What the hell is going on?


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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40 Responses

  1. Avatar tom van dyke says:

    Toy department stuff, Mr. Kain, although McCain did a better job on his VP than did Kerry, as it turns out. 😉Report

    • Eh. That’s like saying a punch in the teeth is better than a kick in the yarbles.Report

      • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        I can understand y’all offering a draw, but the smuglies attacked Palin ignorantly, and I read now that Rep. Weiner has indeed apologized to Breitbart.

        So what we have here is—oh what do you folks call it—ah, yes—“blaming the victim,” and let’s forget those who were the ones who did the wrong.

        Is it my imagination, or has the totally insignificant Palin/Revere thing garnered more chatter than John Edwards facing criminal charges? Could be my imagination.Report

        • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to tom van dyke says:

          I honestly have no idea what the first 2 parts of this post are talking about.Report

          • I’m guessing that it starts by referencing the latest Palin unforced error, and implies that Ms. Palin was somehow correct in her head-scratchingly phrased precis of his famous ride. I… do not concur. It moves on to the whole Weiner/Breitbart brouhaha, and I don’t think anyone is arguing that Team D is covering itself with glory on that one.

            Your guess is as good as mine re: paragraph 2.

            And re: paragraph 3, the only reason that Palin is garnering more attention than Edwards is that she (love her or hate her) is still very much a viable political and public entity, as opposed to the utterly disgraced Edwards. Who cares what happens to the latter now? He’s about as culturally relevant as a UB40 reunion tour.Report

            • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to Russell Saunders says:

              Haha UB40. Well done. I agree with your point, too.

              Tom, if Russ is right, it seems that for someone so antipathetic about the left-right divide you sure do love reducing everything to a partisan squabble over which you keep score.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Elias Isquith says:

                Clarity, Mr. I. Just axin’ for clarity and a sense of proportion. And no, I’m not averse to considering the real differences between left and right atall atall. But in the previous discussion, partisan spitballing was obscuring the core issue, and a grave issue at that.

                Whereas the OP here is completely partisan spitballing, except for the music video, which was nice. So if this one is to be the toy dept., like Breitbart, I see no reason for team D to have all the subversive fun. 😉Report

              • Ah, so you’re a Sarah Palin fan.Report

              • Moi? No, I wish she’d go away, except she is like a total babe. Fortunately, she is in no danger of getting elected to anything.

                I wish Weiner would go away, because he’s not only a disgusting man, but a disgusting partisan. But it looks like I ain’t gonna get that wish.Report

              • Well then we’re back to incoherence. Good talk, TvD.Report

              • I’m flattered you’re stalking me, but you’re trolling your own blog, sir. Try to get the best of me fair and square instead. S’il vous plaît.Report

              • I wasn’t intending to stalk you, Tom. I truly meant that I once again could not understand your comments. But if you want to meet me in the Thunderdome (I assume this is fair and square) then have your people talk to my people and we’ll set something up.Report

              • I prefer you engage my arguments, Elias, or simply ignore them and move to the next comment. Either way is OK by by me.

                I must admit I chafe when anyone dismisses the other’s arguments wholesale without engagement. That’s nonsense, that’s worthless, that’s incoherent, etc. In my view, this is an admission of defeat, an abandonment of the battlefield of ideas, no matter how much they might proclaim victory on the way off the field. [And often do.]

                So, I’m quite willing to start over with you, Mr. I. I don’t mind jousting, and I don’t mind discussing serious things seriously. I do not write to change your mind, only to test ideas. I don’t seek to delegitimize you or anyone, and don’t just ankle-bite on imprecisions or catalogue sophistries. I have no stomach for polemics, I can’t memorize the laundry lists of the sins of the left—or this administration, heh heh—and launch off onto a jeremiadal meta-screed at the drop of the hat.

                I’m an unapologetic gentleperson of the right, but freely admit that our left is necessary and invaluable. The poor would be poorer, the air less breathable, and I’ll have to stop here until I think of something else.


                But seriously, even that much is plenty enough. Props, respect, &c. The last thing I want is a nation and a society where half of us question the other half’s humanity. This makes it all so easy to be at each other’s throats.

                Peace, bro.

                In the last discussion,Report

              • Avatar Baron von Munchausen in reply to tom van dyke says:

                Tom, I have an official Internet Restraining Order that you’re more than welcome to borrow.

                After Chris tried to burn down my Prussian and Austrian Refugee Center, I decided enough was enough.

                Remember, Chris plays for keeps. He also has in possession weapons that go back hundreds of years–sort of reminds me of the barbarians in those Cap One commercials.

                Unlike terra firma weapons, Cyber weapons can be purchased for up to 1000 light years. You should be relatively safe.Report

            • He’s about as culturally relevant as a UB40 reunion tour.

              Oh, it’s on now.

              It’s on like Donkey Kong.Report

  2. I don’t know how we’d measure such a thing anyway. Or why we’d want to.

    Let’s all just sit at the table of brotherhood together in agreement that both former Veep nominees are sad, damaged doofuses.Report

  3. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “Goddamit, this clock might be stopped but it was still right! In fact, it’s been right twice so far today!”

    Look, the “Party like it’s 1773” thing was legit, but this is a “57 states” moment. If you listen to the actual clip it’s the usual word-salad babbling of someone who is A: a poor communicator and B: knows it.Report

    • No fair! I was gonna use the twice-right-in-a-day-stopped-clock trope.Report

    • Avatar RTod in reply to DensityDuck says:

      But isn’t this somehow akin to the “it’s not the crime it’s the cover up” chestnut?

      Her verbal misstep seems a nothing. Her followers and certain pundits pushing hard that since she doesn’t misstep the history books are obviously in error is fascinating, though.Report

    • Avatar KenB in reply to DensityDuck says:

      I don’t understand why she digs in — seems like she’d do better to take a just-plain-folks, “sure I’m no professor but I know what’s really important” approach to her floundering, rather than insisting that her flubs aren’t really flubs.

      Or maybe she does this on purpose just to intensify the reaction. I liked this graf from Ron Replogle:

      I’ve argued that we listen to Sarah Palin not because we’re all that interested in what she has to say, but because she raises her voice. Her every publicly uttered word challenges the prevailing system of cultural accreditation that’s supposed to determine who is worth listening to. Palin’s chutzpah gives duly accredited people (and not just liberals) a welcome opportunity to condescend to unaccredited people, and unaccredited people a welcome opportunity to demonstrate that they don’t like being condescended to.

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to KenB says:

        Hell, I’d argue that most of the Left doesn’t even actually listen to Palin. It’s just that it’s so easy to make fun of the things that someone said she said. Certainly better than arguing with someone who’s actually smart and isn’t operating on a purely-emotional level.Report

        • Nice try. I think most of us have seen the video. It’s not the fault of all that “gotcha journalism” from the “lamestream media.” It’s Ms. Palin, plain and simple. What came out of her mouth, as usual, was word salad in that bitchy singsong drama queen voice of hers.

          And then she makes it worse by getting defensive and blaming it on the mean old press. Yeah, that was really a loaded question the reporter asked her, all right. Something like “What have you been doing in Boston, and what will you take away from the experience?”

          Shit, if that softball was a loaded question, then any question you could conceivably ask her is loaded because it gives her yet another opportunity to display her stupidity and ignorance.Report

  4. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    So the US is still looking at defaulting on it’s debt, right? And the unemployment rate is not dropping in any significant way, right? Still lots of history-making turmoil in the Middle East right now? Okay. Just making sure.

    Don’t get me wrong, if I was following the news in any serious way this summer, I’d likely say “the hell with politics”, but we’re really talking more about lunch room gossip here, aren’t we?Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Rufus F. says:

      Ah, now I feel like a jerk. That wasn’t intended as a dig on Mr. Kain at all; more like a “I feel your pain” that the news media is, apparently, still focused on stupid shit no matter what else is happening.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I’m going through my databanks and I don’t know of a single instance of people taking pictures of their own junk turning out well.

    Is there an example I ought to know about but I’m overlooking?Report

    • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to Jaybird says:

      Maybe Tommy Lee? Overall that tape’s ousting was a net-positive for his career.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Elias Isquith says:

        There are probably one or two website owners who make a decent living on the particular hobby as well… now that I think about it.

        In any case, I have a lot more “oh crap”s than “oh good”s when it comes to junk pictures. If *I* can see the pattern, it can’t be that oblique.Report

    • Avatar RTod in reply to Jaybird says:

      But in Weiner’s defense, the guy was just a famously vocal, nationally known pol. What were the odds anyone would ever notice or care that he was sending his junk out to strangers?

      It does seem a bit bizarrely unlikely, though, that he hasn’t built his career being a family values guy. Just goes to show these things can happen to anyone.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to RTod says:

        It does seem a bit bizarrely unlikely, though, that he hasn’t built his career being a family values guy

        Not when you consider that he was sending the junk pictures to women.Report

  6. Avatar Chris says:

    I feel compelled to point out that Smith’s version is significantly better, and this just sounds like a sort of half-assed cover. It doesn’t really reinterpret it, it just slows it down (likely because playing it as fast as Smith does is pretty difficult).

    Also that every time I hear Smith, I get sad at the thought of how he went out.

    Also too, in addition.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Having thought about this some more, I think that the best thing that we, as a society, can do in response is to send pictures of our junk to our congresspeople.Report

    • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’m on board. The “Dick for your dick!” campaign?

      Personally, I don’t really see the big deal. I mean, it’s thoroughly infantile, but you can be infantile and still do a job properly. I see *that* every day. So the guy is obsessed with his junk. That makes him fairly well connected to the youth vote, right?

      It does seem to be something one ought to not spring on one’s spouse, though.Report

      • Pat, unsolicited dick pictures are pervy. We have to have some standards—we’re not France. One should not show his dick until someone else asks to see it.

        Unless it’s your congressman. And then, only if it’s anonymously.Report

        • Oh, that’s fair enough, Tom. It *is* pervy.

          But this isn’t an offense like boiling a kitten, or even screwing someone other than your wife (the first being signs that we ought to lock you up, the second being that you have relationship issues that may or may not have anything to do with your ability to do a job). It’s basically the 21st century version of streaking. I find it funny (and sad) rather than offensive. Somebody never really got over all the shit he got in grade school over his surname, I expect.

          I mean, anyone who has used email since 1995 has a non-zero chance of seeing unsolicited dick pictures. As far as offensive to the sensibilities goes, megh.Report