Soon Will Come a Day When It’s Not Just All Links Around Here

But that day is not today.

1. Nashville, that Wayne White documentary is on PBS tonight.

2. This post about Poe makes me happy and sad.

3. I was all prepared to listen to this song and have some thoughts about whether a band can pair Texas and Tennessee in a song and not be referencing Jimmie Rodgers, but I have to tell you, I could not make out a single word in that song. I’m just going to have to take their word for it that somehow Texas and Tennessee are involved and give up the dream of tying it to the rest of music.

4. I love a map of our history that goes through Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall.

5. In a bit of happiness, I was trying to get close enough to how Frantz Fanon spelled his name to text the Professor and ask her how to spell it for my next Think Progress post so that she’d know who I was talking about when I landed on the right spelling.

I Admit, I Laughed

Poor Ken Marrero had the job of arguing ““We’re not crazy, wild-eyed people. We’re your next-door neighbor … we’re not the problem” at an event where Joe Carr and Bill Ketron insisted that the government is going to strip people of their second-amendment rights.

Dude, if you think that the only thing standing between us and tyranny is your gun? You probably are a little wild-eyed. Which doesn’t mean that the government should come take your guns or anything. Just that in you vs. the United State military, you don’t win. And, if your calculation is based on the belief that the military would never agree to attack U.S. citizens? Or that enough of them would refuse as to make the sides fair and even? Well, then, bless your heart.

You have been quite lucky in life, if that’s your experience of government–full of people enough like you that you count on at least some of them to come to your aid.

One Other Thought

I didn’t want to say this earlier, because that dude just died, but the most laughable part is the idea that anyone would give a shit if everything in JSTOR were widely and freely available. You know the number of people who would take advantage of that? In the whole world? I’m guessing–but it’s a pretty educated guess–at most, several hundred. Which, when compared to the population of the planet is “no one.”

No one wants to read scholarly writing. Sometimes we get together–the whole industry–and people are so worried about pirating. It’s hilarious. Who wants to pirate a university press book? We should be so lucky.

So, they hounded the one dude who actually thought our product had any value–who thought it needed to be as widely available to as many people as possible for the benefit of the whole world, who actually believed that what we’re doing matters–to death.

If we wanted to break his spirit, we should have just taken him to a typical university press opened their sales figures to him. Shown him how even libraries don’t want our stuff.

Freeing academic work is like freeing domestic chickens. Most of the flock doesn’t go very far anyway.

(Not) Walking the Dog

It’s been so rainy here that, even though there hasn’t been rain falling the past two days, the yard is still too mushy to walk through it to walk the dog. This makes me grouchy. So very grouchy.

Otherwise, not much going on here. Which is kind of strange, but nice.

Tomorrow, I’m going to take the dog to the Whites Creek Greenway. The nice thing about a greenway is that it’s paved. So, wet or not, we can walk. I think we both need it.

Catch my post on our favorite pirate later today at Think Progress.

Here’s a song for you to dance around your day to:

I would like to have an agreement with my trolls something like this: If the most your family has spent to spent to bail your well-armed relative out of jail tops the most my family has spent to bail my well-armed relative out of jail, you can drag my mom into this petty internet bullshit. And, if not, you can’t.

Alas, you can’t make deals with trolls.

Random Things that Amuse and Irritate Me

1. Today is Lovecraft. One of the commenters hates me. Well, shoot, now it feels like home.

2. Joe Carr, professional dumbass.

3. Dear Paul. My name is Betsy Phillips. I assume you either know that or gathered it from reading the post of mine that so gravely upset you. Sorry about that. I happen to like Christmas sweaters, even though I won’t fuck you if you’re wearing one. It’s just a personal rule. I’m also not going to fuck the new convention center, even though I find it kind of charming, if hideous. I assume you feel differently or my opinion wouldn’t bother you so much. Eh, to each their own.

4. Today we can watch Mike Byrd play “I’m not the only one who thinks you’re terrible. Everyone is talking about how much you suck.” like this is junior high. Burns, doesn’t it, Mike? Knowing I suck and that you still can’t stop paying attention to me? Knowing how much I suck and knowing that the new readers you’re going to get today will come from me?


The Constitution is Not the Bible

Honestly, I’m starting to believe that the worst thing for our country has been this trend to interpret the Constitution in a similar manner to the Bible–as if it is some mysterious bunch of words dictated from holy men who had insights into the nature of the world the rest of us lack, which then means that the only way we can discover what words in the Constitution mean is to take each one individually and hem and haw over it.

I once knew a girl who claimed to believe that the Bible was the inerrant word of God and who also believed that “wine” in the New Testament was not fermented grape juice, but a non-alcoholic fruit juice mix. See, the Bible is inerrant, but you have to, apparently, know the right way to read it in order to make it so. It’s inerrant, but words don’t mean what they normally mean. It’s inerrant but only if you realize you can’t take it at face value. You start to see the troubles with this approach to Biblical understanding. You can’t trust what you plainly read on the page. That’s not exactly true, until you know the secret code or something.

And I see that more and more in what passes for Constitutional understanding among our politicians. Rather than a messy flawed document the founders intended for us to change as we needed (though not easily), we’re growing more and more prone to treat it like a holy text, like its meaning is derived from figuring out not what it says or what precedents we’ve established based on what it says, but on a kind of religious close reading that is just bizarre to outsiders.

I mean, say what you will about our national discussion about guns at the moment, the idea that a state can make it a crime at the state level for a federal agent to do his legal (at the federal level) job is ridiculous. It’s exactly opposite of what the Constitution says. The only way you could believe that it’s Constitutional is because you’ve parsed the fuck so far out of the 10th Amendment that you’ve come up with some mystical meaning, not one based on what the actual words of the Constitution say.

I honestly think we’re back in one of what Ginsberg called America’s “silly mood.” The thing that sucks is that when America is in a silly mood, people end up dead.

save the date

I have only the vaguest idea of who these people are, but this card is so cute I am now rooting for them! Have a great life together, kids! But don’t trust the squirrel.

For the Record

Mike Byrd says:

Last October local SouthComm blogger Betsy Phillips introduced new SouthComm reporter Andrea Zelinski in an interesting way. Yes, full disclosure counsels that Phillips’ wrote some “homer” PR fluff on behalf of the news corp she blogs for. So, take the cheers with a grain of salt and then verify for yourselves. And yes, it is remarkable that Phillips dropped a double-edged sword of praise for Zelinski qua woman (saying males “don’t really know a lot about the reality of women’s lives” even as she also argued that women’s issues are not different than issues, like jobs, that concern males). Yes, it can be argued that Phillips takes away with one hand what she gave with the other.

Let’s just be clear. I don’t know what Byrd thinks I should have more fully disclosed. I wrote that piece because I wanted to and it’s what I believe. No one asked me to write it. Even when people at SouthComm send ideas my way, they never tell me what opinion to have about those things or how “fluffy” to make those things. But that doesn’t really matter, because I wrote that post on my own.

I’m also not sure how one should “take the cheers with a grain of salt and then verify for yourselves.” Verify what? That I wrote the piece? I did. That I meant what I said when I wrote it. Well, world, if my word then wasn’t good enough, I’m not sure how my word now is supposed to be, but here you go: I meant what I said when I wrote it.

But I would like to thank Byrd for illustrating my point so clearly. In the real world, a woman can be excited about another woman getting a more prominent job writing about politics because she is genuinely excited about seeing more women’s voices in prominent positions when talking about politics. That’s my agenda–support for more women’s voices talking about issues that affect us and support for men who don’t treat women as some strange species that plays by different rules and who don’t write dismissively about us.

In Byrd’s world, if a woman writes positively about another woman, it’s evidence of some secret agenda dictated to her by her SouthComm superiors. In the reality of women’s lives, we don’t all automatically hate each other unless some man tells us to fake it for the general public.

Hell, if all Zelinski did was write about Rhee without using the term “tough cookie” to apply to a grown-up woman making (or attempting to make) national decisions about our educational system, it would be an important change in tone from how adult women making national public policy get talked about here on the internet.

If that makes me a co-conspirator in some grand scheme to… I don’t know what… then consider me a co-conspirator.

The Expendables

A while back the Butcher and the Red-Headed Kid tried to make me sit through The Expendables 2, which was so terrible that even they eventually got bored and went back to shooting things in video games. But they insisted that the first one was awesome.

The Butcher and I watched it this weekend and it was pretty awesome in just the ways you’d hope cheesy action movies would be. I wish Jason Statham could be in every movie, even if he just made brief ass-kicking appearances. Like you’d be watching some period drama with women all trussed up and men wearing top hats and people would be drinking tea and, out the large windows, you’d see time-period-appropriately-dressed Jason Statham kicking the shit out of some guy. Who knows why?

Anyway, I was delighted to see Dolph Lundgren in it as well, even though his character never made any sense to me. One minute he was good, then evil, then good again? Apparently he’s magic, so as long as you shoot him in the chest, but not in any vital organs (apparently they’re much more sparse in the chest than I’d realized), dude can be up and around in a matter of days. It seemed like days anyway. Why didn’t True Blood cast him as Eric’s dad? Is there some way we can make that happen? The show already makes no sense. Let’s just recon that his dad didn’t die or wasn’t that dude we already saw and, instead, it was Dolph who is also a vampire.

If there is going to be a moment when a lot of Swedish guys glower at me this week, I hope Lundgren is in on it.

Come on, Sweden! I am pulling for you to make this happen.

Dog Butt!!!

My favorite thing about the photo I used for this post is all the animals.


There’s a horse at the river, a team of donkeys higher up on the bank, and a dog butt there in the lower left corner.

Flood Stage

Yesterday, there was a warning about flooding in Whites Creek Pike in the Bordeaux area, along Hamilton Road, where that dude who had been fighting to get the city or the state to do something about flooding was killed during the 2010 flood.

Here’s the part that stood out to me. The warning said that water would be in people’s back yards at 13.0 feet and that the river was now at 13.8 feet. Okay fine. Then it said that the creek is not considered to be in flood stage until 18 feet.

There are only two possibilities I see here–either that was some kind of massive typo or people on the creek side of Hamilton Road have a LOT of yard that’s actually creek bed. There would appear to be a five foot discrepancy between where the people along Whites Creek believe the creekbed is and where the National Weather Service believes the creekbed is. Otherwise, how can you have the creek in people’s back yards five feet before it’s flooding?

The thing about Whites Creek is that it has a pretty wide flood plain. Like, if you’re crossing White’s Creek on Clarksville Pike, if you look toward the florist, you can see that the florist simply must be in the flood plain. And Hamilton Road is just a foot or two above the florist. I think, if you were being honest, you’d say that the creek should get the whole 300 yards or so from the hills on the far side of the creek to Hamilton Road on the nearside. That should all be “Whites Creek” even if the creek itself is now just a couple hundred feet across, hugging close to the high ground to the south.

So, if it is anywhere in that 300 yard across area, I don’t think you can rightly say that it’s flooding. It is still in the area that is obviously the creek’s. People should have NEVER been sold property there. Because, also, obviously, if the creek is normally in its banks and you’ve gotten used to thinking of its flood plain as “your yard,” you are going to be alarmed to discover that the creek is in your yard.

But even after 2010, even after we saw people whose houses had flooded, whose belongings were all out in their yards, a lot of those houses are still lived in.

That bugs me, but I don’t know what can be done about it.

Karin Tidbeck’s JAGANNATH

I have died of jealousy. I don’t know what else to say about this book. I finished it, said, “Holy fuck,” and then was immediately pissed that the person who gets all the books I want right before me at the library remains unknown to me so that I have no one to talk about it with.

Between this and discovering “Wolf” by First Aid Kit, it’s been a weirdly fine week for Swedish things. Did you know there are three acting Skarsgard brothers? I’m holding out hope that, by Tuesday, they will all, for some reason, be grinning wickedly at me.

Anyway, this book is fantastic. All the hype is true. It is beautiful and strange and horrible and sad and lovely through and through.

But I’m going to tell you that I don’t even think that the person who had it before me from the library read it, because, when I got it, it was slim and rectangular on all sides. But where I’ve been into it? You can tell, down at the bottom where the pages right by the spine billow out.

Your loss, mystery person. Your loss.

My Mom’s Understated Wit

So, my mom read this letter I put up on Facebook from one of her however many great uncles to another one of her however many great uncles about the death of her however many great aunt, who was killed by Indians out in Oregon.

And she just texted me to say, “No wonder this Rich family (meaning her immediate family) never yearned for the West Coast.”

According to Wikipedia, Jacksonville was a site of one of the earliest gold claims, so I guess some Riches went out there to seek their fortunes. Anyway, if I had to guess, I’d say it was the Takelma who killed our aunt and cousin in their last ditch effort to not be exterminated themselves.

So, what can you say? It’s terribly sad.  On a lot of levels.

Nice Day

Played video games with the Butcher. Washed the dog. Got more info on next week. Got talked off a ledge about Project X. Entered all my Project X revisions. Now going to eat cookies for dinner and regret it later.

Van Gogh

Bridgett hooked me up with this picture of Vincent Van Gogh, where a Lithuanian dude took one of Van Gogh’s self-portraits and made it into a realistic looking photograph.

From it we can discern three things–Van Gogh had beautiful hair he needed to wash; he really liked blue; I wish I had a blue vest and jacket to wear.

A Question for ELEMENTARY fans

It’s obvious that Sherlock’s dad, doesn’t exist, right? Sherlock himself hired Watson?

I keep looking on Television Without Pity to see if everyone else also thinks this. But no one does! And yet, it seems obvious. Almost intentionally obvious.

Am I wrong? I mean, just for starters, she NEVER receives communications from Sherlock’s father when Sherlock is around.