Currently viewing the category: "Nighttime links"
  • images (2)I wrote a thing about Harley Quinn (or Harleys Quinn, considering her different origins) for Bounding Into Comics. Be gentle, boys, it’s my first time writing about comics (even if I am mostly writing about a cartoon).
  • Fascinating B.K. Marcus piece on — among other things — the etymology of “Nazi” and what “national socialism” is or isn’t.
  • Tom Cotton is the worst, and someday he will be president.
  • Joan Walsh is joyfully voting H. Clinton, in spite of her “wonder[ing] whether she’ll be more hawkish on foreign policy than is advised in these dangerous times.” (That is the single sentence devoted to the issue in a long, luxurious piece about how feminism and something something glass ceiling.)
  • The author of a new (for the US) bio of Raoul Wallenberg is convinced he was indeed executed in 1947, and did not die of a heart attack as the Russians still claim. (There were wild rumors of Wallenberg alive into the ’70s, which are arguably more horrifying than if he had just been killed in ’47.)
  • Someone needs to tell the Christian Science Monitor that Vicki Weaver was shot in the head by an FBI sniper, and did not die in a “shootout.” They should also mention 80 Branch Davidians did not die by gunfire. I wrote my thesis on this, AND I know how to Google.
  • Today in 1967, the Apollo 1 capsule caught fire during a test. Gizmodo has an interesting, short piece on how that influenced NASA safety (including inspiring them to make Snoopy a mascot, which explains the names that came later).
  • RIP Concepcion Picciotto, who you may have passed outside of the White House once or twice.
  • Well, the Guillotine is more humane for the death penalty, but also the governor of Maine is nuts. 
  • Several people I like and whose work I follow came out of or have written for Wonkette, and God damn do they make Gawker look sincere and serious sometimes.
  • Possibly the Onion might chill with Hillary Clinton.

Today’s video reminds us that if they weren’t so amusing, Flight of the Conchords could have done more of a Milk Carton Kids thing (well, except that the one dude in the Milk Carton Kids is hilarious, so never mind):

  • images (1)I didn’t do a Christmas Truce piece this year (I know, I know) but mine from last year is really pretty good, I think.
  • I now have a billion podcasts with Sheldon Richman (lucky me!) and here is a list of them in audio form, if that catches your eye. They are also scattered about Youtube if you wish to see our beautiful faces.
  • “When Lemmy Took on the War on Drugs” — RIP, God.
  • I’ve only ever listened to a Motorhead album once, but it was good. “Ace of Spades” is undeniable. It gave me hope that I could perhaps someday like some metal (this is a rare feeling, and usually only “War Pigs” or something provokes it). Most importantly, about 11 years ago I was at a party and was for some reason talking about Lemmy to a group of people. One B.E. had been sleeping in a chair, woke up suddenly, explained how Lemmy got his nickname, and then fell back into dreamland. B.E. had no memory of saying this the next day.
  • Amen, Patton.
  • This British woman is recapping all of The X-Files, and she has the right feelings on the greatness of Scully and the frustrating, absurd, lovable loser that is Fox Mulder. I think I love the Cigarette Smoking Man more than she does, though. I love his weird, non-villainous/Canadian accent.
  • Sort-of-proto-Reason.com Suck.com is now available for easier archive reading. Not that Gen-Xers really rejoice about anything. I’ve seen Reality Bites, man. And it was terrible.
  • Sorry, Carrie Fisher, this is America, and in America a surprising amount of people believe that “how my boner feels in response to this” is an acceptable type of comment to make in a public forum. Or, you know, to the actual person in question sometimes.
  • Suderman is right about The Force Awakens, and he’s one of the few.
  • A worthy defense of George Lucas and the weirdly almost underrated A New Hope.
  • I’m not sure if I’d love Harley Quinn outside of her origin cartoon, but I totally get it there. The amount of pathos, humor, and charm portrayed in an abused, criminal cartoon character is rather astounding to watch. I would say it’s incredible that a children’s cartoon pulled that off, but why insult cartoons or children? (God, I love that gun moll voice, though.) Yet, it’s still impressive that they make her funny, but they don’t make the Joker’s abusive of her a joke. Her whole character strikes this I suspect almost impossibly deft balance.
  • My general dislike of The Force Awakens inspired me to go look up actual fanfiction. I was pleased to discover a nearly flawless, book-length diary of the arch nemesis of one Emily Byrd Starr — L.M. Montgomery’s lesser known heroine, who I think is better than Anne of Green Gables — and some amusingly angsty Fallout 3 pairings. Fanfiction is like poetry, there is a staggering amount of godawful stuff, but now and then there is something special. And hell, practicing writing in the voice of a character you didn’t invent can only help you if you want to write for TV or other serialized mediums. But seriously, the Evelyn Blake diaries one manages to make Emily Starr look bad, yet doesn’t ruin my fond impressions of her. It just confirms that mostly decent people do horribly misread each other often, which is a very useful lesson for life indeed.

And today’s video is not a hot tune, but an interview:

I adore Martha Gellhorn, the late, great war reporter. I had never seen her speak before, however, and this interview from the early ’80s was a hell of a start. She was no libertarian, and she had an unfortunate somewhat knee-jerk defense of Israel (but most people who do didn’t see Dachau, so….). However, her words on wars and on governments in this video are stunning. She scorns the media, she scorns leaders, she waxes poetic on the Spanish Civil War, and she describes in excruciating detail what Dachau concentration camp looked like the day after liberation. Give a watch, and read her work. I recommend Travels With Myself and Another, but she’s got a bunch of works I haven’t gotten to yet. Which is how I prefer it when a wonderful author has passed. I’m glad I got so slow with my Oliver Sacks reading during the last few years….

On a side note, that Dachau description is fascinating and sickening. Someone like me who has read countless books about the Holocaust, and learned nothing from the Museum in DC simply because I knew it already tends to not forget exactly, but forget what it would mean for the knowledge of this crime to have been a shock. Not something we all know as the internet-joke high water mark of human evil, but something entirely new and impossibly evil. Old Ed Murrow’s radio piece after he saw Buchenwald gets this point across. More than anything, he sounds pissed. And his final lines display that need to know thing.

I don’t think I am jaded about the crimes of the Nazis by any means, but at the same time, this kind of thing is good to remember. Especially if you’ve just started playing Wolfenstein: New Order, and feel vaguely awkward about it.

  • everestI wrote a review of Everest for The Federalist. You should read it, because that’s almost a slant rhyme.
  • And I wrote some stuff at Antiwar.com. Don’t I always?
  • I read Felicia Day’s book, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). It was a very easy, but enjoyable read about her trials and tribulations. The strangely relatable bits for me — not having ever been on Buffy — were the part where she was homeschooled for secular reasons, and then had anxiety and a thyroid problem! (Sorry to put your thyroid problem with enthusiastic punctuation, Ms. Day, but I was excited.) The best bit really was where she writes that if she hadn’t been homeschooled (and she seems slightly less positive about it than I am, but still mixed in a real world sort of) she would not have this fearless weirdness. She might actually be better at maintaining friendships and being a normal human, but on that first day of school her desire to love whatever she loved would have been drained out of her thanks to what she calls the girls with bows in their hair. I get this. I am inclined to agree about myself. There are trade-offs in being weird and not having the obvious reference point of school. One of the perks (which in itself has trade-offs) is that it helps you become your own person (especially if your parents aren’t rigid.) Oh, and I think I am searching for my own version of The Guild. Unfortunately, my interests are not entirely unique (yes, the internet taught me that) but they are a bit more obscure than Warcraft.
  • This is a pessimistic look at libertarianism and libertarian movements that doesn’t feel like a hit piece or a (total) misreading of the philosophy. 
  • Austin Bragg of ReasonTV kind of already made a video that includes my gun control argument. Sigh.
  • It is not offensive to say that gun control is a boon for totalitarian societies. And in particular, Nazi Germany has a few examples of Jews with guns surviving and even fighting back. The Belarusian Bielski partisans are a great example of how firearms can help you survive, without even the confrontation of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (which…didn’t go that well, but it was also more of a suicide mission), much less the strawman of going up against the entire Germany Army. But Dr. Keith Ablow(hard) has written what can only be described as a victim blaming piece about the Jews under the Nazis. Additionally, he basically is letting the world that let six million Jews die off the hook because they didn’t fight back in an inspirational enough fashion.
  • First female photojournalist in Japan is 101, still kicking ass.  Hat tip to photographer friend Emily.
  • Cool piece on forgotten female journalist who broke the whole invasion of Poland news. Unfortunately, said piece refers to Martha Gellhorn and Clare Booth Luce in reference to their husbands. Ahem.
  • Started listening to Gilmore Guys podcast a little. It feels like it’s annoying, and then it’s entrancing.
  • Good Wired piece on the state of fandom, and how its pure enthusiasm (maybe) beat irony. I’ve never really been to a good, nerdy con, which is a sad thing.
  • BBC behind the scenes look at the latest “Doctor Who” and the cool, deaf actress they found for the part. I just wish the plot had been a little less…something. As a watcher of Switched at Birth, I tried to see a difference between British Sign and American, but I clearly can’t. I can sign my name, “baby”, and “thank you” in ASL, though, so I am a champ.
  • Oh, and via Ms. Julia, attorney at law, I found the podcast Criminal. I listened to one about a guy sent to a minimum security prison that also had a leper colony. No, really. Also it was the 1990s. 
  • Kitty Genovese: still much more complicated than just a metaphor for urban indifference and the bystander effect.
  • Townes Van Zandt was great. Here are some of his words on songwriting.  And here’s a whole bunch of people covering “White Freightliner Blues” on Austin City Limits in what can be argued is a way to upbeat manner. Still good times, if only because I cannot resist saloon pianer. Yet still an argument for diminishing returns.

If you’re ready — and only if you’re ready — you can watch Townes himself making an old man cry by singing “Waitin’ Around to Die”:

  • It's all true.

    It’s all true.

    A meeting of minds on sites for which I write: Antiwar.com’s Justin Raimondo chats with Rare’s Kurt Wallace, mostly about Rand Paul’s prospects.

  • Also, I enjoyed this Eric Garris (also Antiwar.com) chat with Alan Colmes, of all people, from this summer. They talk about the return of Americans to Iraq, which is a topic that gets more relevant every damned day.
  • Since I’ve been internet creeping on Eric and Justin lately — thanks to many epic Eric stories — here are some other good things. Let us admire Justin’s completely un-hidable contempt for a security state creep who looks like a painted LEGO in this Freedom Watch interview. And Eric being generally insightful and well-spoken in this RT thing from a few years back.
  • Boohoo, Bruce Springsteen played “Fortunate Son” at a 11/11 rally. Jesse Walker has the best response to this non-controversy.
  • Apropos of none of these topics, I wrote a thing for Rare about how the sex offender registry is bad.
  • I guested on Tiffany Madison’s Bourbon and Bitches podcast twice in the past month.

This one is about online harassment, rape laws, and other feminist-leaning topics.

This one is about net neutrality, the troops, and my half-assed defense of Lena Dunham. Also sex robots. Tiffany loves to discuss sex robots.

Let me declare this is today’s video, if only to keep on practicing at not being a music snob. Or being the kind of music snob who likes certain pop music. Which I don’t usually.

But this is pretty fun.

And yet — and yet:

This is why I don’t understand people who only or mostly listen to poppy stuff. It’s fun, it’s good, until you listen to realer stuff. You’re not bad, Taylor, you just gotta know your place.

  • DEBATE PROTESTS

    via the AP

    Politics is the worst thing, and so is making politicians into cults of personality, but I am still very happy that Justin Amash kept his seat.

  • I am even more glad that DC, Oregon, and Alaska legalized recreational marijuana. This is amazing. And disturbingly, it does make paying attention to election day less of a purely awful hellscape situation than it was pre-2012.
  • On Friday and Monday, Radley Balko, busy doing something journalistic, had me cover for him at his Washington Post blog. This was — obviously — a huge deal, and a huge privilege for me. I had two links, and three longer blogs. One is on sentencing reform, the other is on criminalizing charity, and one other is on reported piece on a wrong-door drug raid that police apologized for, but it still scared the hell out of the resident of the wrong apartment.
  • (Also, Kurt Loder was the first person to congratulate me for the Watch thing — and infer its awesomeness — so my life is pretty kick-ass right now.)
  • My recent Antiwar and Rare pieces were both about being afraid that federal agencies do whatever they want, and turns out that includes chilling with a surprising number of Nazis.
  • I don’t approve of taking dogs to war, but this guy is still precious. [Hat tip to Julia.]
  • Sacrebleu! 
  • Me in real life.
  • Journalism critique: The New Yorker should never publish poetry or politics or fiction again, but only publish articles about Tavi Gevinson or A Canticle for Leibowitz.
  • I finally listened to the entirety of Harry Smith’s Anthony of American Folk Music in order, so I can definitely attend snobby parties of a particular sort. Ones that take place in 1960, really.
  • Whenever my video chat connection is bad, I make the same joke about someone looking as if they are on MIR in the 1980s. This article is slightly relevant to that interest,in that it is about video chatting with the USSR in the 1980s.

Today’s video:

’cause Mike Miller is going to be on Politics for People Who Hate Politics tomorrow at 6 pm. Do tune in.

Official video of the night is X playing two killer songs on David Letterman in 1983. I love me some “Los Angeles” abrasive punk, but this is a little more rock and roll. Hell, clearly this band is my destiny, since they started off with rough punk, and then just turned into a country band after a while.

They play “Hot House” — *makes cat purring sound at John Doe*. Then Exene is in such kick-ass form on “Breathless,” which is a Jerry Lee Lewis song. (The “ironic” punk cover thing works when it’s just a good cover of a song, by the way.)

As I mentioned somewhere on the internet, when I saw these crazy kids, it was an awesome show, but I wasn’t in the mood for the show until it was over. Since this is Pittsburgh, that could be years and years. (This explains why I have a major California itch right now, too. Along with beloved cousin lives there, and my yearning to hang out with Eric Garris and Justin Raimondo.) The crowd itself was impressively horrible, except for two solid rows of people who couldn’t be happier to be there. That, kids, is why concerts are the thing. I run the gamut of emotions (“from A to B”) at them each time. Love for humans, love for their complete joy in being there, and just a homicidal loathing for all the jerks who should have drank beer in their own homes.

I was also vaguely thinking as I watched the Letterman performance about how John Doe is hot, and Exene is such a bad-ass chick. And I wonder if there are any straight men in the world who, say if they aren’t musicians themselves, ever watch rock and roll ladies and want to be like them. Do they just want to do them instead? Do men admire women? Sometimes I think they don’t. Or, they might admire them, but they never want to be them the way I want to be a rock and roll dude (or a certain writer, or whomever). John Doe is attractive with his weird hillbilly punk vibe, but I would be just as happy to be that cool guy playing the bass as to lust after him. I don’t think men react that way to watching Exene. If men want to be women ever, they hide it pretty damn well.

There are women I find aspirational and bad-ass in the world, but there are a lot more men. I hate that a little. I mostly listen to men, I mostly read men. I am the self-aware version of the Jezebel commenter’s slur that goes, those girls who say they don’t get along with girls are the worst. Most of the time, I am more comfortable with men, and I have more to say to them. Neither going to lady college, nor admitting that I like some cute shit and laughing at Lifetime movies, and that I hate football, changed this fact. Yet, I still think men really do have a shameful inability to identify with women. They are the default, we are the other. Tiresome college feminism things have a few points now and again. Maybe I am thinking about that because I lately feel so turned off by feminism. (And yet, conservatives’ views on gender are so not going to happen for me. Gross. Everyone is so wrong and reactionary on this issue. Just like on every other issue, to be fair.)

Sweet fancy Moses, I am treating this professional(ish) blog like the secret Tumblr of my heart. I just…thought about this while watching X. You don’t have to. Just enjoy the rock and roll. I’ll be here being distracted from the police being the worst again.