Wednesday, July 21

Olio: Everything's Going To Be Fine, I'm Sure Edition

• You Want All This on Your Tombstone, Lady, You're Gonna Have To Order a Bigger One, or Why I Never Miss Blogginheads::

Maureen Tkacik, discussing the Olivia Munn tsimmes with Lizz Winstead:
I mean, it seems like it would be a very, um, specific and y'know like again I, I, I, I, I kinda don't really have a very strong opinion about this one way or the other, but, y'know I, I used to work at Talking Points Memo, that's a, y'know, a kind of um, geeky political wonky, I mean it's like Daily Show, the staff is like Daily Show without having had a sense of humor necessarily about, uh, what you're writing about, although a lot of people do, to their, um, to their credit. And y'know it was very, it, it was all dudes. And it's because they have these autistic brains fer, uh, y'know, like very obscure political facts and that kind of stuff can come in handy um, y'know or it's necessary for producing a show like the Daily Show to kind of have, um, photographic memory fer uh, y'know, really, y'know, arcana that sometimes I personally can't bother caring about, um, but I also think that, so I think that there's probably a little bit of that, um, which is just sort of like a way that the brain stores information, um, tends to be, y'know, the, uh, seems to be a disconnect and, and, uh, the way that I, uh, y'know, kind of process and absorb information, and, uh, uh, I've found in my career to be slightly different from your average, um, y'know, political, uh, wonk. Um, and I don't know, y'know, there's, there's just a lot, there's a lot to talk about there. But it doesn't have to do with that Christopher Hitchens question whether women are funny. I think that this tapped into that, y'know, vein of controversy and unfortunately, um, y'know, it, uh, y'know, what got lost was that I think that Olivia Munn is pretty funny actually, as it turns out.

Personally, y'know, I tend to typographical conservatism, but I have to admit after trying to transcribe that thing that 20th century punctuation is wholly inadequate for the demands of the 21st. Is there an emoticon for, like, incontinent eye-rolling?

• I was watching Tour de France coverage Monday night while riding the stationary bike--it's like getting a hummer while watching porn*, except sweatier and not fun--and there's a biggish flap because Contador grabbed the Yellow jersey by passing Andy Schleck when the latter's chain slipped, which is at minimum a racing faux pas; you're not supposed to take advantage of someone else's equipment failure. There's some hubbub afterwards, and Contador claimed he didn't realize what was going on, though he clearly did. And they toss back to the studio, and one of the yammerers--it wasn't Phil Liggett or Bob Root, is all I know--says something along the lines of:
The Euros have been slow to adopt American innovations, like being noisy, wearing garish colors, and chewing with your mouth open, and they insist on clinging to these outdated Marquis of Queensbury rules.

And all I could think of was This is precisely what has happened to this country; there's no goddam question that if it had happened to Lance Armstrong, in his prime or yesterday, when he was trying to win one last Stage, they'd've been screaming for instant replay, judicial review, and the judges' scalps. Conversely, I don't recall anyone complaining when the um, y'know, Euro-arcana of cycling rules worked in favor of Lance and his USPS hench-teammates, and I have no doubt that, given the opportunity, the same guy'd be complaining that NBA players travel all the time.

Einstein said that Piaget was obviously a great genius, because no lesser man would have noticed something so simple (as a child's notion of the conservation of matter). Piaget also noted that by age four most children have rejected the fanciful in Aristotle's Physics, which nevertheless ruled the West for 1600 years. Had Piaget's focus been the other way 'round, and had he lived long enough, perhaps he could have explained how the modern American adult comes to embrace, even celebrate, half-baked ideas which should have been driven out of his head by puberty. Oh, if only more shit blew up! the Tour would grab a bigger audience share in the USA! Wild Wild West, baby! Somehow it just never occurs to these fucks that you can't stop things at A Little, Highly Photogenic Cheating, or that bicycle racing would rather quickly become a combination of NASCAR, ice hockey, and mountaineering without that poncy Marquis gettin' in the way.

And when did this fucking start? We came out of WWII with a belief in Fair Play intact. Sure, we were fucking hypocrites about it, and international bullies, but it was still there, as a standard; today you'd have an entire screaming political party complaining about trampling the rights of Swiss bankers.

• I don't know which national news program my Poor Wife had on last night--or, as always, why--but I was treated to three minutes on how white people--now politically powerless--have been forced to endure, in rapid succession, an African-American AG blatantly refusing to indict a black man, and an Ag Dept. functionary admitting she might've made a race-based mistake 25 years ago. This, of course, on top of the NAACP ruling that all white Americans are crackers. Whatever reporter was "covering" the story--how come our comedy shows are written by y'know, a kind of um, geeky political wonky, and our political news is reported by hair care product pitchmen?--made sure to note that last week the NAACP had charged some Teabaggers with racism, which caused me, inadvertently, to yell back that if they though it was a story now, perhaps they could have covered the charges themselves, at some point, or even, like, y'know, now.

And, of course one is reasonably certain that at this very moment, stronger stomachs than mine are digesting numerous instances of the Right complaining that all this is being brought up to make it look racist.

• My favorite private chuckle last week was when Indiana State Auditor Tim Berry was sent out to spokesmodel the sheepish, Summer-doldrums-timed announcement that the state's Rainy Day Fund, Mitch Daniels, Savior, was down to its last half-billion and wouldn't survive next spring's crackpot fest known as the Indiana General Assembly. This is not a surprise, nor is it particularly funny, as people and institutions are both in real pain, but you had to love the sudden appearance of Berry--I'd never laid eyes on the man before--as the Bad News bearer in place of Presidential Hopeful Daniels (and you've got some mighty tiny shoes to fill there, Tim). It was Daniels who, just last spring, hijacked the legislative process (and a done deal) to "preserve" the "Surplus" he'd "created"; now, with no place left to hide, the campaign is on to Plan B ("Not his fault"), and some functionary is sent out to say, with a straight face:

"It's a Rainy Day fund. And in case no one's noticed, it's raining."

Y'know, Tim, the only person standing in the downpour last March and saying it looked pretty dry to him, and he could really go for a Tenderloin, was…your Boss.


* I'm guessing.


Narya said...

Not all of the commentators thought that Contador was Teh Evil for doing that, though. The one who sits on the far right was pretty clear that it was the right thing to do. And one of them pointed out that Sanchez was going, and probably could not have been reeled back in by Contador.

It would have been nice if they slowed and waited, I guess, but it IS a race, after all, and shit happens.

RobertB said...

How the hell Maureen Tkacik makes a living writing is beyond me, because she's flat-out horrible.

Poicephalus said...

Nice save.
I scrolled before I finished
the post.


R. Porrofatto said...

I can't believe you transcribed that. And I can't believe I went and watched it to see if it really was that bad.

Bloggingheads is the best known prophylaxis for thinking that maybe it would be interesting to invite more and different people over for dinner. Play a few bars of Goldberg or McArdle for my Most Significant Other and I might even get to watch the ball game.

jackd said...

The unwritten rules of pro cycling are the most interesting ones - you don't attack the yellow jersey riding into Paris, piss breaks are honored, that sort of thing. But there are elements that NASCAR- and/or hockey-loving Uhmuricans could appreciate. Frex, I saw in a sprint finish that head-butting is apparently ok, although slowing down and moving in front of someone coming up from behind is verboten.

But as I understand it, it's also well understood by junior riders and domestiques that if the trainer says you get a syringe full of "vitamins" you take your shot and shut up. Not to be all self-righteous about it, but it is against the rules, and I seriously doubt the long-term health effects for the various dopes have been well-evaluated.

Bill in OH said...

I don't think this "rule" is all that old. The examples that they pointed to were 2001 when Armstrong waited for Ullrich when he went off the road and 2002 when Ullrich did the same for Lance. I'm no expert on the history of the tour, but I have a hard time believing that, in a similar situation, Anquetil or Indurain would do anything but attack. And we know exactly what Hinault is capable of.

BTW, I think you mean Bob Roll, not Bob Root /pedant

The Sailor said...

IRT: "I mean, it seems like it would be a very, um, specific and y'know like again ..."

If it was submitted to the Bulwer-Lytton contest it would win hands down!