Did you see..?

  • This edition of geek webcomic “XKCD” made me laugh. Be sure to mouse-over and read the ALT tag.
  • This column by Cary Tennis made me cry. (Just click through the ad; it’s worth it. Cary is always worth it. He’s a genius.) I apologize in advance for the lengthy quote but I didn’t know where to cut without ruining the meaning:

    …We go through pretending to be grown-up and untouched but we are just silly kids hoping for the ice-cream truck. It comes every day for a whole month in the summer and then one day it stops. What the fuck?

    I’m no doctor and I’m no genius but the way I figure it when you’re upset you have to know what’s underneath it. If you don’t know, then you’re crying on the bus for no reason and people are staring. But if you know what’s under there, then you recognize that quivering tune when it starts to play. You say to yourself, Oh, yeah, I’m the one with the crazy attachments. I’m the one who gets attached and doesn’t show it, the one people leave behind because they don’t even know I’m attached.

    And then finally by thinking it through you get to this: I’m the one who has to tell people upfront that I get attached. I’m the one who has to make it clear what’s going on.

    People have no idea what’s going on in there. They don’t know you’re attached. Or maybe they do and — what’s harder to accept — they just don’t really care that much! That’s possible, too. It’s not the end of the world. That’s just how some people are. They’re not even thinking about you. They’re thinking about whether they’re amused or not. They’re thinking about whether there’ll be somebody to have coffee with. It doesn’t matter who. It’s just a person to have coffee with that they need.

    Maybe they’d be pleased to know you get attached if it made them feel super-attractive and important. But maybe they’d feel hemmed in, like now all of a sudden you’re a big, needy responsibility they didn’t want. Or maybe they wouldn’t care either way. Maybe if you were to say that you get attached and feel things deeply and take things hard and that friendship matters greatly to you and you find it hard to understand how other people can just walk away like that, maybe the words wouldn’t even go into their head and activate brain cells. Hard to tell. Some people just flit around and it’s all the same to them: You’re not a person. You’re just people.

    I mean, you’re special to me, and you’re special to your mom, and you’re special to yourself, but you’re not special to everybody. To a lot of people you’re just somebody in the neighborhood. Can you handle not being special? Sure you can! You do it all the time. In 99 percent of our interactions, we’re not special. You pay your money and you get your Fast Pass. Maybe you pay your money every month and see the same gold tooth in the smile. Then one day it’s a new smile. You miss the old smile with the gold tooth, but there’s no formal announcement saying, “I know you were really starting to like seeing that same smile every month but I’m a new person at the counter; sorry for inflicting this tiny change in your life; I, too, wish things could go back the way they were.”

    That will never happen. If it happens even once I want to hear about it.

    Things change all the time. We can’t do anything about it and neither can the police.

    People come, people go, you adjust.

    How do you adjust? You pay attention to your thing. You turn your attention from what is lost to whatever your thing is.

    See? Genius.

  • Writer’s Strike. Yay, writers! Yay, union! May not seem like it at times, from my past posts, but I’m generally pro-union for all the reasons Digby says.

    You hear a lot of nasty snark in this town about how these WGA strikers are all millionaires playing at being hardhats, and it totally misses the point. The union movement is about solidarity, which is a fundamental progressive value

    Unions and the solidarity it promotes are an important key to a progressive America, whether it’s the Writers Guild or the UAW or the janitors or the health care workers. They promote a strong and stable middle class — and help us see ourselves as one people with common interests.

    Digby also talks about the literal blood in the streets from back when the entertainment unions were first formed, and how many of the leaders of the original union movement were later blacklisted or accused of being “commies”. The fight today to re-build the labor movement is just as important, after decades of union-busting and internal corruption… even if actual blood isn’t being spilled. Go here for news and to offer your support.

  • Did you ever, ever, even in a passing nightmare, imagine that you would live in a country where the Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer for the shining beacon of human rights and democracy known as the United States of America, would not commit in open testimony prior to his confirmation to torture being wrong? And who would go on to be confirmed, anyway? Surprise! You do live in that country! As Glenn Greenwald says:

    The most amazing quote was from chief Mukasey supporter Chuck Schumer, who, before voting for him, said that Mukasey is “wrong on torture — dead wrong.” Marvel at that phrase: “wrong on torture.” Six years ago, there wasn’t even any such thing as being “wrong on torture,” because “torture” wasn’t something we debated. It would have been incoherent to have heard: “Well, he’s dead wrong on torture, but . . . “

    Now, “torture” is not only something we openly debate, but it’s something we do. And the fact that someone is on the wrong side of the “torture debate” doesn’t prevent them from becoming the Attorney General of the United States. It’s just one issue, like any other issue — the capital gains tax, employer mandates for health care, the water bill — and just because someone is “dead wrong” on one little issue (torture) hardly disqualifies them from High Beltway Office.

    Whatcha gonna do about it?

  • From my youngest nephew comes The Impossible Quiz. I didn’t do so good on my first time through. Maybe you can do better.
  • Apparently, Radiohead threw a party on the web late Thursday! Here’s a video from the stream: