Morning Ed: Crime {2016.07.11.M}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

152 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The Assailant cases: The inability to talk about the race of the assailants is one of the reasons why the European Far Right is surging in popularity right now. There was a similar incident in the industrial city of Rotherham in England, where over 1000 girls where sexually abused by a gang of Pakistani-British men over a fifteen year period that the police did nothing about even though they knew what was going on. The liberal tendency is to say that this is all the fault of rape culture and that the background of the perpetrators is irrelevant. Most people look at it differently. They see a giant elephant in the room sort of problem that the powers that be are unwilling to talk about even though they know it exists. The Far Right gains in popularity because they are willing to talk about the issue even though it is in a very hate filled way. If more mainstream politicians could acknowledge these cultural issues in a more productive way than certain political problems can be avoided.

    Sharing Passwords: I’m surprised that the streaming companies did not try to go after password sharing earlier. Each password shared represents lost revenue to them.

    Pokemon Go: The teenage robbers are evil but you have to give them credit for creativity. The traffic accidents are predictable because people aren’t paying attention to what is going on around them.Report

    • Avatar Damon says:

      QFT @leeesq RE Assailant cases.

      No gun cops: That’s all fine and dandy except when someone armed is killing folks, like Lee Rigby. And there are plenty of “no go” areas in the UK as well.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      We have a difficult time talking about race, period.

      The race of a person is important to note, except when it is not.

      I notice that the Daily Mail, or one of those British tabloids, carries a constant drumbeat of “Dark Skinned Immigrants Assault White Girls” type of stuff.
      “White Cop Assaults Black Guy” gets coverage only when it linked with “Black Folks Riot”; otherwise, crickets.

      And its funny how no one demanded angrily that the headlines “Address the elephant in the room” and refer to the race of perpetrators this way:

      “White Christian Male Shoots 26 schoolchildren”
      “White Christian Male Slaughters 9 churchgoers”
      “White Christian Male Shoots Abortion Doctor, AGAIN”
      “White Christian Male Shoots Congresswoman”
      “White Christian Males Storm Federal Facility- Town Living in Fear”
      “Again!! White Christian Male Molests Young Girls”
      “White Christian Males Demand Special Treatment, Erect Religious Icon in Courthouse”

      and then…

      “Senator Angrily Demands- Why Won’t The President Use The Words, ‘White Christian Terror’?”

      The underlying assumption here is that a person’s ethnic identity is entirely unimportant, except when it can be used to fan the flames of fear and dread of The Other.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        But this is a case where a woman lied about her assailant because she didn’t want to contribute to anti-immigrant sentiment.

        That seems strange. Religious, almost.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          A woman protecting the perpetrator of sexual assault so as not to bring shame upon the community?

          Religious, maybe, but hardly strange.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The last Pokemon Go article also expresses the wonders of the Internet, a British newspaper reporting on local Missouri news.Report

  3. Avatar veronica d says:

    I predict that the media will overreact to this Pokémon thing.

    It’s fun. I like to walk around anyhow. Now I can do it and catch Pokémons.Report

  4. Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing Fryer’s paper. I’ve been hoping to find somebody who does a better job of breaking down the various conditional probabilities of those interactions. For example, the probability that you’ll be shot given that the officer has pulled a gun is different from the probability that you’ll shot given that the officer has just started interacting with you. There are a whole bunch of escalation points where the levels of escalation may be different depending on who the officer is dealing with. Clearly the “no force” to “some force” escalation point favors whites, but it’s hard to tell from the summary what the other conditionals are for more deadly encounters.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      There’s an article about it today in the New York Times.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        The NYT piece is much better than average, but I’m going to have to carve out the time to read through the whole paper. The paper looks like it answers questions that are to complicated for the typical newspaper to cover.

        For example, let’s say group A gets guns pulled on them at 10x the rate of group B, but group B gets shot twice as frequently once the gun is pulled. Depending on which news outlet you are, you’ll report “Group B twice as likely to be shot by police!” or “Group A 5x as likely to be shot by police!” Fryer’s examination of different levels of force and trying to tease data out of “tense situations” looks really interesting.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      You probably also have to look at training. If training focuses hard on de-escalation and peaceful conflict resolution over arrests, takedown, shootings, you’ll get a different result.

      As with so many things, it isn’t the object (in this case, a gun) that is the problem, it’s the person and the culture they are steeped in.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog says:

        It isn’t only the gun.

        A former boss of mine had the maxim that any good catastrophe requires at least three things to go wrong. Person, culture, and starting the day with a mistake-permantizer strapped to one’s waist make three. The rate of escalations to death by shooting, in situations where nobody has a gun, remains zero.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        De-escalation seems like a big piece of it. When you’re carrying a lethal weapon, *every* physical altercation is a life-and-death one, even if it stays in the holster. A cop can’t put his hands on you and then be willing to lose the fight and just hope that you decide not to arm yourself with one of his weapons once you have the advantage. But police training also tends to encourage the notion that you’re not allowed to “lose” any encounter, so being the first to use force rather than backing off and trying something else is a natural tendency. At every step along the way, the training and incentive seems to be to escalate.

        The whole thing is a mess. It’s easy to see how a shouting match over loose cigarettes with a guy who feels like the police are picking on him can, step by step, turn into a death over stupid bullshit.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog says:

          But police training also tends to encourage the notion that you’re not allowed to “lose” any encounter, so being the first to use force rather than backing off and trying something else is a natural tendency.

          Also, I suspect, there is a mentality that admitting that you made an error in stopping someone counts as “losing” the encounter. Once you’ve stopped someone for being “suspicious,” it has to end with you being verbally dominant, and the person stopped being cowed, ideally apologizing even if they were doing nothing wrong.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog says:

      Not to mention – the likelihood that you’ll be shot, given that you’ve just gotten dressed and are now leaving your home for the day.

      My reading of that summary was that the rate at which lethal force is used *given the situation has already escalated to use of force* is not different between black and white civilians – but the rate at which a cop’s eyes passing over a civilian escalates to a stop, and the rate at which a stop escalates to use of force, definitely are racially weighted.Report

  5. Avatar LTL FTC says:

    Re: Pokemon Go

    I thought about writing a rant about how people treat the entire outside world as dangerous to children and all kids do these days is play video games because they can’t go out and play and for once they make a video game you’re supposed to play outside and immediately it’s more dangerous than sloth, isolation and vitamin D deficiency from locking kids inside because everyone is afraid of becoming a Lifetime movie or an episode of Nancy Grace.

    But all of that is a little “old man yells at cloud,” right? And I’m not even old!

    At least there isn’t a teen sex panic spin on this one.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Until they discover Sexamon, the very secret hidden Pokemon.Report

    • Avatar veronica d says:

      At least there isn’t a teen sex panic spin on this one.

      The kids will find a way. After all, plenty of girls love Pokemons. They’ll be outside playing, and indeed the geography of the game will put them in the same place as the boys. They’ll see each other, from across the Pokemon gym. A conversation begins. They trade Pokemon tips, but haltingly, with bashful smiles. Their eyes meet. Their gaze lingers a bit too long.

      “Hey,” the guy says, “You know, like, uh…”

      The girl blushes. She tilts her head. Then she nods and says, “Yeah so, my parents aren’t home. Wanna come over and watch Madoka?”

      They don’t actually watch Madoka.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      My reaction on Pokemon Go is more from perplexity over anything else. Mainly by the sheer number of adults in my generation who seem uninterested in anything that is beyond what a ten year old can get culturally.

      Anatole Bryard’s memoir of his Grenwich Village young adulthood was titled “Kafka was the Rage.” I can’t help that a likely culture memoir for my generation will be titled something like “We binged on Netflix” and that is sad to me. Maybe it shouldn’t be and I realize the snobiness. But how much cooler is the intensity of buzzing about Kafka.

      Then again, I don’t know why my cohort says they are adulting instead of adults.Report

      • Avatar Don Zeko says:

        There’s a distinction between interest in childish things and disinterest in non-childish things.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


          I suppose this is technically correct but the practice seems to not work in application.

          A lot of people seem to strongly signal with s CS Lewis quote on how when they became adults they gave up all childish things including the overwhelming desire to be an adult all the time.

          My observation is that use of this quote is as a shield against all adult culture and sticking with the creature comforts of youth and adolescence.

          Though I realize I am in a cultural minority.Report

          • Avatar Don Zeko says:

            This strikes me as a bit of a straw man. speaking anecdotally, because that’s about all we have here, I enjoy me a good summer blockbuster or video game or what have you, but I’ll also try to persuade my friends to watch Battle of Algiers because it’s just the best. I don’t see the need to take such starkly defined sides in the high art v low art war that you’re positing here. So you aren’t into pokemon, that’s fine. But persuading me that the enduring popularity of pokemon says something bad abotu the culture or our inability to deal with more complex fare or whatever is a much bigger lift.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Middlebrow used to be classier, though.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Jaybird: Middlebrow used to be classier, though.

                Ever since the transition to digital TV has created 2 or 3 over the air channels dedicated to reruns (e.g. MeTV, Cozi) I’ve learned that middlebrow primetime TV was rather terrible when I was a kid.

                (or else Charlie’s Angels is what passed for ‘classy’ back then)Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Charlie’s Angels served a useful purpose for some us in college — when you were depressed, thinking that you simply weren’t smart enough to finish the damned double technical major, it was reassuring to know that you could always move to Hollywood and write for TV.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I was thinking of stuff like Look Magazine, Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, and entry-level art that, ideally, is the gateway drug to the harder stuff.

                Maybe they didn’t read it because they liked it but because they were interesting in signalling that they liked it (as Virginia Wolfe complained) but, at the end of the day, that meant that a chunk of them ended up liking the harder stuff.

                Now we like things authentically.

                And it’s given us the superhero apocalypse.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Wikipedia is a far better source for entry level access to the fine arts than any of those were.

                You can watch right now, on line, for free Captain Picard and the Tenth Doctor do Shakespeare.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                While absolutely true, Wikipedia is also right next door to the pictures of the boobs.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                So was Reader’s Digest. (ok, there was Quilter’s Quarterly between them, but QQ had some nice bed spreads too).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Hrm. Good point.

                Maybe it comes down to social rewards. There used to be an upside to slogging through middlebrow art. It required that you had a longer time horizon, but if you had it, you could see that middlebrow gave those rewards, if eventually.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                High end TV like Mad Men, Girls, Transparent, and Orange is the New Black replaced Middle Brow culture to a large extent. It has the same social reward and the same audience.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Wait… OITNB (the only show on hte list I’ve watched and therefore able to comment on) is “high brow”? Is anything rich white people like automatically “high brow”? Is that how we’re defining things? Because OITNB is sure as shit not “high brow” by any standard I’ve ever heard of.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Lee’s calling it middlebrow.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Is Nicki Minaj high brow or middle brow? What about speed metal? What about that “high virtuosity” metal? Is Mathcore high brow?

                I don’t understand.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                So — this “high brow” “middle brow” “low brow” stuff is … something that works better for some shit than others.

                Cat Stevens is low brow music. It’s easy to sing, trite, and not at all complex.

                Love Solfege is high brow music that wins bounties (Russian music school competition is fierce, man).

                Fart jokes, and a lot of easy, predictable humor is low brow (lotta blonde jokes, yo mama jokes). Easy pickin’s and every improv comedian knows most all of ’em.

                High brow humor is complex and multilayered. Arrested Development. That anti-semitic shmuck characterization they’ve got played to the nines on TV (it came outta NYC, where it was significantly funnier).

                I do not consider myself competent to speak on metal, of any sort. Musicians I know say that heavy metal can’t actually reach a 10 out of 10, because heavy metal tends to ruin people’s vocal chords quickly — and it takes time to get really good.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I misread… getting confused by the term “high end”… which I similarly don’t understand in the context used here.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                High end is a synonym for competent, in my book. Not saul’s, of course.

                Some sitcoms can be dire, dire dire — and most reality TV is dire.

                Anything from Voltron to Bob’s Burgers to Gortimer Gibbons to Archer strikes me as a good time.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Is Archer high brow? (she asks with a smirk)Report

              • Avatar North says:

                This is how we get ants!!!Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                It is when it’s nakedly stealing jokes from Arrested Development.

                It is when gay-ass boy ain’t fucking over the entire concept. [he’s not getting that nickname because he’s gay, of course. he’s getting it because he won’t stop the accent, and is using it as a naked “don’t criticize me” ploy.]Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Is high-brow, low-brow, and middle-brow a thing? If they are (and I think they are), then we can attempt to define them.

                The best jokes work on more than one level.

                Which means that you can make a joke mocking the low-brow while, at the same time, telling a joke that the low-brow would also laugh at.

                Really, really awesome satire can have us snickering at the people who think this is cool while, at the same time, have people saying “whoa, this is cool!” (Starship Troopers, the film, is a good example of this. Or was, back when we watched movies.)

                Would Archer be a good example of this sort of thing? Yeah, I think it would be.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                I…don’t think I know anyone who watched “Starship Troopers” and said “wow, cool!”

                I thought the trailer was pretty good. Would that the actual movie had taken its subject matter equally seriously.

                For actual sci-fi satire, I’m thinking something more like “Snow Crash”, or the “Dirty Pair” anime.Report

              • Jesus, Veronica. Read a book once in your life.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Books are hard. They have all those squiggles all arranged in a weird order. Plus the pictures don’t move. They’re just weird.

                I wonder if Jazz is “high brow.” (That’s a fun question.)Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Depends on the jazz.
                Composers’ duets are pretty awesome.

                In general, though, the “popular culture” idea of jazz is very very high brow. I think mostly because it’s quiet, and thus people can listen to it while chatting. Upgraded lounge music.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                I think the truth is, the low/high/middle-brow status of Jazz has changed over the decades, whereas the music itself, by which I mean the recording made during whichever decade have not changed. At one time Jazz was egghead stuff, mostly for black folks, and some edgy whites who crawled through urban spaces. It was not middle class. Now it is. In fact, I’d say Jazz as a broad form has moved to solid middle-brow (with some pretensions of high-brow).

                The point is, the music is the music. The folks making the music, back in the 60’s — I’m not talking about “smooth Jazz” or Kenny G or any of what has happened as the art form became more and more a product of white consumption — but back then, it was whatever it was.

                In other words, “middle brow” is more about social signifier than the actual sophistication of the art. Certain forms of metal are musically quite complex, and are performed with high levels of virtuosity. But they would still be dismissed as “garbage” by the “right kind of people.”

                Which, that changes over time. But that’s the point. The music didn’t change. Middle class white people changed.

                So it goes.

                People find collecting Pokemons fun. People also find bird watching fun. People find many things fun.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                It gets easier if you aren’t looking at math books. Those squiggles are supposed to be put in a weird order.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                ” Is anything rich white people like automatically “high brow”?”

                Pretty much, yah.

                The reasoning goes: “I’m a rich white person. Rich white people are sophisticated aesthetes who don’t like junk. I like (thing). Therefore (thing) is not junk.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If it’s enjoyed as an attempt to be a social signifier, that’s probably the definition of middlebrow.

                It’s when you get to the whole unironic enjoyment of a thing that you are either in the highbrow or the lowbrow.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Perhaps we should find a better vocabulary to talk about how people enjoy their leisure time.

                Some people like sports. Some collect stamps. Some do woodworking. Some read long books by dead white guys. Some enjoy makeup and fashion. Some like to juggle. Some sit around and read math books. Some wander the Earth in search of enlightenment.

                Others spend their time worrying about what other people are doing and what “status” that entails.

                I suggest we do more of the former kinds of things (the list is non-exhaustive, in case that is not obvious) and much less of the latter sort of thing.

                I honestly cannot imagine caring if a thing is high-, low-, or middle-brow. Good grief.

                (In case it isn’t clear, when I ask something like, “Is Nicki Minaj high brow?” I mean to point out how silly the notion is.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                How much does ethics tie into aesthetics?

                Is there art/entertainment that makes you a better person?
                Is there art/entertainment that makes you a worse person?

                Shouldn’t we, as a society, encourage more of the former and less of the latter?

                (We argue this every few years. It’s one of those questions that veers off into the creepy fairly quickly.)Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Perhaps it is lowbrow entertainment that makes us better humans. We do so love pretense, don’t we?

                Perhaps a farting entertainer or two is a decent anodyne to our propensity to pretend we don’t shit.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Oh good grief, I dunno. I know I love listening to Anaconda by Nicki — cuz she got a big fat ass!

                Tee hee.

                Sometimes I’ll be around someone, and they really just feel phony. Like, they’ll be making a big point about the cool books they read — but it doesn’t feel like a natural conversational development. I feels forced. So yeah. I’ll be, “I get it. You’re insecure about your intellectual status. You’re making sure I know you’re into ‘smart stuff’. That’s cool. I like smart stuff also. Sometimes.”

                Then someone will assert that liking Pokemon stuff is childish (or whatever), and I’ll wanna link to this.

                Blah blah blah.

                When you get down to the “making us better people” question — the whole “eat your broccoli” theory of art. I dunno. I found Giles from Buffy to be a pretty inspiring guy. I’ve seen plenty of “pulpy” movies with good messages about hard work and good attitudes and charity and kindness and compassion. I’ve also seen “pulpy” movies ask hard questions — perhaps without the subtlety of “deep art,” but this was a “making us better people” question. If you think the “deep stuff” makes us better, then show your work.

                My sister is a “country girl” with a great heart. She has a cool life. I doubt she’s read Joyce. I know so many “eggheads,” on the other hand, who read big books, but who are angry and bitter at the world.

                My sister is a better person, full stop, no doubt.

                A lot of the “gamergate” guys are smart.

                I guess Hitler loved Wagner (or something).

                More blahs.

                God knows I wouldn’t want to date the “guy in your MFA class” type, no matter how good he is at analyzing narrative and theme. Can he dance?

                But more, will he listen to me, to what I feel, to what I want, to my hopes and dreams? Can he see a woman as a subject?

                A lot of smart guys really cannot. It’s weird, but true. No matter how many big books they read, they remain emotionally stunted. While across the restaurant you see a couple on a (probably) first date, laughing about their favorite superhero movies.

                Maybe you guys look down on “superhero-fan couple.” I do not. They’re communicating. He’s listening. She listening. There is a back and forth, a sharing. You can just feel the cool vibe. (I actually observed just such a date recently. Nerds in love. It was sweet.)

                Anyway, where did they learn this? I dunno, but it seems a damn sight more important than understanding the themes of some fucking Lars von Trier film.

                On the other hand, if you like those films — well, just as I won’t slag the kids for loving Rock Band, I ain’t gonna slag you for liking art house films.

                Cuz “phony guy/gal” I mentioned above — people like that exist. But plenty of non-phony people exist also. Be non-phony. Like what you like. Do so proudly. Just don’t be a dick about it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, I suspect that the ethics of art is probably orthogonal to whether it’s high, middle, or lowbrow, now that I dwell on it.

                And there’s the whole thing about how lowbrow in this era becomes highbrow in another era. (Quick: if you go watch a production of Our American Cousin, is that highbrow or lowbrow? What if there’s a gunshot in the balcony after the “you sockdologizing old man-trap!” line?)

                In any case, there is art that can be enjoyed for what it is, and there is art that is enjoyed aspirationally. Like, you like it because you’re supposed to like it (and, of course, its sibling of art that you don’t like because you’re supposed to not like it).

                But, as far as I can tell, there was some overlap between aspirational art and the ethical until right around the time that the counterculture became the culture… at which point the overlap seems to disappear. (But there’s also some weird analog to aspirational art that seems to exist now… but instead of it being art that makes you better, it’s art that makes you better connected with the current moment… “viral”, if you will.)

                It comes down to the whole “is there a problem with going to the grocery store in a robe and pajamas?” question.

                There were social benefits to people combing their hair and putting on pants before they went outside. We’ve abandoned that sort of thing in the name of authenticity.

                But in abandoning keeping up appearances for the sake of putting authenticity on a pedestal, we see ourselves questioning whether the nice person is “really” nice while being secure in the knowledge that, hey, the jerkface is authentic!

                And something is going on like that with art too. Does anybody *REALLY* like stuff that I find to be boring and staid? Say what you will about monster truck bikini wrestling night at Hooters, at least it’s authentic.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Oh, and a couple of the last times we discussed this sort of thing can be found here and here, if you dig flashing back to the past.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                I went to a monster truck rally once. It was really fucking cool. The dude I went with was a total gearhead, so he knew all about engines and stuff, and the kind of work that went into what we were seeing, which made it more enjoyable to me — since yes, there is “real stuff” happening there.

                Plus, you know, big fucking trucks smashing shit.

                On the other hand, before the big trucks, they did this routine with jumping/crashing motorcycles that was supposed to be a “race,” but that was very obviously staged. I did not enjoy that part, in the same way I do not enjoy fake wrestling. I dunno. I can see the strings.

                There are obvious ways we overplay the meaning of “authentic,” but I think it is a real thing with real value.

                I dislike fake wrestling. I like competitive grappling. The first is bad theatrics. The second is a real sport.

                In Finite and Infinite Games, Carse contrasts the theatrical versus the dramatic. I’ve always found that distinction really fruitful in understanding how I respond to certain things.

                I don’t really care what you wear to the grocery store. Whatever. I got more important things.

                I honestly suspect that a lot of folks who talk about enjoying Joyce are full of shit. They’re just saying it to seem erudite.

                I’m also quite certain that some people really do enjoy Joyce (including a few of you on this forum). I don’t get it. But whatever. I want people to thrive. If reading Joyce helps you thrive, then you should read Joyce.

                Like, duh. More people thriving is prima facie a good thing.

                So anyway, both types exist, the phony and the authentic. How much effort should I spend distinguishing them? Should I even care?

                The thing I do care about — are you shoving Joyce in my face? Are you being smug, pretentious, superior? Blah blah blah.

                I like superheroes. You don’t have to. I like collecting Pokemons (when their damn servers are working). You don’t have to.

                I’m trying to make my life work. I want to thrive. You should do likewise.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Comedy that punches down, then?

                Videogames that don’t allow same-sex relationship options?Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                What? I don’t expect every game to give me a full array of sex/gender options, although I don’t see a major downside if they did, all else being equal. Certainly I get to choose what games I’ll play.

                What I don’t get is those who oppose greater representation. The whitebread gamebros seem to be really thin skinned on the topic. Whatevs.

                Games where you murder sex workers? Jokes about how lazy black people are?

                I feel like there are some goalposts shifting here. I was talking about Pokemons versus James Joyce versus monster trucks.

                If I enjoy waltzing around my office laughing at the fat guys, pointing out that they are gross unlovable freaks…

                I mean, that’s just my art, right? So what if they sit home alone crying? It’s comedy. If it ain’t edgy, then what’s the point?

                Blah. Don’t try to play fucking Socrates with me. It’s annoying. You darn well know the difference between pro wrestling and racist jokes. Let’s stay on topic.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, the distinctions that I’m making are two:

                Between high and low (and whatever happens to be in the middle)

                And between moral and immoral (if such a thing exists with regards to art) (and amoral, I suppose, but that’s only interesting if there is also moral/immoral).

                If we’re down with agreeing that these distinctions make sense (they make sense to me, assuming morality), then it seems worthwhile to see if there’s overlap that isn’t random between the two.

                I suppose we can go back to talking about Joyce, though. I found the idea of his story so much more interesting than its execution, didn’t you? Like he could have shaved 100 pages off of Ulysses and nobody would be able to even notice what was gone.

                That’s time that could have been better spent reading Henry Miller.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @jaybird — I don’t know if you ever took part in the big “atheism-versus-religion” debates on Usenet back in the day. This is old Internet history. But anyway, it used to be a thing. (This was a time when Dawkins was relevant.)

                Anyway, from time to time a Christian-type would confront an atheism-type by saying, “You’re just mad at God.”

                They really said that. It was — I mean, how do you respond to that?

                My point is, it is hard to have a conversation when folks can’t even agree on what exists.


                I do not believe in a mind-independent morality. I do not believe we can sort things in the world into little buckets, moral versus immoral. It does not work that way.

                I try not to use the terms “moral” and “immoral.” Which, sometimes I do. I cannot totally wipe them from my vocabulary. The reason is, while I do not believe in a mind-independent morality, I also believe it is psychologically impossible for a human to actually “live the truth,” in that we are not sociopaths. Morality is not in the world. It is in our brains. But it is really there in our brains.

                If one could force their brain to remain in a values-free state, the end result would be insanity. Whoever succeeded would likely morph into someone even more batshit than Thomas Ligotti.

                On the other hand, I find Ligotti refreshing. He says true things. Most moral statements are false things.

                Unlike Litotti, however, I’m happy. I want other to be happy. I want others to thrive. I want this to become commonplace.


                Values are inside our minds. But some things are really-real in the world. Sickness and health are real things, as are happiness and sadness, as are self-direction versus compulsion. “To thrive” is a verb that describes something people can do.

                What role does art play in human thriving?


                I don’t draw a bright line around “art.” I don’t use categories that way.

                Which, it is fun to discuss ideas and concepts. To do this, it clearly helps if people are on “the same page” regarding what they are talking about. So on forums such as this, there are endless discussions on “what art is.” Similarly, on roleplaying forums you can observe long tedious arguments over what is and what is not a “role playing game.”

                I’m not young anymore. I kinda wanna skip past that part of the debate. I suggest people look into this:


                You can draw up some set of conceptual boxes, into which you place various categories (by which I mean categorizations) of art. You could run some numbers on that, compute correlations. You would learn much about your categorization. Will you have learned anything about the world?


                Is playing Pokemon childish? If it is, is that bad? In what way? To whom? To what degree? Can you measure these things?

                On the other hand, we can ask those same questions (and I do) about this conversation. Is questioning the adult-child status of playing Pokemon a reasonable activity? Is it thoughtful? Is it a good social strategy? Does it make your community better?

                We can do the same thing with the questions I just asked.

                There is no meta, in the sense that all things are always meta.


                Many long years ago, across a dimly lit stretch of time, I read Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist. I recall their being well-written, but honestly kinda dull. That said, I encourage people to read some amount of that stuff (“the classics”), according to the “eat your broccoli” theory of art. It gives perspective. Plus, some people really do like that kind of stuff. Perhaps you’ll discover that you are one of them. Try out many things.

                These days I seldom read fiction. Nor do I write anymore. (I used to write. I was pretty decent, honestly.) Nowadays I mostly just hyper-obsess on math.

                Which fine. I’m learning a lot of math. I like math.

                I have a few books by trans women sitting around, which I want to read. That’s a personal thing. That said, so far no book has hit me the way Nevada did.

                Nevada was a fucking supernova.

                I never even attempted Ulysses or (good grief) Finnegans Wake. I’m sure the prose is lovely, but I prefer narrative approaches that “situate” the reader. Joyce famously does not. I find that kind of prose particularly hard, from a cognitive perspective.

                (I have a childhood diagnosis of dyslexia, which I think is inaccurate. It was the 70’s. They knew less back then. But all the same, there was something going on, something off about how I visualize things. I prefer books that make that part easy.)

                (On the other hand, I’m really good at picking up social subtext. It’s like, in some ways my empathy lags “normal,” but in other ways I’m hyper-empathic. It’s weird.)

                (Anyway, point is, Joyce ain’t the writer for me. I like interesting social situations that are described with clarity.)

                (Plus pretty robot girls trained to kill.)Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

              I think people with your view are pretty rare.

              What strikes me about a lot of young or youngish internet sites like Vox is the complete non-coverage of high culture. Pop culture will always get covered but the space Vox dedicated to non pop culture seems to be zero. They love dissecting US Weekly celeb gossip and fandom but can’t spend anytime with stuff like Kore-eda Hirokazu’s new movie.

              Gawker is the same.

              What is it about new pundits/alleged deep thinkers that made them not care about non pop cultureReport

              • Avatar North says:

                The audience is small and that market is overserved* by the established mavens of non-pop culture analysis?

                I mean outside of the lucrative Saul Degraw market where’s the aching unfulfilled demand for highbrow analysis of the latest offerings of haute coture?

                *Since NYT arts section, etc etc used to serve more people in this area and now serves fewer.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                I would say it is different. I think that we might have a generation that are well-educated on paper and by name of school but not when you get to the substance of it in terms of art, literature, and culture of the world. So cultural analysis goes to a deep take on whether the Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston relationship is for realz or not.

                It is a revolt against the Intellectual by people who want the corporate trough.

                There is something in MY and Klein that makes me think they would be dismissive completely of anything that strives to be beyond pop culture and try to be pseudo-smart about it with one graph.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                I think you’re projecting, mightily. Why are there no new media people catering to high brow art? The answer: “because there’s already media catering to high brow art and high brow art doesn’t need more media catering to it” seems simple, straight forward and has the added benefit of follow the money which is generally a good bet.
                “The new generation is uniquely uneducated about and is hostile to highbrow art” seems to be reaching a lot. Especially in a world where we simultaneously have young people crying to the high heavens about how they’re up to their ears in debt after spending eight years and fifty grand in student debt on getting a doctorate in high brow art.Report

              • Avatar dragonfrog says:

                Gone, GONE, are the days when one could take in a good bear-baiting, or cheer on one’s neighbhours in such elevated pursuits as headbutting cats to death. Why, Queen Elizabeth doesn’t even have a royal flatulist anymore.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                ” I think that we might have a generation that are well-educated on paper and by name of school but not when you get to the substance of it in terms of art, literature, and culture of the world.”

                So education is all about art, literature, and world culture? Ugh…Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                If you want to communicate, you need to learn HOW to communicate. Or at least when folks are sneering at you.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Thanks, Kimmy.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                If only Snoop Dogg and Henry Rollins would learn how to communicate…Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                “Kore-eda Hirokazu’s new movie.”
                Write a review?
                If you write one, I’ll write another.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            You, I realize, haven’t been watching the latest Voltron.

            But they’re fucking referencing Larry Clark’s Kids, dammit!

            (and yes, that joke went riiiiight over the censors heads).Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I think the transition from society saying that marriage will turn you into an adult to society saying that you should be an adult before you get married has a bit to do with that.

        But there’s also the whole issue of people having twitter now and that gives their “HOLY CRAP I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING” thoughts an immediate outlet (and inspiring a chorus of “ME TOO”s) when, in the past, people just thought that and maybe only told their spouse about it.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


          Perhaps. Even a lot of the avant-Garde Bohemians got married at young ages back then because it was harder to find a place to screw. Women lived in buildings with chaperones who prevented young men from visiting. Hotels would call the police on unmarried couples who rented rooms!

          There might also be the fact that mass culture was still in its infancy and local culture mattered. Plus the big media companies felt some obligations to expose their audiences to high culture. Now it all gets placed into specific places like NPR or indie Community Radio.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            By saying “you should be a grownup before you get married”, our society is, effectively, prolonging adolescence.

            How much better would adolescence be if you had a grown-up’s salary?Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq says:

            I can’t imagine why any landlord or hotel manager would want the responsibility of enforcing popular morality in addition to their other responsibilities. It would seem like a lot of work.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              There are people who have poured hours and hours into writing essays policing cultural critics. I mean, like *FOR FREE*.

              What kind of culture do you want?

              Roll up your sleeves.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

              That is irrelevant. They did it. Roger Ebert wrote an essay about how when he was in college in the early 60s, police used to write down license plate numbers at motels and report to the University admin if they found any belonging to college students.

              I think plenty of people would want to return to this era of busybodiness.Report

            • Avatar dragonfrog says:

              I suspect they weren’t doing it out of deeply felt meddlesomeness – it was more that, if they didn’t do it, they ran the risk of being deemed a “brothel” and shut down.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                Could be. From watching very old media, I do know that apartments did do as Saul suggested. It seems like such an extraordinary amount of energy was invested in the task.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          First, early marriage wasn’t necessarily a thing in the past. The average age in the Anglo world was in the mid-twenties from the 1600s to the 1960s for both genders with a high proportion of never married even in Protestant countries. There were plenty of cultures that practiced much earlier marriage. In many of the much earlier marriage countries, you weren’t assumed to be an adult because you were married. Adulthood came long after marriage and kids.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        “…a likely culture memoir for my generation will be titled something like “We binged on Netflix” and that is sad to me.”

        Why? Is it less sad if they’re watching arthouse films?Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog says:

          Cause arthouse films are usually a laff a minute…Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


            They aren’t all The Seventh Seal. Some great directors like Truffaut and Rohmer are known for thier light touch and comedies. I think being foreign is what gets them labeled as art house more than anything else. Americans have viewed non-English films as always being artier somehow.

            What I like about so-called arthouse movies is that they treat the audience as adults. We are not locked into liking things just because they contain loud explosions and CGI or are connected to things we liked as kids like comic books. So called art house movies believe that audiences can handle gentle pacing and the quiet drama of ordinary existence. Or a slow boil of suspense instead of an explosion of action like A Most Violent Year.Report

            • Avatar Rmass says:

              Okay, now your just snobbing for snobbs sake. People like bright shiny things that make noise.

              That don’t make em stupid.Report

            • Avatar dragonfrog says:

              Yeah, I was mostly joking – referring to (the reputation for) arthouse films being the ones that actually handle sadness, expect the audience to be able to handle some sadness, even daring to have endings that are unhappy if that’s what the plot calls for.

              I also like the joke about going to an “adult cinema” looking forward to watching a movie with intelligently written dialog and pacing that rewards patience.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                A friend of mine believes that one of the things that Hollywood doesn’t make anymore is what he calls the 30 million dollar movie. This isn’t really a plot descriptor but it can cover anything between a teen comedy to an adult drama. It was the type of Hollywood movie that wasn’t a big spectacle but had much more professional polish and star power than an independent movie. Things like Some Kind of Wonderful, Thelma and Louise, or more recently the Judge would fall into this category.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Patient pacing in a movie? What an oxymoron.
                Seriously, folks, it is 3 hours at most. That’s quick for any tale.Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              “So called art house movies believe that audiences can handle gentle pacing and the quiet drama of ordinary existence.”
              … pull the other finger, brother?
              Incendies, have you seen it? I don’t think that’s exactly “gentle pacing and quiet drama.”Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                No it’s not. Some women who asked me out on a date too me to that. She knew French cold and wanted to see the movie. She also had a kid.

                After the bus scene when the guy shoots the little girl in the head and torches the bus, I leaned over and said, “Nice date movie”. She had been groaning at the violence for quite a while. Don’t think she read a review before seeing it 🙂Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                And that movie was pretentious as all fuck award bait too.
                Nominated for an Oscar, doncha know?Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                I thought it captured religious extremism and civil war pretty well though.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                That and the countryside. Beautiful, beautiful cinematography.

                Well worth seeing.

                Just brutal, though. A world sketched in taupe, and tan, and beige — and red and orange and fire-white.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            Watch Zero Motivation.
            You’ll love it.
            Or Lemon Popsicle, which I got off my lazy ass to review.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          Arguably it’s more sad. Netflix “binges” allow for more complicated and complex narratives — and especially more continuity.Report

      • Avatar veronica d says:

        @saul-degraw — I spent some time Saturday playing the Pokemon game. It was fun.

        Evidently you want to relate this fact to my “adulthood,” which I think is possibly the most absurd thing I have heard in quite a while. (And this is campaign season.)


        I’m not sure what the boundaries of adulthood are. Certainly, in our shifting culture, many of the traditional signifiers don’t work quite like they once did. That said, they were never so perfect anyhow. I don’t think they capture the essence of maturity. After all, if marriage is essential to adulthood, then no member of the Catholic clergy can be a “grown up,” which seems a perverse viewpoint. Likewise, if you want to related adulthood to liking certain sorts of books — well then my parent’s generation was just swimming with thoughtful, accomplished people who (by your measure) were childish.

        Perhaps you believe this, but some people believe the Earth is flat.


        I think the central aspect of adulthood is really pretty obvious. It is about leaving behind the sheltered life of childhood, the protection of your parents, and finding your own way. Now, that way need not be isolated. You don’t need to walk the path alone. Plenty of folks build a new family, or perhaps join a religious organization, whatever. There ain’t one single way. We queers, for example, have often made a life for ourselves within “chosen family,” inasmuch as the traditional path was denied to us. But whichever you choose, it is about making that lifepath work for you, within the context of the “grown up, responsible world.”

        It can be pretty tough sometimes.

        It took me a long time. In fact, I did the career-and-marriage thing, but neither of those were what I needed. My path was very different.

        When it comes to relationships, my most mature moment was that long conversation with my (then) wife, when we decided to end our marriage. We did this without anger, without hate, without pettiness. In fact, we did so with great love for the other. We are still very close friends. I love and respect her boundlessly. We just were not in love anymore.

        Growing up means growing-the-fuck-up, and learning to deal.


        I like the Pokemon game. It’s fun. As I said, I spent a few hours Saturday playing — enjoying my day off, just as adults have enjoyed their leisure time since “leisure time” was invented. It was a fine thing to do, no better or worse than watching football, building model train sets, reading a good book, dancing, or hiking through the woods hoping to spot rare birds.

        If you’re going to judge people for that — well, one of us needs to grow up. It ain’t me.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          I took my dog for a walk and played the Pokemon game. My dog was happy, and I got some sort of weird monster thingy. And then the game crashed.

          It turns out, amusingly, that my workplace is one of those stop things. So I can flip on my phone, spin the thingy, and get free pokeballs, whenever I get up to wander around.

          *shrug*. It’s a game AND it makes me want to go wander around outside. On my own two feet. Exercising. I’m pretty okay with it, even though I have to keep asking my kid “What the heck is a [Pokemon name X]”.Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            @morat20 — Well one thing we are learning, the software engineers who worked on the Pokemon game have no idea how to handle a large distributed system.

            (Hint: the app cannot function at all in “autonomous” mode. It is heavily depending on constant, high-bandwidth connection with the servers back home. If they are overloaded, the game craps out. If connectivity goes down while you are playing, you lose progress. This is really bad.)

            Of course, it went instantly from “cool app let’s try this” to “front page on all the world’s papers everyone is freaking out,” which is a difficult growth rate. But still, I only have so much sympathy. This is the “cloud age.” They should have had better scaling plans.

            I couldn’t catch a single Pokemon yesterday. Each time I caught one, the app froze up. Blah!

            Anyway, growing pains are growing pains. I hope they get it settled quickly. It’s fun, when it works. When it does not work, it is the opposite of fun.Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              Splash attack!
              (This is how we know that they can’t do game design either).Report

            • Avatar Morat20 says:

              I spent the 40 minutes waiting for my doctor today catching some sort of bird. Like three variants of it.

              I plan to take the dog to a local park today to wander around, and not at all because I got weighed at said doctor’s and blanched at the numbers.

              My foot’s finally back to “I don’t feel worried walking a mile or two on it” so there’s that. (My doctor’s view on my foot is “Heck if I know” coupled with “Maybe see a physical therapist?”. Some soft tissue thing. No clear sore spots, just all around discomfort from swelling. Turns out if you stress anything around your heel or ankle, it swells. Which makes everything else swell. Which gives you “non-localized heel pain that isn’t plantar fasciatius but darned if we know what you stressed”)Report

      • Avatar dexter says:

        @saul-degraw,You are upset because nobody notices that you are the only cockroach in the sty.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Clearly, Pokemon Go is how we will heal the country.Report

  6. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “Thanks to a court ruling, it is now a federal crime to share your Netflix password. ”

    No it is not. The reporting on this subject is utter horseshit.

    If nothing else, the ruling says not one god damn thing about Netflix.

    Second, what actually happened was that some bro quit his headhunter job, called up coworkers and social-engineered them into giving him their logins and passwords, used those logins to download the former employer’s entire client database, and used that information at his new job to make himself look good.

    This is absolutely not “sharing your Netflix password is a Federal crime”. This is “that you accessed the information by a means which authorized persons would use does not constitute a defense against accusations of improper activity”. This is “sure, you had your ex’s house key, but that doesn’t mean you were allowed to go in there. And the fact that she stays logged-in to Facebook doesn’t mean you’re allowed to turn on her personal computer and snoop through her friends list to see who she’s banging now”.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      Right. This was one of the more misleading articles I have read. There is a very small kernel of truth in the feasibility of the claim but the author had to admit that Netflix is not going after people who share their passwords.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        It is arguable that they should though. Account-sharing has the potential for negative effects on paying users. I believe HBO On-Demand had real issues during last year’s GoT finale when they got overloaded with streaming requests because of all the account sharing that was going on. This caused outages for even paying customers. It is obviously the individual company’s choice as to how they want to handle these issues and what policies they want to set, but if they turn a blind eye to it and it negatively impacts paying users, they risk losing those customers and encouraging the behavior which is not a sustainable business model.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


          I think Netflix likes account sharing as a business decision. People will get addicted and want accounts of their own. They also are concerned about negative PR from cracking down on such things.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            I suppose we (or, really, Netflix) would need to know what percentage of sharers become customers. I’m not sure how to figure that out. On the plus side, the customer acquisition cost would likely be at or approaching zero. The only financial cost would be any lost revenues from subscribes who cancel because of things like what I describe above (or even just a broader sense of unfairness in the system). So even if it is a relatively small percentage, if it outpaces cancellations, it is a net positive.

            However, I’d also be curious to know what they pay for content. If they have to pay based on views, they might end up needing to raise rates. If the owners of a given show say, “Our latest season was watched 75 million times last month and you pay us a penny per viewing, you owe us $750K,” Netflix will be in the hole if they only have 50 million subscribes and only factored that show in for 1.1 cents per account (all these numbers are made up but the point stands).

            Again, it is Netflix’s call… I don’t think they have a moral responsibility to do it but possibly an ethical one (to paying subscribers) if the TOS forbids it, but I’d want to hear from someone more versed in the matter.

            My argument is simply that looking the other way could come back to bite them in the ass.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              When it comes to streaming, there is a pretty straightforward solution. Prevent or limit multiple streams. This is what Rhapsody does. If they don’t do that, then they’ve built sharing into the business model.Report

              • Avatar Rmass says:

                Netflix streaming works on a couple of different tiers depending on how many screens you want to be able to watch it on simultaneously your bill varies it starts at 2 and goes up to I think 5 or 6 different screens at the same time.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I want to be able to watch Netflix on my computer, in my bedroom using my blu-ray player, and on the big television whether I’m using the 360 or the PS4. (I also installed it on my 3DS and I’m pretty sure that Maribou has it on both her laptops.)

                That’s… seven devices right there, for two people, and I doubt we’re odd people out. I’m sure that there are a ton of power users out there who have even more. People with kids, for example.

                Limiting number of streams is pretty much the only thing that works but, when it comes to watching content, people are pretty used to the whole idea of buying cable for the house and being able to watch it on every single television. The kids watch Nick in the basement, mom watches her shows in the sewing room, dad watches sportsball in the den, granny watching the Catholic Channel in the living room… and it costs the same as the guy who only has one television.

                That’s the culture that they’re trying to resocialize. It strikes me as being an uphill battle.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                I meant limiting the number of simultaneous streams. I can listen to Rhapsody on my desktop, my phone, my laptop, wherever. It’s just that So can Clancy. However, we can only do it at one place at a time.

                Now, between Clancy and myself, this is not that big of a deal. She texts me and asks if I’m using Rhapsody, I say no, yes, or yes but I can get off, and we’re good to go. Or she forgets to ask and I get kicked off, which is fine as well.

                Between a husband and a wife, no problem. But I’m not going to share my password with anyone else, because I don’t want to have to coordinate with anyone else.

                And with Rhapsody, at least, it’s no big deal if we just kick each other off. However, if I’m kicked off in the middle of a movie or show, that bugs me more. Even if it’s not a live sporting event, it’s still much more of an interruption. So I’d be less likely to share my password in that instance.

                But I’d still be able to watch on whatever device I want.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                Could they limit it by IP address @will-truman? That would cover most of the issues relating to shared accounts, if indeed they want to stop that issue…Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                They could, but that would be too limiting. I wouldn’t be able to use it on my phone, for example. Or while I’m visiting the parents.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          There have been sites on the internet with other, um, content, that have to have dealt with password sharing for a relatively long time now.

          I think their main line of defense is to see if an account is logged into more than one device/IP, and disable the account if it is (the other big thing is megabyte throughput limits) – but I also think the big media providers main selling point now is to watch ‘on the go’ and be able to seamlessly go from device to device, thus limitly this line of defense.Report

          • Avatar Mo says:

            DirectTv does this with Sunday Ticket. Only one logged in device at a time. This gets annoying if the connection has a hard drop and the sign out does not register for a few minutes. This prevents relogging in for a bit. This is less of an issue for HBO Go or Netflix as it lacks the same temporal demands of a live sporting event.Report

  7. Avatar Kolohe says:

    L&O did at least one episode around geocaching, which is just non-branded Pokemon Go.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Betcha they didn’t have someone picking up a gorram gun from a “no, this isn’t really a geocache” box in the park…and leaving a Nirvana cd behind.Report

  8. Damon: there are plenty of “no go” areas in the UK as well.


    • Avatar Damon says:

      30 seconds of Google fu. Nice quote here: “”[N]o sensible person is saying that state authorities are prohibited from entering no-go zones as a matter of law. The point is that they are severely discouraged from entering as a matter of fact — and the degree of discouragement varies directly with the density of the Muslim population and its radical component. Ditto for non-Muslim lay people: It is not that they are not permitted to enter these enclaves; it is that they avoid entering because doing so is dangerous if they are flaunting Western modes of dress and conduct.”

      Most of these articles are linked into “The Donald”s speach recently, but this stuff has been going on before he got into it. Note the Gatestone Institute article contains a link to a similar article dealing with France.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        30 seconds of reading the listed articles where no sources are named, no documents cited.
        Instead its “a number of officers”, or “One officer in London”, or just “Rob”.

        Admittedly, these sources are one step up from “a guy on the Internet”, or “a guy I overheard on the subway”, but not by much.

        In fact, a guy I heard on the subway said the Express is full of crap; indeed, many people have said the same. One guy said everything written in the Sun is a fabrication.Report

        • Not completely unsourced (I’m ignoring the anonymous sources, obviously) but the first two and the last appear to be using the same story and the gatestone article stretches the definition of ‘no-go’ to a point where it starts to lose meaning. But it’s still better than a /completely/ unsourced claim.Report

        • Avatar Damon says:

          What’d you expect for 30 seconds of googling? A scientific paper published in a peer reviewed journal, statistically significant, and confirmed by several other papers, all performed by stellar names in the field of said research?

          What you got was “every day journalism”. If you’re going to bitch at that, I’m sure you’re going to complain about NPR articles, 60 Minutes, and the WSJ.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            If this was merely the first of such stories, I wouldn’t flag it.

            But these British tabloids have made a cottage industry out of scaremongering about dark skinned immigrants ravishing virtuous white girls, about Our Nation being overrun by the dusky hordes.

            This isn’t harmless sloppy reporting- this is dangerous, explosive primal fear they are driving. It is a deliberate campaign of race-baiting.

            For anyone who just dropped in from Mars, the anxiety of dark skinned savages ravishing white girls is the most potent and reliable of racial fear campaigns dating back before the Civil War, back to the first encounters of Europeans and Africans.

            Are the “No Go” areas actually that dangerous? Or is this just white suburbanites seeing dark skinned people and deciding not to go there?Report

            • Avatar Damon says:

              I can’t say about other countries, but I have had a couple of times in my life where I ended up in places where the “locals” were very clearly not pleased by my presence. This is different from common disdain or disapproval you might get. This was “what’s that white boy doing here?” look and attitude.

              Couple that with some good old fashioned news about the gov’t not doing a damn thing about criminal actions for fear of racism charges (Rotherham) and folks do have some justification. I’m sure it’s played up. Hell, burning cars, sex scandals, and the such all lead the news. It sells. That doesn’t make the concerns any less legitimate. I really don’t have a problem with the hype…I groups are fearful of outsiders-and everyone’s racist.Report

  9. Avatar trizzlor says:

    One thing that has struck me about the response to Minneapolis + Baton Rouge is the complete lack of self-criticism from the police community itself. There’s a wide set of responses from ordinary citizens, but there are plenty of people who can at least speak the same language: they get that the focus is on abuse of force; they get that individual examples are just indicators of a long tail of disparate outcomes; they understand that disparate outcomes exist after you account for differences in racial prevalence and criminality; etc. People disagree about the solution, but there’s a minimal level of sophistication in these arguments. But the public editorials from police officers have been remarkably tone-deaf: it’s 2016, how could someone possibly think that “this is a dangerous job” or “more whites than blacks get shot by cops” will be convincing responses to police brutality. It’s almost like these people have had no interaction whatsoever with their critics, because even one conversation would have made it obvious why these arguments are foolish. Maybe I’m missing it, but the dearth of well-reasoned pro-police arguments *from police officers* freaks me out, because it suggests a completely insular community defensive of even the most obvious cases of abuse.

    Topically, this is in contrast to the gun debate, where gun owners routinely made well-reasoned, impassioned arguments to gun-control activists that expressed an minimal understanding of their concerns.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      “It’s almost like these people have had no interaction whatsoever with their critics…”

      Once upon a time, I stumbled onto a cops-only message board. The thing is, it was really easy to fake an account and jump on. It was scary to read some of the stuff there. And they quickly sniffed out non-cops who offered criticism, even thoughtful, measured stuff. Possibly even real cops. It wouldn’t shock me if many actually DO have no interaction with their critics… at least not while they are offering criticism.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      I’ve notice this to. You’d think that in the wake of recent news events that police departments would have a less tone deaf approach even if they were only doing it for cynical and self-serving reasons like preventing the Feds, courts, and legislatures from getting involved. My guess is that they are so garrisoned that it doesn’t occur to them that another response is needed or that enough of the public still supports them.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco says:

      “Maybe I’m missing it, but the dearth of well-reasoned pro-police arguments *from police officers* freaks me out, because it suggests a completely insular community defensive of even the most obvious cases of abuse.”

      Quite a large number of law enforcement officers are good people, and a great portion of the rest haven’t been completely spoiled by the bad apples. Some posters here have relatives there, and I’m confident that their relatives are in the first group.

      That said, anyone who thinks the law enforcement community as a whole isn’t “completely insular [and] defensive of even the most obvious cases of abuse” hasn’t dealt with it behind the scenes for any length of time.

      In fact, very like the military, even a lot of the civilians they meet in a professional capacity are retired or other types of former members of the community. It’s terribly inbred.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        One of the few advantages of conscription is that it prevents the military from becoming a hereditary profession. A big problem with the police is that it is close to a hereditary profession as possible. There are many people who go into the armed forces or police because that is what their family does. This is true for a lot of other professions, lawyers have children who become lawyers but the negative distortions seem less.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Related: Seattle Police Union Delete Social Media Accounts

        I think there is a core group in every department, usually entrenched in the union, that are hopelessly insular, and they aggressively enforce their narrative. I’ve seen this behavior in other older, powerful unions, but FOPs seem to have it in spades. Anyway, excising that core is what takes a long time, usually because they are well protected by the union itself (the contracts & agreements the department has with the union).

        Seattle PD is under a federal order to reform, and the guy who is supposed to be shepherding that reform has publicly complained that he can’t, because union rules require that he staff his team with SPD officers, who rotate through his team.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Most of the good cops know not to speak out. The FOP is a jackassed union, and their union reps write editorials.

      Our citypaper (free weekly) ran something about one of the good cops — noticed a protest going down on a locally busy street (after the Zimmerman Affair), blocked off the street — knelt in the street with the protestors (who she recognized), and overall turned it into a wake. People were there, it was a community thing.Report