realinterrobang (realinterrobang) wrote,

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Quotes, Who is Now Edition

I hate to state the obvious, but there is a tree in the middle of the runway!
-- Ari, dialogue from "The Red Sea Diving Resort"

Tourism, in particular, hasn’t changed much in two or three millennia. Archaeologists working in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings found Greek and Latin graffiti in the tomb of Pharaoh Ramses VI, who ruled from 1132 to 1125 BCE. They say it dated from around 332 BCE, when Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, to the fall of the Roman Empire around 476 CE. Many of the hastily etched comments would look right at home among modern Yelp reviews. “I visited, and I did not like anything except the sarcophagus!" wrote one visitor. "I cannot read the hieroglyphs!” complained another. The tomb walls even contain comments on the original “posts” from other visitors: “Why do you care that you cannot read the hieroglyphs?” some ancient Roman visitor wrote in response to the comment above. “I do not understand your concern.”
-- Kiona M. Smith, "A 2,000-year-old stylus makes a point about ancient Roman humor," Ars Technica

Supply & Demand: We Supply nothing and you give into to our Demands.
-- Sugarfreelowfat, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments

In 1991 I was driving cross country and stopped in downtown St. Louis. I parked my car and walked over to a group of cops and asked them if it was alright to park where I was. They looked at my NY plates, said yes, then told me to stay away from the n!gg*rs. I remember it like yesterday.
-- Matthew Cottom, Facebook, comments

Insane Clown Posse on Kid Rock: "He has spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it is that people like about us. And believe me, we have always wondered the same thing about him."
-- @jsmooth995, Twitter

I don’t believe that holding this position makes anyone evil or stupid. I understand why people cling to it like shipwreck survivors on a floating door. The problem is that it relies on two pieces of magical thinking: number one, that intellectual ideas are the same as moral ones, and number two, that the sucking ethical vacuum at the center of public life can be replaced with a commitment to the polite forms of a free society.
-- Laurie Penny, "No, I Will Not Debate You,"

Nathan ford’s rampage wasn’t enough to persuade the Cleveland police to begin addressing the rape-kit backlog. What did persuade them was a serial killer. In October 2009, the police discovered the bodies of 11 women buried in the home and backyard of Anthony Sowell, a convicted rapist. Over the years, some of Sowell’s intended victims had escaped and reported his attempts to rape them. But the police had never thoroughly investigated their claims. At least one woman had completed a forensic exam. The police had tested the rape kit—but only for drugs in her system, not for the rapist’s DNA.
-- Barbara Bradley Hagerty, "An Epidemic of Disbelief," The Atlantic

Another person told me that Rush Limbaugh sent his father on the path to isolation before eventually mainlining Fox News on a regular basis. Eventually, out of the blue, his mother filed for divorce. “He was crushed, couldn’t understand why, and took comfort in drinking while watching his friends on TV. She is happier than I have ever seen her and he is sad and angry living in the basement of a rented house, still watching The Five, Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro, etc.”
-- Luke O'Neil, "What I’ve Learned From Collecting Stories of People Whose Loved Ones Were Transformed by Fox News," Intelligencer

My generation is, and will remain, the first generation in at least a century to have a lower standard of living than our parents' generation, and it is entirely because the fascists would rather let shit burn than share wealth with other racial and ethnic groups. There is no realistic scenario in which shit gets better anytime soon--the best we can do, even with liberal governance, is for things to get worse at a slower rate than they otherwise would.
-- Carlos the dwarf, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments

The last generation of Americans who will enjoy anything approaching financial security in old age could spend the Golden Years we’ll never have golfing, going on cruises, driving RVs, or watching The Price is Right. They could choose to be happy, having lived their entire lives in a system from which they extracted every benefit and which they subsequently dismantled at the altar of lower taxes.

Instead, they’re spending their days on a speedball of right-wing propaganda and a platform that gives them an audience of . . . well, everyone. And it turns out that 24-7 access to reinforcement and an unceasing stream of conspiratorial thinking is pushing some of them over the edge.
-- Ed Burmila, "Twilight of the Racist Uncles," The Baffler

My in-laws have been so Foxified that they've basically cut off communication with their two sons and their families. They would rather know they are absolutely right about their bigoted beliefs than preserve the family they built together. We despair on a daily basis.
-- @GorillaLbn, Twitter

Remember the U.S. presidential debates of 2016? Remember how the entire liberal establishment thought Hillary Clinton had won, mainly because she made actual points, rather than shambling around the stage shouting about Muslims? What’s the one line from those debates that everyone remembers now? It’s “Nasty Woman.” What’s the visual? It’s Trump literally skulking around Hillary, dominating her with his body. It’s theatre. And right now the bad actors are winning.
-- Laurie Penny, "No, I Will Not Debate You,"

I'd put together a video comparing Trump's reading from a Teleprompter to the times Obama didn't do it. Because, fucking seriously: Obama's main vice was that he was having too complicated thoughts he had to distill for public consumption, and Trump is someone they literally WISH would read off a Teleprompter just so he made sense and wasn't saying the quiet parts loud.

The single most disorienting part of the Trump presidency (as opposed to the most disturbing thing, for which there are too many to count, but which I totally actually expect from Republicans, including the baby jails) is the fact that there are literally tens of millions of people who look at this obvious idiot suffering the loss of his already-limited mental faculties and they think, "yeah, he's gotta be smarter than that dang ol' Mooslim what once was the parsdent." What the holy fuck?
-- Michael Cleaves, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments

At the time, if you were raped in Cleveland and you were poor or otherwise vulnerable, police would likely make a couple of phone calls and move on. You can see this play out in the police files documenting the response to Nathan Ford’s early attacks. All of Ford’s victims who came forward had forensic exams, but detectives were more likely to shelve the kits than send them to a lab. Rarely did a detective visit the victim, witnesses, or the crime scene. If a victim couldn’t come to police headquarters on the detective’s timetable—because she couldn’t find transportation or child care or get time off from work—she was labeled “uncooperative.” The case was closed. In other instances, the detective wrote that he couldn’t locate the victim, and this was enough to end the investigation. Yet when investigators reopened sexual-assault cold cases 20 years later, they almost always found the victim within a few hours.

When the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office hired a team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University, in 2015, to pore through police files and other records connected to thousands of untested rape kits in Cleveland, they quickly spotted the same pattern. In a random sample of cases, mainly from the mid-’90s, they found that the notes from many police investigations barely filled a single page. In 40 percent of cases, detectives never contacted the victim. In three out of four, they never interviewed her. Half of the investigations were closed in a week, a quarter in a day. As for rape kits—the one type of evidence that might definitively identify a rapist—police rarely sent them to the lab for testing. Granted, testing a kit could cost more than $5,000 in the late ’90s and 2000s. But during part of that time, the state was paying police departments to send in evidence. And even when the cost of testing a kit dropped to less than $1,000, police still tucked away the evidence in storage. Ultimately, Cleveland would accumulate some 7,000 untested kits.
-- Barbara Bradley Hagerty, "An Epidemic of Disbelief," The Atlantic

White supremacy is all about looting from black people.
-- Pat, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments

[W]hat’s more striking than the president’s blood-and-soil racism is how Democratic Party elites — or at least one group of them — are playing with similar assumptions. No, they haven’t held out the white working property owner as the only citizen of value, but they’re obsessed with winning that voter to their side — convinced that this group is the path to victory. It helps explain the current feud between Pelosi and the four congresswomen, with House Democratic leaders attacking progressives on behalf of moderates in the caucus — some of which represent districts Trump won in 2016, but most of whom represent districts that gave Democrats the majority last November.
-- Jamelle Bouie, "Trump’s America Is a ‘White Man’s Country’," The New York Times

I moved to the "extreme left" by standing completely still.
-- Ashley Hamilton, Facebook, comments

There is a family friend, a man I’ve known for decades. A highly educated man with total financial security in his recent retirement. A man who always had a good story to tell or an interesting side of a conversation to hold up. Then, a few years ago, he got on Facebook. Reading his timeline became an exercise in watching a man’s descent into madness. Over the summer I was surprised to learn that he had purchased three very expensive AR-15 semiautomatic rifles. When I asked why, he said, “For the race war that’s coming” in a tone that suggested no further explanation would be necessary.
-- Ed Burmila, "Twilight of the Racist Uncles," The Baffler

As I discovered to my shock when my own children started school in North Carolina some years ago, preparation for a shooting is a part of our children’s lives as soon as they enter kindergarten. The ritual of a Killing Day is known to all adults. It is taught to children first in outline only, and then gradually in more detail as they get older. The lockdown drill is its Mass. The language of “Active shooters”, “Safe corners”, and “Shelter in place” is its liturgy. “Run, Hide, Fight” is its creed. Security consultants and credential-dispensing experts are its clergy. My son and daughter have been institutionally readied to be shot dead as surely as I, at their age, was readied by my school to receive my first communion. They practice their movements. They are taught how to hold themselves; who to defer to; what to say to their parents; how to hold their hands. The only real difference is that there is a lottery for participation.

Most will only prepare. But each week, a chosen few will fully consummate the process, and be killed. A fundamental lesson of Sociology is that, in the course of making everyday life seem orderly and sensible, arbitrary things are made to seem natural and inevitable. Rituals, especially the rituals of childhood, are a powerful way to naturalize arbitrary things. As a child in Ireland, I thought it natural to take the very body of Christ in the form of a wafer of bread on my tongue. My own boy and girl, in America, think it natural that a school is a place where you must know what to do when someone comes there to kill the children.
-- Kieran Healy, "Rituals of Childhood,"

My parents ended up divorcing after 28 years of marriage. My dad started with talk radio and then moved on to Fox News. He began contacting our congressmen about what could be done about the “illegals.” He threatened to leave the US if Obama got elected. My mom left him instead.
-- @thevertfraise, Twitter

Regular prisoners talk about doing time, but on the Row, there is no time. The clock stopped the minute we was sentenced.
-- from the letters of Cameron Todd Willingham, in Trial by Fire

Ordinarily, the far-right turns to terrorism when it feels powerless; the Oklahoma City bombing happened during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and all assassinations of abortion providers in the United States have taken place during Democratic administrations. During Republican presidencies, paranoid right-wing demagogy tends to recede, and with it, right-wing violence. But that pattern doesn’t hold when the president himself is a paranoid right-wing demagogue.
-- Michelle Goldberg, "Trump Is a White Nationalist Who Inspires Terrorism," The New York Times

Steve Bannon, like the howling monster from the id he ushered into the White House, exploits the values of the liberal establishment by offering an impossible choice: betray their stated principles (free, open debate) or dignify fascism and white supremacy. This weaponizes tolerance to legitimize intolerance. If we deny racists a platform, they feed off the appearance of censorship, but if we give them a platform, they’ve also won by being respectfully invited into the penumbra of mainstream legitimacy. Either way, what matters to them is not debate, but airtime and attention. They have no interest in winning on the issues. Their image of a better world is one with their face on every television screen.
-- Laurie Penny, "No, I Will Not Debate You,"

Spend a full hour reading right-wing Facebook. It is like a funhouse mirror; you’ll feel the what-was-in-those-cookies sense of having entered a fantasy world of grievance and rage—a Lewis Carroll version of The Turner Diaries, a John Birch Society children’s book for sundowning grandpas.
-- Ed Burmila, "Twilight of the Racist Uncles," The Baffler

Curing cancer does not make you a disease.
-- Jerry B. Florry, Facebook, comments, on the "both sides are just as bad" re Nazis

"The vast majority of the huge numbers of people killed by guns in the US are shot 1 or 2 at a time, not in large groups" is not something any reasonable person would consider a winning argument.

"It's OK because only one person died in that car accident!" Said nobody ever.
-- Lori and Carjery Wilson, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments

There's one thing that still, that still bugs me. Who would leave a perfectly good white boy in a park like that?
-- black PI, dialogue from "Doe"

Of the rape kits containing DNA that generated a CODIS hit, nearly one in five pointed to a serial rapist—giving the Cleveland investigators leads on some 480 serial predators to date. On a practical level, this suggested that every allegation of rape should be investigated as if it might have been committed by a repeat offender. “The way we’ve traditionally thought of sexual assault is this ‘he said, she said’ situation, where they investigate the sexual assault in isolation,” Lovell told me. Instead, detectives should search for other victims or other violent crimes committed nearby, always presuming that a rapist might have attacked before. “We make those assumptions with burglary, with murder, with almost any other crime,” Lovell said, “but not a sexual assault of an adult.”
-- Barbara Bradley Hagerty, "An Epidemic of Disbelief," The Atlantic

I don't want to project all the time but these extremist liberals keep making me do it.
-- mattmcirvin, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, channelling the conservative id

Fish gotta swim
Birds gotta fly
Bootlickers gotta lick
Look at this fucking guy!
-- Marc Raab, Facebook, comments

One problem is that once someone gets pulled into the Fox News vortex it naturally leads to other scummier enterprises. You might start out signing up for a Fox email list or one from the president then quickly find your email being sold far and wide to increasingly less reputable charlatans. “The thing that makes me maddest about this is that it’s about money,” one correspondent said. His dad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer a year ago. “I guess Mike Huckabee has been selling his email to fucking everybody, including one list I noticed when I was getting his email set up called Beyond Chemo. They are selling him his own anger and a bunch of mushroom pills for all the money he doesn’t have anymore,” he said. “He’s gonna die destitute because of this shit and people belong in prison for seeing this as a business opportunity.”
-- Luke O'Neil, "What I’ve Learned From Collecting Stories of People Whose Loved Ones Were Transformed by Fox News," Intelligencer

Over the past year, the 24-year-old shooter occasionally performed live vocals in the band Menstrual Munchies, which released albums titled “6 Ways of Female Butchery” and “Preeteen Daughter Pu$$y Slaughter,” with cover art showing the rape and massacre of female bodies. He also performed with a group called Putrid Liquid. Now one of Betts’ bandmates, Jesse Creekbaum, 25, is taking the recordings down. He says he’s removing them out of fear the vulgar music he produced will make a cult hero out of the murderer, who was killed by police at the scene. He’s also received death threats online because of his association with Betts. Creekbaum, who has been writing and recording music under the name Menstrual Munchies for more than five years, says he did it mostly as a joke and now is sickened that Betts apparently took it all seriously.

“I feel shitty having let him be in the band, doing those lyrics,” Creekbaum said. “Because I know, like, whereas I saw it as a joke — like, ‘Let's play this and we’ll shock some people,’ and then the people that we know laugh — he didn't see it as a joke. He was like, ‘Fuck, yeah. We're gonna do this. It's like, Jesus Christ, how much of this was like real life for him?” he said.
-- Daniel Newhauser, "Dayton Shooter Was in a 'Pornogrind' Band That Released Songs About Raping and Killing Women," Vice News [The fact that this is even stuff people think is okay to joke about, even for shock value, is really gross, too. -- ?!]

I'm just a regular person living in the heart of the country, but this is how close we've come to various tragedies:
1. My husband coached middle school football, quite closely and amicably, with the Aurora, Illinois shooter.
2. One of my sons was scheduled to take a class in the lecture hall where the NIU mass shooting occurred, but he dropped out of school altogether before the semester started.
3. A family friend survived a mass shooting at a bowling alley in Aurora, Illinois. He hasn't stepped foot inside a bowling alley ever since.
4. Another family friend survived a public mass shooting at her high school reunion, at a restaurant in central Illinois.
5 & 6. Two friends of mine had family members in other states (Oregon and now Ohio) involved in mass shootings. One survived and the other didn't.
7. I am sick of this. I'm just a regular person trying to live a regular life.
-- Deb Hamilton, Facebook, comments

Conservatives understand consent just fine, they just don't think that inferior beings like women or blacks or gays are entitled to use it. As a general rule, conservatives understand liberals, and are not any less intelligent than us. They just have a set of basic values that horrifies us so much (and rightfully so!) that we refuse to believe they actually hold those beliefs, so we assume they're stupid.
-- carlos the dwarf, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments

If you are under the age of fifty, the odds are that you have at least one older person in your life who has gone down this road in the last few years. If you are white, I am certain of it. Lamenting our older relatives’ journey down the rabbit hole of right-wing paranoia and vituperation feels, at times, like my generation’s version of having the big talk about putting Nana in a nursing home. “Losing a parent” has dual meanings for us after 2016. We’re dealing with the loss of people who are very much alive—but who have become such chaotic stews of anger, persecution complexes, racism, and half-assed conspiracy theories that they can no longer hold a normal conversation.
-- Ed Burmila, "Twilight of the Racist Uncles," The Baffler

Once again, I would like to complain to the writers of this series. First all this suspension-of-disbelief-challenging stuff, and now this cliche to get rid of one troublesome character? Pfft!
-- Citizen_X, Balloon Juice, comments

The far right are not themselves committed to the principle of free speech. Far from it. In my encounters with neo-nationalists and professional alt-right trolls I have found them remarkably litigious — more than willing to use money and legal threats to silence their more serious critics. I’ve been legally prohibited from describing racists as racists. That’s why you’ll see so many news outlets use phrases like “alleged white supremacist” or “the deportation policy, which critics have described as xenophobic.” It’s not because there’s serious doubt over where these people stand, it’s because journalists are silenced by threats from speech “defenders” who have the money and spite to shut down their critics.
-- Laurie Penny, "No, I Will Not Debate You,"

Philo-Semitism is very tricky business, because it essentially views Jews and Jewish culture as "other" or having some kind of "secret" and I think the views in this article are troubling in that regard. However, it is interesting to reflect on the fact that a lot of religious people have the view that Judaism and the Jews are different, but of course not in the ways politicians have often focused on. For instance, those who believe in the Tanakh believe the Jews are "chosen," "set apart" and "a light unto the nations," and for this reason I have always found philo-Judaism less troubling than philo-Semitism. The idea that there is some secret to "Jewish wealth" or "Jewish innovation" is balderdash, and feeds anti-Semitic political action,
-- Kevin Joseph Morris, Facebook, comments

I would not bet against the proposition that the 21st century will be bloodier than the 20th.
-- Helmut Monotreme, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments

On Monday, by coincidence, Cesar Sayoc Jr., the man who sent package bombs to Democrats and journalists he viewed as hostile to Trump, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In a court filing, his defense lawyers describe how he was radicalized. “He truly believed wild conspiracy theories he read on the internet, many of which vilified Democrats and spread rumors that Trump supporters were in danger because of them,” they wrote. “He heard it from the president of the United States, a man with whom he felt he had a deep personal connection.” He became a terrorist as a result of taking the president both seriously and literally.
-- Michelle Goldberg, "Trump Is a White Nationalist Who Inspires Terrorism," The New York Times

It's at times like this that I wish I were Harlan Ellison.
-- anonymous commenter on "Speaking of Libertarians,"

I have often written about the need for gun control in Canada, as a regular reminder that men use guns to threaten, wound, stalk, and kill women. Misogyny is ingrained but guns make it easier to act on it. A Canada-wide handgun ban would save many lives, as would a ban on assault weapons. Many men agree, which helps because feminism will only succeed if men and
women work together for equal rights. It’s a betrayal that the federal government has decided against this. I heard from men, but no women, after a recent column favouring a national handgun ban. These readers, some of them American, like handguns. They emailed to tell me this at great length.

I don’t understand why they think I should find this relevant. There are many things I would likely enjoy: recreational morphine; shooting coyotes (with arrows, to make it more even); jet-skiing drunk, and I’m just getting started. But I don’t do them because they’re bad for me personally and a threat to others.
-- Heather Mallick, "Banning guns: It has to be done," The Toronto Star

The apotheosis of Zuckerberg’s brainchild is the synthesis of AM radio call-in shows and every local newspaper’s online comment section into a single, feculent holding tank. It’s everything you could ever want, if you are old, white, and incoherently angry for no good goddamn reason at all.
-- Ed Burmila, "Twilight of the Racist Uncles," The Baffler

Our policy is to keep our people alive, and our independence. How can anybody doubt the right that we have that is similar to the right of 125 peoples in the world.
-- 1970 Thames Television interview with Golda Meir, "Golda Meir discusses the Palestinian identity"
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