On Book Enjoyed

Liking things — we're still doing that, huh? Doesn't it seem kind of, I don't know, 2009ish to you?

Posted on June 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm 0

On American Cities I'd Prefer To See Get Blown Up In The Movies Instead of New York

You call this a "temporary pass" for Boston — Marathon, okay, I understand — but I'll bet you still know how it eats away at us to be passed over for both Providence and Hartford. (Portland, ME we don't care about.)

Also I don't understand what Memphis ever did to anybody except give America its greatest mass-cultural achievements, but okay.

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm 1

On Just Give Reddit A Few More Decades, They'll Crack This Boston Thing Yet

@the fridge Eh, there's such a thing as being beneath mention. If Calacanis doesn't fall into that category for you, then who does?

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 11:01 am 0

On Just Give Reddit A Few More Decades, They'll Crack This Boston Thing Yet

@Non-Anonymous Carte blanche! Everyone thinks they're giving out cartes blanches these days! Delusions of grandeur, everywhere you look!

I think hershmire's point is simply that it's generous to be tolerant of people who feel unsettled and afraid. This seems wise to me. If you jeer at such folks instead, then surely you're inviting everyone to return the favor when you're the one who feels uncertain and fearful. And that's just ridiculous.

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 10:59 am 0

On NPR Is a Sad, Sad Place

@zybhjk Expecting a media organization — or any corporation — not to care about an employee becoming a lightning rod for criticism is naïve in the extreme. It can fairly be said of all of us that part of our jobs include not drawing large amounts of public criticism onto our employers. And this would be especially important for a "listener-supported" entity like NPR.

I don't actually think you're this naïve — practically no one is, really. Instead I think you're professing this naïveté in bad faith, simply because it offers you a logical shortcut toward making your ultimate point. That failing is much more common these days, for various reasons we can argue about if you like.

Posted on April 17, 2013 at 11:27 am 0

On The Violent Femmes' "The Violent Femmes" At 30


Posted on April 17, 2013 at 11:16 am 0

On Twitter Stomps Out Micropayments

@Choire Sicha Thanks for your thoughtful response, Choire.

Also, it was surprisingly difficult to draft that comment without using the word "just" adverbially, as a qualifier. (E.g.: "Just sounds like a funny phrase to me....") A lesson for anyone who leans on adverb crutches as frequently as I do.

And I suppose any attorney would be happy to persuade you to view "justice" as a complex metaphor, rather than as a concrete product which can be reliably dispensed...by courts or members of the bar, for instance.

Posted on April 17, 2013 at 11:05 am 0

On Twitter Stomps Out Micropayments

a more just Internet.

Merely sounds like a funny phrase to me. As if we're all able to freely choose between more-just and less-just internets, and we occasionally opt for the less-just one due to simple laziness or confusion or something.

I imagine there are people who literally try to shop for "more just" fabric softeners, or try to avoid drinking "less just" beers. But it sounds funny to try to sort very complex phenomena into simple categories like that. "More-just window reglazing." "Less-just techno music."

Another view would be that "justice" is a series of complex compromises among competing power blocks with shifting priorities, and it's a messy, opaque, and hard-to-understand phenomenon even when it's the explicit goal of a system (the justice system, for example).

Posted on April 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm 0

On Ask Polly: I Am 40. Will I Be Alone Forever?

Wow, that letter from "Older, not Wiser" really lays out an unfamiliar dilemma in very vivid terms. I don't think I've ever seen an advice-seeker describe a problem more convincingly.

An exceptional missive like that might deserve more than just further platitudes in response. Maybe an answer along the lines of, Yes, many platitudes do wind up being false when you dare to test them. Some people probably are meant to be alone. Part of the existential dilemma is trying to figure out how to be happy if you're one of those people.

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 4:50 pm 0

On Ross Douthat on Abortion: A Case of Op-Ed Malpractice

For my money, this is what Made The OC Great.

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm 2