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Midday Open Thread

December 25th, 2009, 11:12 pm admin Leave a comment Go to comments
  • Courtesy of Cracked, the 6 most horrific ways pop culture has misused Santa Claus.
  • It has been a bad couple weeks for heads of state moving through crowds in Italy(ish). The Vatican is reviewing its security.
  • As is often the case, Ta-Nehisi Coates takes a subject that could play out all too predictably on the blogs — in this case, the gun-waving cop at the snowball fight — and shows why it’s important to get to something a little different:

    Lazy tactics prop up lazy arguments. I think we can all agree that throwing a snowball at an armed man–cop or otherwise–is dumb as fuck. It’s a reckless, arrogant, stupid act that endangers you and everyone in the vicinity. I think we can also agree that yelling “Fuck you pig!” or some such is the kind of thing that makes those of us who live in fear of the police chafe. Lastly, I think, for black people, and especially those of us who’ve had friends killed by the cops, it’s particularly grating to be confronted with the fact that we live under different rules.

    But that said, an argument about who was “the bigger idiot” is really beside the point. One idiot lacks home training. The other idiot lacks professional training. One idiot is a dumb-ass kid. But the other idiot is a salaried, pensioned employee of the state, whose job specifically entails not acting like an idiot. One idiot thinks he’s empowered to throw snowballs at cops. The other idiot is, as a matter of law, empowered to throw hot-ones. One idiot might ruin your Hummer. The other idiot might ruin your life–and then go to work the next day.

    They aren’t the same, and soft-peddling the act of drawing a gun in snowball fight in hopes of spiting some stupid kid, is the kind of dumb-ass tribalism that ultimately hurts the tribe. D.C. is a majority black city, and this guy has been on the force for over a decade. If he’s acting as he was–on camera–toward a group of predominantly white kids, imagine how he’s acted toward black kids over the years. Imagine how he’ll act towards your kids in the future.

  • In the consumer society, every object gets its own psychology.
  • What exactly are emergency rooms for?
  • There will be many end-of-year assessments of Obama’s performance. I don’t agree with everything Paul Starr says at The American Prospect, but it’s a thoughtful piece to add to the genre’s pile:

    A year ago, as the nation spiraled into the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, many were comparing Obama to Roosevelt or at least to an image they had of FDR. Obama may never meet that standard, but if we measure where we are today against the threat to the economy as 2009 began, he has done well enough.

  • Amanda Marcotte helps The Hill understand “when or why Lieberman has taken a hit.” Hilarious.
  • I recently made the Atholl Brose recipe Matt Browner Hamlin provides here; it’s too late to make it for Christmas, but it’s a terrific holiday cocktail.
  • Cash for chokers? Funds for fumers? Whatever your cash for clunkers parallel of choice, trade-in programs for smoky wood stoves are gaining ground.
  • A tribute to actors and others in the film industry who died in 2009:

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