Sunday salmagundi

• If you have to run a four-paragraph correction that explains that all the key facts of the original article were wrong, proving the opposite of its entire argument, then you probably shouldn’t be running a correction. You should retract the original story and run an apology.

• Richard Beck: “Jesus: In Microcosm.” It’s very short, but irreducible, so go read the whole thing.

• A lovely piece of news that’s guaranteed to pucker all the right sphincters: Sen.-Elect Elizabeth Warren will serve on the Banking Committee.

For Preston and Dianna.

• When avoiding “internal and external disruption of the Hospital’s function and business within this community” is a euphemism for “caving in to terroristic threats.”

Oh, and remember, those threats of disruption, harassment and violence come from devoutly religious folk insisting that they possess the moral high ground.

• Mark Evanier has a post about Danny Kaye that ends with a video of his duet with Louis Armstrong on “When the Saints Go Marching In.” … I said there’s a video of Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong singing a duet of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” why are you still here?

• Here’s a depressing bit of news from Merriam-Webster: “Socialism and capitalism were the most looked-up words on the Merriam-Webster website this past US election year, the publishers of the authoritative dictionary of American English said Wednesday.”

Why is this depressing? Because it probably indicates that lots of people are writing arguments that somewhere include the phrase: “According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, X is defined as …”

Don’t do this. Don’t use dictionary definitions as clobber-verses.

Low prices. Every day.

• The Iranian government does its best to create a creepy theocratic cocoon, but it always seems one step behind the American evangelical subculture. Just this month, Tehran has announced it will launch it’s own, cloistered version of YouTube.

Evangelicals got there first. Here’s GodTube, the “Christian alternative to YouTube.” And ere are Xt3, Faith Freaks, Dust Off the Bible, and Shoutlife — just a few of the social network sites that bill themselves as the “Christian alternative to Facebook.”

• The “Greek” system at American universities — fraternities and sororities — still seems to me to be a desperate effort to retain the social structure of high school for people who are no longer in high school. It thus tends to include a disproportionate number of people who liked the social structure of high school. And that contributes to things like this.

They Are Coming for Your Birth Control. Yes, they really are.

• Yes, Buzzfeed just posts photo collections like this as linkbait. I’m OK with that in this case: “26 Moments That Restored Our Faith in Humanity This Year.”

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  • reynard61

    “A lovely piece of news that’s guaranteed to pucker all the right sphincters: Sen.-Elect Elizabeth Warren will serve on the Banking Committee.”

    Oh yes! So, *SO* yes!

  • A little shout out in today’s Doonesbury for Senator Warren fans

  • Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. X-D

  • quinnthebrain

    I met  Danny Kaye when I was a child.  We were on the same flight from LA to Tokyo — I was 3, he was 60.  He was up in first class, and I was wandering around, escaping from my parents.  He befriended me, chatted with me, and returned me to my parents. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    Re Sen. Warren: Thank fuck.

  • Why is this depressing? Because it probably indicates that lots of people are writing arguments that somewhere include the phrase: “According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, X is defined as …”

    You can look at it that way, or you could look at it like this: a lot of people, upon hearing a certain politician or public policy blasted as “socialism”, decided to check it out and make sure that it’s true instead of just blindly accepting the slur as Gospel. If everyone did even that amount of research all the time, politicians wouldn’t get away with lying as often as they do. 

  • No fire safety. One more reason I refuse to shop at Walmart. 

  • Victor

    (((a lot of people, upon hearing a certain politician or public policy blasted as “socialism”, decided to check it out and make sure that it’s true instead of just blindly accepting the slur as Gospel.)))

    Charity begins at home! Call me crazy but but accepting stuff like a child is not a child just because a so called altrasound says “IT” is and this does not give “MAN” the right to tell a woman what he, I mean she can do with her body, I don’t care if a million of them so called unborn die, “IT” sitll does not make “IT” “Evil”! What the fuck Victor! Do ya think we “Live Backward”?

    Ok sinner vic! I know that you’re entitled to an opinion butt please watch your language! :)


  • stardreamer42

     We can only hope…

  • stardreamer42

     IAWTC. Also, there’s a decent chance that some of those people are writing counter-arguments that start with “The dictionary definition of X is…” and continue with things like, “Obama has not done anything resembling any of this, and whoever told you that he has was lying thru their teeth.”

  • Lizzy L

    Loved the Armstrong/Kaye video; listening to and watching Danny Kaye scat with Louis Armstrong is — wow. Also — woo! But I wanted Armstrong to lift that trumpet and PLAY “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

  • atalex

     This. Given the fact that most Republicans now define literally anything Obama proposes as “socialism,” it can only be a good thing that people are actually looking up the word for themselves. Surely a percentage of those who do will say, “Huh. That actually doesn’t sound too bad!”

  • LoneWolf343

    “Don’t do this. Don’t use dictionary definitions as clobber-verses.”

    If we did it more often, than maybe people would stop calling common sense “socialism.”

  • Lori

    So, not only is Fred a little bit internet famous now the comment section is also? I’m not totally sure how I feel about horrifying the reformed people, but I’m pretty sure it’s pride or one of it’s near relations. 

  • JustoneK

    Wait, reformed in what sense?  And are they the guy in the middle or the guys snogging randomly?

  • Lori

    I assume they’re the guy in the middle, responding to the duded snogging randomly.

  • JustoneK

    First dude was eating something too.  Gross.

    I really want to know the story behind this gif now.

  • Lori

    Exactly. Two guys kissing? No problem. Any two people kissing while one of them has food in his/her mouth? Not something I want to look at.

    As for the backstory, someone here probably watches the show and can tell you.

  • David Starner

    The Wall Street Journal has changed the original article online to match the corrections, and made the whole thing a bit incoherent. And somehow someone is replying to the page linked to that points out how big the correction was by repeating “facts” from the article that the correction pointed out were wrong.

  • Michael Pullmann

    What the hell, Penn State Chi Omegas?

  • Carstonio

    You may not be aware of the Half-Blood Prince Act of 2005 – any discussions of snogging have to include red-haired teen boys who frequently exclaim “Bloody hell!”

  • AnonaMiss

    I should hope the comments section is internet famous! I’m here for it as much as for the blog posts, and I doubt I’m alone.

  • The_L1985

    …There are people  who liked the social structure in high school?  *shrugs*  I must not have met them, and I’m not so sure I want to.

  • The_L1985

    In re: the rumors stated in that comic, I certainly hope so!

  • Wednesday

    Given that every year or two there was always some fraternity or sorority party themed on racial/ethnic stereotypes at my Uni, and the administration always responded by having the Greek house in question have some sort of Not Being An Asshole 101 training… I honestly don’t know why they didn’t just start requiring all the Greek houses to either attend University-provided training or to develop their own Not Being An Asshole 101 if they wanted to remain a recognized student organization.

  • At Texas A&M (and shoutout to them in the 26 pics post too) we had the attitude that being an Aggie was fraternal/sororal enough for anyone; frats were for people who lacked Aggie spirit. 

  • Lliira

     My high school honestly didn’t have much of the typical social structure that people talk about. There were… people. Who… got along or didn’t. Some real assholes, some extremely wonderful people, most of us in  between. We had lots of band geeks (I was one) and we had a few jocks (wrestlers, but no one in any other sport could be defined solely by “jock”), but our popular people were actually really truly popular for good reasons. The most popular girl was probably the honors student track star who went out of her way to be kind to everyone and didn’t seem to care what anyone else thought — she was not typically pretty, and she never lacked for boys trying to date her, but she didn’t get serious about any of them. The most popular boy in our class was the honors student valedictorian soccer player who was both cute and quiet.  The most popular boy in the school was one year below me – a tall, gorgeous choir geek, basketball player, straight-A student, breathtakingly nice and really, really funny.

    There were a couple people who obviously put a lot of energy into being “popular” but the rest of us just didn’t care about them. For instance, the girl whose boyfriend helped out in the office and was able to cheat the homecoming vote so she was homecoming queen our senior year. We all knew what had happened, because no one but her teeny tiny clique voted for her, because she was active in nothing and wasn’t even nice. But no one did anything, because no one cared about the silliness of homecoming king and queen — it was considered, like, totally uncool to care about stuff like that.

    Now, MIDDLE school, that was a hellish social atmosphere. High school wasn’t great or anything, but it wasn’t terrible either, all things considered.

  • Carstonio

    While I was never in a fraternity, everything I heard about hazing suggested a lower-level version of the abuse cycle in families. Actives may consciously or subconsciously resent what they went through as pledges, and they may use hazing to take out their resentments on the new pledges. Paying it forward may work in the negative sense as well as the positive sense.

    “Vicious mother, isn’t he? He can’t do that to our pledges! Only we can do that to our pledges.

  • My paternal grandmother, before she married my grandfather, worked for a few years as Moss Hart’s personal secretary; Danny Kaye was her favorite of the many actors and singers who passed through her office.  She said that when he had to wait a while for a meeting with Moss, he would perch on a corner of her desk and sing to her.

    And now I’m thinking about renting The Court Jester — I haven’t watched it in several years, which is probably too long.  “The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle holds the brew that is true!”

  • Less Wrong has a great collection of posts about the futility of arguing “by definition,” and other ways words can be used to obfuscate and confuse instead of communicate and clarify thoughts: 37 Ways That Words Can Be Wrong.

  • Tricksterson

    But what about the chalice with the palace?

  • Victor