Currently viewing the category: "Evening links"
  • Obama pardoned 46 drug offenders, and will continue to do the right thing — albeit excruciatingly slowly — on this American human rights disaster.
  • Conor Friedersdorf raises some fair concerns, but he had to be wrong about something. That something is legal polygamy. 
  • One time I tweet-asked Jon Ronson if I should stop trolling Bill Kristol and he responded “haha.” So I feel like I have his permission to keep being an asshole there. Generally speaking, Ronson continues to advocate for nuance and humanity in our dealings with other humans and is therefore awesome. And he had a really good conversation with Joe Rogan recently, in which they discuss THEM and So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. Watch it! It’s really long, though, and I am not done yet. In general, though, it’s really depressing that so many people responding to Ronson seem to be personally offended that he wants us to have empathy and information before we turn another person into the number one trending topic.
  • Tavi Gevinson definitely gets why old poetry is embarrassing. 
  • If you’re somehow not tired of Donald Trump yet, Matt Welch and Jesse Walker wrote some delightfully damning pieces about him and his Freedom Fest speech debacle. Welch in particularly pulls out some of that too-often-hidden disdain. 
  • S.E. Cupp is a dope while writing about criminal justice issues. Yes, a felon who had a gun is NOT inherently a violent criminal. Let Familie Against Mandatory Minimums help you with that.
  • Martha Gellhorn. Margaret Bourke-White. My old adviser who worked for CNN. None of these women are manly enough for this author to bemoan that their day has ended. (Oh, and journalism-wise: Gellhorn>Hemingway. Even if fiction-wise it is a different story.)
  • Rand Paul disappointingly opposed to the Iran weapons deal.

Today’s video: The summer, 2003 ABC Family show The Brendan Leonard Show gave us many great moments. This is just one of them:

I realize now that I tolerate slapstick when it comes from Buster Keaton, and when it happened on this show. Deadpan is a necessary part of slapstack, otherwise it just makes me cringe into a tiny ball of sadness. Anyway, this show actually airing on cable news was a beautiful moment in early aughts history.

  • Serling-Mad-Men-600x447I just enjoyed this oddly convincing, unsold Mad Men script in which Don Draper meets Rod Serling. Some of the details don’t quite work, but the idea of the two men meeting is a pleasing one. (Well, except for the fact that nobody is Rod Serling but Rod Serling.) Maybe Serling’s family wouldn’t be into it, though, since they can’t even let Rod be licensed into a sweet action figure (note: I have a vested interest here).
  • Rod Serling interviews Asimov and and other sci-fi dudes during the moon landing coverage. (Maybe this isn’t the best age of television after all.)
  • Kelly Vlahos on the disturbing pertinence of The Twilight Zone. 
  • The Root has an intriguing piece on black people who dig the confederate flag.
  • Jesse Walker noted other recent attempts to take back the confederate flag. 
  • I’m suddenly terribly excited, while slightly creeped out by the prospect of the movie Everest, which is based on Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and the 1996 disaster in general. I’ve read Into Thin Air no less than five times, the first when I was about 10. It is a beautifully written, horribly tense book which was very influential for me. I already had begun reading about World War II and such, but Krakauer’s book — and in particular, what happened to Beck Weathers — really got the point across that nonfiction can be as bizarre, dramatic, and epic as a made-up story. The movie might be quite good, and the trailer — before it devolves into mindless DUN DUN short cuts — confirms that. But it’s still sort of creepy to stare at the IMDB cast list and to know exactly who dies and who makes it. We actually already did the fictionalized thing with a TV movie from the ’90s which is both strangely accurate and cheesy in the way only a TV movie can be (see the one about the Weavers and Ruby Ridge for a similar problem). This could be a good film, I’m dying to watch it, and to be a total pain in the ass who knows exactly what happened. But I’ve already see the IMAX film where base camp overhears stranded Rob Hall saying goodbye to his wife. Seeing that repeated with Keira Knightly and Jason Clarke feels like a cheap, tacky ghost of that gut-wrenching thing. Because it is. No matter how good this film might be it, that’s what it is.

See what you think of the trailer. As I say, it looks good, and it makes me hate the people who cut trailers.

  • ob2Today in world’s smallest violin/if it works, let’s go for it.
  • The drone program has killed more people than who died on 9/11. Thanks, Obama!
  • Me at Antiwar: ‘The Nonsense of War’
  • Me at Rare: ‘On marijuana, Obama is a huge hypocrite’
  • On March 30, I was on The Bob Zadek Show to talk about the war on drugs and private prisons.
  • A Liberty.me LIVE spreecast where I chat with Sheldon Richman on ‘The Poison Called Nationalism.’
  • And the slightly less polished Sheldon Richman and I talk Iran one. (Also my mic is too loud at the start. Lo siento.)
  • 1) What the hell happened to this Salon? 2) What the hell happened to this Christopher Hitchens?
  • Let’s take a break from antiwar talk to note that I would totally go to this if I could. Dunkirk little ships! The internet claims that Sundowner will be there. Sundowner being the yacht of Charles Lightoller, the surviving senior officer on the Titanic. Lightoller was told they were taken his boat for the evacuation, and he was all, nah, I’m taking it. So he went over, grabbed 160 fellas, and came back. One of the last adventures in a long life of them. Seriously, somebody make a BBC series about his life. Please. I can’t. I’m not British enough.
  • Apropos of the above, I totally wrote Titanic fanfiction when I was 19. Except it was HISTORICAL. And I only did it twice.
  • Yep. I had some excellent talks while smoking — or standing next to– M.R. and K.H. in Reason days. (But then, that wouldn’t have been so if smoking were still allowed in buildings!)
  • This is a very lazy response to the conspiracy theorists who wonder why/how the BBC reported the fall of Building 7 20 minutes before it happened. But the comments are amazing. I might have missed one or two, but it appears that every single comment is by a truther. Every one.
  • Microcosmic! 
  • Still, I am not #readyforhillary
  • Here is a great twitter essay, as they call it. It’s short, but should be in a blog somewhere.
  • Apparently Sam Quinn used to have a moderately (for alt country, etc.) successful band called the Everybodyfields. I thought he was just the amazing maker of a live tape that S.T. and I listened to all the way to Nashville from Richmond, and back which includes the most stunningly slide guitar-filled, beautiful cover of the “Juicy Fruit” song you could possibly imagine. But, uh, this song is also on that tape.
  • The Milk Carton Kids are a band I have seen twice, technically. They opened for the Lumineers who were opening for Old Crow Medicine Show, and I saw all three bands for a two night stand at DC’s 9:30 club in 2012. The Milk Carton Kids are definitely bigger fish now. They are a little too pretty and slow sometimes, but they’re really good. And if 12-year-old me had known that a duo that sounds this Simon and Garfunkel-ish was coming along, she would have rested easier.
  • “You call me up again/just to break me like a promise/So casually cruel/in the name of being honest” is T-Swift lyrics at their finest. This is a solid power ballad, or whatever it is. I like the reckless mixture of cliches and legitimately good lines.
  • Pokey LaFarge has written a hell of an earworm for his new album (due out later this month). I am excited to see him on the 30th! And to dance. It’s impossible not to with him playing.
  • snowproblemVice stuff I’ve written.
  • Antiwar stuff I’ve written.
  • Bourbon and Bitches is back, and even has a website!
  • I had a glorious, knock-down, drag-out argument about the police and the war on drugs on Saturday Night Cigar Lounge on Vigilant Liberty radio. I was a bit of an asshole in spots, but we were all friends at the end of it and off air.
  • Important hotness-based lists I’ve been placed on for troll purposes. There is no link.
  • Snow is happening. I like it, but my job is to sit on my butt and type anyway.
  • I am jealous I haven’t seen any yetis yet, though. Lucky Boston.
  • The Yeti is a vegan, and “wants to see people smile” so don’t worry about it.
  • Michael C. Moynihan visited the North Korean border with VICE news!
  • The Independents is no more, but Kennedy has a new show, and we live in a world in which Cosmo interviews her, so that’s not all bad.
  • Obviously I have major problems with Jezebel, and sometimes with Lindy West in particular, but I enjoyed her This American Life segment on talking to her meanest troll. Humans are humans! Just imagine!
  • WaPost on an 88-year-old Mississippi doctor who visits patients who need him, and the forces of bureaucracy trying to shut him down.
  • The New Republic writer speaks truth, not freaking out about gender fluid kids would be awesome. We could even all agree on that if we wanted to.
  • It’s School Choice Week, so Jim Epstein can help you learn stuff about schools in Camden, NJ.
  • I believe this story.
  • Today in America: 1) Let’s build a big wall, 2) SWAT teams sent to break up gambling, 3) Todd Starnes is still at large, 4) Our allies still believe in 1000 lashes for blogging.
  • I hope the ghost of Cameron Todd Willingham continues to haunt Rick Perry, even though he’s no longer governor.
  • New band name. Or novel title. Something.
  • People will literally complain about anything — even David Tennant’s hot, hot accent in Broadchurch.

Today’s video:

I love The Stanley Brothers so much that I literally — as the kids say — can’t even when there’s the occasional footage of them playing.

  • It's all true.

    It’s all true.

    Government votes to keep on governmenting, twitter makes many jokes.

  • I read Oliver Sacks’ Seeing Voices, and then rambled about college, privilege, and how bad-ass sign language turns out to be.
  • More pessimistic shit I wrote for Antiwar.com.
  • Props to Matt Welch for referencing Antiwar.com in his intro, and for paying the needed attention to all that war stuff. But every single answer except Sheldon Richman’s is unsatisfying. And the less said about Fernando R. Tesón the better. Basically, they’re still debating war in the pages of Reason. Are they doing that for the war on drugs?
  • Police Unions continue to work hard on that good PR.
  • “I know becoming a police officer might seem like an unusual choice for someone like me. But I was always someone who joined groups and was involved in group situations.”
  • Today in no boundaries between media and government.
  • This Cracked list/interview with the only American in Rwanda during the genocide is amazing. The idea that fake IDs could have saved people, but the international community didn’t bother is an even more tragic mirror of Raoul Wallenberg’s Hungarian Jew-saving shenanigans.
  • You go, Anderson Cooper’s ancestor’s slave.
  • This is so good, I might buy it with real money.
  • “You do not resemble your Dead Mother in the slightest, except for your eyes. Your damned, cursed, pale eyes.”
  • Be cool about fiiiiiire safety. 
  • There are about five songs on here I’ll listen to, about 34 that I know are pop country garbage just based on video stills, and then there’s the best Shovels and Rope song from their recent album. What am I to do with you, Spin?

Oh, and here’s that very song.

That song and Cary Ann Hearst’s bitchin’ shirt.

  • r4ru2qdrwzm954iylcmrNathan Salsburg, the fellow now in charge of the Alan Lomax archive has brought back his Root Hog or Die radio show, which can be listened to this a-way on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. EST to 4 p.m. Do it.
  • That very same fellow has also written up for The Oxford American a good look at the massive, Jack White-produced 400 dollar (so that’s not happening) box set Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917–1927).
  • My previous experience with Root Hog or Die is this amazing playlist (forever a grateful hat tip to Jim Epstein) which contains my first experience with weird-ass shapenote singing and other important thing like that.
  • My friend Rodge has weeks and years of killer radio shows. I’ll never get through them all, but he’s a great, weird, diverse, but country and old time-loving DJ.
  • Oh hey, there will finally be a Hank Williams Sr. biopic and a…British guy will play the lead. He looks right, but will he sound right? (On a side note, British people doing bad American accents remains one of the funnier damn things in the world. We all sound like John Wayne Valley Girls, it seems.)
  • In my dreams, there’s a site like Jezebel except it only reports on documentaries about conjoined Vaudeville twins. I very much watch to watch this.
  • How to dress like Gary Cooper
  • Overwrought VICE Motherboard piece on the fax machine brings up interesting points — maybe analog right before the internet is the only way to truly, securely communicate. Also, I do — mostly while wandering in antique or vintage stores, sometimes starring at eight tracks — wonder about all the stuff not old enough to be interesting, yet useless in the digital age. (On another note, I don’t get the hipster love for cassettes, I really do not. But then, I don’t understand 1990s nostalgia either.)
  • I haven’t yet clicked all the way through Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time, but I did laugh for a solid 30 seconds upon discovering the song title “She’s Actin’ Single, I’m Drinkin’ Doubles.” Perfect.
  • In honor of Tuesday Apocalypse: io9’s Vincze Miklos collected some of the most amazing, eerie Soviet Civil Defense posters possible. I desperately want them all. If I were rich, I would have the creepiest house in the entire world, I really would. I would have a room of gas masks, terrifying nuke pamphlets, and old weapons and everyone would think I was a serial killer. I know this. I accept this about myself.
  • Further Tuesday Apocalypse: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog’s Alex Wellerstein on the nuanced and myriad meanings of Robert Oppenheimer’s “I am become death, destroyer of worlds”  thoughts post-Trinity Test. (He may not have thought that all in the moment, but realized it sounded all epic and full of gravity more than a decade later.  He was right.)
  • This is not related, but a plea for your strong female character to actually do something for the plot. I approve. And on a side note that is more related, if you don’t understand why this matters to anyone, read Robert Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters, then watch the 1990s movie. Compare and contrast the portrayal of “Mary” between the two mediums after 50 years of what we all thought was progress. Sob into your pillow. Thank you.)
  • Also unrelated — unless 2003 is old timey — but I was pleased to see some fight in The Independents re necon bullshit. Former Ambassador John Bolton starts off the scuffle by accusing libertarians of being pro-Saddam Hussein and it goes down from there. (I also love that even when the show is at its most cable news-ish talking over each other, the yelling is about George Orwell and Iraq war casualties. Classy.)

Today’s video: Ketch Secor and Critter Fuqua singing an unrecorded Fuqua number, to get us all jazzed for the new Old Crow album next month:

(and not to cry too much over it being sans Willie Watson — whimper). I did not see this show, nor have I seen them play this song, but I did catch their reunion tour, and it was amazing.

Oh, okay. Here. My hat is basically the first thing you see.