The lovely Oliver Sacks has died. I am trying to write at least one thing about him or how much he meant to me (even if I hate personal essays), but it will never hold up to the man himself. If you ant to cry, read his New York Times piece where he told the world he was dying. Better yet, read all his books. I am very glad to have interacted with him, if only through a letter. I am also very glad to have not gotten through all of his books yet. Alas, I have more of a “I will cry” aversion now to reading his last, a memoir.
- He sometimes responded to 13-year-olds, too. This-one-that-was, at least.
- Robert Anton Wilson maybe had the right idea on voting (if you go to the booth). These Reason surveys are weirdly entrancing, partially because some people are disappointing one year, sensible the next. Also my dad talked about neocons going back to their caves. (On a side note, if they don’t ask me to participate next year, I will cry. No pressure.)
- Speaking of Robert Anton Wilson, this is in its way as moving as Sacks’ final essay on mortality in February. I gotta read his work.
- Man, these great writers are kind of putting on the pressure to write something beautiful, moving, and unafraid when facing death. Honestly, guys. Hitchens did the same thing, with the additionally impressive fearlessness of the staunch atheist.
- I will not admit to you how much of this angry recap blog of every single episode of Full House I have read.
- I understand many things with which I don’t agree. I don’t agree with the many cries of cultural appropriation, but I do think actress Amandla Steinberg’s line about “What would America be like if it loved black people as much as it loves black culture?” has some truth to it. A thing that I truly do not understand (still) is accusations of racism in respect to Miley Cyrus’ black backup dancers. Now she’s worn dreadlock hair extensions and a few people are annoyed, and that I get (I understand, I do not agree). Not to be stuck in 2013, but I still do not understand why having all black backup dancers during a dance (not, like, in your life, Gwen Stefani and those Japanese women-style) is supposed to be bad. Are we supposed to hire more white dancers? This is such a mess.
- Speaking of which: Cathy Young has a fine, nuanced piece on cultural appropriation. Don’t cringe, I swear it’s good.
- Oh, and Taylor Swift is just a COLONIAL MONSTER because she has a video set in Africa, which seems to have a vague storyline of Taylor Swift and Hot Man are old timey film stars. Okay, internet. Okay. I am much more indignant that her new single is the song where she sounds exactly like Lana Del Rey, instead of something superior like “I Know Places” or even “How You Get The Girl.” (1989 is underwhelming, but has enough ear worms that I have opinions about it.)
My latest VICE is just musing on why the hell John Crawford got mowed down in Walmart for holding an unloaded air rifle that was from the damn store.
- Rare-wise, my most recent piece is grudging, almost, slight praise for could have been worse in one area Eric Holder.
- I wrote a longish thing about Stingrays earlier this month.
- Antiwar-wise, I just keep complaining about war. War is a great thing to complain about.
- Were I rich, my house would be full of — among other things —Soviet Cosmonaut cigarette boxes and patent medicine cards.
- Speaking of Cosmonauts, this one has feminist sass.
- I don’t actually want to reside in 1940s appalachia at all, but these Life photographs definitely make me want to fire up the old time machine.
- But Lucy, song-collector just isn’t a realistic career to have in 2014.
- White dudes and their love of blues ’78s. (AKA, more things I would collect had I money and room to spare.)
- And the ultimate dude, whose collection is superior to that of the Library of Congress (providing you like pre-war country blues, and old jazz and such.)
- God bless the USA
- Or not. John Oliver’s drone program scorn is refreshing. It’s nothing new, for those of us in the angry know, but it’s worth remembering that this isn’t over, and its still appalling. (Patriotic robots have no idea how much I love the geographical area called America, and how much I hate being made a part of things like making Pakistani children afraid of clear blue skies.)
- This seems like a pretty solid job-hating playlist.
- This is sort of my life. (No offense, boyfriend. Acceptance is key.)
- Nick Gillespie thinks your arguments against the knowledge problem are dumb. And they are. They are.
- Hurray, humskooling!
- Here is a reason — one among many — to legalize prostitution.
- Bigfoot huntin’.
- Thieving Maine hermit sort of tells his tale to a GQ writer.
George Jones is going to burn down all your favored socializing spots.
- I recently discovered the adsorbing Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog. Its author, an academic, invented various incarnations of a NukeMap, in which you can use Google maps (or Google Earth, for those not saddled with a Chromebook) to see the effects of various atomic bombs — from Hiroshima to the full, unused iteration of the Tsar Bomba — on various cities.
- The author also wrote a “Why Nagasaki” post yesterday, which is soft on the whole thing, but is enlightening as to the debated motivations of those involved in nuking the shit out of that bonus city.
- The Onion said it best on Nagaski.
- I am reminded of the time a few months back where I asked my would-be engineer friend to explain why nuclear stuff is measured by half-life. Drunk friend fluctuated between condescending over-explanation to poor, sweet liberal arts majors, and baffling science attacks (to poor, sweet liberal arts majors). Somehow it eventually made sense, but God knows I couldn’t explain it.
- Once-classified US government footage of rebuilding Hiroshima.
- Matt Novak’s sweet Paleofuture blog seems to have wandered over to Gizmodo.
- Cato’s Julian Sanchez was deliciously sassy on Chris Hayes on Friday, talking NSA and Obama press conferences. And The Guardian‘s Spencer Ackerman was himself, and was therefore great. And Robert Gibbs said the word debate so. many. times. and it was terrible.
Five non-link tweets I have recently favorited, for your enjoyment:
Some ppl confuse–others intentionally conflate–secret ops & secret laws. Secret ops are compatible w/ a free society; secret laws are not.
— Justin Amash (@repjustinamash) August 10, 2013
nothing’s more hilarious than liberals freaking out abt libertarians. it’s even funnier than conservatives freaking out abt libertarians.
— Andy Levy (@andylevy) August 10, 2013
@LucyStag Google translate gives me 'overseer' for Steiger. I'm guessing your ancestors kept the woodland critters in line with a firm lash.
— Joshua Trujillo (@yeshuatrujillo) August 11, 2013
Another episode of Fresh Prince, another instance in which Uncle Phil is *not* amused by Will's antics.
— Andrew Blake (@apblake) August 10, 2013
.@LucyStag ANARCHO-MONARCHISM FTW
— Alammus Drenim (@grannywithAIDS) August 11, 2013
- A disturbingly long list of signs you might be a terrorist.
- Reminder that Harry Browne was the best.
- Cracked writer gets fucked with by police, writes pretty good piece about it.
- Radley Balko, like all good libertarians, is thinking about incentives. Why not start a whistleblower’s prize? I suggest the first prize of Not Jail be given to Bradley Manning. Second prize can be Gets to Come Back to America Ever for Edward Snowden.
- Duh, prosecutors! Sometimes they get the money, too!
- I seriously appreciate that Fox often acknowledges that libertarians have a place at the table in debates. If they didn’t John Stossel, Andrew Napolitano, and numerous employees of Reason wouldn’t have such a strong presence on the networks. On the other hand, sometimes I wonder how far they can go — at least if they’re constantly on Fox.
- Heroic Lavabit declines to help government spy on us all. Silent Circle shuts down in case of such a request. How we gonna be secret now, y’all?
- Just kidding, asking that makes you a terrorist.
- “On this date in 1916, 19-year-old Durham Private William Nelson was shot for desertion by the British military.” So, boo to that.
- Jesse Walker is on Book TV on Sunday at 1:15 pm, so that is definitely worth checking out.
Willie Watson, the lamented and departed member of Old Crow Medicine Show, singing “High Dice Blues/Shooting High Dice” with guitar that sounds exactly like the Mississippi Sheiks version of the song. Check ’em both out:
I love the Mississipi Sheiks so much. But you would know that if you have been listening to my radio show, now tragically nearing its end.
- Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray on Rand Paul’s attempt to win over Democrat youth.
- Fuck yeah, Justin Bieber — seriously.
- Politico on Rand Paul and “mainstream libertarianism” — features this cringe-worthy lede: “Stereotyped for decades as pro-pot, pro-porn and pro-pacifism, libertarians are becoming mainstream.” Stereotyped is another word for “those are integral parts of our political belief”?
- Fuck Rand Paul, says Charlie Pierce of Esquire.
- Yes to gays and guns (speaking of mainstream libertarianism!)
- Matt Welch still thinks Rand Paul’s anti-drone filibuster was damned historic.
- Over at The Skeptical Libertarian, Dan Bier offers a warning to anyone who is excited about the new “Ron Paul” homeschooling curriculum.
- VICE writer on hitchhiking to Texas and almost joining (one of) the reunited Black Flag(s). A sincere, heartfelt piece. I want more of that from VICE.
- “Jerry Brown Should (Still) Be Ashamed of California’s Prisons”
- Time’s Joel Klein thinks that pro-gun folks are “anti-American.”
- Breitbart on why VICE isn’t edgy enough, with bonus calling me a lefty bit.
- The sound of 10,000 punks’ heads exploding.
- Wish I could be there on the 19th.
- Bill to end Selective Service registration is brief, confusing moment of politicians doing something awesome.
- Yet another good thing about budget cuts
- The Verge on Bradley Manning’s 1000 days in prison
- North Korea Instagrams — not a bad hipster joke, but something seriously cool.
- Prepare to hate Chuck Hagel a lot, when he gets the job.
- David Frum is on the right side of a political issue, so we are definitely all living in the end times .
- MSNBC more propaganda-tastic than Fox News, says Baltimore Sun.
- Today in the state destroying private charity
- Previously in the state doing so, without even a lingering excuse of “health.”
- “While I oppose most gun control proposals, there is one group of Americans I do believe should be disarmed: federal agents.” I am so sorry I doubted you, Paultards.
- Reason TV’s dependably-awesome-except-about-the-NYPD Jim Epstein responds to the current 36-page Time cover piece on why the fuck hospitals are so expensive.
- I didn’t see the Oscars, but Salon makes a good point re the whole Seth MacFarlane is a sexist asshole thing that happened.
- Johnny Cash, friend to the prisoner. It wasn’t just poetic license, he really did care.
- My friends and family often have this problem — basically fuck the notion that if you’re not a prodigy at your chosen pursuit why bother. But easier said than done, cried all the folks used to being the brainy youngster.
- My cousin’s friend is currently playing a sweet/true folk-punk song about trainhopping, I wish I could share it with you all.
- Horrible hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham says that “we” have killed 4700 people with drone strikes.
- Said Obama on February 4: “weapons of war have no place on our streets.” Said the internet…
- Neither Obama nor Jeffrey Tucker said this, but it is still beautiful.
- This year in Students for Liberty booing awful Stossel guest: Ann Coulter! She believes that libertarians care about the drug war in order to “suck up to… liberals.” See the next bullet point for important liberals mostly don’t give a shit news!
- Okay, but before that there is important beard news.
- I don’t really suggest that all white people run around calling other people people their “nigga,” but I still dislike the tone of this Jezebel blog. Lena Dunham had no obligation to respond to this this “thing,” but she did it in a classy fashion. Probably don’t call everyone “nigga,” but also, blog about something else. Say, how about the drug war, progressives who seem to care a lot about race?. Except not that, because then there are so many awkward moments what with the fawning over Obama thing that Jezebel just can’t stop doing.
- Yes, this is infowars, but it’s a mostly-credible follow-up to Mike Riggs’ Reason blog on horrifying police practice targets.
- Cato’s new map of defensive gun use incidents
- Go whine about it on “The Facebook.” [H/T: Bruce Majors]
- Not everyone was down with prohibition, you’ll be shocked to learn.
- “Cows in Pants”
- My cousins and I already invented Choose Your Own Glorious Adventure To Celebrate the Party, Comrade. That was, however, 2008, in Montana, and only in our imaginations. Jesse Walker notes that someone else has had a similar idea
- Rookie mag, I adore you, and I adore the idea of a “too painful to listen to anymore” song playlist. But, people, one of those songs is “Butterfly” by Crazytown. “Butterfly.” Look, I kind of enjoy like six Taylor Swift songs. Whatever floats your boat or breaks your heart, but holy shit, “Butterfly” by Crazytown. I need a moment to stop laughing.
- I am going to see La Plebe tonight in San Francisco. This is what it looked like when I saw them open for Jello Biafra in San Francisco in 2010.
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