7 things @ 9 o’clock (11.22)

1. “Voting to let drug addicts die of starvation isn’t a very nice thing to do, but it is particularly galling coming from someone who admittedly cannot control his alcohol consumption and who likes to use cocaine.”

2. The new archbishop of Canterbury is, like the new pope, a humble man who seems easy to like. Welby and Francis can both be criticized for “changing the tone” without amending the substance, yet what we’re seeing from both of them shows that a change in “tone” seems to affect substance — to shift it in ways that go deeper than style and perception. (And here’s a bit of good news that seems substantial.) In any case, it’s good to see these two large Christian communions being led by people who seem to take Rule No. 1 seriously.

Yet the new archbishop is not without his critics: “Fix your collar, Justin Welby.”

3. Didn’t see that coming.

4. “The Peale-Barnum Public History Museum Studies Program is the most honest graduate program of its kind.” Hilariously true (via John Fea).

I especially liked this bit: “You can choose to pursue a master of arts degree or a certificate. We suggest the masters, since our museum studies certificate is designed to benefit our bank account more than your career (museums rarely, if ever, advertise for someone with a graduate certificate. sorry).”

5. Here’s a mostly encouraging bit of news from a few stops away on the PA Turnpike: “Pa. Students Ban Use of ‘Redskins,’ Get Sent to Principal.”

That’s from Neshaminy High School, which shares the same racist mascot as the professional football team in Washington. Kudos to the kids who run the school paper for determining not to use that name in print, even if their principal, Robert McGee, has overruled them. “I don’t think that’s been decided at the national level, whether that word is or is not [offensive],” McGee said. “It’s our school mascot.”

Baby steps. The giant landmark/eyesore totem pole that used to advertise the Neshaminy mall finally came down in the 1990s. It’s long past time to change the school’s mascot too.

6. Marilynne Robinson (via AZspot):

As Christians, we must be concerned with outcomes — are the hungry fed, are the naked clothed, are the sick visited. The more strategies that are brought to bear on the problem — which current policy or lack thereof has made a pressing problem — the greater the likelihood that it will be dealt with as Christ, who identifies himself unambiguously with those in need, tells us it must be. There is no analogy to be drawn between a beleaguered community governed, in effect, by a hostile and alien occupation, and a modern society that can indeed govern itself and care for its own as it chooses.

If we were indeed a Christian country I think we would be making other choices than many self-proclaimed Christians are trying to impose on us now. No talk of compassion impresses me when the tone of all reference to those who are struggling is hostile and judgmental.

7.Are you being persecuted?” A handy reference tool for North American Christians.


  • Baby_Raptor

    Is this person aware that every major holiday he celebrates, the forebears of his religion bloodily ripped off from people they were trying to convert? (Much like a huge chunk of the Jesus story itself?)

  • Lori

    I just flashed to the restaurant scene in Ferris Bueller where the kids discover that sweetbreads are neither sweet nor bread. Sometimes it’s better not to know.

  • smrnda

    Just a question, what type of oil do you think works best? My top choice is olive oil but the cost is high, so I’ve usually just used regular vegetable/soybean oil as its the cheapest and easiest to find in large quantities and it works okay. Any opinions from anyone on this?

    Also, the Czechs eat something similar they call bramboracky and I think they add marjorum, garlic and carraway seeds, and I might try that this year on at least a few to see how it tastes.

    I also measure nothing. Each time they come out a little different, but they usually stay together.

  • smrnda

    I keep having to expand my greetings. My brother lives in China and has fairly well integrated into Chinese culture, so I’m now having to familiarize myself with Chinese holidays, sometimes even for the utilitarian reason that if it’s considered an inauspicious time to travel, fares will be cheaper than usual.

  • smrnda

    I know a few psychology grads who work in marketing – cognitive psychology can be used to find new ways to get people to buy shit.

  • smrnda

    Yes. The dot com bust a while back was bad news for computer science grads, but before that bubble crashed CS students could get internships that paid well and required little work and let them surf the web most of the day. Several friends of mine remember bad times when all the start ups they worked for went under after a few months of business.

  • smrnda

    I recommend that anyone get some kind of certification that is job specific. The community college near me has an accounting certificate that you can earn in a year – not bad pay and if your math skills are okay (they don’t have to be epic) it’s a way to make some $ that will let you do what you want in your spare time.

  • smrnda

    The university in my town has a little display for all the winter holidays, and they have Winter Solstice there too.

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

    o/ I should see if they’re hiring Chemistry professors. :P

  • smrnda

    I would legalize any drug that doesn’t cause hallucinations, and probably a lot that do. I’m just worried that some of the more potent hallucinogenics might be too likely to cause unsafe and uncontrollable behavior, but I would prefer some way to work out a legal way to do them.

    I cannot think of any real moral argument against drug use.

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

    I also believe in legalizing ALL drugs, but I’ll take pot decriminalization as the 80% of what’s important and press for the other 20% later.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Him and goddamn Rob Ford: “Have I tried [crack cocaine]? Um, probably in one of my drunken stupors…”

  • J_Enigma32

    It depends on the drug. There are some drugs that simply should not be legal, because they simply should not exist.

    If you’ve got an empty stomach and a lot of fortitude, look up “Krokodil.” If you’ve never heard of it, a primer: it’s the “drug that eats junkies.” It’s a synthetic heroine, it’s chemical name is desomorphine. When it’s mainlined, it’s got … ah… leftovers from the creation process in it. These leftovers often include things like paint stripper, lighter fluid, gasoline, and hydrochloric acid. It causes open wounds at the injection site and gangrene is a given. It’s guaranteed with this drug. Tissue death is very common; there are some relatively gruesome pictures out there of people who’s skin is literally falling away from their bones because of this drug. My words can’t do it justice; you have to see the end results to grasp the full horror of this drug.

    Most drugs, no, I don’t see any reason to ban them. You could have a safe area/recreational center for certain hallucinogenic drugs; even stronger ones, too. Peyote is used by certain tribes for religious ceremonies; peyote is a hallucinogen. Some legal drugs are more dangerous than illegal ones – nicotine and cigarettes are far more dangerous than marijuana is. There’s more prescription drug abuse in the United States, iirc, than there is illegal drug abuse. Decriminalizing most drugs and/or treating abuse as a social problem rather than a personal failing is how a lot of countries managed to avoid the pitfalls of private prison hells that the capitalist United States ran headlong into.

    But some drugs just don’t need to exist and need to be stamped out, because these drugs can kill, and they can kill in horrifying ways.

  • Launcifer

    Eh, he shouldn’t need to: we in Britain have an Unconventional Diplomacy Fund for that kind of thing.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    But but but “Friends of Israel”!

  • J_Enigma32

    Well, cocaine is okay if you’re rich, white, and male, too. I mean, it’s the drug of choice for the douchebags on Wall Street and the high game, Alpha CEOs who want to work extra hours fucking over their employees and the rest of the nation for their big bonuses*.

    But if you’re poor, black, and male it becomes “crack” and that practically guarantees you a longer jail sentence. You’d think they were sending these poor men to jail for being black or something, but I don’t know where anyone would get that idea from…

    * I’m a tad bitter about this. I’m going to sound ungrateful for a second but bear with me, because I’m really not. The Feds yanked 25% right off the top of the bonus I recently got, and after all the taxes, I was looking at a check for under 2/3rds the total amount (basically, it was another paycheck; here, let’s make up for that month you didn’t work with a bonus worth two weeks pay two months later). I could stomach that a lot easier if I knew them rich fuckers at the top with their big million dollar bonuses were getting taxed like that, too. But they’re not. And that’s what’s really pissed me off. Not that I lose 1/3rd right from the top of my bonus, but the fact that they don’t, and they still get the same amenities, and more, that I don’t get even though I’m paying for them and they’re not!

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    It’s not just black men who get castigated. Remember all the panic during the nineties about the “crack baby” epidemic? Which didn’t happen, as it turns out: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/20/booming/revisiting-the-crack-babies-epidemic-that-was-not.html?_r=0 (Warning: video autoplays)

  • Fusina

    I use olive oil, but that’s because I use that for most things. I like the flavor–I also like to make popcorn using olive oil–although I mostly make it in the microwave nowadays. It does add a little flavor–but I’ve also used vegetable oil and it worked fine. I have heard that for frying stuff, peanut oil is best, as it can take very hot heat without burning, but…

    I prefer one of the flavorless oils (canola, vegetable, soybean) for things like salad dressing-also, olive oil solidifies at a higher temp than the others, so it tends to clump if kept in the fridge.

    The bramboracky sounds yummy, except for the caraway–something in them gives me indigestion. Most of that family I am okay with. but caraway, and sometimes cumin are a problem.

  • arcseconds

    Most everyone in the Western world (certainly the English speaking world) has bowed to cultural pressure and celebrates Christmas, or something very much like it during the same period. The elevation of Chanukah, the positioning of Kwanzaa, and Muslims and Hindus putting up Christmas trees all speak to this.

    The cultural integration has already happened, for better or worse.

  • MarkTemporis

    I do “Happy Christmas” just to be different. But this year, I might just say something like “Bleed a bull for Mithras!”

  • Rhubarbarian82

    If only I’d be so lucky as to be the type rich enough to snort cocaine through Franklins. :P

    I’ve actually never done cocaine and don’t really have much of a desire to try it in the future, FTR. A friend took it and said the experience was pretty frustrating, as she had to keep taking it every 15-20 minutes to maintain the high (and that as soon as the high wore off, her body would crash). More so than that, snorting cocaine can degrade the cartilage between the nostrils and the idea of having a hole there terrifies me.

    Still think it should be legal, though. I think most drugs should be legal (I’d legalize pot, shrooms, and MDMA before I legalized cocaine and acid, but then if it were up to me I’d legalize all of them at once).

  • wendy

    My family’s latkes have always been fried in Crisco. The transfats aren’t so bad once a year.

  • wendy

    The goyim (at least in NYC) are starting to get into Purim, for the costumes and pastry. Who doesn’t love costumes and pastry?

    Reform Jews make a big deal of celebrating Hanukkah because the more important holidays aren’t very celebratory.

  • wendy

    Because Judaism endured a hundred generations without any government anywhere supporting it. They know their faith isn’t that strong.

  • arcseconds

    Turkeys are plenty ornery, too, IIRC… not quite as violently psychotic as guinea fowls, though (which are a good deal smaller, but make up for it with attitude…)

  • arcseconds

    Have you met purple carrots?

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

    I’ve never met a purple carrot,
    I never hope to meet one
    But I can tell you any . . . harrot?
    I’d rather meet than beat one.

    Well, that sounds suggestive.

  • tricksterson

    Ditto but as long as it is illegal the people who make and enforce the laws should be liable to the same standards as anyone else.

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

    Only if it’s bad because I learned about Purim from an episode of “The Partridge Family.”

  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

    I was brought up JW and am now an atheist, and have spent the last few Christmases alone minding my parents’ house and listening to BBC Radio 4.


  • tricksterson

    Because Real true Christians are an oppressed minority (except they’re not) and public expressions of piety bring on persecution (except they don’t)

  • tricksterson

    “God rest ye merry gentlemen
    May ye make the Yuletide pay,!

    Hark the Herald Tribune sings
    Advertising wondrous things

    Angels we have heard on high
    Tell us to go out and buy!

    –Tom Lehrer

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

    Unfortunately that won’t work at Walmart. The end of Walmart’s fiscal year is at the end of January for some reason.

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

    Put the “Saturn” back in “Saturnalia.”

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

    Can one get a contact high or anything from cocaine? Like from touching money that was used as a cocaine straw? If so, that’s an occupational hazard that they never warned me about when I became a cashier.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Yes it is great that pope Francis is introducing positive changes within the Church of Rom, even though he will most likely never officially give up dogmas.

    Otherwise I cannot understand how US Christian conservatives manage to ignore all the countless verses on social justice while focusing all their energy on “fags”.