So, after a period of being relatively reticent with interviews except for like call-ins to his friends at the state media (which they would inevitably try to end before he was done talking, as they realized he was saying something damaging), Trump has been doing the media rounds
Here today I'm going to be talking about a couple of recent ones, a televised interview with Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes and one with the Associated Press that went up yesterday.
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...dear gosh, the fact that they're making an Alfred Begins series is going to collide with the Rule of Superhero Prequel Shows (that they have to somehow parallel the entire comics canon) in the worst, most awkward ways.
If it doesn't have other recognizable Batman characters in it then the thing that's supposed to make it interesting isn't there. So they'll put Batman characters in it. When Alfred is twenty, and Bruce Wayne isn't born.
Don't get me wrong, if they wanted to do a deep dive into the DC universe's rich history and have him teaming up with JSA vigilantes or the Blackhawks or whatever, I would be extremely down for that.
If you want dessert you should just order it. It doesn't matter what everyone else at the table is doing. Don't pressure other people into having it so you'll feel better. Don't grouse about how no one else is joining you. Don't talk about how bad you're being. Want it? Get it.
Nuance: Stopping to check with the rest of the table about whether they want to (or have time to) stick around to eat dessert is different and can be either courteous or even necessary depending on circumstances.
But this whole "Oh my gosh I need an accomplice to BE BAD WITH ME" or "Is anyone else getting dessert? No. Guess I won't. I'll just be sad over here. Wanting dessert. But no one else does." routine... just please don't.
As long as we're talking about the etymology vs. modern fantasy usage of titles, I have a perverse love how "warlock" (oath-breaker) is used in D&D for the classic "sold your soul"/"infernal pact" type mage.
Implication that everyone knows going in you're going to weasel out.
This is not a complaint, because 1) I generally love it and 2) "warlock" genuinely has more unsettling/unsavory/negative/spooky connotations than "sorcerer" or "wizard" or "mage".
I'm also a big fan of the idea that within most world settings the average person doesn't distinguish between or know the differences among wizardry, sorcery, and... warlockitude, so they're all "mages". Which also works as a soft retcon across editions.
So this meme the cultural alt-right is propagating of calling people who differ from their groupthink "NPCs" in order to dehumanize us and imply that we don't *really* disagree with them (because who possibly could?) but are just mindlessly following a script...
It's ironic on a couple of levels. On the most obvious one, they're trying to imply that other people don't have an inner life with real thoughts *in order to reinforce their echo chamber where they all think and say the same things*. It's nervous projection.
But the other level of irony is like... I mean, do they even *like* video games? The types of NPCs (non-player characters) they're talking about are the people sprinkled into a video game world to make it seem real, living, vibrant, lived in.
We've basically reached the point where women are responsible for preventing rape by men but also enjoined from doing anything to prevent it because how do you know he's really a rapist if he hasn't been convicted yet?
Don't get in an elevator alone with a man or you're responsible for what happens next. But if you won't get in an elevator with a man, you're calling him a rapist, and whatever happened to due process?
Never leave your drink unattended... but what, are you saying every guy in the bar is a rapist? So much for innocent until proven guilty.
This paragraph-long jerk-off motion from @conor64 is absolutely the most To Blave thing I have read in a long-time.
Conor, you want to know what differentiates white male rage from other forms of rage? Entitlement. It comes from an aggrieved sense of entitlement. It is entertained for longer and in contexts that it would not be entertained at all, out of fear of further upsetting that sense.
Suddenly remembering that Conor Friedersdorf is the writer who insisted that Kevin Williamson's obvious animus towards women who have abortions out of fear displaced into anger that his mother *might* have had one was just, like, him being rational.
Where is the defamation case against the men who say "Don't work with her, she's difficult, she's crazy, she's a feminazi with an axe to grind" about the women they propositioned or pressured who turned them down?
Men's whisper networks are about which women are compliant and tractable vs. "difficult" and "crazy". If media men made a list of women to avoid it would be about who doesn't put up with them and who doesn't put out for them.
Sooner or later every woman who stands up for herself is somebody's "crazy ex", "bitchy boss", "difficult co-worker", etc. Probably a lot of the men on the media list have spread these very labels about the women who put them on it.
Two very worrying things here: whoever replaces Mattis is likely to be much, much worse -- more bloodthirsty, more cravenly loyal to Trump -- and Trump leaning into the idea that you're either with him or a Democrat.
If you're not sure why Trump calling anyone who slightly disagrees with him a Democrat is super worrying, put that information into context alongside his labeling Democrats as an ungovernable mob of dangerous, violent fanatics.
If you remember early on, Trump was super proud of "his generals". He gathered military brass like he thought the stars were transferable, and it was this luster that let Mattis have the leeway to walk back his directives (and Kelly re-order the White House).
Worth noting that George Romero thought of Night of the Living Dead as a "ghoul movie". Zombie horror was already a thing at the time and he wasn't trying to change the label's meaning, though I think at a certain point he shrugged and realized the change had happened anyway.
But the trope of "not saying the zed word" originally existed because the walking dead weren't supposed to be "zombies", per se.
You can see this progression kind of frozen in amber in fantasy roleplaying games based in D&D, which came about in the 1970s, where "zombies" are still mostly mindless automatons created by evil magic and bound to a specific person's will, and "ghouls" are free roaming predators
If you're reading books for "points" or to "get page count", you're not actually reading but playing a game. You're not a reader. You can't call yourself a fan of the series. You don't really like reading. You might as well count on your fingers to infinity and say "HIGH SCORE!"
So many people say almost exactly this when I point out that witchcraft and wizardry are the same thing in Harry Potter done by different gendered people. It is 100% not supported by the text. "Witch" is always gendered. "Wizard" is used as male/default.
The word "witch" is used interchangeably with "woman" in the Wizarding World even in contexts that have nothing to do with magic, to the point that calling potions "witchcraft" would be misgendering Snape. The text is super consistent and insistent about how these terms are used.
No, we can't guarantee everyone gets to vote who should and we can't guarantee every vote will be counted.
But I can promise you: the vote you don't cast *definitely* goes right in the garbage.
And every election we *don't* win, they have more time and more power.
Does it seem like a garbage deal? That you HAVE to vote and it might not count and it might not be enough? It only gets worse from here. Every single time we lose, the next election gets worse.
We're on a ship and it's taking on water and maybe our little bucket brigade isn't enough but *we're still on the ship* if you put your bucket down and it's not going to get easier if you wait to see if it's worth trying.
This is the same reason credit card processors do everything they legally can to *discourage* ID checks, from how they word their merchant agreements to convincing everyone that the cards themselves are as secure as possible.
ID is a barrier to use.
"But you can't even open a bank account without an ID!"
And you can't register to vote without establishing your identity somehow. Doesn't mean you should need to prove it when you vote.
Counterpoint: Electronic books never become "overstock", either. At a certain point you've got to get the hard copies off the shelf or out of storage, at which point you sell them at clearance, maybe firesale prices. Should that affect ebook prices?
I think at the end of the day, ebook prices and print prices just aren't as simple to correlate as cost of production vs. price. Putting out a print edition is a bigger gamble, which may necessitate cutting losses. Books with a physical presence may become loss leaders. Et cetera
So, about a week after Individual-1 made "mob violence" the official 2018 campaign slogan for the GOP, the Proud Boys -- a right-wing gang that is more feeling oriented than pure ideological -- goes on a violent rampage, and state media in the form of Fox News labels it far-left.
Gavin McInnes, founder of the Proud Boys, was filmed brandishing a sword he'd brought to his speech at the Republican Club so he could play-act killing a socialist on the stage, and Fox News reported him (one of their recurrent guests/contributors!) as a member of antifa.
1. They went to a speech at the Republican Club to see their leader re-enact the killing of a socialist on stage. That seems pretty far to the right to me. How about you?
2. 30 of them beat up 3 people, then they flashed signs. That sounds like a gang.
So, it's been a long, weird, hard week for me. We knew going in that there was a good chance that Kavanaugh would be confirmed and we knew the fight wouldn't be over if he was... but shifting gears like that is never free, even if you know it's coming.
Christine Blasey Ford talked about her fear of coming forward and being annihilated and having it not make a difference.... I prefer to think that she did make a difference, that it still *will* make a difference, but it's hard to take comfort in a long view.
We've got about three and a half weeks until the election. Our momentum is good and every day there are fresh signals that the GOP is afraid of what's coming for them.
The Kavanaugh case gave us Mark Judge, describing the exact same gang rapes to his ex that Swetnick was ridiculed for having accused him of, only he didn't think they were gang rapes. Even if he was a bit haunted by them, he coped by saying it was consensual.
They called the girls they preyed on "easy" and "sluts" and "hosebags" and maybe some of them felt bad about it, some of the time, but as soon as anyone points out it's rape, out comes the defensiveness. Because it couldn't be, because they wouldn't.
Trump had his ethics on display during the campaign and the debates where he said that if he broke or exploited the law it was the government's job to stop him and if he got away with it, that made him smart.
Trump is being his most honest, his most authentic self here: "Who is this man to me? What does his death have to do with me? Why would I ever turn down a sale for him?"
You remember him asking why he should denounce anyone who says nice things about him, in reference to neo-Nazis and David Duke? He sees very profitable relationships with the Saudis, and he hates journalists. So he honestly doesn't understand why he'd stick his neck out here.
There's something very real and powerful that Kanye is referencing when he talks about the MAGA hat making him feel like Superman.
The reason Trump's followers are so willing to believe in his greatness without any proof is it makes them feel great without any effort.
Trump tells them every day that he -- along with his followers -- is beset by powerful forces that would destroy him, but then he tells them: he overcame. He won. The sun has treated us very unfairly but he armwrestled it and now there's no more skin cancer for our Great Surfers.
Getting Trump's rank and file followers to abandon him or even recognize that he's flawed means getting them to consider that maybe they're not part of a story of endless victories against great odds through exceptionalism.
Half the time they talk about how it's not right to go after sitting officials, it's a distraction, it's political.
The other half of the time, the story is: "Well, nothing was done about this before so it seems suspicious that it's suddenly a problem now."
Trump declared Kavanaugh's confirmation a vindication against all outstanding allegations, just as he and his proxies hold up his election as an answer to accusations made against him. The implicit standard is "If you got away with it, it must not have been a crime."
Imagine if big companies used machine learning to figure out where their biases lurked so they could counter them.
"We're not racist or sexist. We take our commitment to equal opportunities and a safe, welcoming workplace very seriously."
*feeds data into computer*
The proximate inspiration for that tweet is what happened with Amazon, but I'm not talking about Amazon. I'm talking about any company, every company. I'm talking about better uses for machine learning than off-loading the same decisions you'd make anyway
If that seems like a finicky hair to split, it's because I've wasted too much time on Twitter dot com explaining to people who wanted to argue against a point I hadn't made that I'm *not* subtweeting a specific example when I talk about a general case.