Peggy…? Don…? Joan…? Roger…?


So for some reason there’s now a sailor fuku pony? I don’t get it.

So for some reason there’s now a sailor fuku pony? I don’t get it.


isabelthespy:

the descent from “oh i like this one” to “ALL SONGS THAT ARE NOT THIS SONG ARE GARBAGE” can be really steep

Oh wow, Isabel is really very right about this track. It’s like one of those Jimmy Eat World songs where Jim Adkins says stuff like “the first star I see may not be a star” and “can you still feel the butterflies” and everything shimmers but then Brinty decides that it should be a Vengaboys song instead and so that happens.

isabelthespy:

the descent from “oh i like this one” to “ALL SONGS THAT ARE NOT THIS SONG ARE GARBAGE” can be really steep

Oh wow, Isabel is really very right about this track. It’s like one of those Jimmy Eat World songs where Jim Adkins says stuff like “the first star I see may not be a star” and “can you still feel the butterflies” and everything shimmers but then Brinty decides that it should be a Vengaboys song instead and so that happens.

10
Jan 05

At this point, I decided it might be best to retire to my room. I put my headphones on so I wouldn’t have to listen to them fight. This is a trick I learned from watching kids on made-for-TV movies whose parents are divorcing. My favorite CD right now is the latest Britney Spears, which I know is really dorky, and I could never tell Lilly, but secretly I sort of want to be Britney Spears. Once I had a dream I was Britney, and I was performing in the auditorium at Albert Einstein, and I had this little pink minidress on, and Josh Richter complimented me on it right before I went onstage.

Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries (2000)

I guess we’re talking Oops!… I Did It Again?


I love America’s love of individual liberty. But no good thing comes without a downside. Particularly since the “rights explosion” of the 1960s and 1970s, public-policy debates are too often framed as the individual versus the government. Presented with that choice, Americans are going to err on the side of individual rights. And that’s usually a good thing. The problem is that the rights of a community — a town, a county, a state, a religious organization, etc. — are left out of that formulation. And they matter.

Jonah Goldberg, “Will States’ Rights Go to Pot?" National Review, January 3, 2014

I love when freedom-freedom-freedom conservatives come out and admit that what they’re really about is telling deviants to pull themselves into line. Nice one, Goldberg: what about the rights of a community to force individuals to live their lives the way people in power think they should? What about those rights?

(Note also though that this conforms to the point I was making the other day; this is a very wishy-washy defense of the War on Drugs. Goldberg is essentially accepting weed legalization on a state-by-state basis, not getting any more forceful in his opposition than to declare he still has the right to think smokers are bums. Even Larry Kudlow’s “omfg gateway drug" piece is fairly tempered.)


Can’t believe it took me this long to think of this.

Can’t believe it took me this long to think of this.


A note on David Brooks’s “I was a teenage stoner” thing…

…which is here, if you haven’t seen it.

It was dumb, but Brooks was trying to make an essentially moderate argument in favor of prohibition: marijuana isn’t the evil it’s made out to be, but, on balance, society is better off if it’s illegal.

This argument is myopic and steeped in privilege and overall wrong, but it also represents a de-escalation, and it’s part of a shift in conservatism that’s been happening over the past couple of decades.

Conservatism, the way I see it, is a political philosophy interested in preserving existing social power structures on the basis that they’ve served us well so far. (This is a philosophy that is especially appealing if you’re someone who has benefited a lot from existing social power structures.) That’s why it makes sense for a conservative to favor reducing regulation of business and to oppose gay marriage: both stances reinforce an existing power structure.

But there are a million different policy areas with which activists concern themselves, and they can’t give equal weight to all of them at once. And the culture of conservatism (n.b. as distinct from cultural conservatism) has been changing, with some issues that conservatives saw as being critically important in my living memory being treated now as political afterthoughts.

Drugs are one of these. As much as we can talk about the insanity of the War on Drugs (and it is insane), we must recognize that today we’re in a period of disarmament. Penalties on marijuana possession are being removed or reduced. Congress reduced the sentencing disparity between cocaine and crack. Stop-and-frisk became a salient political issue in the most recent New York mayoral election. The past three presidents have admitted to using marijuana and the past two to cocaine.

This is a long way from the political environment that helped gave us the America we know today! Think not of Reefer Madness, but of the hysterical puritanism surrounding drugs in the Nixon-Reagan era. And think also of the related paranoia about the cultural changes of the 1960s — the fear of a sexually candid society, of promiscuity, of the irreligious, of incivility, and of the ultimate motif of the melange of these vices: the inner city.

Essentially conservatism from the ’60s to the ’90s foresaw cultural apocalypse in a way it doesn’t now. (This is not to say conservatives don’t have a dim view of current cultural trends, but that they must now grapple with the fact that the apocalypse never came; their apocalyptic talk in recent years has reverted to predicting, variously, encroaching socialism or Islamism.) A key concern of the movement during this time was to guard against this catastrophe by rigorously enforcing social order, that is, by viciously punishing activities that symbolized deviance from a white patriarchal norm. This is what gave America everything from mandatory minimums to welfare reform to gated communities.  

This, incidentally is why Roe v Wade was so galvanizing. Theological debate about when “life” began was never the point, but feminist convictions that anti-choice activists are obsessively concerned with controlling women’s bodies don’t quite hit the mark. The point is maintaining social order: abortion should not be legal because a properly behaving woman does not do anything so disruptive as have an unplanned pregnancy. (That is, it is about controlling women’s bodies, but from the anti-choice activists point of view, it’s about women making the self-regulating choice to behave correctly.)

And conservatism has changed. They might be dismayed at Miley Cyrus swinging naked on a wrecking ball, but their reaction has been considerably muted compared to the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. Sex before marriage exists, and some conservatives might be happier if Pajama Boy were man enough to have it. Crime — and the intense fear of crime, of which the war on drugs is a part — has diminished and some conservative politicians are even working to reduce prison populations. The celebration of Christian supremacy that is the War on the War on Christmas was a damp squib this year. And folks can’t even really get excited about enforcing the social marginalisation of drug use.

The exception is the escalating assault on abortion rights, which is notable in that it seems to have arrived at the hands of an activist group that is simultaneously smaller and further to the periphery of mainstream views, yet more politically empowered. Strange, but that seems to be the way of conservatism: its affection for normativity is at its most devout when it comes to gender roles.

David Brooks can admit to pot use in his teenage years now because America has changed but also because conservatism has changed. The shift is a remarkable one.

See also: this and this.

[x-post]


SPICE GIRLS – “Wannabe”

I guess I can see now how Mom might have gone for him, back when she was in college. He was something of a Baldwin.

Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries (2000)

Clueless shout-out or was there a time when people actually used that word?


After a while I got tired of running, and then I tried to figure out where I could go, since I wasn’t ready to go home yet. I knew I couldn’t go to Lilly’s. She is vehemently opposed to any form of government that is not by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives. She’s always said that when sovereignty is vested in a single person whose right to rule is hereditary, the principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community are irrevocably lost.

Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries (2000)

Oh, I like this Lilly.



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