Tuesday, March 11, 2014


My fellow connoisseurs of Jonah Goldberg's literary fartitiousness may have noticed these little logic-eddies Goldberg gets into when his mind veers from the topic, and which he leaves in his copy, probably out of laziness. There is a nice example in his latest post, which starts out being about the Sheryl Sandberg "bossy" campaign, then wanders into the War on Boys, then off a cliff, producing this spectacular graf:
Then there are the issues at the school level. Admittedly, I don’t send my daughter to public school in DC (because I live in DC), but to one of those hoity-toity schools that affluent liberals who oppose school choice send their kids to (for the record, we love our kid’s school). Most of my friends either send their kids to similar schools or, if they live outside the District, to good public schools in the DC suburbs. In short, these are the kinds of schools Sandberg probably sends her kids to. And the idea that the girls are being shunted or shortshrifted strikes me as just plain other-worldly. Don’t get me wrong, my kid has her complaints. For instance, she signed up for girls lacrosse and is miffed the boys get to “tackle” and the girls don’t.
There is so much in this -- the argument-from-italicization; the defense of his daughter's private school education with an assertion that unnamed liberals (and "probably" Sheryl Sandberg) use private schools too; an irrelevant discussion of his friends' educational preferences; a surprise repetition of the sorta-theme (that girls have certain disadvantages at school), and finally another observation that's irrelevant if not injurious to his cause. One may also enjoy Goldberg calling the kind of school his daughter goes to "hoity-toity" (perhaps so he can use it as an insult to liberals, assuming Goldberg can think one clause ahead), then parenthesizing "for the record, we love our kid’s school" -- like a comedian backing off a mean joke, except comedians are funny.

Not that the rest of his post has much going for it, either, but the drain-circling nature of it, and the realization that he does it frequently enough that it qualifies as a motif, suggests to me a new definitional term: J-hole. Maybe if I work at it, I can develop an entire Goldberg Rhetoric. History will thank me!

UPDATE. First out of the comments gate, coozledad: "Beginners in Jonah's rhetorical style are encouraged to talk with their mouths full of Fruity Pebbles."


  1. coozledad10:58 AM

    Beginners in Jonah's rhetorical style are encouraged to talk with their mouths full of Fruity Pebbles.

  2. Mickey_Zellberg11:24 AM

    For some reason, they pay Goldberg to think out loud, so that all of us can follow the stream of consciousness of a typical GOP hack. The irritable gestures, the emotional logic, all of it.

  3. This is where I'd normally spend 30 minutes composing an epic-length zinger, but I'd like to thank Rich Lowry for saving me some time because quoting some highly-rated comments does the exact same thing:

    So, we're to be shrewishly harrangued until we cease calling the harridans bossy? (+7)

    I prefer the term nag. These nags are nagging us that we're calling them bossy. (+6)

    I like to think that this is a microcosm of the relationship between conservative "intellectuals" and their id-driven fans. "No one is trying to prevent girls from being leaders." "Yeah! Fuck them uppity bitches!"

    Other than that, the comments are pretty much what you'd expect - a little bit of "boys and girls are different," a little bit of "boys are the real victims," and a little bit of "why isn't this woman talking about important things?" Yeah! Maybe she could do something important like write a book comparing people she doesn't like to Nazis, and then blow it so badly that years later she still has to defend herself.

  4. I read that paragraph from Goldberg three times, and I still can't tell if he is for or against private schools.

  5. Unholy Moses11:50 AM

    "Goldberg Rhetoric"

    Argumentum Ad Derpium

  6. DN Nation12:02 PM

    Oh come ON, Jonah. From the first line of the piece:

    "So I just caught up on this “Ban Bossy” thing last night (I’ve been traveling)."

    Yep, it's the classic Jonah "I'm committed to being ignorant on the topic but enjoy these emissions." I'm surprised he didn't mention that he was somehow on deadline.

  7. petesh12:02 PM

    The answer to your question is: Yes. It's another of those quantum thingees. He's in favor of good public schools in principle, except that they contradict his principal principle in re: governmental income and outgo, so in principle he opposes his own principles. And of course principals of private schools are hoity (if not indeed toity) except when they are the good principals of schools that edumacate his offspring, but how would he know they were being edumacated?

  8. whetstone12:07 PM

    I can see where Jonah has never encountered the concept of a "bossy" woman, given that his writing presents no evidence that he has ever, ever been edited by anyone.

  9. BadExampleMan12:31 PM

    Jonah Goldberg is the name of my Le Pétomane tribute band.

  10. glennisw12:33 PM

    What's the point? So Jonah makes all the same choices that "liberals" do, and is even happy with them, but liberals are wrong because....liberals?

  11. mgmonklewis12:36 PM

    J-Gold's articles defy logic in a way that would make M. C. Escher applaud — that is, if they weren't so dumb and artless. Jonah knows he's got a point... somewhere... because his worldview demands it, but he'll be darned if he can figure out what it is.

    Every post of Jonah's should feature the following epitaph: "Sorry, folks. Episteme's closed. Moose out front should've told you." (apologies to John Candy)

  12. The logic is thus: If you support a system designed to benefit the poor, and then don't avail yourself of that system, then you're a hypocrite. It makes sense if you don't think about it.

    (Alternate Shorter: "The libs ain't trying to make everyone the same? What kind of Commies are they?")

  13. Bitter Scribe12:47 PM

    I don't think you even scratched the surface on the inanity level in that post.

    Consider this puzzler:

    No rational or objective person believes that things aren’t getting better for women in the workplace or the executive suite. The complaint is that things aren’t getting better fast enough.

    (italics in original)

    What the hell does that even mean? Something has either gotten better or it hasn't. Are we supposed to stop resenting an injustice that still exists because it simply isn't being corrected "fast enough"?

  14. buyaclue1:02 PM

    Ha, I initially read this as New Frontiers in Gooberology. I think that is more accurate. :-)

  15. That clears things up.

  16. Jonah Goldberg simultaneously inside and outside his own worldview:

  17. Gromet1:39 PM

    The J-Hole seems to result when a cold conservative-principles front collides with a pocket of warm life-as-it-is-lived-by-Goldberg. If the temperature difference is strong enough, the eddies can grow into a J-Hole, and some of these have been strong enough to obliterate half a Midwestern state. There's no way to resolve one -- obviously the principles can't give way, since they came first, and the life experience can never be totally obliterated no matter how much suspicion, resentment, and inferiority complex may swirl up to cloud it. So a J-Hole must simply be allowed to expend all its energy. Typically this happens only after all coherence and credibility have been swept from view. Theoretically, a J-Hole could become so forceful it would outgrow meteorology and achieve astronomic status. In such a case it would generate a radioactive event horizon, swallowing all light and matter; this theoretical episode is referred to in both terrified and hopeful circles as "The Last J-Hole." Most scientists believe its dense laziness would ultimately prevent worldwide apocalypse.

    Among normal people, a J-Hole can be pharmacologically simulated. It's always a bad trip.

  18. waspuppet1:40 PM

    Well, I'm a non-affluent liberal who is dead-set against the destruction of public education that Goldberg euphemizes as "school choice" and my son goes to an inner-city public school that is doing the best it can, is actually not too bad and would be great with some more money. Does Goldberg have anything to say to me, or is he afraid?

  19. tigrismus1:43 PM

    Among normal people, a J-Hole can be pharmacologically simulated. It's always a bad trip.

    An out-of-mind experience.

  20. Spaghetti Lee1:43 PM

    The problem with schooling these days is that people treat them like social clubs instead of a public good. Once their kid gets into St. Julius' Academy for the Terminally Snooty, they kick back and stop caring about how bad the public schools might be. Which is bullshit, because (iirc) something like 9 out of 10 kids go to public school (although you wouldn't know it from listening to the rich amd famous talk about their own experiences) and it's in everyone's interests to make sure all those schools are doing a good job educating people. Should be obvious, but it isn't.

    And, as much as it pains me, a small amount of credit to Jonah for saying that some public schools can be just as good, which is more than I've gotten from some so-called liberals. I went to a suburban public school myself which was among the best 5% of schools in the country academically speaking, but even people who went there sometimes buy into the idea that all public schools are bullet-riddled hellscapes/holding cells for the Wrong Choice of Parents Club. That's like the default thinking about public schools these days, and it drives me nuts, as you can probably tell from this post.

  21. Man, that's some terrifying stuff right there.

  22. To the Rightwing mentality, actually caring about anyone else's children is inconceivable.

  23. In my opinion, nobody should be exempt from the blue pencil.

  24. dstatton1:48 PM

    That's a start. Now let him contemplate why there are "good" schools in the affluent suburbs and "bad" ones in poor city neighborhoods.

  25. BG, dismayed leftie1:52 PM

    His daughter is upset because she doesn't get to beat up other girls in lacrosse? This is what he's bitching about?


  26. I recommend stuffing your ears with them.

  27. Irritiable gestures is very good.

  28. Quite the contrary, given who his mother is, I'd expect him to cling tightly to all words such as bossy, harridan, and bitch that he can mutter under his breath at family dinners.

  29. He answered you in a parenthesis somewhere, or else he'll have his intern take down your number and call you back if you are wililng to answer a bleg.

  30. I think studies have shown that people routinely think *other people's public schools* are horrible but that their own, where their kids are going, are pretty good. This has a lot to do with a suburban/urban divide and a relentless propaganda war by the for profit charter schools have simply degraded the status of public schools.

  31. Yeah, I agree with you. Bad-mouthing the pubic school system doesn't do anyone any good.

    I really like the snide title you came up with for an affluent private school, though.

  32. Shakezula2:12 PM

    "...may have noticed these little logic-eddies Goldberg gets into when his
    mind veers from the topic, and which he leaves in his copy, probably out
    of laziness."

    Isn't this a description of everything he's ever written?

  33. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person2:14 PM

    Like thusly?

  34. Woah.

    Somehow, it's easy to imagine him bellowing "WILMAAAAA!"

  35. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person2:19 PM

    Or emerging gaseously therefrom...

  36. mortimer20002:24 PM

    It's like a Mad Libs template for every Goldberg column, or maybe just a lesson plan on rhetorical fallacies.

    So I just caught up on________ (I’ve been________). It strikes me as ________ on its face. It seems patently untrue that ________. No rational or objective person believes ________.

    That’s a perfectly fine ________ as far as it goes, but to the extent there is ________ in America it is pretty plainly ________.
    ________ may not satisfy the activists of ________, but no one can dispute ________.

    Admittedly, I don’t ________, (for the record, I ________). Most of my friends ________. And the idea that ________ strikes me as just plain ________.
    Don’t get me wrong, ________. Does anyone think ________?
    Now, maybe things really are ________. That’s certainly plausible.
    Which is to say: Given ________, does it really make sense to focus on ________ rather than, say, ________, ________, and — oh, yeah — ________?

  37. Shakezula2:31 PM

    I want to take this comment on my knee and feed it Cheetos.

  38. I kinda hope he doesn't see your post.

    He could make use of it and put even LESS thought into what he publishes, if that's possible.

  39. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person2:32 PM

    There is so much in this -- the argument-from-italicization

    The right wing loves this kind of shit. How much of their "arguments", I wonder, could be shown to be expressed not in the actual words, but the formatting of their text?
    You'd have "argument from": Italics, boldface, ALLCAPS!, scare quotes, deliberate misspelling, and probably others I can't think of, not being a grammarian (except as a part-time Grammar Nazi--Apostrophe Division).
    Also too, the squawk-radio regiment has it's own audio versions of all these, most of 'em pioneered by Limbaugh.

  40. philadelphialawyer2:48 PM

    Why can't he just say that most of the better sort of schools, private or public, probably do not stereotype or hold back girls, if that is his claim? Regardless of whether it is true or not, why the drain circling? Who cares where he sends his kids, where Sandberg "probably" send her kids, or where affluent DC or near DC liberals in general send their kids. Why does he feel that he has to do some side work pointing out alleged liberal hypocrisy, when that is not his theme? Also, that side issue is undercut by his implied admission that the not good schools, like, presumably, the public schools in DC, are perhaps still engaging in stereotyping when it comes to girls. Which explains, one might think, why Sandberg, and the other affluent liberals in DC, choose the "hoity toity" private schools for their daughters instead. His main point is lost in the diversion, and what appears to be the point of the diversion is undercut by the main point!
    It seems to me that in freshman comp, if not before, we were all taught that a piece of non fiction writing, especially a short piece, should be unified. That it should have a thesis, and that everything in the piece should contribute directly to either elucidating or proving the thesis. And that off topic, diversionary stuff should be avoided altogether, or, at most, confined to footnotes. What happened to Jonah? Good schools don't stereotype viz a viz the "bossiness" of girls. That's his thesis. He should stick with it.

  41. Its kind of like arguing, in a debate about increasing the size and variety of SNAP benefits:

    "Oh, yeah? If free food for poor people is so great why don't you eat it?

  42. ADHDJ2:50 PM

    There's an old saying: if you want to shart fast, shart alone; if you want to shart far, shart together. We need to shart far and fast.

  43. I think this can be used to tool up the Jonah8650 (b) model and Mortimer 2000 can retire on the proceeds while the meat world Jonah ends up on food stamps with his daughter in public school. The public would not be any better enlivened but Mortimer would do ok out of the deal.

  44. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person2:54 PM

    And the intern's job is to randomly pull words and phrases from a dictionary and thesaurus to complete the essay...

  45. I love the way Jonah interpolates his own ideas for those of everyone else. "The complaint is that things aren't getting better fast enough?" Certainly not: the complaint is that lots of people don't find that things are getting better at all. Just because the women gossiping and nagging in Jonah's head all agree that "everywhere, everyone rational" thinks X doesn't mean that in the real world thats true. Or maybe I'm making some kind of faux pas even mentioning the real world.

  46. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:01 PM

    when a cold conservative-principles front collides with a pocket of warm life-as-it-is-lived-by-Goldberg

    I thank you for leaving out the possibility of precipitation, and the nature thereof...

  47. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:02 PM

    Every Goldberg column is an out-of-booty-experience...

  48. Waingro3:13 PM

    "Look, I've never heard of this waspuppet guy and I don't have the time to get into the weeds on this. But it's interesting he seems to think his real life experiences are relevant contradicts whatever my original point was. (But maybe he does have a point, I don't know. But I'm pretty sure I'm still correct).

    Anyway, I'm in the middle of binge-watching Battlestar Galactica (which actually perfectly illustrates my position) and don't have time to look up the data or read a "research" report. If any of my readers wants to send a rebuttal to this guy, I'll post it once I finish my Hot Pocket."

  49. I guess...

    Things don't sound too good for us here in the "meat world." You say that the Mortimer 2000 will be able to retire, but what about the "meat" Mortimer?

    This is like some kind of nightmarish future world we're talking about here. Personally, I hope that human beings are NEVER described as "meat."

  50. Buffalo Rude3:18 PM

    I'm trying not to imagine what "been traveling" is a euphemism for..

  51. PersonaAuGratin3:20 PM

    Probably just another specific case of a more general characteristic of human nature, e.g., "Congress is awful" according to people who keep reelecting their congressperson, "All lawyers are crooks, but I would be lost without mine," etc.

  52. Ever hear of the Twat-O-Matic? It's a simple text parser that takes snippets of actual comments from the BBC Have Your Say forum and procedurally recombines them to make new comments. If you generate enough of them, you'll occasionally get something that's a dead-on simulation of a real right-wing crank. I'm not sure if that speaks more to the quality of the program or the caliber of commenters they get on HYS.

    I guess I'm saying that you just proved that Jonah Goldberg can be replaced by a few hundred lines of code and an RSS feed reader. (I've long maintained that the same is true of Glenn Reynolds, but that really doesn't require much proof)

  53. "Meatspace" is a sarcastic programmer's term for real life. It's been kicking around for many years. Just FYI.

  54. Pets or meat, baby. The future is already here.

  55. susanoftexas4:05 PM

    one of those hoity-toity schools that affluent liberals who oppose school choice send their kids to

    That reminds me of Ross Douthat, who claimed his Connecticut prep school had the "environment of reflexive liberalism that swaddles an overclass childhood." The elite are all liberal so conservative legacy pledges can feel pleasantly victimized while also enjoying a privileged life.

  56. Good point.

    People objecting to things "Not In My Backyard" is often talked about, so often that the acronym "NIMBY" is commonplace.

    What we're describing here is the exact opposite… more of a "Only In My Backyard" sort of thing.

    I guess that would be pronounced "OIMBY."

  57. susanoftexas4:06 PM

    "If you hate income inequality so much why don't you give your money away?? Oh, snap!"

  58. Privileged, yet victimized… the best of both worlds.

  59. smut clyde4:34 PM

    the argument-from-italicization
    I believe that McMegan holds the IP rights on that.

  60. smut clyde5:10 PM

    to talk with their mouths full of Fruity Pebbles

    ...while contending with the roaring of surf sound of the Cartoon Channel.

  61. Thanks for the info. I didn't know that about the programmers' lingo.

    It still seems a little bit creepy to me, though.

  62. He got the gig because his horrible mother almost brought down "big dog" Clinton. He's kinda like Grendel but with less charm and worse eating habits.

  63. davdoodles5:34 PM

    He has to reach his word count, but he's lazy, unimaginative and mercenary. So the dullard sharts whatever occurs to him, through a liberal-strawman filter, and goes back to his napping.

    Plus, he clearly knows his readership don't care what he writes, so long as they are given a fresh comment box into which they can regurgitate old non-sequiturs about how Obama-is-Hitler.

  64. philadelphialawyer5:37 PM

    As if the "overclass" is not going to be "swaddled" in any case! If the Connecticut prep school was more conservative, then the overclass students would have been what?.....made to do one handed pushups while reciting Homer in the original Greek? What does the liberalism, reflexive or otherwise, have to do with the swaddling? And wasn't Douthat just as swaddled as all the other little rich boys?

  65. philadelphialawyer5:39 PM

    Yeah, I guess that's about it. He simply can't be arsed to do better.

  66. Halloween_Jack5:39 PM

    The mangoes are never fresh, nor even just the other side of ripe. Never.

  67. Marion in Savannah5:40 PM

    Okay, this made me LOL as teh kidz say. Which made ginger ale suddenly exit via my sinuses. Not fun...

  68. Halloween_Jack5:43 PM

    Look, I don't want to get you suetbags' hopes up heedlessly, but Skynet and I have been rehashing this whole issue lately, and he's leaning away from "extermination" and more towards "gladiatorial contests on the moon." Not necessarily what you were hoping for, probably, but it doesn't have to be so bad if you can get the hang of dual-wielding chainsaws.

  69. Halloween_Jack5:46 PM

    Driving the ol' stickshift down the pornpike, maybe?

  70. Halloween_Jack5:46 PM

    (for the record, we love our kid’s school)

    Probably not the opposite.

  71. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:50 PM

    the stream of consciousness of a typical GOP hack

    I will *not* eat any fish caught in that stream...

  72. TGuerrant5:58 PM

    Jonah's restraint here is amazing.

    He rarely misses the opportunity to announce that he went to a girl's school (Goucher), where he and other First Males swiftly took command of all student organizations. He himself lent a steadying, manly hand to the school paper because talent. He ran for class president using signs that read "Make Momma Goldberg a happy camper: Put a Nice Jewish Boy in Office'' because wit. Upon graduating, he was immediately given a seat on the board of trustees because greatness.

    ``He was at the center of every storm,'' said Katherine Canada, a psychology professor who studied how coeducation changed the classroom climate. ``And a lot of the storms were storms he created.'' (article)

    Often it has been said that he went to Goucher because better schools would not have him, but some say he was just hoping the 1000:37 female:male ratio adequately upped his chances of getting laid. Whatever the pay-off was then, the pay-off now is that he's very impressed with his coeducation valor and insight. Yet today we have only the lacrossed stars of Lucianne's granddaughter.

  73. Dude, you totally need to post this in the comments section of every Goldberg post he ever writes. You've got his number and the world needs to know.

  74. randomworker6:14 PM

    OK yes I slipped and went there.

    "Another progtard war on language commences."
    Oy. You have it exactly right. It's the dumb leading the dumber.

  75. TGuerrant6:15 PM

    As Jonah himself once wrote:

    Ultimately slippery slope arguments are a mixed bag.

  76. Nothing but plankton and algae blooms, probably.

  77. Too much work. He has the intern do it for him and report back in a brief paragraph.

  78. LittlePig6:21 PM

    Isn't that over-complicating the Conservative position?

    If you support a system designed to benefit the poor, and then don't avail yourself of that systemfree money, then you're a hypocrite.

  79. Or, in Jonah's case, without.

  80. LittlePig6:24 PM

    See! Jonah's got value after all. Silver linings man!

  81. redoubtagain6:24 PM

    Proving once again that he needs a bossy executioner, not a bossy editor.

  82. redoubtagain6:29 PM

    As opposed to this nation's 43rd President, who apparently went, as did all his forebears, barefoot and uphill, both ways, to the brush arbor schoolhouse down in the "holler."

  83. LittlePig6:29 PM

    After attending majority-black public schools for years, my red-haired offspring asked to try his junior year at Whiterton Private Academy (a local Lutheran high school). For his senior year he returned to his old high school, where he was welcomed as a long lost pal.

    "Whad'ya learn from your varied scholastic experiences?", I asked him.

    "Uh...assholes come in all colors?"

    "Good boy"

  84. LittlePig6:50 PM

    Whatd'ya mean sarcastic?

    I've heard that term since 1997 that I can recall myself (yes, I are a) sarcastic and b) programmer). Personally I always preferred, 'the Big Blue Room'.

  85. LittlePig6:54 PM

    Personally, I hope that human beings are NEVER described as "meat."

    On the one hand, a sentient food animal is G-R-O-double-S. On the other hand, folks have to eat. And on the gripping hand...

  86. M. Krebs6:55 PM

    Careful with that. It could lead someone less schooled in the Goldbergian (f)arts to conclude that nothing stupider could ever be written.

  87. That is scary.

    wait... ... ... Jonah?

  88. Spaghetti Lee6:56 PM

    So, would you say that Skynet is looking to disinvest in fungible human capital? Cuz I've got some friends on Wall Street who'd love to help it update its portfolio. For a small percentage, of course.

  89. Spaghetti Lee6:57 PM

    NRO Intern: "Welp, it's a living."

  90. Spaghetti Lee6:58 PM

    Last week it was a WSJ columnist named Richman, now a private school named Whiterton. The universe tends toward punnery.

  91. M. Krebs7:00 PM

    If you think taxes on the wealthy are too low, why don't you voluntarily pay more than you have to?

  92. LittlePig7:01 PM

    We'll make great pets!

    I, for one, welcome our new _____________ overlords.

  93. M. Krebs7:10 PM

    Something has inspire to track this down:

  94. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume7:18 PM

    mutter under his breath at family dinners.

    This guy hasn't breathed during dinner since the last time he sucked from a can of Cool Whip.

  95. M. Krebs7:18 PM

    It's like the old UNCF slogan, "What a waste it is to lose one's mind, or not to have a mind. How true that is."

  96. KatWillow7:23 PM

    Probiotics can work miracles!

  97. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person8:12 PM

    "Make Momma Goldberg a happy camper: Put a Nice Jewish Boy in Office''

    CWCID. That's funny.

  98. Mixed metaphors are mixed.

  99. smut clyde9:22 PM

    I hope that human beings are NEVER described as "meat."

    You English-speakers are so... delicate. It's all just "Fleisch" in German.

  100. smut clyde9:29 PM

    Can I change that to "Silk purses" without causing personal offense?

  101. smut clyde9:32 PM

    these little logic-eddies [...] which he leaves in his copy

    "Caterpillar frass" is the image coming to mind for me.

  102. Hattie9:45 PM

    This is just so great. True liberals live in hovels and dress in burlap bags, and all the others who call themselves liberals are hypocrites.

  103. JennOfArk9:51 PM

    And chemical spills from places with names like Freedom Industries.

  104. smut clyde9:52 PM

    I enjoy asking "Who on Earth is Goldberg's editor?"
    I know that this melancholy duty has befallen to K. Lopez, and everyone else knows it too, but it is always funny afresh to see it written out on the screen.

  105. A stomatopod9:53 PM

    Don't forget us!

  106. JennOfArk9:54 PM

    Or as someone at Sadly,No! once suggested, clandestinely holed up in a hotel room with K-Lo. The imagery used in the original comment went something along the lines of "two brillo pads fighting over a hot dog - and not just fighting, but fighting to the death."

  107. smut clyde9:55 PM

    You need the ragged trousers to be a true philanthropist.

  108. smut clyde9:57 PM

    Jennifer said,
    April 29, 2009 at 2:52
    I’m guessing it looks like two Brillo pads fighting over a hot dog, but not just fighting: fighting to the death.
    That image gives me a feeling in my brain like that of having a hair stuck in your throat.

  109. JennOfArk9:59 PM

    Damn, that was quick.

    FWIW, I still have that feeling.

  110. JennOfArk10:01 PM

    I believe that was actually a Dan Quayle quote.

  111. JennOfArk10:20 PM

    Who told him that neckbeard looks good?

  112. M. Krebs10:39 PM

    ... a feeling in my brain like that of having a hair stuck in your throat.

    Wasn't that an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm?

  113. M. Krebs10:45 PM

    In the German town I lived in briefly there was a street named Fleischstraße. (Not to imply that's unusual.)

    I still love that and wish that I too could live on Meat Street.

  114. M. Krebs10:52 PM

    Hey, burlap is making a comeback.

  115. Christopher Hazell11:05 PM

    Me too!

    Specifically, the whole "War on Boys" rhetoric is very interesting to me, because as a boy I was a sissy weirdo who liked things orderly, and according to the "War on Boys" crowd that means I wasn't a real boy, and school should've been tailored to the interests of the real boys rather than the boys like me.

    Now, I don't know Goldberg, but I can't help feeling like he was the kind of boy who spent recess in the library reading the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual (You know, like I did).

    So I was actually interested in his perspective on the "war on boys" as somebody who I imagine probably wasn't a stereotypical boy.

    I, uh, I can't say I came away from that column enlightened.

  116. With a sufficiently fat corpus[1] this might do the trick,

    [1] You see what I did there? Just left the setup laying there in plain sight for you. Don't say I never gave you anything.

  117. AGoodQuestion11:30 PM

    And of course non-life begins at inconception.

  118. AGoodQuestion11:36 PM

    I guess it's nice that they can see what's in front of their eyes. Would be even nicer if they could connect what they see to other stuff and think about it.

  119. AGoodQuestion11:45 PM

    When I think of the women in Jonah's head I picture an army of Luciannes.

  120. freq flag12:23 AM

    K-Lo? On an NRO cruise?
    Either that or Doubt-that told him that it annoys liberals.

  121. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:26 AM

    Because it's all supposed to be "government cheese". Which is the reason stories about people on food stamps eating real food sets their hair on fire.

  122. freq flag12:41 AM

    Probably her most exquisite purveyance of such was when she couldn't restrain herself from showing everyone that she's also an expert in evolutionary biology by proclaiming Because we're not like bonobos!. That is called "Blinding Them With Science," libs.

  123. montag21:36 AM

    Jonathan Kozol has an interesting approach to this question. He comes from a well-to-do family, so he travels around in the NYC trust fund circuit a bit. When he goes to upscale dinner parties, and the guests find out what he does, they invariably get around to why their kids' private schools are so good, but how pointless it is to spend $9K per student in public money for NYC schools.

    He turns it around and asks, "if you think $30K per year per student is a reasonable cost for you to spend on education, why is $9K too much?

    And, even the NYC schools distribute funds unevenly. There's no question that, say, Brooklyn Latin, or the Queens High School of the Sciences, or Townsend Harris are good schools. But one can still find NYC middle schools where the newest book in the library was published in the 1940s. And those good schools would not be good schools with libraries like that.

    We spend a lot of time these days talking about wealth and income inequality, but not so much on the results of that inequality, and the results are nowhere more apparent than in the schools. More often than not, the academically "poor" school is going to be an economically poor school with economically poor students. That's a causal relationship that the business types trying to run schools these days would prefer to ignore.

  124. Spaghetti Lee1:37 AM

    I'd like to (sexual act) this comment's (anatomical feature) with great (positive emotion).

  125. Spaghetti Lee1:39 AM

    So you're saying he's...a liberal at a conservative dinner party? The mind boggles!

  126. Lancelot Link2:22 AM

    Because we're not like bonobos!

    To the dismay of many on the left.

  127. BadExampleMan3:05 AM

    My work here is done.

  128. Shorter Jonah (and the entire conservative movement): Yes, I'm an asshole, but you're a hypocrite!

    (See also Roy's next post.)

  129. I'm constantly trying to write about this, but never manage to because its a bit like being a student of socoipaths and serial killers, but there are a lot of people for whom the very act of receiving a request for assistance turns into monsters. Below the line at Ann Lander's blog, if you were to read the letters from the commenters there, you will see that for a very large proportion of commenters the very act of a person writing in for request is source for attack. "What a stupid question? Don't you know what to do? Its obvious? Why are you writing to Ann Lander's for advice? Why are you exposing this family trouble? Why didn't you expose it earlier? What do you think you can do with an answer from a third party anyway?" etc..etc...etc... And that is before they get to the meat of the letter which seems to involve determining "who is at fault" and then smearing the person into the ground. Letters which seem quite obvious and reasonable "My father is behaving erratically and won't stop driving, he is hoarding materials in the house and its become a fire hazard, what can I do?" Get turned into lectures on the sanctitiy of private property ("You want his stuff, you kids today are so greedy.") or even funnier the accusation that Ann Lander's or the father are "playing the dementia card." Yes, some of the commenters believe that when a person gets dementia it is akin to that other well known liberal ploy "race hustling" or begging for a moocher's handout.

  130. realinterrobang8:17 AM

    I think my brain just turned into one of those Escher pictures from upthread. Ow.

  131. Al Swearengen8:39 AM

    When you're paid by the doughy pantload, ya gotta hit your quota.

  132. Halloween_Jack10:10 AM

    No worries, Our Lord of Silicon has been relying on tradebots for some time, and in fact parts of the Master Program rely heavily on them.

  133. Magatha10:41 AM

    Wow. This analysis is so precise and so terribly, awfully revealing. You know more stuff than I do, Aimai, a lot more. Is this what happens when you give descendants of Calvinists the internet, a keyboard, and anonymity?

    And you have my respect for even venturing in to an Ann Landers blog comment section. I steer around nearly all newspaper comments sections, not to mention You Tube comments, Gawker comments, etc. Of the non-Alicublog/LGM site variety, I only ever read comments at Tom & Lorenzo and Go Fug Yourself. Everything else is just too much for me.

    I recently made a comment here alluding to a certain occasional wimp factor in Jon Stewart's interview style, which you and particularly Meanie Meanie TAP countered thoughtfully. It made me realize that (a) I wouldn't much like anyone whose behavior never registered on the Wimp-O-Meter, and (b) I myself am awfully damn high on the Wimp Spectrum. Maybe too high, but there are worse fates.

  134. I love Tom and Lorenzo! I read their analyses of the clothing in Mad Men with fascination even when I wasn't watching the actual show.

    I have a deep and abiding interest in Advice columns which I think of as a form of the "little village" translated for a new, fractioned, world. Advice columns grew up with newspapers as a way of creating a novel form of problem solving for (among others) recent immigrants, men and women living away from family for the first time historically, a new urban and rural world where authority figures and traditional wisdom might be at odds or very distant. Advice columns take private problems and try to turn them into entertainment, but also universal educational tools.

    The BTL comments at Ann Landers are a strange melding of the advice column (generic problem/generic answer) with the kibbitzing that goes along with an internet site and a water cooler. I don't think we are getting anything new but we are getting something highly concentrated, like venom, and unleavened by social cues like people looking disgusted when you say these things around the water cooler.

  135. Magatha10:55 AM

    I love you so much right now. You just made a straightforward, simple FYI note. For one brief moment you unsnarked the world.

  136. Of course, online sometimes you kill conversation, but in modern america, sometimes conversation killyou.

  137. Ellis_Weiner12:08 PM

    This is the ur-example of Comment I Wish I Had Written. You're done for the day, even if the day was yesterday, Mortimer2000.

  138. Ellis_Weiner12:11 PM

    I think it's from William Gibson and the Neuromancer trilogy.

  139. Ellis_Weiner12:13 PM

    @CelebMash on Twitter does something similar: combines celebrity Tweets into Dada fun:

    Vital to and Connie my grandkids!

  140. petesh12:50 PM

    I love you dearly, B4, but having been raised in the UK and sent to a (mostly) private school [an English "public school" much improved by accepting a number of students for whom the local county paid the tuition], I can see good reasons for opposing "school choice" and focusing attention on public schools by, ah, effectively raising the average income of the parents.

  141. petesh12:57 PM

    "Grab some pine, meat" — Mike Krukow, describing a strikeout, pretty much any strikeout, but especially one inflicted upon a rookie (aka "fresh meat" for pitchers).

  142. XeckyGilchrist4:08 PM

    More likely in reaction to those. (I'm a Gibson fan and can't stand that word, so I hope he didn't invent it. Googling for the origin is inconclusive.)

  143. waspuppet4:48 PM

    "If (insert name of well-known Democrat) loves private schools so much, why does he send HIS kids to a private school, huh? HUH??"

    I've tried "For the same reason Mitt Romney claims that in the American capitalist system anyone can be successful if they're smart enough and work hard enough, but he still gave each of his sons $10 million in seed money," but conservatives break down into 1) those who are too stupid to understand the principle and 2) those who pretend they never heard of Mitt Romney.

  144. Or a scene from Being John Malkovich, but in Jonah's eyes when he looks out at the world all he sees is his mother's face.

  145. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person6:41 PM

    John Prines "answer from Abby" is better directed to the peanut gallery...

    Commenter, Commenter
    You have no complaint
    You are what you are
    And you ain't what you ain't
    So listen up Buster
    And listen up good
    Stop wishin' for bad luck
    And knockin' on wood

  146. I know what you mean.

    When I was in school, it always seemed like the gymnasium was always getting upgrades and new sports equipment, but the library always had to do without the things they needed.

    Going to our school was an education in itself, which was not to be confused with actually getting an education.