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March 06, 2016

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Interestingly, I saw one of the Oscars. It was in the campaign that had all the ads where regular people delivered Oscar acceptance speeches. Kohl's! Yes.

Also recently a Cheerios ad got some attention.

I guess I have been ignoring ads a little more successfully than I realized.

Though there was quite a bit of backlash with the Cheerios ad

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/cheerios-commercial-racist-backlash_n_3363507.html

Campbell's recently did a 'two dads' ad (Star Wars themed). they took some flak for that.

http://www.phillyvoice.com/campbells-star-wars-commercial-gay-fathers/

You'll want to read this:

http://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2015/7/20/the-case-of-the-missing-magazine-2015

one of the comments fro BigHank's link:

I too find this photograph troubling. While I'm all for race-mixing I draw the line at ladies in full length evening gowns mixing with shoeless men in cheap jeans. What's next men in formal wear and woman in housecoats?

I watch The Walking Dead. I was amazed to see how many people were bothered by what was, for many others, a long-awaited (like, over several seasons) interracial coupling.

Even in the zombie apocalypse, with people killing each other left and right, where moral ambiguity abounds, and where the opportunities for coupling a far more limited than they were before corpses became animated and cannibalistic (which I only mention to note that one needn't assume this coupling was some convenient contrivance for the sake of promoting "political correctness"), some things just cannot be tolerated, I guess.

Sure, a 12-year-old boy may have to stab his recently dead-from-childbirth mother in the head to prevent her from reanimating and possibly eating his newborn sister, but this particular interracial relationship (though not the first on the show???) - that's a bridge too far.

Yeah, that Cheerios ad immediately came to mind. But it's an exception that demonstrates the rule, and also the reason for the rule: we all thought of the same ad, and in fact there was a gigantic racist blow-up over it.

"I watch the Walking Dead".

In the times when America was great, Negro Zombies stayed on their own side of the tracks and ate their own kind.

I remember from my childhood in the 1960s watching Johnny Carson with my great Aunts, and Diahann Carroll appeared from behind the curtain and Johnny came out from behind the desk and they gave each other a welcoming peck right square on their mouths, and my Aunt nearly came out of her overstuffed chair and put her hands up to her face and with a loud "Blooey!" of disgust, batted the kiss away with both hands from her own lips.

I refrained from asking if we could watch Little Richard on Merv Griffin instead, who was appearing on another channel going "A-Wop-Bop-A-Loo-Bop-A-Wham-Bam-Boom.

I watch the Walking Dead

AKA Marco Rubio.

An interracial couple gets an adorable Newfoundland dog in this Bank of America commercial.

The Washington Post had an interesting article
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/17/mixed-marriages-are-changing-the-way-we-think-about-our-race/
on the subject.

It seems that our social scientists (and government) may be missing something here. Apparently a lot of people of mixed race simply do not see themselves that way. That is, their parents or grandparents may be over several races, but they themselves self-report (e.g. on surveys) as just one.

No one knew this:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/03/black-voters-are-going-be-pissed-when-they-hear-about

Try to keep it on the down-low. D'Souza, that sleuth, proves that at one time in America, all whites of all political parties were racists.

As Johnny Carson might say (when he found out on the air that Doc Severinsen was not on hand because he had a gig elsewhere):

I did not know that.

Now, only Democrats/Liberals are racists, apparently.

Because Strom Thurmond and Richard Nixon decided to integrate the Republican Party:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essie_Mae_Washington-Williams

if only Brett were here to explain this theory with great detail and care.

US minorities are actually given a lot of loving care and attention when compared to actual foreigners: the depiction of people outside the English speaking world is often hilariously uninformed and patronizing at best and - still quite common - openly racist in the worst cases.

"the depiction of people outside the English speaking world is often hilariously uninformed and patronizing at best..."

And quite a few inside the English speaking world, I think:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_territorial_entities_where_English_is_an_official_language

(And looking at the preponderance of Hollywood villains, you're not too kind about Brits, either....)

Being Hispanic is independent of race. Leaving aside what a problematic concept race is, it's ostensibly about your genes, which you inherit regardless of your language or culture being different from that of your fairly recent ancestors.

Being Hispanic is about, in some sense or another, being "from" a place where Spanish language and culture are dominant. It's really not all that surprising (to me, anyway) that people stop self-identifying as Hispanic once they no longer are strongly influenced by Hispanic culture.

There are still people who watch ads on television?

Come to think of it, there are still people who watch television? I figured it was all Netflix, Hulu Plus, and HBO at this point.

I am one out-of-touch Gen X-er...

To me, race seems to be a very mushy concept -- at least in any scientific sense. Get your DNA examined and you can find out you have ancestors from all kinds of places you never knew. And, perhaps, that you appareently have no ancestors from places you thought you did. (Voice of experience here.)

Rather, race mostly seems to come down to how other people see you. And how they behave towards you as a result. Which can have little or nothing to do with where your ancestors actually came from.

How they see you feeds back into how you see yourself, of course. But it also means that, for most practical purposes, you can be assimilated (and no longer "belong" to a race) whenever people stop treating you like you are different.

Which raises an interesting thought. At what point is race an issue primarily because the government persists in asking about it? I don't think we are anywhere near that point yet. But someday....

And looking at the preponderance of Hollywood villains, you're not too kind about Brits, either

in general, Americans love Brits.

90% of the time, if you see someone in a US production who has a proper English accent, you should automatically assume that that character is supposed to be smarter than everyone else in the room - this does not apply to Irish, Scottish or Aussie accents. but Brits are nearly always assumed to be smarter and more cultured than Americans - a perpetual insecurity, i suppose. who judges our talent shows? Nigel Lythgoe, Simon Cowell, Gordon Ramsey.

plus, English accents are the way American films signify generic "foreign". the show could be set in France, Germany or Spain or Westeros, but the actors will use English accents.

How come British and Irish actors can do spot-on American accents, but we're still recovering from Dick Van Dyke's butchering of the cockney in "Mary Poppins".

How come British and Irish actors can do spot-on American accents

So funny. A couple of weeks ago, I saw "View from the Bridge" on Broadway. It was spectacularly acted, probably the best acting I've ever seen on stage, except that the British cast (Mark Strong, Nicola Walker) was extremely unconvincing with regard to the Brooklyn accent. Well worth ignoring that one issue. The several people who went with me agreed (on the accent, but also the superlative performance).

Personally I find English accents by American accents are often excellent - especially doing traditional Received Pronunciation (which hardly anyone speaks anymore, but they're useful for period dramas); but also often doing the modern prestige accent - for instance Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones was absolutely flawless.

The best English accents though come from Australian actors, who are more exposed to regional variation.

English actors doing American accents can be quite variable. For instance Idris Elba in The Wire sounded perfect to my ear (though I'm no expert on Baltimore AAVE), whereas Dominic West was all over the place.

Even English actors with excellent American accents often trip up with 'intrusive r' and even 'hyper intrusive 'r' - overcompensating by sticking extra r's at the end of words like 'Mozzarella' (see this Language Log post). This never happens to Scots or Irish actors as they pronounce all their r's like (most) Americans do.

At what point is race an issue primarily because the government persists in asking about it?

When we no longer need to ask or when they fire up the ovens...whichever comes first.

Well worth ignoring that one issue.

Brooklynese is not an American accent (dives for cover).

@ sapient -

Traditional non-rhotic Brooklyn's a tough one for english actors, because having worked for years to remember to insert their r's, they then have to un-learn them again - if they even know they're supposed to.

I have to say, I can't imagine doing any kind of accent to people who are very familiar with it for two hours without an intermission.

For so many reasons, the production still resonates.

Personally, I think British actors are overvalued in America, especially in Hollywood. Though there are some superb ones (like the ones you mention), there are quite a few good ones who have been phoning it in for years, and also quite a few average and bad ones.

It must be pretty frustrating for US actors who don't get many parts, the way producers seem to lose all critical faculties when they hear our accent. It is understandable when casting something like Game of Thrones, which is a kind of archaic world, or to a lesser extent period dramas set in places like Rome. But when Clive Owen or Carey Mulligan is cast as an American... just, why?

and even Superman is a Brit now.

you can have all our professors and scientists and generic foreign types, but at least let us keep our superheroes!

And Ben Affleck is Batman. Feh.

Idris Elba in The Wire sounded perfect to my ear

I watched all of the Wire episodes that Elba was in and didn't know he was a Brit until about two weeks ago.

Well done.

Brooklynese is not an American accent

Up your nose with a rubber hose.

Damien Lewis, from Homeland, is another Brit who nails an American accent.

The place the Brits fall down, IMVHO, is in writing vernacular American speech. My wife and I end up watching a lot of UK TV shows, because we are liberal coastal elitists of course and "Duck Dynasty" just doesn't pair well with a nice chalky Sancerre, and the words they put in the mouths of what are supposed to be idiomatic American speakers invariably leave us scratching our heads.

Accents, pretty good. British actors are serious craftspeople.

Vernacular American English, not so much.

The analogy, going the other way, would be if every native UK-English-speaking character in an American-authored piece walked around saying "Pip-pip! Right-o! Good show!" every ten seconds.

You know, like the folks on Downton Abbey.

What about Hugh Laurie in House? I heard many Americans were astounded/aghast to discover that he was a Brit, whereas we know him (among many other excellent things) as TV's greatest Bertie Wooster, with many a fine Pip pip and Right-Ho perfectly deployed.

English actors doing American accents can be quite variable.

As someone who grew up just outside Philadelphia, I can tell you Toni Collette did the about the best Philadelphia accent in The Sixth Sense that I've ever heard. Most of the time, actors attempting that accent, if they aren't from the Philadelphia area, sound more like New Yorkers.

Back to The Walking Dead, it's always surprising to hear several of the actors speaking in their British (or Australian) accents off set. There were a few like that on True Blood as well. It seems Southern accents come easily to Brits (in the general Commonwealth sense, if we include Aussies).

English actors doing American accents can be quite variable.

As someone who grew up just outside Philadelphia, I can tell you Toni Collette did the about the best Philadelphia accent in The Sixth Sense that I've ever heard. Most of the time, actors attempting that accent, if they aren't from the Philadelphia area, sound more like New Yorkers.

Back to The Walking Dead, it's always surprising to hear several of the actors speaking in their British (or Australian) accents off set. There were a few like that on True Blood as well. It seems Southern accents come easily to Brits (in the general Commonwealth sense, if we include Aussies).

What about Hugh Laurie in House?

Great accent, but dude, leave the blues alone.

What about Hugh Laurie in House?

Great accent, but dude, leave the blues alone.

I have to admit that you're right, Russell. Even I (a dyed-in-the-wool admirer of his from way back) was taken aback after he opened his mouth to sing those songs (as opposed to English stuff he sang in his sketch show with Stephen Fry). But I thought the piano was OK? On the other hand IANAM

Getting back to the subject of Hispanics and Asians assimilating through marriages to (non-Hispanic) whites, such that subsequent generations do not self-identify as Hispanic or Asian as frequently, I wonder if there's any correlation between continued self-identification and surname.

My great grandfather was Puerto Rican, and I carry his last name, even though I'm only 1/8 Puerto Rican by descent. I'm the only family member of my generation to carry that name. My 1/2-Puerto Rican grandfather had only a sister (from that same father - half-siblings on their mother's side), so none of my 2nd cousins carry the name. My father has only a sister, so none of my 1st cousins carry the name. I am my father's only child.

I'm guessing I'm far more likely to identify with my Puerto Rican ancestry simply by virtue of having a Spanish surname than are my cousins, even though they are no less Puerto Rican than I am.

(I also look fairly Puerto Rican, but largely because my mother is half southern Italian and a bit African American. The three ethnicities all kind of blended together seamlessly.)

Testing....

Am I the only one having problems posting ?

And now not...

The place to find the worst efforts at American accents is, for some reason, BBC radio drama.

And, of course, as mentioned above, Clive Owen.

The point about the English accent becoming the default for archaic worlds is a curious one, since some American regional variations are, I think, quite a lot closer to the English spoken four hundred years ago the is modern English RP.
(The best production of Henry IV I ever saw was at Santa Cruz Shakespeare, and the accents did not grate at all, which they certainly would have done had the teenage me been watching.)

But I thought the piano was OK?

He doesn't do a bad job, it just seems like some kind of hobby thing. Go hire the best band money can buy, get a fedora, and bingo, you're a blues musician.

I look at Hugh Laurie playing big freaking theaters, then I look at the 1,328,429 guys I know who live this stuff 24/7 and kill it 10 times a week for $100 (if that) and a free beer.

Good gig for the backup band, though.

Same deal for Billy Bob Thornton, 'blues drummer'.

What I can I say, I have issues.

Bruce Willis. Remember that? Yikes.

No, Nigel. The blog has been flaky for the last day or so.

I had terrible trouble posting, and at one time thought I was barred forever - for someone determined not to post too much it was curiously upsetting.

He doesn't do a bad job, it just seems like some kind of hobby thing.

Actually it's sadder than that: he heard a Professor Longhair album when he was 17, and immediately conceived a lifelong, hopeless passion. It seems from everything I've heard him say that he's the first to (genuinely, not false-modestly) deprecate his own performance, but he loves this music so much, and he respects the musicians so much, that because he is given the opportunity to do it, and that in turn gives them the opportunity, he feels less fraudulent taking advantage of it. I believe him; he's a neurotically insecure, but I think a pretty good, guy.

What I can I say, I have issues.

It seems to me, you're entitled.

On the topic of heroic yet ultimately futile efforts at replicating an English accent, special mention really ought to go to John Hillerman 's Higgins in Magnum PI.

A much subtler aural torture than Van Dyke's efforts.

I've also been having problems posting, typically with an error message showing problems with a perl (python?) interface to MySQL.

I blame Little Bobby Tables.

@ hairshirthedonist

Did you see 'A History of Violence'? William Hurt is one of the few actor who has bothered to learn the International Phonetic Alphabet and is very serious about getting accents right, so Id be interested to know how his Philly sounds to you.

@ Nigel

"The point about the English accent becoming the default for archaic worlds is a curious one, since some American regional variations are, I think, quite a lot closer to the English spoken four hundred years ago the is modern English RP."

Yes but as far as most people are concerned on both sides of the Atlantic, high RP is just how 'authentic' English has always sounded.

At least in Game of Thrones they have a lot of different regional accents.

You can definitely get some horrified denials if you point out (accurately) that the "Language of Shakespeare" sounded far more like American English than like today's British English.

Yup, all us super-modern Americans are seriously retro when it comes to pronunciation.

Nigel: some American regional variations are, I think, quite a lot closer to the English spoken four hundred years ago the is modern English RP

On the mid-Atlantic, many of us visit North Carolina's Outer Banks, near Ocracoke. Apparently some of these communities were isolated, and their dialect is thought to be very close to Elizabethan English. A wikipedia link here, although I'm sure there are better sources for folks who are interested. I have read that some mountain dwellers in my state also have authentic centuries-old English.

Also, it's interesting to think about the opposite phenomenon, such as Mediterranean Lingua Franca.

Language is so more than it means.

Did you see 'A History of Violence'? William Hurt is one of the few actor who has bothered to learn the International Phonetic Alphabet and is very serious about getting accents right, so Id be interested to know how his Philly sounds to you.

I did. It sounded strange to me, like he was trying too hard or something. But at least he didn't sound like he was doing New York and hoping no one would know the difference.

the "Language of Shakespeare" sounded far more like American English than like today's British English.

I don't know. It really depends what you mean by 'American English' and 'British English'. Shakespeare's accent would have been rhotic, like most US accents, but I suspect in other respects it was closer to modern Midlands accent than any modern US accent.

In these clips the linguist David Crystal and his actor so Ben do a philologically informed impression of the accent, and it sounds to me something like West Country crossed with north Midlands.

(As an aside, I'm not sure 'British English' is really a meaningful grouping of accents - you could argue that e.g. standard Northern Irish is just as close to General American as it is to modern RP, while Cockney is considerably closer to some Australian accents than it is to, say, Glaswegian. When it comes to grammar, though, BrE is certainly a meaningful class.)

Stop Donald, stop. Please stop talking. I'll do anything. Anything. Even eat one of our f*cking steaks. Just stop. Stop. Stop. Stop.

One of the things that confused me a bit when I started watching the AMC series "Turn: Washington's Spies" was the rhoticity of the characters' speech. They all sounded mildly Irish to me. Out of curiosity, I read that r-dropping was relatively rare when the British colonized what is now the United States. Sew TV make I smarterer.

On the mid-Atlantic, many of us visit North Carolina's Outer Banks, near Ocracoke.

we live Raleigh-ish, and do plenty of weekends on the NC coast. there's an island on the south end of the outer banks called Harker's Island, which has a distinct and very very Hoy Toyd accent. when we're hanging out in the dive bars, and the guys come in from fishing, you can always tell the natives because you can barely understand them. it's nothing like the typical 'southern' accent (of which there are dozens - a dozen distinct accents in NC alone).

that accent is dying off, though, as they all do. sadly. the islands out there are less and less isolated and kids grow up wanting to speak like the majority.

speaking of unintelligible... wife and i watched Amy recently. if it wasn't subtitled (!) we wouldn't have understood half of what she was saying - even in the sober clips.

@ hairshirthedonist

Yes it only really took off in the 18th century, and it's still some way off conquering the whole country.

I tried to post this yesterday without success, so forgive me for being a bit late.

Personally, I think British actors are overvalued in America, especially in Hollywood.

In the past there was the nasty word that in US/UK co-productions America provides the stars and the British the acting (and that was long before the likes of Tom Cruise).

In (US made) sandal movies the Romans traditionally speak with British accents and the heroes with US accents (Ben Hur the prime example).

Bruce Willis. Remember that? Yikes.

Sadly, yes. The dude didn't even spring for the fedora.

he heard a Professor Longhair album when he was 17, and immediately conceived a lifelong, hopeless passion.

Longhair has that effect on people. It's a good thing he didn't stumble across something from James Booker.

:)

I believe him; he's a neurotically insecure, but I think a pretty good, guy.

I'm sure that's so. It was just me ranting, apologies to all and thanks to all for your indulgence.

Everyone, do me a favor.

Go out this weekend and hear some local live music. Get a sitter if need be. Pay the $5 cover (if there even is one), have a drink or two and maybe a hamburger, get up and dance to a tune or two if you like, and tell the owners how much you like the fact that they have a live band.

And if you like a song that you hear on the radio or YouTube or whatever, pay the freaking $1 rather than getting your buddies to burn you a copy. You pay $1 (or way more, perhaps) for a freaking cup of coffee, pay $1 for music you are going to listen to for years.

OK, enough from me.

the "Language of Shakespeare" sounded far more like American English than like today's British English.

My wife worked for a long time for a marketing consultancy based in NOLA. Every year, they would treat their clients to a big throw-down in conjunction with Mardi Gras. The owner of the consultancy was the commander of the Hermes krewe, so they got to do cool stuff like ride on the floats and go to some of the swankier balls.

As an aside, I have some serious beads.

One of their clients was a firm based in France. And, they had a guy on staff who was born and bred deep-fried French-speaking Cajun. The folks from France commented that, while they could not make head or tails of the French spoken in the Canadian maritimes, the Cajun guy was quite intelligible to them.

They thought he sounded like a native French speaker from about the 17th or 18th C.

The persistence of culture is a mighty thing.

You pay $1 (or way more, perhaps) for a freaking cup of coffee, pay $1 for music you are going to listen to for years.

This reminds me of a conversation one of my best friends and I had years ago, before you could buy a digital copy of a song for $1, about the incredible value of purchasing music. It was the era of the CD, those shiny discs with entire albums on them, if you don't remember. I actually still buy them sometimes.

I believe the last one I purchased was Deep Purple's Machine Head. I was looking for a clothes dryer at Best Buy (desperate times!) on the off chance they had something on clearance for a good price, and noticed the Deep Purple CD priced at $5 as I was passing the ever-smaller music selection. It was an album I recorded off the radio onto a cassette tape when I was in high school (sorry, russell!).

They used to play full albums on Sunday nights, uninterrupted from beginning to end, on either WYSP or WMMR. I don't recall which. I listened to that album a lot until the tape was lost at some point when I was in college.

Now, 25 or so years later, it goes into rotation on my now-antiquated CD changer in my car.

How many other forms of entertainment can you get that much use out of, over and over again, for such a low price? Think of your favorite film. Can you watch it as many times or as frequently as you can listen to your favorite album? How many times can you read the same book? (Sure, books take a lot longer, but still.)

Do any of you have any idea how many times I've listened to Slayer's Reign in Blood? DO YOU!!!??? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA AT ALL!!!?? I'LL KILL ALL OF YOU!!!

Whoa... Sorry about that. Just thinking about that album gets me a little worked up.

I bought Four Way Street four times on vinyl, twice on CD (although Neil Young screwed it up by sticking a bunch of his songs on it) and now have it as one of the few albums in Spotify I listen to as a whole (although I did make a playlist with just the original song list).

I have only bought one song online(So I could make a family video using it). But I have hundreds of songs I ripped from CD's, should I pay for those again? Nowadays I just go find it on Spotify, so Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks I don't mind just Youtubing, well, Garth. Their choice to not be available to me for money.

That wandered a little.

Music.

He didn't like their songs at the very beginning, thought they were a bit shoddy playing their instruments, and in return, they didn't like his tie.

And that's the last that was heard from the lot of them. ;)

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/09/entertainment/george-martin-obit/index.html

It's of unending fascination to me that the Beatles cheeky charm was what sealed the deal for their first recording contract on that mightily fortuitous day and the musical talent came along shortly, seemingly like Athena bursting from Zeus' brow, though 1000 gigs in Hamburg and Liverpool honed their performance chops.

They could always sing.

But, if Martin did not have the hilarious Goons ... Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, etc .... already on his production resume, I don't know who else would have "gotten" the Beatles in those stodgy times.

I remember that the world suddenly went from black and white to riotous color, as it did once Dorothy was plucked by a tornado from Kansas in "The Wizard of OZ".

I'll never get over it.


If there was ever a day for guest post, I'd say today would be it. Waddya say, Count and ObWi admins?

I've already said it. But have at it.

But I have hundreds of songs I ripped from CD's, should I pay for those again?

No, man, you already bought 'em.

On behalf of the musical community, not that I can claim any right to speak for them, I thank you.

And Four Way Street was a great recording. Document of a time, and also just great tunes and great playing, end to end.

I remember that the world suddenly went from black and white to riotous color

I'm just young enough that the Beatles were somewhat above my head when they broke in the US.

My big sisters, different story.

For me, the light bulb went on when I saw Sly and the Family Stone on Sullivan in '68.

Gadzooks, said I to myself, I wanna do that.

Speaking of the old RP accent... Reading the obituaries, I never knew Martin started out working class. Wow, he hid that well.

Count, you were the first person I thought of when I heard the George Martin news. I second HSH's suggestion: no matter how often you've talked about them, you always have something interesting to say, and interesting stuff to link to. I'm in.

Russell, I think your attitude to music and your fellow musicians is true and righteous. Nowhere in the wilds of the North Country where I currently find myself seems to have any live music on at the moment, but in due course, when I'm back in the Smoke, I will find something and raise a glass to you, as well as them.

In re: The Walking Dead, Steven Barnes (the author of Streetlethal and other novels) has sworn off it. Apparently all the black males have been cast as utter failures and are killed before they can do anything good. Especially they are killed before they can mate with black or white females, while the white men can, eventually, go either way.

I see his point, without the swearing-off thing. I think it's interesting, even though the writing has a particular racial tinge that may not appeal.

That's kind of silly. While many black males have died off (not all), almost all died either after having performed noble self-sacrifices or in the actual performance of such. (Is that failure?)

Depending on what is meant by "mate," that may also be incorrect. There have been on-screen romances between black male characters and women, both black and otherwise, though there hasn't been any resulting procreation involving black males. But, so far, there's been only one birth on the show (both parents white), and now there's a pregnancy - with the father being Asian.

Maybe there's some nuance being lost in translation, and I don't entirely disagree that black males haven't had the best of it on the show, but Barnes' case appears to be way overstated.

So I googled and found this blog post from Barnes. There was some nuance lost. I get what he's saying, and his facts about the plot appear to be in order, but I'm not swearing the show off over it. Point taken, though.

Not sure that I like where they are taking Morgan's character, either.
Lennie James (another Brit) is a fine actor, though.

Loved him in the BBC's Line of Duty a few years back.

I think Morgan is going to go insane again. But someone "big" is going to die, maybe more than one, in the season finale. Has to. The last "big" person that was killed was (spoiler!) Beth, and that was, what, midway through last season?

I know who I have my money on.

Completely off topic: I just happened to read this important discussion on the merits of Feminist Glaciology aaaand felt a need to share it.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/03/08/study-glaciers-varied-impact-on-men-women-cost-taxpayers-big-bucks.html

"feminist glaciology" ! awesome.

$412,930 ? or, roughly 20 seconds worth of the DoD's annual budget.

$412,930 ? or, roughly 20 seconds worth of the DoD's annual budget.

If you could be so kind as to phone your Congressman and have him include 400k (rounding is fine with me) in any upcoming bill to pay for me to study this I will gladly take 400k, they can thus shut down DoD for 20 seconds later in the year.

you'll need to fill out the appropriate paperwork, first.

The study, which centers around "feminist glaciology," was published in January and was part of a nearly half million dollar federal grant, according to The Free Beacon and College Fix -- though it's unclear how much of the $412,930 in funds went specifically toward Carey's paper.

So, it could be $10, $1k, $10k, $100k or some other number. But whatever it actually is, it's "big bucks!"

I'm having flashbacks of righteous outrage arising from very confused thoughts about shrimp on treadmills.

"Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions,” the paper reads.

It does sound a lot like something produced by the postmodernism generator.

The reaction here is interesting, but I should have been more clear. Despite the title, I didn't really think about the cost so much as trying to get my head around the concept.

"Ice is not just ice"?

But this seems to require thought:

Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change,” Carey wrote. “However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers -- particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge -- remain understudied."

"Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions,” the paper reads

Like, how do I understand a more just human-ice interaction?


(Or to put it another way, I remember back when I was a research assistant how I'd frequently spend money obtained through an Office of Naval Research grant aimed at improving collaborative online distance learning on pizza and beer.)

Sounds like that the theory is (a) women are impacted "more" by climate change/melting glaciers than men; (b) most of the research into the impact/extent of climate change has been conducted by men; thus (c) perhaps the nature and extent of the impact on humans and what actions need to be taken are skewed because of (a) and (b).

But they can't say that because they need a bunch of fancy sounding jargon to justify themselves to their peers, which then sounds ridiculous to anyone not steeped in the field (much like a similar one sentence description of an economics or physics paper might sound). ISTM.

All that said, I'm perfectly willing to accept that some amount of taxpayer research funds end up being spent on things that aren't worthwhile or are obvious/frivolous (not including pizza and beer). OTOH, sometimes things people - even scientists! - think are obvious aren't upon closer inspection/subsequent scrutiny.

"Like, how do I understand a more just human-ice interaction?"

Like Woody Allen, I hated the Ice Capades. I had no idea that Pat Robertson dismantled them:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_middlebrow/2005/03/the_ice_capades.html

the paper itself is online (for free). and... it's puzzling.

http://phg.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/01/08/0309132515623368.abstract

II Why feminist glaciology? Feminist glaciology asks how knowledge related to glaciers is produced, circulated, and gains credibility and authority across time and space. It simultaneously brings to the forefront glacier knowledge that has been marginalized or deemed ‘outside’ of traditional glaciology. It asks how glaciers came to be meaningful and significant (through what ontological and epistemological process), as well as trying to destabilize underlying assumptions about ice and environment through the dismantling of a host of boundaries and binaries. The feminist lens is crucial given the historical marginalization of women, the importance of gender in glacierrelated knowledges, and the ways in which systems of colonialism, imperialism, and patriarchy co-constituted gendered science.

it sounds like some obscure office politics got so hot that it metamorphosed into an entirely new branch of science, for one side of the argument anyway.

VII Conclusions Ice is not just ice. The dominant way Western societies understand it through the science of glaciology is not a neutral representation of nature. The feminist glaciology framework draws attention to those who dominate and frame the production of glaciological knowledge, the gendered discourses of science and knowledge, and the ways in which colonial, military, and geopolitical domination co-constitute glaciological knowledge. Even in a globalized age where the place of women and indigenous people has improved markedly in some parts of the world, masculinist discourses continue to dominate, in subtle and determinative ways. Feminist glaciology advocates for a shift of preoccupations in research, policy, and public perceptions fromthe physical and seemingly natural, to a broader consideration of ‘cryoscapes’, the human, and the insights and potentials of alternative ice narratives and folk glaciologies.

It seems to be a bit beyond Ugh's far more reasonable-sounding guess. The postmodernism generator is lurking in the shadows.

Also, off topic, but I thought this one of the greatest headlines of all time:

"Pope Imposes Financial Oversight For Saints After Abuses"

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/pope-imposes-financial-oversight-saints-113724175.html

While many black males have died off (not all), almost all died either after having performed noble self-sacrifices or in the actual performance of such. (Is that failure?)

I believe that Barnes' point is that ALL the black male leads have died either through stupidity or noble self-sacrifice.

Why not have one or two live?

Michonne and Sasha have survived to a large degree through their own acquired savagery (which it appears is a necessary trait to have in the zombie apocalypse), but it looks to be a lock that both of them are going to wind up with white guys.

This is Barnes' point: that black male leads tend to get killed off before they have a chance to mate. Once is just once. A couple of times, it's coincidence. His point is that it happens so often that there can be no coincidence.

Maybe he's right. He's a fairly good judge of character, in my opinion. I don't agree with all of his assessments; for one thing, I am not nearly as annoyed by Rick as he is. But this observation seems to have some truth to it. Not a universal truth, but it's recurring theme in TV and movies.

He doesn't, to be clear, hold that things are not changing with regard to racial equality. He's of the opinion that some patterns of behavior are in want of rectifying.

roughly 20 seconds worth of the DoD's annual budget

This reasoning can be used to justify all sorts of squanderings. Which is great, because I could really do a lot with nearly half a mill of pocket change.

Slart, did you see my follow-up comment? I was responding initially to your description of what he wrote, but after finding his blog post, I better understood where he was coming from.

(Why do you think Sasha is a lock to end up with a white guy? She might, but the last we saw, she was rejecting her white suitors advances. Michonne, yeah - that's already happened.)

I blame Eugene.

The funny thing about Michonne and Rick is that you have white racists upset about it, and now it's also bad from the black-male perspective (too!). The reasons are completely different, of course, but there's still some irony in the juxtaposition.

This reasoning can be used to justify all sorts of squanderings.

and, it can be used to show that complaints about waste on this scale are missing the forest for the pine needles.

Why do you think Sasha is a lock to end up with a white guy?

It's possible that she won't. But if she winds up with any guy at all, there's really only one or two choices who are black, and one of them (Morgan) is likely to be incompatible.

Morgan is I think an interesting character, but it's not really clear where he's headed.

Yes, I read your follow-up. But scanning Barnes' post that you referenced, he appears not to have addressed the noble self-sacrifice thing to the degree that he has elsewhere.

We're friends on Facebook, so I get a LOT that he hasn't bothered to formalize. Just to clarify where I am coming from.

The feminist lens is crucial given the historical marginalization of women, the importance of gender in glacierrelated knowledges, and the ways in which systems of colonialism, imperialism, and patriarchy co-constituted gendered science.

Surely this is a hoax, written to poke a little fun at the far periphery of feminist theory. I read it last week, IIRC, and thought it was a plant.

Couple of points...

Interestingly, Mother Jones is actually a bit of a fan of the Free Beacon:
http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/03/washington-free-beacon-conservative-investigative-media

As far as the study itself is concerned, I don't understand the fuss. Surely academic freedom entails the occasional silly article getting published, whether or not taxpayers money is involved ?
A bit of ridicule is quite appropriate, but hyperventilation rather unnecessary.

Morgan is I think an interesting character, but it's not really clear where he's headed.

Most sought-after arc-welder in the zombie apocalypse?

This is Barnes' point: that black male leads tend to get killed off before they have a chance to mate. Once is just once. A couple of times, it's coincidence. His point is that it happens so often that there can be no coincidence.

I do wonder if the particular problem with TWD and black male leads is a combination of things. One that it is generally following the comics, which means certain restrictions on story lines/characters. Second, combined with that is that Daryl is not in the comics and yet has become way too popular with the show's fan base to be killed off (so far), which further limits character development for other actors. So you have three white male leads who are essentially untouchable (Daryl, Rick and Carl). Then third combine that with the fact that TWD has had, IIRC, at least 3 show runners over its 6 seasons, each with his own approach to the show and where the story should go.

And I don't quite get the "mate" point. It isn't like there is a whole lot of that going on. For males you have Rick - who is untouchable, Glenn (not white), Shane (dead), Bob (black) and Abraham (okay he fits the complaint). Tyreese (black) also had a girlfriend on the show. And I guess the Governor (also dead) fits the complaint too.

This is going to sound way out there, but I wouldn't be entirely shocked if Carol and Morgan ended up "mating." They were more or less divergent in their philosophies, but now Morgan seems to be re-thinking his approach, and Carol seems to be re-thinking hers, such that they may be converging. And she's covering for him with the Wolf situation.

That likable-enough-to-be-killed-off Alexandrian she hooked up with is probably toast, too. He's the vehicle that establishes that she's now open to a romantic relationship of some sort, but his demise would leave that particular relationship impossible.

Carol moves off her "kill if you have any reason to think it's necessary" philosophy. Morgan moves off his "never kill" philosophy. They then become the "kill reluctantly when it's clearly necessary" badass couple of doom.

One that it is generally following the comics, which means certain restrictions on story lines/characters.

Interestingly enough, Carol and Tyreese have a brief romantic relationship in the comics. (Something I just learned. I haven't read them.)

I remember back when I was a research assistant how I'd frequently spend money obtained through an Office of Naval Research grant aimed at improving collaborative online distance learning on pizza and beer.

What it reminds me of is the $640 toilet seat covers. But then, that was in the military budget....

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