Black Friday

Black Friday November 23, 2012

No shopping. Just lots of leaves and the sorts of errands one has to run before going to one’s wife’s 25th high school reunion in the evening.

Hope your Black Friday was more enjoyable. Have an open thread and some Mumford. (Left Behind will resume next Friday.)


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  • Zippy

    Hey —
    Open thread fun: what the Ringwraiths were doing before the War of the Ring:
    PREVIEW: The Fellowship of the Ringwraiths
    Fellowship of the Ringwraiths
    and the finished project:
    the Fellowship of the Ringwraiths
     Fellowship of the Ringwraiths

  • Lori

    Can you really reclaim a word that always had a negative connotation? 

  • Carstonio

    I’m undecided about attempts to attach new meanings to hateful words, or to reclaim words that have acquired hateful meanings. The objective itself is certainly laudable, but would the efforts be better directed at the ideas behind the hateful meanings? Isn’t the real problem that people like Becker view non-Christians as less than full Americans no matter what labels he uses?

  • You surprise me. I would have fully expected you to trot out the interview with one of the CEOs and/or their spokesthingies in which they rationalize grabbing millions for themselves while stiffing the workers and then blaming the union.

    Sad thing is, all the nasty assholes probably have to do is blame the union for nobody getting Twinkies anymore and that’s all people will hear.

  • Michelle Caruso Cabrera who did that interview posted it on twitter saying it was her favorite interview she had ever done or something.  

    bottom line with Hostess is people aren’t putting Twinkies in their kids lunches or making their sandwiches with wonder bread anymore.  No amount of union capitulation or private equity leverage can change that.

  • Madhabmatics

    Tricksterson is right, heathen is the preferred nomenclature for a bunch of germanic pagan groups.

  • Lori

    I wasn’t suggesting that Tricksterson was mistaken about what they prefer to be called. I was simply questioning the goal of “reclaiming” a word that has always been negative.

    I refer to myself as a heathen from time to time, in the sense of being not a Christian, Jew or Muslim and with no small amount of snark and irony implied. I don’t think of myself as “reclaiming” anything though. Refusing to be cowed by the term, yes. Reclaiming, no. 

  • P J Evans

     Maybe Bimbo Bakeries will buy the brands. They already own a bunch of familiar names.

  • Lori


    Sad thing is, all the nasty assholes probably have to do is blame the
    union for nobody getting Twinkies anymore and that’s all people will

    This is pretty clearly the plan. They’ve been suffering from declining sales and poor management for years now, the latter making the former impossible to correct or compensate for. Once it became clear that they were going to close they wanted to deflect the blame for running the company into the ground so they purposefully  made the union an offer that they wouldn’t accept so that blame could be shifted onto the workers.

  • I’d like to see what Lewis might say about the complete indifference of the universe and insignificance of mankind depicted in HPL’s work. HPL did carry on a long correspondence with a fairly learned Christian, with each good-naturedly trying to convert the other. It would probably end up like that (see: )

    Tolkien and Howard…that’s a good fit. A lot of Howard’s fantasy could take place a thousand years after the Third Age, amidst the ruins of legendary empires and strange races no longer known to man. 

  • Tricksterson

    It’s worked, to a certain extent, with pagan.

  • Now I’m just musing on what a Lewis-Lovecraft crossover would be like.
    Aslan vs Cthulhu, anyone?

  • Tricksterson

    Bimbo Bakeries?  Really?

  • For that matter, how about “antidisestablishmentarianism”?

  • Tricksterson

    I don’t know how their  (Howard and Tolkien) personalities would fit though.  the English don and the self educated Texan

  • Lori

    Good point.

  • Lori

     Are you asking if such a thing actually exists or if it’s realistic to think they might acquire the Hostess brands?

    If you meant the former then yes, that’s really a thing:

    If you meant the latter then IDK. Some of the Hostess items may simply no longer sell enough to be worth it, but it seems like some of them would be.

  • Really. It’s originally a Mexican brand, where the name doesn’t mean anything.

  • Now I’m just musing on what a Lewis-Lovecraft crossover would be like.Aslan vs Cthulhu, anyone?

    Well, if I were to write it, it would be a continuation of “Work against the Emperor’s magic?

    Quick except:

    “Work against the Emperor’s Magic?” said Aslan, turning to her with something like a frown on his face. Those who heard were shocked at Aslan’s tone, for it contained something they had never heard from him before: Uncertainty.

    “Perhaps we could discuss this in private,” Susan whispered. Aslan nodded. Susan addressed the witch, “We’ll have to confer privately. We’ll get right back to you.”

    As soon as they were inside the tent Susan said, “You’ll have to excuse me, I don’t understand the Deep Magic.”

    “No one does,” Aslan said.

    “No, I mean I don’t even understand the basics. I don’t even know why it’s called the Deep Magic.”

    “Because it comes from the depths.”


    Aslan pointed with one paw, slightly downward, in a direction nothing seemed to be in, “If you were to go straight that way you would travel first through a short span of air, then a mile of earth, then you would meet the sea, if you continued until you had moved beyond the sea you would find yourself in my father’s realm, a place of neither earth nor air, nor fire nor water. It is from those depths that my father, the Emperor, rules this world.”

    Obviously there’s more if you click the link, but not enough more that you ever get to the vs. section.

    Written a little under a year ago it looks like.

  • P J Evans

     Oh, they’ve been run into the ground for years, since the private-equity people who bought Hostess discovered that maintaining the equipment and the delivery trucks cuts into their profits. They loaded all the debt they could find onto it (including the pension funding and the healthcare plans for the employees) and raised their own salaries, before they filed for bankruptcy this time.

  • P J Evans

     Some of the comments I’ve seen have been along the lines of ‘if they went back to the old recipes, it would be really great’.

  • Lori

    That could be a good marketing approach for someone to take. Something along the lines of really bringing back the treats you remember from your childhood.

  • Lori

     Yeah, it’s depressing. I still have no idea why the ‘steal the workers’ self-funded pension” maneuver isn’t illegal.

    That’s not really right, because obviously I do know. The rich people who benefit from stealing worker pensions use part of the money to buy lawmakers. Let me rephrase. The ‘steal the workers’ self-funded pension” maneuver is bullshit and ought to be illegal. And not small time illegal either, but the kind of illegal that results in doing serious time at a facility which can not in any way be described as “club Fed”.

  • aunursa

    I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.  Why doesn’t Congress simply nationalize the Hostess company and declare that every American has a fundamental right to Twinkies and Ho Hos?

  • EllieMurasaki

    The fuck are you on about?

  • It’s a nice idea, but the guy we had who was good at acquiring struggling companies and looting their assets didn’t win our last election. 

  • Wrecking companies because they’re wreckable has a long and sad history :(

  • As much as I like twinkies, I can’t say I have an urgent desire to buy them. I seem to even recall there are competing generic brands that taste about the same and cost less.

    And that’s a big twinkie. :P

  • I generally preferred the Little Debbie version of Twinkies to the original.  The actual Hostess cupcakes, however, were superior to all other alternatives.

    Given my diabetes*, the availability of Hostess snacks has no real impact on me; my biggest concern in all of this is that there will be no way to stop supervillains from succeeding in their evil schemes.

    *Last check up showed that my A1C is actually in the normal, not even pre-diabetic range.  Some would say that I’m actually cured, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going back to my old habits.  Sometime after I was first diagnosed, I found some low-carb versions of Hostess snacks that were surprisingly good, and they helped ease the transition towards healthier eating.  Naturally, because I was buying them regularly, the stores in the area stopped selling them shortly after I found them.

  • Lori


    The actual Hostess cupcakes, however, were superior to all other alternatives.   

    I have to disagree with you there. Tastykakes are the best.

    Last check up showed that my A1C is actually in the normal, not even pre-diabetic range.   

    Applause! Applause!

    Good for you. I know how much work went into that and I’m very impressed.

  • I get the impression that most super crime is caused by Twinkies and other Hostess snacks, so honestly I think it’s a net positive for our society when it comes to villainy.

  • Lori

    So, speaking of tasty foods—did anyone have anything new at Thanksgiving this year that was particularly yummy?

    We had Thanksgiving with my sister’s in-laws* and one of my BIL’s nephews brought this amazing cabbage salad that I hadn’t ever had before. He apparently got the recipe from some older German man he knows and it was so good. I know there was bacon in it and caraway seeds, but I’m not sure what else was in that dressing. I’m going to get my sister to get on the family grapevine and snag the recipe because I want to have that again.

    *Not as weird as it sounds. We’ve all gotten along really well since sis and BIL got married many, many years ago so we’re all happy to do a combined holiday to cut down on the “your family or mine this year?” issue. Other members of the family have now started bringing their in-laws too so the group is getting pretty big. Between that and the babies being born pretty soon J is going to have to move to a bigger house so that we’ll have room for everyone :)

  • Tricksterson

    Or, if you want to get really funky, a Cthulhu story written by Lewis (or Tolkien), A Narnia story wriiten by Lovecraft (or Howard), a Middle Earth story wriiten by Howard (or Lovecraft) and a Conan story written by Tolkien (or Lewis).

  • Tricksterson

    Oh, this needs to be continued.  And i love that Susan, who gets Left Behind in the books is portrayed as the heroine.

  • This year’s variation of a dish I’ve been experimenting with for a few Thanksgivings made me pretty happy, a kind of individual-serving spicy crab-and-avocado salad.

    I start with some crabmeat (or chicken, for the semi-observant Jews at the table) marinated artichokes, minced onion, black pepper, and enough finely chopped basil and olive oil to turn the result into a chunky paste.

    Then I take ripe small avocados, peel and pit and halve them,  stuff the  halves generously with the filling, sprinkle with cider vinegar and cayenne, serve in small bowls with lime wedges.

  • B

    I think the only Black Friday sales I’ve shopped have been at Goodwill.  The Salvation Army near my parents’ house had a really good Black Friday sale this year, but we went to the art museum so I didn’t check it out.

    Otherwise it’s always seemed like WAY too much work to go through to save money on a television to me.

  • Appropriately, that’s exactly how I envision the two author’s characters interacting too! I think Conan and Elrond would be the most amusing in that vein. 

  • How did this self-funding work? If the pensions didn’t use company money, why did the company have any access to the fund at all? I may be misunderstanding the term.

  • Onymous

    For those interested Targets in Austin TX opened at 9 on Thursday, and every single one of them failed to meet projected sales by at least 17% some as high as 41%

    … so expect Black Friday 2013 to be on Friday again.

  • Tolkien would be an interesting match with the Cthulhu Mythos. I could envision him establishing and fleshing out the various alien languages in a more scholarly manner.
    I strongly suspect some of the mythos authors (Lumley, Campbell, Lin Carter) simply had their cat walk across the typewriter to come up with names. 

  • That name has just made my day!

  • Michele Cox

     To the best of my knowledge, the level of “negativity” implied by either “heathen” or “pagan” was basically the level implied by “hick” — someone who’s not a with-it city-dwelling modern.  Which, admittedly, is generally used as a slur, but it’s not exactly “fightin’ words” levels of insult.  –And given that people using the words Pagan or Heathen to describe their religious practices are more often than not nature- and/or family- focused more than city-focused, it seems not-inappropriate.

  • Tolkien/Howard would be nicely intellectually stimulating, I think. Lewis/Lovecraft would be like the old egg-frying “this is your brain” scare PSAs. (Did anybody ever publish on how ineffective those were? “This is your brain” was the punch line of many a joke in my middle school, high school and university years.)

  • Wouldn’t that be old-fashioned “establishmentarianism”? Or am I missing something, three weeks on?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Wiktionary has an entry for ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ but not for ‘establishmentarianism’, so.

    (Huh. Antidisestablishmentarianism is basically opposition to the separation of church and state. Particularly in nineteenth century England, but it applies generally too. Learn something new every day.)