7 things @ 9 o’clock (11.15)

1. Evan Hurst says that Ash Beckham is “delightful.” Very true. There are two videos at that link, totaling only about 15 minutes. That’s a quarter of an hour well-spent.

2. “Even if she got out of politics, my mom is still a Republican, and loves her Fox News, and I’m a good daughter who doesn’t bitch her out about it, too often. We do like to sit on that couch, and have a CC and water. And I never would have thought it would be Phyllis Schlafly who gave us so much to talk about over our drinks.”

That’s Lisa Wines in a long, funny and fascinating piece about “The Time Phyllis Schlafly Incited a Riot.”

3. Home-Owners Associations all claim that their strict — and often bizarre, arbitrary and stupid — rules exist to preserve property values. I think they do the opposite. The more people know about HOAs, their multitude of rules, their nebulous accountability and their weird status as undemocratic quasi-governmental structures, the less likely people are to want to own properties subject to their reign. I would never want to live in a neighborhood subject to an HOA, and would happily pay a premium to avoid them. I think many people feel the same way — enough that HOAs likely reduce and diminish property values.

4. This post from Ellen Painter Dollar also relates, I think, to the whole recent business about the exclusion of women at Christian conferences: “How to Promote Yourself (& Others) Without Driving People Crazy.”

5. Mike Warnke may have been a lying swindler who bilked people out of their money by spinning fantasies of his non-existent past as a “Satanic high priest,” but give him credit for this much: He was a gifted story-teller. Warnke had charm, wit, an eye for detail. His put some craft into his con. I worry about the next generation of Satanic Panic swindlers. There’s just no artistry.

Warnke made his fortune by parodying anti-abortion white evangelicals’ fear of Satanic baby-killers. He took what they wanted to believe, embellished it, and fed it back to them. Joseph Sciambra is shrewdly trying to do the same thing by parodying anti-gay white evangelicals’ fears of Satanic Gayness. But while Sciambra seems to understand the con- part of being a con-artist, he doesn’t seem willing to work at the artist part.

Joseph Sciambra is no Mike Warnke. Heck, he’s not even Bob Larson.

6. Dawn Phipps:

Many people think those of us who need food assistance are nothing but deadbeats and leeches; if we would just put down the bon-bons, get off the couch and get a job, life would be splendid. Ah, there’s a nice fantasy. The truth is that most of us are not deadbeats and leeches. We have jobs. We have families who need to eat. We have children who are wondering when dinner will be ready.

7. Barry Taylor shared this video of Eska performing “Gatekeeper.” Whistles, whoops and a musical saw provide a vibe that’s not quite like anything I’ve heard before. I like it. And, of course, she had me at “gatekeeper.”

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  • smrnda

    Something I wanted to add, as a person who runs a volunteer organization.

    I have an easier time than most finding volunteers since, living in a college town there are lots of people with comfortable incomes, lots of education and skills and lots of time on their hands. If we’re living in a world where more and more workers are feeling a squeeze in terms of time and money, there aren’t going to be any volunteers since everybody will be working 3 minimum wage jobs just to get by.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    OH yes. Of course, the mistake you and TheBrett and Lorehead and I are all making is that we’re looking at how things work in the real world.

    If only we could learn to withdraw to a universe that runs rigidly by the rules we dream up, life would be much simpler. Just ask any right-wing ranter. (To be fair, I remember a few decades back when a lot of far-left ranters were being similarly rigid and unrealistic. But that’s not the problem we face this year.)

  • esmerelda_ogg

    “normality is also base dependent” The more you learn about anything, the weirder and cooler it gets. Thanks for this! :-D

  • TheBrett

    If they wanted to ban them from being used at restaurants, they could ban them from being used at restaurants. Banning them from “hot food” in general means you can’t get anything warm from a store deli that might make the cooking burden easier, like the rotissery chickens I brought up.

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

    *is in hives*

    This sort of endless epicyclical abstraction involved in pure mathematics is why I tend to give funny looks to people who start in on how many different forms of infinity you can have.

  • caryjamesbond

    And some infinities are bigger than other infinities, and that’s usually the point where I see myself gazing down a deep, dark hole that Cantor fell down, and back away slowly.

  • caryjamesbond

    Heh. You know, friends and I used to talk about mathmatics, and the philosophy of math, and whether math represented a real fundamental underlying reality of the universe or whether it was nothing more than an abstraction.

    Then, one day, I looked up the Millennium problems. And, honestly, I’d get more meaning out of a random sentence of german, because at least I could make an educated guess at what a few of those words meant. That’s when I stopped talking about math like I knew shit about it.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Maybe someone prayed demons into all of the hats at some point before the war. Maybe demonic hats are why the Nazis were so, well, evil — anyone who wears any Nazi hat gets possessed by the demon of that hat.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    The first time I saw “Rosenkavalier” written down, I thought it said, “Rosenklavier,” and I was, like, “Someone wrote an opera about a pink piano?”

  • LoneWolf343

    Yeah, it is something you have to experience for yourself…or read Watership Down.

  • Lorehead

    Well, he had his delusion that two-thirds of the budget of any government program is wasted on cushy union jobs to maintain.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    True, very true.

    Also – it occurs to me I’ve been trying to give him a little benefit of the doubt as to his loathsomeness by telling myself that he just might do a lot of charity work; it never felt probable, but I don’t think he had said anything to make it impossible.

    Now it’s impossible. He knows nothing about the nuts and bolts of charitable projects.* Therefore, he’s never done anything to help people who need help. Let’s see, what is he good for? Oh, yes, providing carbon dioxide for plants to metabolize.

    * Or he’s such a lying liar he thinks he can fool us by misrepresenting what’s involved.

  • caryjamesbond

    I think you’re missing what levels of suspicious people are. And, I’ve seen enough heavily liberal forums that quickly turn into the worst nanny state cliches, with all the best intentions in the world, that I don’t want any sort of moderation here.

    See: Shakesville, Slacktiverse, any other place with a multipage document that must be read and followed to the letter before posting, any place where you can’t simply post, “Nope, you’re wrong.”

    It ends badly.

  • caryjamesbond

    Honestly, I have fewer problems with that. The purpose of a social safety net is to keep people alive when they run into a rough patch. It’s not its job to either hand over money or provide you with everything under the sun. It’s “here, we don’t think people should be allowed to starve.” assistance.

    And I’d guess at least one reason is that an 8 dollar hot bar meal is one meal, whereas a loaf of bread and some sliced ham is three or four.

  • caryjamesbond

    As I point out above- that’s economically inefficient. Bread and ham makes more meals than a chicken or one of those grocery store meals.

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

    Actually if you can get one of those whole cooked chickens and stick it in the fridge after eating the first portion you can stretch it to a couple of days worth of meals, probably even three or four if you’re not too overboard with your portions.

    And your implication that someone on SNAP should be always just fine with bread and ham for days on end is a little insulting.

  • caryjamesbond

    I wasn’t talking about bread and ham 24/7/365. It’s easy enough to change up WHAT you buy. but the simple economic fact is that buying ingredients is cheaper and more cost efficient than buying hot, premade meals. And if you’re getting your money from someone else, it seems to me that there is not only a logical but a moral impetus to spend it as wisely as possible.

    I don’t mind charity, I don’t mind paying for charity. But I do mind my charity money being wasted or used stupidly.

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

    I don’t mind charity, I don’t mind paying for charity. But I do mind my charity money being wasted or used stupidly.

    “your” money

    which isn’t “your” money anymore

    because it’s been given to someone else

    It’s their mistake or screw-up to make, not yours to wag your finger about. Don’t we get enough aphorisms in English-speaking society about how being an adult means you get to make your own failures and your own successes?

    It is interesting how attitudes about the poor implicitly child-ize and infantilize them even as pious moralizers wax floridly about the need to “encourage self-reliance” and all that.

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

    O HAI TRANSACTIONS COSTS do you has them

    I love how you blithely just say “move” as though there weren’t financial and non-financial frictional costs that can be quite substantial

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I’ve been in those kinds of communities too. I’ve also been in thousands of communities that were anything but that. As it stands, if someone is determined enough and malicious enough, they could easily make this blog completely without function and would probably get away with it for several weeks, if not months. As we’ve already seen, recently. Remember our friend who did nothing but spam youtube links of someone’s ass? Now imagine what fun that would be in today’s Disqus, where youtube videos are displayed full-screen.

    But caveat, at this point I’m pretty biased in favor of having someone to keep an active eye out for openly malicious people after someone was badly triggered by our latest troll.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    The dada superhero Flaming Carrot once fought Nazi feet alongside his now slightly-better-known comrades the Mystery Men, in an adventure entitled “They Cloned Hitler’s Foot!”

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    The Citadel guys? They keep insisting they are Not Racist(tm), they just really really really love guns.


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