kind of enjoyed it. It helps that it was using my research skills to build a case of fraud against a former NASDAQ powerhouse.
I confess that yesterday Stanford University rejected me for a postdoctoral fellowship. This is the third time they've rejected me for a postdoc. In the past year alone, the Stanford library rejected me twice for assistant & shelver positions, the Humanities dept. rejected me as an administrative assistant position working with their postdocs, and the Sports Media dept. rejected me for an unknown position I unknowingly applied for. I would imagine a restraining order instructing me to stay out of Palo Alto altogether is forthcoming. Which is fine, I can live w/out Ikea.
I confess that I will accept donations from any rich soul who wants to pay for my plane ticket to Cedar Rapids or Moline, Iowa, so that I might read a paper on Cormac McCarthy & Thomas Pynchon. Otherwise, as appears likely right now, it will remain unwritten and unread.
I confess that it's been a long time since I've posted any jazz, and that I really need to do so soon.
(12:32 PM) | Richard McElroy:
Bandwaggon ConfessionI confess that I am hopelessly addicted to Knighthood, a face book application. It causes me to refresh even more frequently than Risk did.
The cat threw up this morning and Kari found it and said she would clean it up after she got ready. She started running late and didn't get around to cleaning it up before she had to leave for work. I confess that I still left it for her to clean up.
We are going to the Melody Inn tonight, and I would like to confess that I haven't been this excited about the bands that are playing there ever.
(12:21 PM) | bitchphd:
Friday ConfessionI confess that I played hooky this week and spent much too much time in my pajamas.
I confess that I haven't ridden my bike in a week, and that this pisses me off, but that the only reason for that is sloth and bad habits.
I confess that I realized last weekend that I am part of the problem where my inlaws are concerned. Which is to say, I really could stand to make *some* effort to demonstrate friendliness. I confess that doing that with emotionally demonstrative people is not something I'm good at.
I confess that I'm writing this confession mostly just to tweak Adam a little.
(12:02 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
Friday Afternoon Confessional: Party All the TimeI confess that my colleague Kunitoshi Sakai really knows how to throw a party.
I confess that I was surprised to learn, in the course of some RA work for Ted, that there is a tradition in the early church of using the Sodom story to condemn heterosexuality.
I confess that everyone with main-page privileges should post their confessions accordingly.
(12:01 PM) | it:
inappropriate ninja confessionalFor all I know, Adam is currently writing this Friday's confessional, but just in case he's forgotten here is one.
I confess to larceny, overwork, neuroses, ambition, lethargy, apathy, hysteria and pusillanimity. And that was just the last five minutes. I confess to very quickly realising the potentially addictive qualities of this, even though showing off your long words doesn't seem like the most noble way of giving rice to the world.
I confess that I'm going to America soon but that I'm confused as to whether I need to give fingerprints, get a visa, give blood, shave my beard off (actually, that's not so much of a problem) or what. Help!
(11:28 AM) | Rob Breymaier:
Friday Confessional -- Emergency ConfessionI confess I hope that I'm not stepping on toes by posting this confessional.
I confess that I'm a little worried as to whether Adam is okay.
I confess that I'm wearing a suit but forgot to shave.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
(9:52 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Blagojevich BloggingOur governor's newest bizarre initiative: tearing down the site of the NIU shootings and building a new facility there, to be named "Memorial Hall." Has this ever been done at any of the sites of the many other American-style random shootings?
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
(9:28 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
The InternetIf I'm going to take exams in a couple months, I really need to get this Internet addiction under control. Does anyone know of any 12-step programs?
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
(12:00 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Tuesday Hatred: RiskI hate waiting several days for a Risk move, only to get terrible dice rolls and then make a mistake when placing my troops. I hate the difficulty of keeping up a solid Risk addiction when playing with non-addicts who only move once or twice a day.
I continue to hate the weather. I hate that The Girl and M. LeBlanc don't love me anymore. I hate passive-aggressive blog posts.
I hate how much time I waste "checking" things on the Internet. I hate that sometimes I give myself all day for a task that takes only a short amount of time, then fill the rest of the day with nothingness rather than take on another "task."
I hate that my copy of the issue of the Heythrop Journal in which an article of mine appears hasn't arrived yet. I hate that n+1 had an outdated address on their files (I also hate that I'm not completely sure I can blame them for that), meaning that I must continue to wait interminably for a period of blissful bathroom reading to begin. I hate that there are no branches or ATMs for my bank in my neighborhood. (Why not switch banks, you ask? You apparently don't know me very well.)
I hate that it'll be weeks until the next new episode of House. I hate that The Wire is going to be over next week (for On Demand customers, at least).
UPDATE: Love is all you need.
Monday, February 25, 2008
(6:46 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
Questions for the Straight Woman Personal Ad Users
- For exactly what kind of "crime" are you seeking a "partner"?
- What type of "adventures" are you looking to embark upon? Are any of them related to the crimes you wish me to commit with you?
(11:23 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
The Wire BloggingI know I'm not allowed to talk about The Wire openly because you're on season 2, episode 3, and will be absolutely heartbroken if you get the slightest spoiler -- but suffice it to say that you should extend a certain generosity toward season 5, because they're totally going to pull it off. Then in 40 years, once you finally get caught up, we can all discuss it.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
(5:07 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
Thoughts on Getting Halfway Through a Greek TextbookThe Greeks seem to me to have invested far too much energy in their baroque system of verb conjugation. It's almost cruel to inflict such a language on a child.
English is much simpler, because in place of the complicated rules of a language like Greek, we have only one rule: "You just kind of have to know."
(11:15 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
An Oscar QuestionHow was it determined that Javier Bardem (Anton Chigurh) was a supporting actor in No Country for Old Men?
Saturday, February 23, 2008
(11:06 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Two Thoughts on CherylWatching old episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm, some thoughts have occurred to me:
- Would you want to be married to Cheryl? By contrast to Larry, she of course seems like the very model of a wonderful person, but I think she would drive me crazy in certain respects.
- What would it be like if they did an episode where the perspective followed Cheryl around instead of Larry? Now it's presumably too late, since they're divorced, but it seems like something they could've done as an experiment after they had three or four seasons under their belt.
Friday, February 22, 2008
(11:59 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
AAR Deadline ExtendedJust like they've done every year since I've been paying attention, the American Academy of Religion has extended the deadline to submit proposals for the annual meeting -- conveniently located in beautiful Chicago this year.
One might ask: why not just have a later deadline in the first place? I have benefitted from the extension, of course, as the infamous "Weblog panel" would never have existed if I had not received an e-mail telling me the new deadline. And indeed, there has been some talk of another Weblog panel this year. Perhaps this extra week is just the unmerited grace we need.
(12:00 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Friday Afternoon Confessional: The Cares of a House-bloggerI confess that the quantity of my blogging this week has increased, while the quality has stayed at the same low levels you've come to expect from The Weblog. I confess that the core problem is that exam prep makes me uninteresting. This problem is likely to persist until May.
I confess that I mostly don't want to talk about my dissertation topic (the general topic: theology). I confess that I have several ideas for articles, none of which I want to talk about either. All of this makes me fairly useless as an academic blogger, so if you want high-quality academic blogging stuff, you should probably read The Edge of the American West.
I confess that I'd love to blog about the angst I'm feeling as I move toward a new phase in my studies, but I actually wouldn't love that. I'd probably write three paragraphs and then consign the post to the draft bin.
I confess that I finished reading Church Dogmatics II/2 on Wednesday night -- the last of my self-assigned reading before I had decided I would start on my dissertation proposal. I took a day off of any "conceptual" work on Thursday, limiting my academic activities to a chapter from my Greek book and some copy editing. My main task was to clean the house, and I cleaned it thoroughly, though the fumes from the bathroom cleaning spray kept me from completing the task of de-mildewing the shower tiles. I was nesting, something I do periodically. I even dusted the battery charger for the vacuum.
I confess that I'm tired of this insanely cold weather. In January, fine -- we're all prepared for that. But February? Late February? I didn't open the blinds for the past two days, because I can't stand to look at it.
This is all a repeat, though, of my week of minutae-blogging.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
(6:21 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
Career OptionsMy favorite recurring online ad:
Bounty hunting is the new gun repair.
(3:07 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
A Clean House: Pro and ConBenefit: a clean house leaves me feeling calm and at peace.
Drawback: I think our bathroom cleanser is going to give me cancer.
(10:16 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Most Frequently Heard Albums in The Weblog HQFor the last couple months, these seem to be my top albums.
- Xiu Xiu, The Air Force
- Feist, Let It Die
- Joanna Newsom, Milk-Eyed Mender
- Xiu Xiu, La Forêt
- Nick Drake, Bryter Layter
Feel free to share your frequently heard albums in the comment form.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
(8:14 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
Talking About the WeatherLast night, I read until fairly late, so I decided to watch a movie this morning rather than try to get to work immediately. On Brad's recommendation, I had gotten Chinatown from Netflix, and I really enjoyed it.
Normally I open the blinds every morning in an attempt to get as much sunlight as possible, but I have noticed a glare on the TV in the morning, so I left them closed. As the movie progressed, I found myself feeling more and more warm -- in fact, I even considered going outside voluntarily. About halfway through, I realized that without external clues, I was becoming convinced that the weather in Chicago matched that of the movie: Los Angeles during an especially hot summer.
Opening the blinds was naturally depressing, revealing that it was in fact 14 degrees out and the ground was interspersed with deadly ice patches. Suddenly my way of fighting depression -- letting the sunlight in -- became a way of inducing depression.
I consoled myself the best way I knew how: online chatting.
(Tedious blog posts are not a consolation -- they are a procrastination method. I have only a little under 20 pages left in Church Dogmatics II/2, but I can't bear the fact that I'm still reading it. My desire to finish will win out before the end of the night, I'm sure, but for now, I'm finding it more appealling to skip straight to "not reading it.")
(5:08 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
Blog-Comment DerivativesWhite people like a high number of levels of recursion.
(9:50 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
You know what was a really good show?Batman: The Animated Series.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
(5:30 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
A Quick NoteFor those frothing at the mouth about some qualified praise of Castro, I just want to clarify: Pinochet is qualitatively worse than Castro. Yes, Castro committed some terrible crimes, and he shouldn't be excused for them. But Castro's crimes were at least goal-oriented -- in the case of Pinochet, the crimes were the goal itself.
And what exactly are Pinochet's achievements even supposed to be? A stronger Chilean economy? That's supposed to balance out the fact that an entire nation's psyche was permanently scarred by a sadistic policy of random abduction and torture.
Even making the comparison seems to me to display a profound lack of moral judgment -- to the point where any pro-Pinochet sentiments in comments will be immediately deleted.
(11:24 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Okay, SeriouslyNow it's rumored that Hillary Clinton will try to persuade pledged delegates to break their pledge? And when confronted about it, a campaign official says: “We have not, are not and will not pursue the pledged delegates of Barack Obama. It’s now time for the Obama campaign to be clear about their intentions regarding our pledged delegates.”
(8:59 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Tuesday Hatred: HeatingI hate it when my furnace goes out twice in less than a week. I hate the muscle soreness that comes from being cold all day. I hate that the second time it was the exact same part that broke, leading me to distrust the furnace even now that it's been fixed.
I hate RSS feeds that don't give the full text. I hate that 50% of all local news stories are about death. I hate having to wait a week between episodes of The Wire, and I also hate that there are only two left.
I hate the nagging feeling that I'm falling behind.
Monday, February 18, 2008
(2:05 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
An Update on White PeopleBitch PhD provides a helpful capsule summary of the direction the conversation has taken: "It is so totally awesome that we've moved from defending our collective whiteness to defending global capitalism."
It's as though everyone is making a concerted effort to prove every point I'm making, all the while insulting me. (For instance, I am now "economically illiterate.")
Sunday, February 17, 2008
(10:19 PM) | Amish Lovelock:
Who Wins?Where are the moments in which philosophy wins over the literary? Equally, where are the moments in which the literary wins over philosophy?
(3:58 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
White People Are Boring and EarnestI find the Unfogged discussion of Stuff White People Like bothersome. Indeed, I used the discussion as an opportunity to point out that Unfogged had "been overrun by boring, earnest people."
The commenters who obviously fell into the demographic the blog designates as "white people" -- namely, rootless cosmopolitans -- had many objections, but the root of it seemed to be a simple lack of self-awareness: "We really do have our heart in the right place and, even if we sometimes fail to live up to our convictions, we really do things better than other groups." The fact that rootless cosmopolitans instinctively embrace such an attitude is, in fact, the underlying theme of the entire site.
So let me be boring and earnest: Despite their claim to love irony and all other manifestations of self-consciousness, the "white people" described by the site are fundamentally blind to the fact that their lifestyle represents not "sustainability," not "everyday activism," not "progress," but rather their membership in a particularly lucrative marketting niche. Among the products "white people" can and do buy is a sense of moral superiority. Only someone who had already paid good money for their moral righteousness could fail to understand this simple point.
(10:19 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Mr. Show, season 3Out of a misguided desire for consistency, I am continuing to watch Mr. Show via Netflix. Season 3 seems to me to be much better than either of the first two seasons, but still really uneven. I think part of that stems from their fascination with mocking the customary ways of acting on television: in sitcoms, on the news, etc. There's only so far that can take you -- at a certain point, perfectly "nailing" lameness collapses back into being directly lame. (It's similar to the evolution of the racial humor on Family Guy: at first, it was ironically referring to racism, but now it's just plain racist.)
I wonder if part of the problem is simply the inherent limitation of the genre of sketch comedy. Many of us revere Kids in the Hall, for instance, but I recently watched a few episodes and found it to be pretty uneven -- in places, even more plodding than a bad Mr. Show sketch. Perhaps Monty Python's Flying Circus is the exception to this general rule, but I may only think that because it's been a while since I've actually watched any episodes.
At the very least, though, Mr. Show doesn't fall into the SNL trap of actors breaking character to laugh (or suppress laughter).
Friday, February 15, 2008
(8:20 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Friday Afternoon Confessional: ConsistencyI confess that even though I don't have anything to confess, I am still writing this post because I value token gestures toward tradition.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
(9:42 AM) | Amish Lovelock:
Perhaps out of self-love...I've been wondering what a speculative realist might say in response to the following injunction:
"Ok, so yeah, in the end its all completely indifferent to me and my measly little piece of the existential pie. It's way beyond any meaning I can ascribe it, completely before cognition. They've discovered a fifth dimension you say? Great!
Anyway, what does any of this have to do with ME? Can it tell me anything about ME?"
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
(4:13 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
An ObservationOn the occasion of our furnace malfunctioning for the second time this winter, I observe the strange fact that the same temperature feels vastly colder inside the house than outside. For example, if I were sitting outside in a sweater and it was 62 degrees, I would be warm. In my house, however, I'm shivering.
Readers, what causes this discrepancy?
(2:37 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
Prison Break BloggingOut of sheer inertia, I have continued to watch Prison Break. Today, I watched the latest episode over lunch, and it was -- I hesitate to say this -- actually good. They managed to pull off the escape from the Panamanian prison, in a characteristically surprising and counter-intuitive way, and I felt genuine anxiety through the course of it.
That kind of tension is really the main thing the show has going for it, and that got lost during the long meandering plot establishing the power struggle in the prison, etc. (The part where they had to write out Sarah Tancredi probably also detracted from the narrative focus.) It's not quite the same feeling of redemption that I think we all felt when Kellerman shot Mahone while they were still fleeing through the US, but I am cautiously optimistic that the show might be getting some momentum back. At the very least, it will be a decent comic-book show, rather than a slow, plodding one where everyone's sweaty and the lighting is weird.
(11:33 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Wire-bloggingWhen I finished season 4 -- which, by the way, was wonderful -- I initially thought I would space out the extant episodes of season 5, watching one a day so that I'd be caught up just in time for episode 8 to be available on demand. By the time I had watched my third episode of the morning on Monday, it became clear to me that that plan was not going to work, so I just got it over with.
I am unsure about this season, and I am waiting to pass judgment until I see how everything plays out. The writers have earned a certain degree of trust, of course. It's not like when the last season of 24 went totally off the rails and it was more clear than usual that the writers were just hacks all along. But there is a lot on the table, and though it does all seem to be converging, I just cannot figure out how they can possibly end everything satisfactorily in three episodes.
Brad and I have discussed the possibility that the shorter season, coupled with the huge amount of stuff for the writers to take care of, is in fact a "meta" move -- a way of enacting the "do more with less" slogan on the level of the presentation itself. That would partly depend on whose decision it was to have a shorter season, and so far in my research it is not clear to me whether it was HBO or David Simon's call.
Either way, though, this season seems to be the most self-consciously "artful" one, even to the point of being "artificial" -- yet the artificiality itself is intrinsic to the message they're trying to convey. The whole season has a weirdly recursive structure, which so far seems to be demonstrating that finally, there is just no way forward for the system as it stands.
UPDATE: My prediction for how one plot strand will work itself out this season "below the fold." Also, comments contain spoilers.
In the preview for episode 8, they show the Iraq vet guy -- who was the subject of Templeton's one honest story -- accusing him of lying. At first I thought Templeton would ironically take the fall for the one story where he didn't embellish, but I think it's going to be deeper than that. When these accusations surface, Templeton will still have his status as golden boy, at least for the moment. Somehow he will figure out that McNulty is actually making up the serial killer, and he will take revenge on the vet by framing him for the murders -- further putting himself and the Sun in the middle of the story because the killer himself was brazen enough, etc. I think this will partly work because in the made-up call, Templeton had said that the "killer" was angry at him for making things up. McNulty's instrumentalization of the homeless was already foreshadowed when he arbitrarily moved the guy in order to get the tapping equipment capable of tapping photos, too, and framing an innocent homeless man will seal the deal -- completing the parallel with Carcetti's own instrumentalization of the issue. (McNulty and Templeton probably won't even have to explicitly talk to each other about the frame-up plot -- it will just happen and both will have to go along or risk exposing themselves, just like with their lies about the phone calls.) And finally, the Clay Davis trial has shown us that the system is incapable of expelling its own corrupt members if the corruption is big enough, so everyone involved in the serial killer gambit on the police end come out just fine.
Still not sure how the Omar/Marlo angle will work out, though. I just felt I needed to put this prediction out there for posterity's sake, in case I'm right.
(6:12 AM) | Old - Doug Johnson:
Surrender MonkeysIf, as is looking increasingly likely, Senator Clinton loses, then the widespread use of this term of art, lifted from a Simpson's episode by Jonah Goldberg, will almost certainly boomerang, will it not?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
(12:00 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
The Tuesday Love ExperimentThis week Richard and I are trading emotions -- he will be hating, while I in turn love.
I love actually having some money for a change. I love having all the extant episodes of The Wire season 5 "on demand." I love the fancy DVR cable box in general. I love that the writer's strike is over.
I love that this week I should be getting some definition on my exam lists. I love that the next couple months of my life will consist of one of my favorite activities: checking things off lists. I love that I'm making some good progress on Barth and can almost imagine finishing it.
I love that it's possible to mount an ISO file as a virtual CD-ROM drive. I love all the wonderful things BitTorrent allows me to share with my peers. I love that I made a great find in Powell's the other day -- Kafka's complete stories and journals in German, for $10 total. Now all I need is to stop being so bad at reading German.
I love sleeping with a fan. I love the new kind of toilet paper I bought, though I can't remember the brand now. I love the part on Curb Your Enthusiasm when Larry compares his wife's environmentally-sound toilet paper to the kind of thing you'd find "on a whaling vessel."
I love Little Debbie Valentine cakes.
Monday, February 11, 2008
(1:50 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
David Cross WatchLast night, my roommate and I watched half of the "ripped from the headlines" episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent based on the death of Anna Nicole Smith. In it, he plays a pathetic and sexually frustrated character -- something of a departure for him.
Even he was not able to spice it up sufficiently to make it watchable, perhaps because it was a Chris Noth episode. David Cross going up against Goren might be good, but now that they've already used him in one episode, it's too late.
(12:10 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
Sharia Law in the UKI read Rowan Williams' remarks on sharia law and found them to be rather innocuous -- certainly not something that would cause a "row," or whatever the British are calling a "controversy" now. Can someone enlighten me as to the problem here?
Friday, February 08, 2008
(12:00 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Friday Afternoon Confessional: Stimulating My EconomyI confess that I am apparently guaranteed a minimum of $300 to stimulate my own personal economy, in a transparent ploy by the worst president ever and the most inept opposition congress ever to buy me off. I confess that I will pump that money directly into the economy, pissing away whatever pittance comes to me in an effort to save the capitalists from the easily predictable and yet somehow still unpredicted consequences of their own rabid greed.
I confess that I am in a slump after hitting two milestones: finally getting ahold of some money and submitting the final corrections on the Zizek book. I confess that I am planning on deploying some good old Structured Procrastination over the next few days, leveraging my desire to avoid reading Church Dogmatics to get through a few other books for exams. I confess that Greek is hard. I confess that long quotes from Protestant Scholastics make good Latin practice texts -- the limited vocabulary and relatively simple syntax help build confidence.
I confess that the poor design of the NetRisk software has me thinking back to my short-lived computer programming days. I could probably write a pretty elegant Risk implementation if I actually knew a modern programming language. I get the impression not many people are using Pascal, QBasic, or the TI-82 programming language anymore.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
(12:54 PM) | John Emerson:
Romney's classless exit"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror."
Romney is a no-count loser and a mental lightweight, so we probably shouldn't read too much into his words -- McCain and the Republican Party no longer have any reason to take him seriously. But I have trouble imagining an uglier, more demagogic concession speech.
How about "In the fight against al Qaeda and the Democrats, all Americans of good will must join together"? That makes the same point more effectively.
No wonder Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter love the guy.
Crossposted at Seeing the Forest
(12:02 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
Following Blagojevich's ExampleAs part of the transit deal, the Chicago city council was required to raise the real-estate transfer tax by 40%. That sounds like a lot, but in absolute terms it's trivial -- $750 for a $250,000 home. Nonetheless, just like every industry group in the history of time, the realtors campaigned furiously against a tax that would absolutely cripple their business by driving away all homebuyers whatsoever, turning Chicago into another Cleveland, etc. The aldermen had also just recently raised a variety of taxes, due to the need to keep public services running, and they were in need of political cover for that.
So what did they do? Apply the Blagojevich formula: raise taxes, but leaven it with meaningless pandering. In this case, they specified that active-duty military personnel and disabled veterans ride free, just as Blagojevich insisted that senior citizens ride free.
In his own way, Blagojevich may be a genius. He's provided us with the perfect formula for getting out of no-tax fundamentalism -- throw something stupid in there every time you have to raise taxes, and apparently no one will notice. For instance, Congress could let Bush's tax cuts expire, but with the proviso that every child be supplied with a free American flag. Obviously the public would know that it's a gimmick, but the public doesn't seem to be so concerned about taxes anyway -- it's only the fantasy-construction of "public opinion" that functions within elite political discourse that hates taxes.
In terms of this specific proposal, it occurs to me that many disabled veterans are homeless, and free CTA rides would be a godsend for them. The cynical side of me wonders if part of the reason they didn't go for veterans tout court is because that would mean that suddenly like 60% of the homeless population could ride free -- and if they will try to figure out a way to filter out the homeless disabled vets as well. (I will also note that one good side-effect of the political crap surrounding public transit in recent months has been fewer posts making fun of the homeless at CTA Tattler.)
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
(9:02 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
In lieu of content: wiener poopie
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
(2:49 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
My Prediction for TodayAt the end of the voting today, Obama and Clinton will be exactly tied. This will continue in every future primary, until ultimately Puerto Rico is entrusted with the responsibility of choosing the Democratic nominee.
(12:03 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Tuesday Hatred: The WeatherI hate coming up to a corner and having to strategize how I'm going to get around a huge puddle. I hate riding public transit with a mob of high school kids.
I hate that I keep watching Prison Break. I hate the weird lighting and perpetual sweatiness that the show's contrived Panamanian setting brings with it. I hate that they don't seem to understand that the technique of using a cliffhanger is cheapened if there is a major cliffhanger every commercial break.
I hate that sometimes I have annoyances in mind (viz., grocery shopping) where "hate" seems like too strong a word -- yet there are things that I more profoundly hate that seem out of place in this venue.
Monday, February 04, 2008
(2:03 PM) | Brad:
They Wanted It MoreIt's been a while since my last football-related post. But I couldn't let the Super Bowl go without comment.
It's a well-worn cliche, but it's definitely true of last night's Super Bowl. The Giants just seemed to want it more. With good reason, everybody is going to focus on Eli Manning's absolutely stunning pass to David Tyree with a minute left. Right now I cannot think of a more exciting sequence in a Super Bowl -- not in my lifetime anyway. The closest I could come up with were from the final minute of Super Bowl XXXIV: McNair's amazing third-down scramble Kevin Dyson reaching for the endzone in the Titans' losing effort against the Rams. Some might cite Joe Montana's strike to John Taylor against the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII, but that drive had the feel of inevitability to it. You trusted Joe (or, in my case, feared him) ... but, Eli Manning?
It shouldn't take too long for the NFL mythologists to come up with a name for Eli's escape & heave and Tyree's catch. That play, in dramatic fashion, typifies the Giants' will to win the game, to make it their own -- to stomp to death the apparent invincibility of the Patriots. Any other game this season, the Pats score that touchdown with less than three minutes, follow it up by getting a fumble or interception, and ice the game with Brady taking a knee (or tossing another touchdown for good measure). Not this time.
I should've known. The signs were all there from the start. The pass rush that would not stop, for starters. Have you ever seen Brady hit so many times? This side of sleep, and even then I suspect he might be robotic enough to sleep standing, the only time he's been horizontal that much would be during far more intimate moments with Giselle. But then there was also curious play-calling. Quick strikes to Welker were there all game, so I'm not entirely sure why they didn't incorporate more slants like that w/ the other receivers. Or, for that matter, why Faulk can only make a play on third down. Or why they played the first half like it was twenty degrees and snow on the ground. Having said that, you have to credit the Giants' secondary. They played two straight games to perfection -- except for that mess of a Moss touchdown in the fourth quarter. But the decision that I still don't get is why Bellichek went for it on 4th & 13 from the Giants 31 in the middle of the third quarter. A 49-yard field goal in a dome is too long? How many 10+ yard pickups did the Pats have all game, and the odds were good that they'd get one there? The field goal wasn't automatic, sure, but you hit it and Eli's heroics result in an overtime. I didn't understand it then, and I really don't understand it now.
The one sign I didn't realize until after the game, the one that really exemplifies the Giants simply wanting this game more. Early in the second quarter, the Giants' side of the field, Ahmad fumbles the handoff and the Patriots' Pierre Woods falls on it. Any other game this season, the Patriots get the ball and score a crushing touchdown and go up 14-3. This time, by the time the bodies cleared, Bradshaw had regained the ball. In the ensuing melee, Bradshaw had somehow managed to flip Woods onto his back and rip it away. That, in itself, says enough, indeed everything, about the game.
The only lingering mystery is a medical one: who is Tom Coughlin's skin doctor? After their game in Green Bay, I thought he was going to be permanently disfigured by frostbite. Who knew that skin grafts healed so quickly now.
(12:17 PM) | Brad:
A Seismic ShiftWith Kevin Drum even switching horses a day before the California primary, jumping from Clinton to Obama, maybe mainstream America is finally beginning to wake up from its stupor a little.
(10:18 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Political SpeculationAre the Democrats going to roll over on making Bush's tax cuts permanent?
How could they not? The Republicans might want to let it through so that they can accuse Democrats of the biggest tax increase since the Hamurabi administration or something, but is Bush going to back down on his signature policy? And can we honestly say that fair, progressive taxation is something where the Democrats have been making a principled stand?
(Hopefully the election is still far enough away that I can criticize the Democrats without overly influencing that crucial swing voter in Ohio.)
(9:59 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
More Praise for The WireI finished season 3 of The Wire this weekend. The story arc that governs the first three season is one of the best I've ever experienced, in any medium. I have never cared about the characters on any TV show to the degree that I care about these characters -- even and especially the characters who are irredeemably evil.
Friday, February 01, 2008
(12:00 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Friday Afternoon Confessional: Scientia MediaI confess that Karl Barth is wearing me out. The fine-print sections in the Church Dogmatics completely throw off any estimate of how much I should be able to get through in a given day. I confess that I'm disappointed in myself for not finishing II/1 by the end of January.
I confess that before Christmas, I thought I would have my exam lists finalized, my dissertation proposal finished, the index for my Zizek book done, and maybe a paper on Augustine sent off to some journal -- all by yesterday, preferably with plenty of time to spare.
I confess that my Risk addiction seems to be getting worse. I confess that Stringer Bell may be replacing Dr. House as my favorite TV character. (I'm in the middle of season 3 -- no spoilers. I confess that I'm one of those immature people for whom suspense adds to the enjoyment of narratives.) I confess that the ease with which McNulty gets laid strikes me as unrealistic. Perhaps I'm just jealous.
I confess that I'm not very good about calling people to make plans. I confess that last weekend, it was a revelatory moment when I was pondering my lack of plans for Saturday night and realized, "Wait, this isn't a brute fact -- I could actually call someone."
I confess that my self-concept will vastly improve when I deposit my student loan check (and a couple other little ones) tomorrow afternoon. I confess that none of them will clear until Monday at the earliest, leaving me cashless for yet another weekend. I confess that maybe I should've gone into a different line of work.