Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Jay Leno

Friday Night Links

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* “The worldwide triumph of capitalism … secures the priority of Marxism as the ultimate horizon of thought in our time”: Benjamin Kunkel reviews Fredric Jameson in LRB.

* Archie Comics will soon be introducing its first openly gay character, “strapping, blond Kevin.”

* If you were trying to persuade me to support the climate bill, you picked the absolute worst possible approach.

* The ACLU explains everything that’s wrong with Arizona’s brazenly unconstitutional documentation legislation.

* Julian Sanchez has been doing an influential series of posts about epistemic closure on the right.

* Meanwhile, Glenn Beck continues his slow-motion breakdown, GOP unanimity seems to have lost its mojo, and Chris Christie is the right wing’s crush of the month.

* Chicken-to-medical-procedure currency converter.

* And some breaking news: Jay Leno sucks.

Monday Night

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* Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to donations to the Republican National Committee. But they really weren’t supposed to say that last part out loud.

* The Southern Poverty Law Center has posted its annual report on violent extremism on the right. Via MeFi. Immigration reform should be just the thing to cool these tempers down.

* Oscar-winning animated short “Logorama.”

* Honest movie titles.

* Benen and Klein remind everyone who needs reminding that health care reform is a major progressive victory. There’s never a final end to struggle; we take what’s here and start again.

* Lessons of a $618,616 death.

What I couldn’t know then was that the thinking behind my request—along with hundreds of decisions we made over the years—was a window on the impossible calculus at the core of today’s health-care dilemma. Terence and I were eager to beat his cancer. Backed by robust medical insurance provided by a succession of my corporate employers, we were able to wage a fierce battle. As we made our way through a series of expensive last chances, like the one I asked for that night, we didn’t have to think about money, allocation of medical resources, the struggles of roughly 46 million uninsured Americans, or the impact on corporate bottom lines.

Terence’s treatment was expensive. The bills for his seven years of medical care totaled $618,616, almost two-thirds of which was for his final 24 months. Still, no one can say for sure if the treatments helped extend his life.

* Elections have consequences: “Feds Move to Break Voting-Machine Monopoly.”

* 8-bit New York.

* Every “Holy ______, Batman” from Burt Ward’s Robin.

* Conspiracy theory of the night: Did Leno add a laugh track to Sarah Palin’s appearance? Related: Was Palin indoctrinated as a child while receiving medical treatment from Canadian communofascists?

* And the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas has acquired the papers of David Foster Wallace. Book your flights now.

The Day After

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* Hoping that lemming-like Congressional Democrats have worked through their little collective freakout over the course of the day and can get back to work with their historic majorities in both houses tomorrow. Seems like maybe they have. Just this once, you idiots, do what the GOP would do. Just shut up and pass the bill.

* Of course, it’s easier to blame the Left, which, having given up everything and gotten nothing all year, is obviously to blame for everything. It’s not like the Democrats ever wanted to actually do anything with their power anyway.

* Dow drops 200 on Brown’s win. Eagerly awaiting Fox’s mea culpa.

* The bill that the Senate Democrats passed did not substantially restructure the system of private insurance, nor the health care delivery system. It did not include a public option. It did, rather, about the minimum that you could do if you want to prevent people with pre-existing conditions from being denied health care. You can’t require insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions unless you’re willing to put a mandate into place (otherwise, everyone’s premiums would rise substantially). And you can’t put a mandate into place without having some reasonably generous subsidies (otherwise, a lot of folks would go broke.) The Senate’s bill was about the least radical way to achieve something approaching universal coverage that can be imagined. It was nevertheless a bill that I think would do a tremendous amount of good for tremendous number of people, and so I’ve advocated for its passage. But with the possible exception of Wyden-Bennett (which not identifiably left or right although much more radical than what the Congress is considering), virtually any attempt to achieve universal coverage would be further to the left of this bill. Post-Partisanship Epic Fail.

* BREAKING: The Senate is still broken.

* If I’m understanding Steve King right, God crashed the economy, killed Ted Kennedy, nominated a weak Democrat who couldn’t campaign as his replacement, and finally put Scott Brown in the Senate all in order to stop health care reform at the last second. Sort of a roundabout way to use your omnipotence, but then again He’s always worked in mysterious ways.

* Or maybe God, knowing the House could pass tomorrow health care tomorrow if it wanted, actually doesn’t want climate change legislation. Because he’s sick and tired of our screw-ups and wants us gone, I guess.

* At least Glenn Beck’s having a bad day too. More: He’s paranoid about Palin pulling a Leno.

Assorted Late Night Links That Have (Almost) Nothing to Do with Massachusetts

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* Conventional wisdom already says Obama is now president of Haiti. At least these people waited a whole week before unilaterally declaring Haiti a U.S. colony.

* Mediocre director contracted to ruin Spider-Man franchise. More here.

* Fox News, in a desperate bid for my attention, openly advocated on behalf of Scott Brown today. But even this behavior pales in comparison to O’Reilly’s bizarre nostalgia last Friday for those halcyon days when it was okay to make fun of Arabs.

* FiveThirtyEight on the branding of Scott Brown. What they predict, of course, has already happened.

* Why Massachusetts doesn’t matter. An hour or so ago I tweeted: “Bright side of Coakley loss: Democrats will finally have to face the fact that nothing good will ever get through the Senate.” It sounds like Biden at least has already figured this out.

* Timo at Bitter Laughter has carefully crafted a post perfectly calibrated to pull me in. The Duck Tales reference just seals it.

* U.S. military rifle scopes have Bible verses inscribed on them. Oddly, this is not a joke.

* But Obama’s not looking backwards: “FBI broke law for years in phone record searches.”

* Absurdity watch: New Orleans prosecutors are charging prostitutes as sex offenders. Via MeFi.

* Passport photos of famous artists. Also via MeFi.

* And the NBC late-night feud has been digitally recreated by Taiwanese newspaper Apple Daily. I think this should clear everything up.

Other Stuff

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* Details on the U.S. operation of Port-Au-Prince’s last working airstrip from Crooks & Liars, a possible (or partial) answer to complaints about its allocation. A second airport is now working at Jacmel, administered by tiny American charity Joy in Hope. From Ryan, I see the Caribbean is still at risk for more earthquakes.

* Yahoo News is hiring bloggers.

* Gawker has your roundup of clips from the ongoing NBC late-night fiasco.

* Louis Menand and how to rescue the professoriate from professionalization.

The ultimate problem is this: How do you create a system for the production of knowledge that is, on the one hand, rigorous and peer-reviewed and, on the other, committed to aims and obligations beyond its own survival? The professoriate itself is well aware of the dilemma, Menand observes, and has enthusiastically promoted what sounds like a solution: “interdisciplinarity.” The hope is that if professors join in conversation with one another, they’ll remember to be interesting to people outside their building.

Theoretically, this solves everything. The disciplines are still accountable only to themselves, but they’re also engaged with something broader—i.e., other disciplines. They are still autonomous without being hermetic. Except that, Menand explains, interdisciplinarity finally does nothing to alter the ways in which the individual disciplines produce their professors. Rather than a therapy for academic neurosis, interdisciplinarity is in fact yet one more symptom of it. “Interdisciplinary anxiety,” he writes, “is a displaced anxiety about the position of privilege that academic professionalism confers on its initiates and about the peculiar position of social disempowerment created by the barrier between academic workers and the larger culture. It is anxiety about the formalism and methodological fetishism of the disciplines and about the danger of sliding into aimless subjectivism or eclecticism.”

Ouch

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Hate to see someone lose control of an interview like this.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 15, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Misc.

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* A stage production of Two Gentlemen of Lebowski is already in the works.

* Asheville, NC, is one of the gayest cities in America.

* You said it: “The Senate is just a pain in the ass to everybody in the world as far as I can tell.”

* And if NBC screwed over Conan because they wanted me to watch his monologue on YouTube every day, mission accomplished.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 13, 2010 at 7:13 pm