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Christopher Carr

Christopher Carr does stuff and writes about stuff.

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63 Responses

  1. Avatar karl says:

    Is there a point to all this?Report

    • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to karl says:

      Are you interested in a point?Report

      • Avatar karl in reply to Christopher Carr says:

        Ordinarily, no; but when I suspect that a point is being hinted at, yes. Maybe it’s just a Boston thing — I live in Phoenix and the whole concept of “winter” is beyond me.Report

      • Avatar Loviatar in reply to Christopher Carr says:

        As an anti-war veteran myself I’m kind of interested whats the point of your post.

        I’m also interested in whether this is an actual conversation or the usual Republican truthiness bullshit statement or an outright lie.

        Quick story:

        When I separated from the military I was given a list of the local VFW and American Legion posts in my area. I came to find out the VFW membership actually served in a war zone, whereas the American Legion consisted of anyone who ever served in the military.

        Guess which ones membership was the more rightwing, pro war chicken hawkish members.Report

        • I’d guess the American Legion was more right-wing, considering you’ve revealed three material things with your comment:

          (1) – You don’t like Republicans
          (2) – You think I’m a Republican.
          (3) – You want to insult me.

          Oooh! Was I right? (If not, I admit I’m a hack and apologize.)Report

          • Avatar Loviatar in reply to Christopher Carr says:

            1 and 3 are correct.

            I don’t think you’re a Republican and don’t much really care.

            What I do care is that you seem to want to use the American Legion veterans to convey a message that the OWS protestors don’t have legitimate complaints and aren’t “real” protesters. In other word perpetuating a rightwing meme.


            Also you never answered my question; is this an actual conversation or the usual Republican truthiness bullshit statement or an outright lie.


            And there is no need to apologize for being a hack, its who you are, embrace it.Report

  2. Avatar NoPublic says:

    Good thing it’s pumpkin season.Report

  3. Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

    Of the two wars we have going, Iraq is quiescent and the other’s really with Pakistan.

    It occurred to me the other day, updating my memes.Report

  4. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    It’s both astonishing and incomprehensible to me that the Occupy protests are so uninterested in the wars.

    Who makes money on the wars? The big corporations. The well-connected. The cronies.

    Who spends months and months away from home? Who gets mutilated? Who dies? The ordinary people.

    Yes, they volunteered. That doesn’t give the political class carte blanche to use them however they see fit. Again, if the justification works, it should work prospectively. They volunteered… and so we can invade Uganda, Burma, Zimbabwe, and Uzbekistan too?Report

  5. I love the last line about a Boston winter. So true!Report

  6. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I thought this was very entertaining. My question is whether it’s something you overheard somewhere or pure invention.Report

    • I really overheard it, and I’ve reproduced it as faithfully as possible here. I went out with a few co-workers to the American Legion bar across the street from our restaurant after finishing my shift the other night, and I remember thinking at the time right after I overheard it: My God! It’s so condensed!

      If we break down and unpack what’s going on into separate claims:

      (1) The protesters want socialism.
      (2) The protesters are predominately wealthy and white.
      (3) In the face of several violent and devastating wars, the protesters have largely chosen to protest a bunch of bankers with nice cars.

      I have to agree with all of those claims, as much as I acknowledge major problems in our banking system and the systematic favoritism for the rich associated with it.

      Accordingly, the bartender’s resolution strikes me as the most studied of all possible resolutions: let the protesters exercise their right to protest free from police brutality and widespread arrests (so long as they remain non-violent*), and trust that they’re not going to want to live in tents come December**.

      *…although the Wall Street protest is apparently on some dude’s property, so I’m not really down with letting mobs occupy people’s property indefinitely. I may be mistaken about this.

      **Winter is coming.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Christopher Carr says:

        Your bartender has learned from history. Gandhi wasn’t successful because of his message; he was successful because of news reports about soldiers beating the crap out of him. If the police can keep their act together, then eventually everyone gets bored and goes home.

        …which is why these incidents of pepper-spraying and punching people need to be sat on, hard, because those incidents are exactly what the protesters want. They may not be aware of it, but it’s what they want.Report

      • Avatar BSK in reply to Christopher Carr says:

        Regarding the location of the Wall Street protest, that continues to baffle me. From what I understand, Zucotti Park is privately owned and the protesters are their with the consent of the owner (though this might be more out of wanting to avoid trouble than actually being pleased with their presence). Last Friday, the owners and the city planned to clean up the park in stages, moving people out of certain sections while they cleaned and letting them return, but never removing them all from the park. Protesters mobilized and everyone backed down. What? That park belongs to someone! If the owner wants you out, temporarily to clean or forever, you go!Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Christopher Carr says:

        BNY Mellon’s property here, which BNY Mellon is okay with them occupying. I say, until BNY Mellon cares, let ’em stay.
        [I look out my window and note very few four season tents. They’ll be gone come January, I wager.]Report

  7. Avatar Kirk says:

    Occupy Pittsburgh had a decent quote in the local paper about being pissed at the $6 billion a day spent on the war.

    I’ve heard quotes ranging from $1-4 trillion for the total cost of both wars. (The lower quote came with an disclaimer that it didn’t include VA and equipment-replacement costs.)

    Seeing as both wars have been going on now for nearly a decade, that’s about $400 billion a year, tops, which is closer to $1billion a day, not $6 billion. So the “Occupy Pittsburgh” quote was an exaggeration of at least 600 percent.

    Generally, I take any anti-war movement with a grain of salt. Most people have never, and will never, be in the military, and they’re desperate for some sort of absolution. Saying “I would join, but blah, blah, blah,” makes them feel better…but it doesn’t make them right.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kirk says:

      I need absolution? fuck no. military got problems, if they ever fucking clean up their own shit, I maybe think about joining.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Kirk says:

      Most people have never, and will never, be in the military, and they’re desperate for some sort of absolution. Saying “I would join, but blah, blah, blah,” makes them feel better…but it doesn’t make them right.

      Is that really what explains to you the fact that some people are anti-war?

      I’m curious about how you linked the one with the other. It seems like those most desperate for absolution would be pro-war, because they would feel bad about the implied pacifism of not joining up, and they’d seek out compensation.

      As for me, I can assure you I have no such guilt. I volunteered, was offered an ROTC scholarship, and then flunked the physical.

      If I thought things happened for a reason, this would be thing #1.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

        I’m curious about how you linked the one with the other. It seems like those most desperate for absolution would be pro-war, because they would feel bad about the implied pacifism of not joining up, and they’d seek out compensation.

        Some, maybe. But another approach is to say that the war simply isn’t worthwhile. It’s not that I’m afraid to volunteer. For a worthy cause, I would definitely risk my life. It’s just that this isn’t a worthy cause.

        Honestly, I sometimes wonder if this doesn’t play a role in my own (tentative) opposition to the war. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the war, but I’m absolutely sure I don’t want to get blown up. So I tend to keep it to myself.Report

    • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Kirk says:

      I’m planning on joining as a doctor to unkill people actually.Report

  8. Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

    The Montana Department of Employment, Division of Labor Standards claimed a small rancher was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to investigate him.

    GOV’T AGENT: “I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them.”

    RANCHER: ”Well, there’s my hired hand who’s been with me for 3 years. I pay him $200 a week plus free room and board.
    Then there’s the mentally challenged guy. He works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here.
    He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night so he can cope with life.
    He also sleeps with my wife occasionally.”

    GOV’T AGENT: “That’s the guy I want to talk to – the mentally challenged one.”

    RANCHER: “That would be me.”Report

  9. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Who’s to say this movement’s half-life wasn’t always going to be up before the solstice? If they succeed at changing the conversation in two months of active protesting, that is a very significant accomplishment, and the fact that they may head for shelter wouldn’t change that in the least. I don’t see why it says anything about this movement if their numbers thin during freezing weather. Also too: we shall see.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew says:

      Much like the war protests or the tea protests, our betters are ten times better at waiting than those who show up with signs.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jaybird says:

        Yeah, but no one thinks any protest is going to last forever. If that view is convincing, then it is just convincing of the proposition that protesting is almost always futile (which may be true, but doesn’t render protesting valueless), and it doesn’t make any point specific to these protests (which may not have been your intention, I concede).

        Indeed, people with the resources and position to do so can obviously wait that long. It’s called living their lives. That’s just not a standard for how to judge any given protest’s effects. Two months of steady demonstrations is actually relatively long, not relatively short. If it wraps up in December (or November!), there will be plenty of observable data to assess the movement’s effects (or, more optimistically, progress) – just arguing about the significance of what day that happens on is pretty narrow-minded.

        Additionally, should protesting be discontinued in the coldest months, that is obviously not indicative of the movement becoming defunct, nor does it indicate that there will never be a resumption of similar demonstrations (perhaps with adjusted focuses, a more developed set of demands, or a more consciously crafter public relations strategy). Popular movements develop in phases, with period of vigorous activity and periods of assessment, ideas development, and planning. The people now protesting are obviously planning as they go, and at some point a period of restoration and planning would be appropriate in any movement of this kind. I think you’ll find this pattern in the civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam war movement, the tea party, and even the recent resistance to conservative state government policies. It’s human organizational nature: plan/strategize, act, assess reaction, react to reaction, get tired/step back, assess big picture, adjust fundamental ideas, restart planning/strategizing, prepare to act again, act, and so forth. There’s even a whole area of military research that has looked into and formalized it:

      • Avatar Dexter in reply to Jaybird says:

        Jaybird, They are not “our betters”, they are our wealthiers.Report

  10. Avatar Ben says:

    I also wondered about the point of this post, but didn’t bother asking because I knew I wouldn’t get an answer. This is a real downside of trying to communicate on the Internet. If you want something ambiguous clarified, it’s always, always, always going to be taken as if you’re being either sarcastic or (intentionally) obtuse, so instead of actually getting any clarification, you just wind up in a flame war. 40 comments later (including many from the author himself) and still no one knows the intention of this post.

    I guess I’m just complaining that confusion is never taken as being sincere. Anyone else notice this?Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Ben says:

      Ben, Leo Strauss called it “A Forgotten Kind of Writing.”

      It’s self-defense against the douchebags and douchebaggery. Unless you have a taste for hemlock.

      I had thought that Strauss was a man out of time, that such obscurantism was no longer necessary in a country with free speech and where they don’t put dissidents to death.

      But after joining this blog as commenter and basement resident [see the “Notes from Babel” sub-blog, now called “Dutch Courage”], I can see the fear on the mainpage—I shan’t name names, but they know I know—of being offered the hemlock for one’s professional writing career. One false move and it’s gulp, gulp, gulp. And so has it ever been since at least Socrates.

      In other words, if you get the point of the post [& my comment here], you appreciate it. If you don’t, you’re probably the one offering Socrates the cup, the douchebagger. Any sane man fears his murderer.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Ben says:

      “The Point”.

      I’m reminded of religious arguments for some reason. People want to believe that Carr is a good whatever but can’t reconcile that with his behavior here (which, apparently, serves the other side) and so they want Carr to come and show up and say “this is the ignorance and darkness that we’re fighting against! The racism! The… the… THE PRIVILEGE!!!!”

      And everything will be okay.

      If Carr merely found it interesting without wanting to condemn it… what does that say about him?Report