‘Down with the traitor, up with the star’

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We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true and brave …

That is a little slice of awesome pie.”

A young woman in old-fashioned clothes, a tiny smile on her lips and a hand extended solicitously towards her friend.”

“Revisen el orden de llamadas que trataron de hacer y saquen sus cuentas.” (“Check the order of the calls you tried to make and draw your own conclusions.”)

You are standing in an open field west of a white townhouse, with a boarded front door.”

“The real reason is that I liked the people who were waiting on line better than I liked the people cutting in front of it — that I couldn’t imagine counting myself among those paying for the pleasure of stepping in front of another child.”

“If there is a God — a higher power, a supreme being, who is behind all this, I feel we should just stop talking for a minute and … well … just stop talking for a minute.”

“You are about six times more likely to get zapped by an Act of God than to run into what this report counts as religious hostility.”

“They like to say they ‘have a heart for the Jewish people.’ (They don’t say ‘Jews,’ because they’re worried it sounds anti-Semitic, which, when they say it, it does. Because, when they say it, it is.)”

Oh, for the love of …

“When Allen jumped bail on his drunk-driving arrest, he claimed that the charges were nothing but ‘a trick of the devil to try to kill his ministry.’ He and his supporters claimed that all the drinking and corruption charges lodged against him were nothing but malicious slander.” (via)

“The new ad features Republican National Committee Director of Hispanic Outreach Bettina Inclan, who in the ad purports to be an average woman voter who supported Obama in 2008.”

“Romney’s campaign is not contesting the truth value of its assertions so much as contesting whether truth value itself is relevant.”

“You know why they remained in prison for two decades? Because the state didn’t care that they had the wrong guys on death row.”

“Suddenly I realized that, regardless of how many vulgar words these people used or how long their hair was, truth was on their side … in their music was an experience of metaphysical sorrow and a longing for salvation.”

Mulching is a process of inbred fertilization which employs certain decomposed organic materials — including, but not limited to animal sediment — to blanket an area in which vegetation is desired. The procedure enriches the soil for stimulated plant development while, at the same time, preventing erosion and decreasing the evaporation of moisture from the ground.”

The world becomes a map of the world.”

(Video at top via The Left Coaster.)

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  • animus

    “Republican National Committee Director of Hispanic Outreach”

    And you thought your job sucked.

  • aunursa

    (I’m repeating what I wrote on the prior thread; it’s more relevant here.)

    Last night, when President Obama said, “As Americans, we believe we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights,” I was amazed to find that my thoughts were instinctively drawn to this blog.

  • Tricksterson

    Of course the Democrats cut the part where he burst into flames when he said it.

  • Michael Cule

    Dammit! An Englishman invented the ‘Flash Pass’? I am so damned ashamed… If there’s one thing we used to be able to rely upon as a nation it was our abilty to line up and wait well. “Put two Italians in a room and they will form a political party. Put two Englishmen in a room and they will form a queue.”

    And he managed to patent the idea and sell it to someone? How?

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

    Fred, you just had to go and mention one of my favorite Civil War songs. I’d never heard that particular version before.  This is the one I’m most familiar with:  youtube.

  • hidden_urchin

    Something about the Junod article (link #6) doesn’t sit quite right with me.  The tone was  the kind of insufferable “more liberal than thou” stuff I really can’t stand.  A big part of it, I think, is that going to an amusement park at all is a luxury that separates people by wealth and class.  So trying to pretend that paying for general admission and waiting in line is more egalitarian than paying extra for a Fast Pass is a bit off.  That he couldn’t seem to make up his mind as to whether he had ethical issues with the Fast Pass or whether he was just irritated at the new incovenience didn’t help.

    Maybe it’s just that I, for one, don’t have a problem with people paying more for a different luxury experience.  I’ve never felt like a second-class citizen because other people paid to go in front of me while I stand in line at an amusement park.  I always viewed the different ticket prices for different experiences as being a way people could customize their visit along the same lines as the increasing customization of goods and services in our culture.  It doesn’t strike me as being any different from paying more for better seats at a performance.  It’s not like this is healthcare where, in the US, being able to pay more may mean the difference between living and dying.
     
    I don’t know.  The whole thing was just strange.

  • Kellandros

     The part of his complaint that answers your question, I think, is his description of how the experience for those without the flash passes has worsened- the normal line progresses at about half the rate it used to.

    “You used to be able to go on, say, three or four rides an hour, even on
    the most crowded days. Now you go on one or two. After four hours at
    Whitewater the other day, my daughter and I had gone on five.”

  • Carstonio

     In principle I don’t have an issue with the luxury experience concept either. In practice, the concept is too easily abused. The standard experience often becomes very stripped-down with shoddy service and quality. Or else items are added to the luxury experience that aren’t worth the money, simply as a money-making gimmick.

  • aunursa

    I always viewed the different ticket prices for different experiences as being a way people could customize their visit along the same lines as the increasing customization of goods and services in our culture. It doesn’t strike me as being any different from paying more for better seats at a performance.

    I agree.  Still, I like the FASTPASS system at Disneyland, which is  available to all guests.

    As a cruise aficionado, I’ve seen a similar complaint by those upset that cruise lines now offer new specialty dining options and other experiences that require an extra fee or are available only to guests booked in high-priced suites. I prefer to select which high-value experiences I wish to pay for, rather than be stuck with an all-inclusive but higher priced fare.

  • Daughter

    I was 16 when my father died in September. In December, my mother decided that it would be too difficult for her 3 children to spend Christmas at home without our father. She had always wanted to go on a cruise, so she booked us passage on a Caribbean cruise.

    We joked that we probably had the worst room on the ship, because that’s all my mom could afford to pay for. Little more than a closet, it contained 2 bunk beds which pulled down from the wall. When the beds were down, there was about a foot between the beds, and about two feet between the beds and the door.

    But it didn’t matter. We didn’t do anything in the rooms besides sleep. Once we were on deck, we had the same access to all the ship’s amenities as the people with the most luxurious suite onboard. (Of course, several people on board were honeymooning couples, so a luxurious suite was much more needed by them!)

  • aunursa

    I don’t know how long ago you cruised, but nowadays most activities and a majority of dining options are available to all passengers at no extra charge.  Some ships now offer priority check-in lines, concierge service, and reserved seating near the pool and in the theater to guests booked in suites.

    I would rather have a week in the lowest-price inside cabin on my favorite cruise line than almost any other vacation.

  • etv13

    It’s worth noting, though, that Disneyland is really expensive — probably much more so than any waterpark in the country.  They’ve made a decision to treat most people equally once they’re inside (I believe there are still some premium tours you can pay for, or that are available for VIPs, that allow you to jump the lines), but getting inside is a whole different deal.

  • aunursa

    It’s worth noting, though, that Disneyland is really expensive — probably much more so than any waterpark in the country.

    But other similarly-priced theme parks are offering priority passes, and thus treating guests differently based on the price of their ticket.

    * A Disneyland 1-day ticket is $87.
    * A Universal Studios ticket is $80.
    * A Six Flags Magic Mountain ticket is $64.99.

    Universal Studios also offers the Front-of-Line Pass for $129 and the VIP Experience for $249.  Both of Universal’s premium tickets include priority access to all rides, shows, and attractions.

    Six Flags sells separately THE FLASH Pass for $65 (Gold) and $105 (Platinum).  Both levels shorten the wait time for popular attractions.

  • etv13

    So they’re basically doubling the admission price?  I wouldn’t think they’d get enough takers to degrade the experience of the regular ticket-buyers.  

    And here’s the thing:  nobody is a citzen of Six Flags, or Disneyland (though my daughter would probably like to be).  What we are is paying customers.  If we don’t think we are getting value for our money, we will cease to be paying customers.  The people at the Walt Disney Company have obviously decided that the best way to extract the most profits from their customers is by treating them more or less equally — everybody can get one fast pass at a time, and that’s it.  Six Flags and Universal are trying a different approach.  FWIW, my money is on Disney, because I don’t think that company does much that isn’t carefully thought through and calibrated to deliver the largest profits for the shareholders.   I don’t think they’re treating people equally out of an idealistic sense of egalitarianism, and I really don’t think they have any obligation to, because again, with respect to them, we’re customers, not citizens.

  • aunursa

    Disneyland can pretty much charge whatever it wants.  The attendance at Disneyland Park last year topped $16 million guests, and represents a 20% increase over 2004.  Other theme parks are suffering lower attendance figures than what they hope and expect.  Universal Studios Hollywood welcomed 5.1 million guests last year, almost the same total as 2004.  Universal is desperate to attract customers, which is why they offer a 2nd day free ticket for $80 and an annual pass (with blackout dates) and “Buy a day, get a year FREE” special for Southern California residents.  Disneyland’s lowest annual pass is $299 for Southern California residents (with blackout dates including all weekends, all holidays, and almost the entire summer.)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    EIGHTY SEVEN DOLLARS?!

  • aunursa

    That’s correct.  The Disneyland Resort offers multi-day passes for both theme parks (i.e. Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure.)  For instance, you can purchase a 3-day ticket for $220 (~$73/day) or a 5-day ticket for $260 ($52/day).  As one who has visited Disneyland several times, I would recommend three days for first-time visitors who enjoy the Disney characters and movies.

  • Ursula L

    It doesn’t strike me as being any different from paying more for better seats at a performance.  

    The difference is, I think that the “jump to the the front of the line” pass measurably reduces the experience of other people at the amusement park.  The line keeps stopping, and they get fewer total rides for the visit.  

    Sell too many of those passes, and you could drop the experience of the regular ticket buyer to nothing – a busy day, a popular ride, and a large number of special passes sold could mean that you essentially have a line for special passes, that moves, but the regular line stops completely.  

    At a concert, everyone who gets a ticket gets to enjoy the whole concert from beginning to end.  Perhaps with a less-nice view of the stage for the lower price.  But your ticket, wherever it seats you, is always for the full concert.  

    Also, it is inherent to the nature of a concert hall that seats are spread throughout the area, and some are considered better than others.  You can’t build a concert hall where every seat is equally good.  Although architects who design concert halls do pay attention to designing the space to optimize the acoustics and lines of sight so that as many of the seats as possible will provide a good experience.  

    There is nothing inherent to the nature of an amusement park that makes having different lines at different prices necessary.  

    For a concert, no one thinks to have one type of ticket let you see the whole concert while another ticket gets you seated at intermission, with the majority of the tickets seating at intermission.  But that is pretty much what the system of double passes does for amusement parks.  

    It’s a matter of whether your business model is one of providing a good experience for all your customers, or a very good experience for a small minority of customers while the rest just have to deal.  Airlines use the latter model, and no one likes flying coach class, they put up with it because there isn’t a good alternative.  If you have to go somewhere far away, and don’t have time to drive or take the train, then you have to fly.  

    But there are plenty of ways to amuse yourself and your family other than going to an amusement park.  If the typical amusement park experience becomes like flying coach, it will no longer be amusing.  Long lines, getting bumped from your seat for higher-paying customer – people, like the articles author’s family, will simply stop going to the non-amusing parks. 

  • aunursa

    Sell too many of those passes, and you could drop the experience of the regular ticket buyer to nothing

    My understanding is that they try to limit the number of jump-the-line passes for each day.  I agree with you that the concept does cheapen the value of a regular admission ticket.

  • LL

    I think his point (though it could have been expressed better, but such is the nature of blog musings) is that allowing people to buy out of  waiting in line for an amusement park ride is hurting other people. It’s causing the people who can’t (or don’t feel like they should have to) pay to skip the line to wait longer than they would otherwise. It’s not quite the same as buying a seat in first class on an airplane. It’s actually causing the experience to be worse for those who don’t have the “pass.”

    And I’m guessing the implied point is that we (as a society) shouldn’t allow everything to be up for sale to the highest bidder. Market forces shouldn’t decide everything. People with “flash passes” shouldn’t be able to cut in line because they think they’re too good (or too busy or whatever) to wait for 30 minutes like everybody else. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I agree. Queue jumping should be limited to cases where it’s clear that the purchase of a more expensive ticket will not, in effect, cause people who can’t afford it to be pushed right out. Airplanes and trains, which have a limited amount of space allocated anyway, fit this. Amusement parks do not.

  • aunursa

    It’s not quite the same as buying a seat in first class on an airplane. It’s actually causing the experience to be worse for those who don’t have the “pass.”.

    Without a first class section, airlines could space the seats so that each passenger would have more legroom.  And lavatory access would be better.  Take a United Airbus 319.  Instead of an 8:1 passenger-per-lavatory ratio for first class and 112:2 (56:1) ratio for coach, everyone would have a 120:3 (40:1) ratio. And the passengers-per-flight attendant ratio would be lower as well.  Eliminate first class and everyone in coach has shorter wait times for the lavatory and their drinks.

  • AnonymousSam

    Oh lords below, sideways and flying in fifth dimensional space under my nostrils. If you read nothing else, the whitewater scandal article. I haven’t had the displeasure of being to a water park in many years and I haven’t had to deal with the atrocity that is a Flash Pass, but I can feel it through the author’s words and I have experienced it in another place where it would seem like class warfare shouldn’t be such a factor: the airport.

    Have we ever had a time in history when airports sold as many tickets as they had seats available and no more? It seems like such a simple thing: sixty seats, sixty tickets, no more, no less. Well, maybe less if some of the seats are out of commission. I’m willing to defer judgment if the plane experiences some kind of cataclysmic seating loss, say, a baby vomited liquid rock upon the cushion covers and it has spontaneously begun generating extreme levels of gamma radiation. You know, a minor emergency.

    But the last six flights I’ve had the misfortune to need have each resulted in ‘Cuz I’ve got a goooldennnn tiiiickeeeet~ customers taking up a large portion of the plane, followed by preboarded families with small children taking up most of the rest and there only being enough room for another ten or so people. There are thirty of us still waiting to board. Thirty people to ten seats.

    Sixty seats, sixty tickets. Is it really that hard to grasp? Apparently so!

    So here I am, one out of over thirty people, all hoping to get on the same plane with ten seats left, and the petite woman in her sharp uniform with a peculiarly short skirt (it looks nice, but is her sex appeal supposed to make any of us feel better? I wonder how she feels about it and kind of wish I could ask) smiles apologetically and urges us to decide amongst ourselves who needs the plane tonight. I guess she expects to find that some of us are more equal than others, because, oddly enough, we keep stalemating and she just keeps waiting patiently, smiling blandly, repeating her declaration every few minutes that “anyone not needing to board the plane tonight will be granted a voucher for a free flight tomorrow, or at the earliest convenience.”

    Duly note that those flight vouchers can be of less boarding priority than a regular couch ticket, increasing the likelihood of anyone taking them having to be deferred another flight. And possibly another. And another. And another, leading to atrocities like this.

    After experiencing this six times, it’s hard not to start to resent the people with their exclusive, expensive membership programs which grant them the privilege of never being expected to decide amongst themselves who sleeps on an airport bench tonight and who gets to enjoy the relative luxury and comfort of flying hundreds of miles an hour with catering, especially when they’re not just purchasing more privileges for themselves, they’re actively hindering the carefully planned holidays of others such as myself.

    And for that matter, what if it’s not a holiday? My grandfather is dying* and the only reason I haven’t been on a plane already is because there’s no feasible way I could afford to make a trip on such short notice. Imagine if I had a low priority ticket and the plane had already filled to capacity. Should I just miss the death of my grandfather because some nephew of Carlos Slim wants to enjoy a few weeks on his uncle’s yacht? “Yes, yes you should,” is the answer I’m getting, with a heavy undertone of “If you really cared enough, you’d have been born to rich parents too.”

    * I have mixed feelings about my grandfather and my APD has been hitting very hard lately, so this affects me less than it probably should. I’m fond of the man, but he’s not an easy man to love, even without knowing some of his worst faults. Still, I have to be somewhat enraged by how this has come about. He had just beaten lung cancer and the physicians decided it would be prudent to give him an extra strong dose of chemotherapy agents directly to the brain, in case the cancer spread there. The result is that his brain is irreparably, critically damaged and is failing quickly, much like the final stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. The last news I had was that he was being taken home to die comfortably, and that was about a week ago, so I imagine my family is now too busy with funeral preparations to give me an update.

  • Münchner Kindl

    You know why they remained in prison for two decades? Because the state didn’t care that they had the wrong guys on death row.”

    Reminded me of the post a few weeks ago about a deaf woman arrested after calling 911 for help and held without interpreter.

    So again, let’s see if I understand the US justice system correctly: citizens have no way of guaranteed redress against the state if laws are broken and/ or injustices have occurred, correct? The state must first agree to be prosecuted in court, and if they don’t want to, the citizen can’t do anything, is that right?

  • Carstonio

    At the risk of Godwinning the thread in nautical terms, the survival rate on the Titanic was 62% for first-class passengers, 43% for second-class passengers, and 25% for the passengers in steerage.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Wouldn’t have happened if the boat owners had had the sense to make sure there were enough lifeboats. It wasn’t like there wasn’t room.

    I have a feeling there’s a political metaphor here but I need to leave for work in five.

  • Carstonio

    True, but there’s still the valid question of whether the crew showed preferential treatment to upper-class passengers when filling the lifeboats. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    Possibly, but it was almost certainly also easier for the average first class passenger to get to the lifeboats (and thus be ahead in the queue to get on them) than the average passenger in steerage.

  • Amaryllis

     The ship had more than the required number of lifeboats. The owners actually went beyond the then-current standard.

    After the sinking, those regulations were changed. There’s probably a political point there too.

  • PJ Evans

     I’ve read that the bulkheads in the lower decks didn’t go all the way to the decks above – a compartment floods, it overflows into the adjoining compartments, and pretty soon you have a ship with a lot more water inside than it’s designed to contain. The steerage passengers would have been the first to go.

  • Amaryllis

    Yeah. What I meant was, the owners and builders knew that there weren’t enough lifeboats for everyone, or even as many boats as the ship was designed to carry. But I’ve heard that they didn’t want to clutter up the upper decks, the passenger promenades,  with more boats. After all, the regulations said they’d done as much as they needed to. Anyway, the ship was unsinkable, right, no need to worry too much.

    And nobody looked at the regulations and said, wait a minute, these were written for ships with a much smaller passenger capacity. And nobody said, but what if? So I was thinking about all the complaints one hears about how government regulations are intrusive and burdensome and always changing; the Titanic’s passengers could have done with a little more intrusion and change.

    The other thing about the lifeboats is that some of them weren’t even fully loaded– er, I mean, with as many passengers as they could carry– partly because of panic and premature launching, but  apparently also because some people who had a chance at the first boats, declined. They felt safer on the ship, which was after all supposed to be unsinkable– or, at least, really slow to sink. They figured they’d be rescued before the worst happened, and preferred to take their chances on the big ship rather than in a tiny lifeboat. People are always guessing wrong about risk.

    But yes, it was a top-down rescue effort, and the steerage people got the worst of it.

  • AnonymousSam

    The RNC says its ad, which first appeared on television Thursday is not dishonest.

    “It’s a lighthearted ad to show how millions of Americans feel about President Obama — he’s not the person we thought he was and it’s time to break up with him,” an RNC official told TPM. “But let’s be clear, it is an ad.

    And as we all know, advertisements primarily feature professional actors who are paid to say whatever the ad company wishes them to say, regardless of its veracity. Kool-Aid really does magically change colors. Barbie really does come to life with her fashionable accessories. Swiffer Sweeper really does put your old mop to shame. It’s not dishonesty, it’s creative thematic interpretations of fiscal value subjectivity. And lying, but in a way we’ve been trained to think of as harmless because of its repetitiousness. We see it often, therefore it’s normal.

    “I was never pressured to be a Republican, but I am very much a fiscal conservative,” Inclan told Business Insider in May. “It might be because we were always on a very tight budget growing up. Or maybe my views of the world fall in line with the Republican Party.”

    Really? My experiences with growing up with a tight budget have led me down a very different path. Maybe it’s because that even when I have money, I’m overly conscious of losing it and thus treat every penny as though it were precious. When the Republican party has money, they seem to treat it like a game: “Oh well. It’s not like I really lose anything if I piledrive it into the ground.” Because for them, they don’t.

    The difference between us is risk. I risk everything whenever I make a bad financial decision. Mitt Romney would have to make some pretty ungodly bad decisions to lose his fortune of hundreds of millions in the amount of time I could lose my couple of thousands, and odds are really good that he could gather up all his cash and file it into a paper shredder and the prestige and power he wields would be enough to have a few millions back in his pocket by the end of the day.

    You and I come from two very different worlds, lady.

  • aunursa

    The first time I saw this ad, I assumed that she was an actress portraying an average woman voter who voted for Obama in 2008 — not that she herself purported to be a disillusioned Obama voter.  Romney and the RNC already have a number of ads from 2008 Obama voters who say they are disillusioned with him.

    But, hey, if you want to cite this as another R&R lie, go for it!

  • Carstonio

     The situation is actually similar to this one, except for the claims of war crimes:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nayirah_%28testimony%29

    Whether or not both situations qualify as lies, they’re fundamentally deceptive.

  • Daughter

    Remember the criticism of Obama’s ad featuring a man who lost his job after Bain took over his company, and subsequently his wife died of cancer? How much worse would the rightwing criticims have been if the man’s story hadn’t been true, and he was merely an actor?

  • Carstonio

     I’m not sure what that has to do with my point, which is about presenting insiders with agendas as ordinary citizens.

  • Daughter

    The man is an ordinary citizen, whose life had been negatively affected by Bain Capital. He is not an insider with an agenda. The ad was ripped by Repubicans, who accused Pres. Obama of blaming the man’s wife’s death on Romney. How much worse would those criticisms have been* if it turned out that the man wasn’t the ordinary citizen he purported to be, but rather an insider with an agenda?

    * And I would have agreed with the criticisms if that had been the case.

  • Carstonio

    But I wasn’t talking about that ad at all. My point was about the Bettina Inclan ad.

  • Daughter

    And aunursa wasn’t talking about the Nayirah situation, but about the Bettina Inclan ad. Yet you brought something that happened more than two decades ago because you saw a connection.

    I was doing the same thing, but with even more relevance. Two ads, both by purported ordinary citizens, criticizing a candidate for the 2012 U.S. presidential election. But in one case, the person is actually an ordinary citizen whose story was true; in the other case, the person is a GOP staffer making up a story. Yes, there are real people whose story resemble the one she made up. My point was, if the guy in Obama’s Bain Capital ad had been a Democratic staffer making up a story, the howling on the right would have been insane.

  • Carstonio

    Thanks for the clarification, and yes, you’re probably right about the likely reaction.

    Very telling that Aunursa assumed that Inclan was an actress and didn’t express any condemnation, because political ads should never use professional performers that way. (That would be different from, say, Clint Eastwood doing an ad for Romney or George Clooney doing an ad for Obama, because they would be trading on their names instead of playing roles.)

  • aunursa

    political ads should never use professional performers that way.

    Why not?

    Should there be no humor of any kind in political ads?  If humor is allowed, should only non-actors play the various roles?

  • Carstonio

     I mean that it’s unethical to hire a professional performer and label him or her as an ordinary voter. That’s the equivalent of radio shows using planted callers.

  • aunursa

    I didn’t see where she was labeled as an ordinary voter.

    Do you see the difference between this ad — which is entirely and obviously satirical –and the ones linked in my 11:14 AM post above, in which the subjects are clearly 2008 Obama voters and are labeled as such?

  • Daughter

    What would you have thought of Obama’s Bain Capital ad if the man in it hadn’t actually been a former employee of a company bought by Bain, hadn’t lost his job and insurance, and hadn’t had a wife that died? Would you have been OK with that ad (or at least, felt the same about it as you do now) if he had been a Democratic staffer or actor and his story was made up?

  • aunursa

    The difference is that “The Breakup” is obviously satire, whereas the Soptic ad was obviously portraying someone whose life was affected by Bain Capital.

    If any of the Romney/RNC ads — the ones with a serious tone — show someone who claims to be a disillusioned 2008 Obama voter but who in fact did not support Obama the last time, then that would be wrong.

  • Carstonio

    While the ad is obviously satirical, I suspect most people are going to assume that the person is either a ordinary voter or a performer. My point about using insiders with agendas that way still holds.

  • Fusina

     Having now viewed the Chuck and Gena Norris ad, in which she quotes Reagan’s 1964 convention speech, I think actors should not make political ads at all.

    Honestly. I was speechless. Possibly because life isn’t a movie, and I have yet to come across a situation that calls for the hyperbole I read in that speech. Considering that Reagan started out as an actor, I believe my initial conclusion stands. I mean, seriously? A thousand years of darkness?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    BC Ferries has the same problem: Assured boarding (in the old days) and reserved boarding (these days). It’s so gravelling to watch the reserved boarding folks blow past you on a holiday weekend when you’re stuck waiting for a ferry. :| At least thank god there’s no reserved boarding for walk-ons. First walk up, first serve, pretty much.

    Lately I think they’ve tried keeping down the number of people who reserve car spots so as to avoid the repeated-bumping problem.

    Finally, for a legitimately lighthearted moment, I think? Holy crap, you guys have an attractive President here!

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Holy crap, you guys have an attractive President here!

    We really do, don’t we?

  • Daughter

    I took my first plane flight in about a decade this summer, traveling with my daughter who had never flown. I was a little worried about the TSA and other changes, but our experience was great.

    One thing that pleasantly surprised me: after first class and  people needing extra time boarded the plan, we were part of the next group allowed to board. The reason: because we had checked our bags and weren’t carrying on luggage.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    I was deeply moved by the story (or rather, the multiple stories) about the abandoned church in Arizona.  Every single abandoned building has at least one story, or possibly several stories.  They may not be as dramatic as the stories surrounding that Arizona church, but they’re there.  Almost every derelict structure represents a hope that failed, a future that didn’t materialize, a dream that somehow fell through.

    I know it’s a cliche, but… it makes you think, doesn’t it?

  • AnonymousSam

    Running through the rest of the articles…

    When I think of how many billions of light years exist between stars, and between stars and the Earth, I don’t contemplate the immensity of God’s powers, I contemplate his purpose. Vast, empty expanses of space, most of which without any apparent function, do not impress me as much as the complexity of life beneath our feet. If God decided to spend a few eons duct taping together galaxies that are beyond even our ability to see for another several billions of years when their light reaches us, doesn’t that make him more of a cosmic troll than a shaper of wonders?

    Hence why I tend to feel like the creation and maintenance of such things was and is automated. He may have set in motion, but I don’t think there’s a conscious mind behind arranging the sand particles on the sixth moon of nu-xi-psi-psi-zeta-IV-a.

    aul Ryan, who told Fox News that Democrats have “the onus and burden on them to explain why they did all this, these purges of God”

    I feel no such onus or burden. I ask you why it should be necessary to cram references to God into such wording. Does failure to publicly acknowledge God indicate godlessness, or does it indicate adherence to the Bible’s advice? Can we not live silently as Christians, or adhering to Christian ideals? Must faith be blasted down people’s throats in order to be acknowledged, and would even that make a difference?

    (Given how people insist Obama must be an atheist or a Muslim, I doubt including the word “God” every third word in the platform would have made the slightest difference.)

    > sit chair

    The empty chair is already seated.

    > sit IN chair

    The empty chair is currently occupied.

    > who there

    Do you not recognize him? It is the same Black President from the last time you played. Only invisible. Do you not remember?

    Now I have mental pictures of Clint Eastwood trying to play Colossal Cave Adventure. *Dies*

    No one was protecting Miracle Valley on this night.

    O Discordia! And it all falls unto entropy…

  • aunursa

    I remember a television ad way back in 1982 for an opponent of then first-term Congressman Tom Lantos*.  The ad showed a Lantos look-a-like from the backside having a pie in front of what appeared to be his family.   While I don’t recall the voice-over, I remember that “Lantos” greedily gobbled up the entire pie in from of the kids, who had crestfallen expressions on their faces.

    Was that ad inappropriate because it used actors?  If not, what’s the difference?

    * I supported Lantos during his entire congressional career.

  • Carstonio

    It would have been unethical if the ad explicitly labeled the lookalike as Lantos. Back in the 1940s, one segregationist politician hired a double of his opponent to drive around with two Amos ‘n’ Andy caricatures in the back seat, and the double would introduce himself to gas station attendants as the opponent.

    My point has nothing to do with humor. I’m condemning the practice of using insiders with agendas or hired performers to pretend to be ordinary voters.

  • Daughter

    It seems like in the ad you describe, itwas pretty obvious that the actor was indeed an actor, playing a role. When the actor is pretending to be an ordinary voter, as Carstonio notes, telling a story that is supposedly their true story, that’s a problem.

  • Donalbain

    I think there is a major difference between people playing an obvious character, and people claiming to be something they are not. I think the difference involves the fourth wall.

  • AnonymousSam

    Advertising in general tends to irritate me, but attach a gimmick to it (especially an obnoxious one, GEICO) and start exaggerating for hyperbole or using some of that advertising-exclusive logic and rationality, and you’ve created a $200,000 monstrosity. If a product can’t stand up on their own without “compensated professional salespersons engaging in theatrical partisan depiction of similar or related likenesses of designated appropriate demographic participant simulacra,” I call bullshit.

    Political advertising isn’t even necessarily worse. It’s just more of the same, which makes it worse.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I got lucky the last time I flew; I was able to get a seat in the emergency exit row, and the extra legroom was welcome.

  • AnonymousSam

    Also relevant, may have been posted earlier, but: Revolt of the Rich

  • Amaryllis

    “A young woman in old-fashioned clothes, a tiny smile on her lips and a hand extended solicitously towards her friend.”

    The soul selects her own society,
    Then shuts the door;
    On her divine majority
    Obtrude no more.

    Unmoved, she notes the chariot’s pausing
    At her low gate;
    Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling
    Upon her mat.

    I’ve known her from an ample nation
    Choose one;
    Then close the valves of her attention
    Like stone.

    -Emily Dickinson

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Meanwhile, some of Obama’s critics are incensed that, in support of Obama’s reelection, one of the speakers at the DNC was a real true person talking about how Obama’s policies have made her life better.

    The decision to have an illegal alien address the Democratic National Convention this evening is indicative of the party leadership’s efforts to delegitimize and undermine U.S. immigration laws, charged the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Benita Veliz, an illegal alien, will likely receive a rousing reception from the party faithful.

    “In choosing to have someone who defiantly remains present in the
    United States in violation of federal law address the convention during
    prime time is nothing more than a celebration of lawlessness.  And  by
    celebrating illegal immigration, the Democratic Party
    is sending a clear message that our immigration laws are not only
    inconsequential, but that the people who break our laws are heroes,”
    said Dan Stein, president of FAIR.

    (For news coverage that isn’t pretty much a copy of FAIR’s press release – and is more recent – see Benita Veliz Speech Marks First Remarks From DREAMer At Democratic National Convention)

    Obviously it’s because they dislike the policy she benefits from, but really — actor telling a concocted story or real true person affected by the candidate’s policies, you can’t win for losing here.

    (I am also reminded of the 2004 election, when the RNC was outraged that the Democrats would have the gall to field an opposing candidate during wartime. The outrage over Veliz appears the version of that they do when their opponent is the incumbent. I mean, how dare Obama not have the grace to be ashamed of those of his policies which the Republicans dislike, right? How dare he have supporters testifying that his policies have helped him?)

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Obama’s actions have led directly to me being able to get surgery which will alleviate a large amount or maybe all of my constant debilitating pain. It will allow me to work again, to do basic things like cook and clean, etc. And not to be in constant horrible pain.

    Watching Republicans tie themselves in knots over how this is somehow not actually due to Obama but is due to um look over there and Romney would do more anyway because um look over there is amusing. I have to be amused to stop from either raging or crying.

    And that’s not the only way in which Obama has helped me substantially. I’m a woman. There are the Fair Pay Act, and no longer having to pay significantly more for insurance than men. 

    I’ve never been loyal to a politician before. I am loyal to Obama. That man is saving my life — not necessarily my survival (though living with this pain forever might lead me to suicide), but my ability to actually live.

  • AnonymousSam

    And then the Wisconsin Republicans went and repealed their version of the Fair Pay Act because, to quote state senator Grothman, “money is more important for men.”

    And now Republicans want to repeal the minimum wage laws, because “You can always choose not to work for a place with crappy pay.”

    FUCK REPUBLICANS. FUCK THEM WITH A REALLY BIG HEAVILY HEATED IRON ROD. WITH NO BIRTH CONTROL.

    *Coughs* Sorry. I’m okay now. See, I don’t really do the crying option very well, so my options are between laughing at them and raging, and I don’t find this very funny.

  • PJ Evans

     You can tell that none of them have ever worked for minimum wage, without having their parents help them out with a room and meals. You can also tell that none of them think women are real people with real rights and real problems.

  • Mike Timonin

    I saw the mulch link, and I knew it had to have something to do with Groo. I’ve always been a sucker for a running gag, even one that, really, wasn’t that funny.

  • Donalbain

    Without a first class section, airlines could space the seats so that
    each passenger would have more legroom.  And lavatory access would be
    better.

    Or just cram in more seats, with the same amount of legroom.

  • aunursa

    True.

    But still, the passengers-to-lavatory and passengers-to-flight attendant ratios would drop.

  • Donalbain

    But still, the passengers-to-lavatory and passengers-to-flight attendant ratios would drop.

    Or they would keep the ratios the same and employ fewer staff to increase profits. Which is what planes without first class options generally do.

  • aunursa

    Touché.


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