68.01/ Week sixty-eight, Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 67 below
68.02/ This is right in my wheelhouse: scholarship laden pop-culture analysis. This is of #Dune

68.03/ #Dune is an incredibly flawed book that's nonetheless fascinating. Also, as a kid I thought the (pseudo) Arabic was Hebrew. e.g. "Kwisatz Haderach" which I eventually recognized from Midrash (from last week's parsha! God "shortened Eliezer's way"):
sefaria.org/Rashi_on_Genes…
68.04/ I don't really begrudge ex-Mets who find success on other teams but I won't deny feeling a bit of smug satisfaction hearing that Travis D'Arnaud, catcher for the Braves, still has not figured out how to throw anybody out at second. #WorldSeries
68.05/ It's a dark day when bigots win by running openly as bigots. McAuliffe worried me from the start; candidate quality truly matters - despite Big Brain Folk thinking it's just "message" - especially in tight races. The good guys better wake up for '22
68.06/ GOP won in VA today because white supremacy is very popular; white fear is potent. Blaming a loss on Democrats embracing policies that help the disempowered is helping the GOP win even more. We'll never out bigot them, and why should we?
68.07/ This is a really good piece @sbearbergman and part of my favorite genre of well-crafted how-to guide to social interaction (I started off as an anthropologist for a reason). This is basically insider/emic ethnography.
vice.com/en/article/n7b…
68.08/ In the #WorldSeries the racist-chant team beat the trash-can cheaters. I wanted a 4-0 sweep so the whole thing would be over quickly and while I didn't want either to win, I can at least take pleasure at one of them losing. On to hockey & basketball.
68.09/ One of the worst parts of election night is how I need to rely on political media and it's corrosive. The MSM is geared to division, fear, exaggeration & a gleeful thrill to make a horse-race. They uphold the status-quo and erase the bigotry & fascism of the GOP to do so.
68.10/ An important lesson I learned as a leader is that constituents can associate you with the painful times they endured even if you did your best. They're angry and they want to blame you for what *was* not for what you prevented. It's PTSD and you become their trigger.
68.11/ The overt GOP sabotage of the COVID recovery and their purposeful infliction of pain - the sole plank of their platform - thrives on how structural forces are invisible. #Literalists will associate bad times with the Dems because the MSM loves playing along.
68.12/ After a sleepless night, this is good to read. Wasserman has seen enough in #NJGov to declare Murphy the winner.

Another red mirage pushed by the nihilistic political press who won't wait for VBM to be counted to issue hot takes.
68.13/ I think a certain amount of nostalgia I have for my chiildhood are the moments when things were new & my memory treasures the mote of time when I had the fresh joy of discovery. Those moments are more frequent in youth. "The pleasure of finding things out" as Feynman said.
68.14/ This looks like a great interview. And [Spoiler Alert]

yes, Tony was killed when the screen went to black. #Sopranos
68.15/ Breakfast is my favorite meal and some of my fondest food memories are Israeli cuisine and the fondest of the fond are the hotel breakfasts. (As opposed to yeshiva food, which was better than dinner IYKYK)
68.16/ We're all angry at Manchin & wonder why would he destroy his party & the Republic through stubborn, persistent, contradictory illogic. My wise father gave me the key: all Senators crave the spotlight. Manchin loves how right now he's the most important person in the world.
68.17/ "It's just a joke! Lighten up!" is jackhole for "stop trying to insist you're equal to me!" or "stop insisting you're a real person!"

68.18/ Theory: major orgs are more alarmed abt Leftist antisemitism b/c those in power are usu. conservative so (1) they're in the RW nonsense bubble & (2) they think any liberal cultural shift comes from unjust political power (itself an ironic AS trope)
68.19/ I've finally been able to buy my kids #Peanuts books so they can see its true genius & depth. See this from Oct 5 1975 (alt-text from gocomics)
gocomics.com/peanuts/1975/1…

I mean... the multiple subversive messages plus the "spoons" dilatory tactic... [chef's kiss]. Line 1 Panel 1: During clas...
68.20/ A very significant theological point in our parsha is "ya know, sometimes people are just born that way."

Bonus: Yaakov and Esav being twins yet turning out diametrically opposite is also at root to the Azazel ceremony and Yom Kippur's judgement. #ReshetKeshet
68.21/ This fact kinda gives me chills. (Also, 33%? C'mon guys.)
68.22/ There have been worse Senators in our history but is Cruz the worst, as a public official and human being, in the recent era?

Remember this if you see frum conservatives try to support him in any way.
68.23/ I've decided to change my term. What I called "red lies" I want to rename as "green lies" = lies in the pursuit of justice. White lies = lies in the pursuit of compassion. I may now assign "red" for the ones intended to damage/steal.
68.24/ Thread about politics & mass delusion (h.t. @JewishWonk) but as a social/behavioral scientist I need to emphasize: (almost) NOBODY relies on a world of fact. Ironically, this assumption is itself a delusion and it's folly to base policy on it.
68.25/ #Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is a national treasure and we've been lucky to have him as a coach. And part of that is his way of teaching through press conferences. Which is why this T-shirt is awesome:

See video for context:
68.26/ Coming to terms with the fact that singing "Lecha Dodi" tomorrow night to Ma'oz Tzur may have the same impetus as having every single TV commercial blast jingle bells once Halloween is over.

I still don't accept the idea people give cars festooned with bows as Xmas gifts.
68.27a/ Funny thread here & it shows how "shidduch" is a great model in understanding any system of matching based on human complexity. Back in the day, I parodied bad shadchanus by comparing how absurd it would be if applied to job hunting.
68.27b/ Shadchan: "This is a great job for you"
Me: "But that's in accounting, I'm an engineer"
S: "What's wrong with accounting? My sister is an accountant & she loves it"
Me: "But I love being an engineer. I'm good at it."
S: "You're just being picky. Try it, what's the harm?"
68.28/ Yes. Yes I am ready for doggie pandas.
68.29/ This is such an excellent line: "I’m wondering whether it’s more fruitful to think of CRT as something imaginary or as a euphemism for something unspeakable."
68.30/ Very thought provoking thread and this point is also how I've been explaining VA. It's how Nixon won, Reagan won, and the proverbial "why we got Trump (ym'sh)": white backlash. The Lost Cause mentality.
68.31/ #NachasAlert: Found out tonight that my son has been giving an unofficial and impromptu chazara shiur during mishmor as well as over Shabbas to his friends. Now, I'm not sure if he'll end up a Rosh Yeshiva, but these are the types of stories that fit the profile, ya know?
68.32/ Two years ago, before the world caved in, my wife and I had a working holiday trip to #Vienna and every day it feels more & more dreamlike in its unreality. Great food too. Here is one delicacy I've wanted to have ever since I'd heard of it in Monty Python's "Cheese Shop" A package of orange-yellow,...
68.32b/ My old friend @jsende discovered I could buy this cheese in Monsey.

And they even have Double Gloucester, which is also in the script. Art imitates life!
montypython.50webs.com/scripts/Series…
Now I need to find Watney's Red Barrel:
montypython.50webs.com/scripts/Series…
68.32c/ And, yes, as a humorist and anthropologist I spend time in my world travels touring Monty Python references, mundane to locals but exotic to me. E.g. in London I made sure to find a tobacconist:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_Hun…
and W.H. Smith:
68.33/ Good video by youtube.com/c/FDSignifire/; thanks @lisaquestions. F.D. explores the power asymmetries in performance - being an entertainer (subject) or the entertainment (object) - and how Chappelle betrayed his past audience & his past persona.
68.34/ The Jets put up a good fight at the end of the #NFL game. They showed moxie. Vim, verve, grit. Ya know.

And we got two gifts: (1) A Scorigami (they're usually not this common)

and (2) a fat guy touchdown!
theonion.com/study-links-ad…
68.35/ One of my medical-SOC hypothesis is that part of the terror that unlies anit-vax nonsense is fear of needles. So pills - less-invasive, less visible - will increase compliance. A 'patch' may be even better, and it avoids the stomach.
nytimes.com/2021/11/05/hea…
68.36/ As of Nov. 2021, I feel safe in saying that I don't have to take seriously anyone unironically using the term "wokeness" especially to position themselves against whatever they think it is. Such a red flag for stolid, lazy thinking.
68.37/ Q: How are the November American holidays similar to Jewish holidays?

A: (1) They reflect deep halakhic values - gratitude & citizenship/mutual responsibility

(2) They can be early or late. e.g. Nov 2, 2021 vs. Nov 8, 2016. Six days is a big difference in a campaign.
68.38/ First of all, this is totally right: "Why is it that everyone who claims to be a freethinker sounds exactly the same as thousands of other rubes?"

Second, it's because they're frightened fragile people who seek the shelter of simplistic slogans.
68.39/ Even before Rogers got caught trying to kill others (aka being anti-vax) I knew he was trouble when I saw him hawking crypto. It's all part of the same culture of brittle toxic-bros with their conspiracy theories and Mad-Max Social Darwinism.
68.40/ First time I saw this and I immediately unfollowed the guy. No tolerance for abusers.

(Note: it actually fits in with his self-aggrandizing twitter style; how he centers himself constantly. Red flag.)
68.42/ Last "late" Shabbos for a few months. I do like the extremes, long Shabbos afternoons or long Sat. nights have their pluses.

Stay safe everyone! #ShabbatShalom

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More from @JoshuaCypess

Jan 16,
79.01/ Week seventy-nine, January 15-21, 2022, thread here.

Week 78 below.
79.02/ Every erev-Shabbas I say 'stay safe' and while that's generally about the pandemic, for my fellow Jews it's also about the onslaught of antisemitism that assaults us since the dominance of unchecked hate on social media which led to the rise of Trump (ym'sh) and others.
Read 4 tweets
Jan 12,
1/ Reflections on the final #NFL week, esp. related to my team, the #Steelers. We needed a narrow set of circumstances to make it into the playoffs: (1) beat our hated rival (BAL) on the road (2) the worst team must beat a playoff bound one (JAX vs IND) & (3) one more tiny thing
2/ The tiny thing was for the Raiders & Chargers not to tie. Ties are very rare; only one this season (#Steelers, of course, because ugh). This should have been so unlikely not to even be a worry. But I'm a sports fan, ruined by years of #Mets watching; I knew not to relax. From the Order of the Stick, https://www.giantitp.com/comics
3/ Of the three events, the tie was the least likely, then the Colts losing to the hapless Jaguars, and the "easiest" (very hard) step would be for the Steelers to beat the Ravens. We were terrible on the road, the Ravens were better than us, so it wasn't great odds.
Read 20 tweets
Jan 9,
78.01/ Week seventy-eight, January 8-14, 2022, thread here.

Week 77 below.
78.02/ #MotzeiShabbatMovieNight, John Woo's "Paycheck"
Why? (1) Underrated sci-fi action mystery, (2) we saw Mission:Impossible 2 wks ago and it's sequel is by Jon Woo... but it's terrible while this movie is great and almost the same genre
en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paycheck_…
Read 24 tweets
Jan 2,
1/ Why brilliant comedians can (will often) become out-of-touch cranks:

In their time they were considered acute observers but it was self-centered. Their acuity was only of their own condition and fortunately that reflected and thus resonated with their audience's experiences.
2/ For a new generation, they're still observing only themselves: their now out-of-touch, rich & famous & sheltered, selves. Back when young they lacked the ability to see the Other, but it wasn't noticeable because they were still of their generation.
3/ This lack of ability to see the Other is a lack of empathy, and now their inherent self-centeredness is glaring and offensive. The audience moved on but their skills didn't.
Read 7 tweets
Jan 2,
77.01/ Week seventy-seven, Jan. 1-7, 2022, thread here.

Week 76 below.
77.02/ #HappyNewYear everyone. We're having a socially distanced party, just the nuclear family, at home. Happy to survive a year of the pandemic.
77.03/ #MotzeiShabbatMovieNight continues. Saved my favorite movie for a party night:

Jake and Elwood... The Blues Brothers.
en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blues…
Read 31 tweets
Dec 26, 2021
76.01/ Week seventy-six, Dec. 25-31, 2021, thread here.

Week 75 below
76.02/ #MotzeiShabbatMovieNight continues. This week: "Mission: Impossible"
en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission:_…
76.03/ Bait and switch alert: Optimum in NJ said we'd be getting #BUFvNE instead of the - let's be honest, but fair - putrid matchup of Jaguars-Jets. Nope. We're stuck with the worst game of the year. Do even Jets fans want to watch this?
Read 32 tweets

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