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Open Thread Sunday:
What's on your mind? Comment away.
Defending the Indefensible:
Is there a full transcript of Randy's recent Raich argument in the 9th available anywhere?
4.2.2006 4:50pm
Cornellian (mail):
Why is there a Sunday open thread only on some Sundays, but not others?
4.2.2006 5:02pm
WB:
Thinking about this new immigration legislation.

The major substantive portions that are triggering the protests don't seem to be very well thought-out.

The part about dropping all of the appeals on the Federal Circuit is just foolish, and I'm not sure where the impetus is coming from on that, other than possibly a desire to take those cases away from the Ninth Circuit. Whatever one might think of the occasional stray Judge Reinhardt opinion, the cure is worse than the disease here.
4.2.2006 5:08pm
yclipse (mail):
I wanna know when VC is going to have its own Amazon page (like this guy's) describing it as a crypto-cult.
4.2.2006 5:13pm
Kovarsky (mail):
BORING DESERT ISLAND DISCS - THE OBLIGATORY USUAL SUSPECTS
Alice in Chains: Dirt
Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique; License to Ill; Ill Communication
Big Star: Radio City
Built to Spill: There's Nothing Wrong With Love
Cheap Trick: Live at Budokan
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust
Elvis Costello: Trust; This Year's Model; My Aim is True; King of America
Guns 'n Roses: Appetite for Destruction
Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow
Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsies; Experience
John Lennon: Double Fantasy; Plastic Ono Band
Joy Division: Substance
Lou Reed: Transformer
MC5 and the Stooges: Kick Out the Jams and Raw Power
Michael Jackson: Thriller
Neutral Milk Hotel: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Nick Drake: Pink Moon
Nirvana: Nevermind; Unplugged
Oasis: Definitely Maybe
Pavement: Slanted and Enchanted; Brighten the Corners
Pixies: Doolittle
PJ Harvey: Rid of Me
Pretenders: Pretenders
Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet
Pulp: This is Hardcore; A Different Class
R.E.M.: Murmur
Radiohead: The Bends; OK Computer
Roxy Music: Siren
Smashing Pumpkins: Gish
Sonic Youth: Dirty; Daydream Nation; Sister
Stevie Wonder: Inner Visions
Talking Heads: '77; Remain in Light
Television: Marquee Moon
The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
The Beatles: Revolver; The White Album; Abbey Road; Let it Be
The Clash: Combat Rock; London Calling
The Flaming Lips: The Soft Bulletin; Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
The Jesus and Mary Chain: Psychocandy
The Kinks: Face to Face; Muswell Hillbillies
The Replacements: Let It Be; Tim
The Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed; Exile on Main Street
The Smiths: Meat is Murder; The Smiths
The Velvet Underground: White Light/White Heat; Velvet Underground; Loaded
Tribe Called Quest: The Low End Theory; Midnight Marauders
Tricky: Maxinequaye
U2: The Joshua Tree; War; Boy
Van Morrison: Astral Weeks; Moondance
4.2.2006 5:26pm
Kovarsky (mail):
REAL DESESRT ISLAND DISCS (The Ones Actually in Heavy Rotation):
Alice in Chains: Unplugged
Beastie Boys: Check Your Head; Hello Nasty
Big Star: Third/Sister Lovers
Billy Bragg: Talking With the Taxman About Poetry
Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks; Highway 61 Revisited; Blonde on Blonde
Buddy Holly: Greatest Hits
Built to Spill: Perfect From Now On; Keep it Like a Secret
Cypress Hill: Cypress Hill
David Bowie: Hunky Dory; The Man Who Sold the World; Aladdin Sane
Digable Planets: Reachin'; Blowout Comb
Digital Underground: Sons of the P; Sex Packets
Dinosaur Jr.: You're Living All Over Me
Echo and the Bunnymen: Songs to Learn and Sing
Elvis Costello: Get Happy!; Armed Forces
Fela Kuti: The Best of Fela Kuti Vol's I and II
Frank Black: Teenager of the Year
Galaxie 500: On Fire
Grateful Dead: American Beauty
Guided By Voices: Bee Thousand; Isolation Drills
Hefner: The Fidelity Wars
Ice Cube: Death Certificate
Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights
Jeff Buckley: Grace
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers: The Beserkly Years
Leonard Cohen: Songs of Leonard Cohen
Live: Mental Jewelry
Lou Reed: New York
Love: Forever Changes
Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs Volume 1
Marvin Gaye: What's Going On
Metallica: Ride the Lightning; Master of Puppets
Michael Jackson: Bad
Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West; Good News for People Who Love Bad News
My Bloody Valentine: Loveless [#1 Album overall]
Neil Young: After the Gold Rush
Nick Drake: Bryter Layter
Nick Lowe: Basher
Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
PJ Harvey: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
Placebo: I'm Nothing Without You
Psychedelic Furs: Psychedelic Furs; Talk Talk Talk
R.E.M: Document
Radiohead: Kid A; Hail to the Thief
Ride: Nowhere
Roxy Music: Avalon
Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker
Slowdive: Souvlaki; Just For a Day
Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Suede: Suede
Swervedriver: Mezcal Head
Talking Heads: The Name of This Band is Talking Heads
Television: The Blow Up Discs I and II
The Auteurs: Now I'm a Cowboy
The Beatles: Rubber Soul; Help!; Sgt. Peppers
The Clash: From Here to Eternity
The Flaming Lips: Transmissions from the Satellite Heart; Clouds Taste
Metallic; Hit to Death in the Future Head
The Jesus and Mary Chain: Stoned and Dethroned; Honey's Dead
The Kinks: Arthur or the Decline of the British Empire; The Kinks are
the Village Green Preservation Society
The New Pornographers: Mass Romantic
The Smiths: Louder than Bombs; The Queen is Dead
The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses
The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground and NICO; Live at Max's
Tom Waits: Swordfishtrombones; Rain Dogs
U2: Pop; Achtung Baby
Van Morrison: His Band and the Street Choir
Warren Zevon: Excitable Boy
Weezer: Pinkerton
Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Yo La Tengo: Fakebook; I Can Feel the Heart Beating As One
4.2.2006 5:27pm
Roger Meyer (mail):
This week in Arlington Virginia high school students walked out of class to join a march protesting the immigration bill be considered by Congress. At the conclusion of the demonstration the school system provided school bus transportation for the students. Is this a slippery slope?
4.2.2006 5:29pm
ThirdCircuitLawyer (mail):
Why does David B. keep blogging about the Northern Virginia housing market? More specifically, why does he think any one cares about the Northern Virginia housing market?
4.2.2006 6:22pm
JLR (mail) (www):
Today is April 2nd. As TS Eliot wrote, "April is the cruelest month."

That quotation certainly applies to high school students trying to determine which colleges to attend, and certainly applies to college graduates trying to determine which law schools, PhD programs, or other graduate/professional schools to attend.

Such decisions are never easy for anyone. Tension often runs high (Cf. a Tuesday 3/21/06 New York Times article on this subject, as well as a Friday 3/31/06 New York Times front-page article which can be accessed by clicking on [this link].)

Transitions can be scary, but they also can be exciting. To anyone who is making such decisions during this cruelest of all months, I wish them the best of luck for the present and the future.

P.S. Mr. Kovarsky, anyone who puts both PJ Harvey and Yo La Tengo on their Heavy Rotation Desert Island Music List is a fellow musical comrade of mine. :-)
4.2.2006 6:23pm
TJIC (www):
On the topic of immigration, I had this thought earlier in the day:

The current immigration system in the US is a mess.

Our attempts to prevent illegal immigration are a laughable compromise: one part unexamined premise, one part enforcement strong enough to buy off the anti-immigration, one part enforcement weak enough to allow sufficient labor to slip through to get the harvest in, one part unionized bureaucracy, one part refusal-to-deport law-breakers, two parts pork-barrel spending, and three parts kow-towing to various constituencies.

The legal side is just as bad: we allow one person with out skills or compatible culture to get in as a refugee or under some other program, and then reward them by letting them drag in every member of their family or clan, often similarly unskilled, via the overly highly-weighted kinship process.

I understand the not-too-much-immigration folks' arguments. They say that - yes, immigration is good - but too much, too fast would swamp our culture.

I am not unsympathetic to that argument.

Let us accept it.

Now, the question is "what sort of system should we have to bring in new immigrants?". Personally, I think that the meritocratic systems that Canada and other places use are a good idea…but I also like the idea of letting in true refugees.

Here's my modest proposal:

(1) we build a 50 concrete and barbed wire wall along the southern border, from Atlantic to Pacific.

(2) we decide on how many immigrants per year we want to accept. Right now we're gaining about 1-1.5 million immigrants a year (legal and illegal), and and that seems like a reasonable number to me, although I could easily imagine our population swallowing up to 5 million or more per year with out a hiccup.

(3) We divide the target number of immigrants by the current population of citizen, to figure out the size of the immigration voucher issued to each citizen each year. The result is something between 1/3 of a percent of an immigrant per citizen per year, and 2% of an immigrant per citizen. Each citizen would receive his voucher every year. On the after-market, these vouchers could be traded, banked, auctioned off, raffled, or destroyed.

Charities concerned with refugee crises could purchase vouchers on the open market, and use them to bring in victims of natural disaster, socialist economies, etc.

Farmers and factories could purchase vouchers and use them to bring in labor under long-term contracts ("Want to become a citizen? We'll sponsor you if you work 10 years for us at minimum wage.")

Anti-immigrant groups could buy up vouchers and destroy them.

Rich foreigners could buy vouchers and immigrate to the US.

First generation immigrants who want to bring their families over could buy up vouchers and do so.

Congress would then be removed from the process of deciding who should become an American citizen. The INS would then be entirely removed from the process of processing applications and appeals.

It would be interesting to see what price the market gives American citizenship.

(originally posted here)
4.2.2006 6:27pm
Kovarsky (mail):
On the holiest of days, baseball opening day, the sports world is ablaze with talk of what to do about mr. bonds. how do we keep somebody that we know is a cheater away from the most scared record in sports. some proposals involves suspensions. i have a more modest proposal to keep bonds away from aaron. send him where hitters go to die.

trade him to the mets.
4.2.2006 6:33pm
Frank Drackmann (mail):
I hope the next security guard that congressperson McKinney accuses of racism gives her a 120,000 volt shock from his stun gun. Her hair already looks like thats what happened to her.
4.2.2006 6:47pm
Hei Lun Chan (mail) (www):
Why does David B. keep blogging about the Northern Virginia housing market? More specifically, why does he think any one cares about the Northern Virginia housing market?

Maybe he wants do his part to drive prices down?

In his defense, I bet as many people care about this as Todd Zywicki's Wine War posts.
4.2.2006 7:08pm
WB:
I don't think blogging about something means that the blogger necessarily thinks anyone cares.

And I totally second Frank Drackmann's and Kovarsky's recommendations. Trade Bonds to the Mets and tell McKinney that it's not "racism" every time she thinks she's mistreated.
4.2.2006 8:07pm
lee (mail):
A desert island with no PINK FLOYD?!?
4.2.2006 8:18pm
Rue Des Quatre Vents (mail):
Pink Floyd + desert island = suicide.
4.2.2006 8:23pm
therut:
What I have a hard time understanding is why my fried a Physician from Russia had to and still does have to jump through all kinds of legal tape to become a citizen of this country while others walk over in an illegal manner and they are considered worthy of my blessing and praise of their show of "democracy" by protesting. This friend of mine 7 years ago got a 3 month fiancee visa. She had three months in the US to either get married or return home. She was an internet bride. She married my good friend. She is happy. She checks in with immigration just as she is told to. She will give up her citizenship to Russia. Her family can not come here just because she has. Something stinks in our government. They scream fairness and equality and it is all a big LIE. I also get tired of the rhetoric that these immigrants are making 2-3.00 a day in mexico. Well she was making 40.00 a month as a cardiologist in Russia.
4.2.2006 8:34pm
Kovarsky (mail):
I know I've done some variations of that list that will put "meddle" on the obligatory list, but the "trippy" floyd stuff feels like a comic book to me. listening to musicians consider dehumanization and social control is almost as unpleasant as listening to philosophy grad students do it.

and i HATE that song "money." if i were to put any floyd on there it would probably invert the preferred order of floyd junkies.

also, I think the poorly-articulated claim in the McKinney business is that the officer failed to recognize her as a congresswoman. apparently congresspeople are waived through all the time. i don't think the real argument is that he grabbed her "because of her race" so much as it is that perhaps subconscious bias slowed his recognition of her as a congresswoman. i'm not saying anything about the merits of that claim, i'm just identifying it.
4.2.2006 8:39pm
Kovarsky (mail):
BEST SINGLE (SONG) EVER:
"Visions of Johanna," Bob Dylan


TIED FOR SECOND (in no particular order and if you don't own these
songs you should):
"Life on Mars," David Bowie
"Heroin," The Velvet Underground
"Hey Ya!," Outkast
"Castles Made of Sand," Jimi Hendrix
"Hallelujah," Jeff Buckley
"Common People," Pulp


OTHER GREAT SINGLES:
"Letter from an Occupant," The New Pornographers
"Glory Days," Pulp
"Born to Run," Bruce Springsteen
"Black Steel," Tricky
"So What'cha Want," The Beastie Boys
"Sabatoge," The Beastie Boys
"Ghetto Superstar," Pras
"Don't Look Back in Anger," Oasis
"Judy is a Punk," The Ramones
"Mr. Pitiful," Otis Redding
"Feed the Tree," Belly
"Deep Cover," Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
"Creep," Radiohead
"Idioteque," Radiohead
"Karma Police," Radiohead
"The Bends," Radiohead
"Johnny Strikes Up the Band," Warren Zevon
"Raging Eyes," Nick Lowe
"Marie Provost," Nick Lowe
"Here Come the Martian Martians," Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers
"Straight Outta Compton," NWA
"It Takes Two," Rob Bass and DJ Easy Rock
"Dropout," Urge Overkill
"Tomorrow Never Knows," The Beatles
"Nowhere Man," The Beatles
"Polythene Pam," The Beatles
"Helter Skelter," The Beatles
"Sleep the Clock Around," Belle and Sebastian
"This Charming Man," The Smiths
"In the Meantime," Helmet
"Son of a Preacher Man," Dusty Springfield
"Marquee Moon," Television
"Beast of Burden," The Rolling Stones
"Wild Horses," The Rolling Stones
"The Beautiful People," Marilyn Manson
"Mageetah," My Morning Jacket
"More than This," Roxy Music
"White Rabbit," Jefferson Airplane
"Man Out of Time," Elvis Costello
"Black and White World," Elvis Costello
"Oliver's Army," Elvis Costello
"(What's so Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding," Elvis Costello
"Miss America," David Byrne
"Psycho Killer," Talking Heads
"Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts," Bob Dylan
"Desolation Row," Bob Dylan
"Rich Man's Toy," The Auteurs
"Search and Destroy," The Stooges
"Bizarre Love Triangle," New Order
"Hang on to Your Ego," The Beach Boys/Frank Black
"White Noise Maker," Frank Black
"Head On," Frank Black/Jesus and Mary Chain
"Tumbledown," The Jesus and Mary Chain
"Just Like Honey," Jesus and Mary Chain
"Song For Bob Dylan," David Bowie
"The Man Who Sold the World," David Bowie
"Sound and Vision," David Bowie
"Forever Young," Alphaville
"Vapour Trail," Ride
"Man's Best Friend," Ice Cube
"Float On," Modest Mouse
"Bankrupt on Selling," Modest Mouse
"The Scientist," Coldplay
"Satellite of Love," Lou Reed
"Dirty Boulevard," Lou Reed
"Venus in Furs," The Velvet Underground
"Pale Blue Eyes," The Velvet Underground
"All Along the Watchtower," Jimi Hendrix
"To Here Knows When," My Bloody Valentine
"99 Problems," DJ Danger Mouse
"Scenario," Tribe Called Quest featuring Busta Rhymes
"Rebirth of Slick," Digable Planets
"Oh, L'Amour," Eurasure
"Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana
"Debaser," The Pixies
"Digging For Fire," The Pixies
"Atmosphere," Joy Division
"King of Carrot Flowers, Vol's I and II," Neutral Milk Hotel
"Holland, 1945," Neutral Milk Hotel
"Complete Control," The Clash
"Bigmouth Strikes Again," The Smiths/Placebo
"Schitzophrenia," Sonic Youth
"Mr. Brownstone," Guns 'n Roses
"Neighborhood #3," Arcade Fire
"Big Exit," PJ Harvey
"Turn it On," The Flaming Lips
"A Spoonful Weighs a Ton," The Flaming Lips
"Talkin' Bout the Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone
Wants)," The Flaming Lips
"Mother," John Lennon
"Smooth Criminal," Michael Jackson
"The Middle," Jimmy Eat World
"Surrender," Cheap Trick
"Untrustable, Pt. II," Built to Spill
"Distopian Dream Girl," Built to Spill
"Else," Built to Spill
"Velvet Waltz," Built to Spill
"Shangri-La," The Kinks
"Last Goodbye," Jeff Buckley
"Pretty In Pink," Psychedelic Furs
"California Stars," Wilco (Mermaid Ave.)
"Summer Babe," Pavement
"For Whom the Bell Tolls," Metallica
"No Nose Job," Digital Underground
"Not Fade Away," Buddy Holly
"Stella Was a Diver and She's Always Down," Interpol
"Alison," Slowdive
"So Long, Marienne," Leonard Cohen
"Wagon," Dinosaur Jr.
"After the Gold Rush," Neil Young
"Speeding Motorcycle," Yo La Tengo
"Greetings to the New Brunette," Billy Bragg
"Come Pick Me Up," Ryan Adams
"I Am a Scientist," Guided by Voices
"Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side," Magnetic Fields
"I Wanna Be Adored," The Stone Roses
"Duel," Swervedriver
"The Good Life," Weezer
"Iris," Live
"Bring the Noise," Public Enemy and Anthrax
"Transcendental Blues," Steve Earle
"Only Living Boy in New York," Simon and Garfunkel
"Maryanne With the Shaky Hand," The Who
"Bawitdaba," Kid Rock
"Piss Up a Rope," Ween


SONG THAT MAKES ME THE SADDEST:
"Most of the Time," Bob Dylan
4.2.2006 8:42pm
Huh:
Someone dropped Jim Thome in my fantasy baseball league and I claimed him off waivers.

Opening day is going just swell.
4.2.2006 8:53pm
lee (mail):
The "trippy stuff" is the best e.g. Interstellar Overdrive. I didn't like Money(still don't)but it is humor(about the only humor anywhere in The Floyd.)
4.2.2006 9:09pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Well said, therut!
4.2.2006 9:13pm
BU2L (mail):
The Rut,

I definitely feel your friend's pain. When I immigrated with my family, having received refugee status due to suffering the usual Soviet antisemitism, it was still a huge red-tape pain in the ass. The INS interviewer in Moscow asked my grandfather if he was ever a member of the party - 3 times. He was. Everyone was, who wanted to work in any managerial position. He also asked him 3 times if he was an alcoholic. he wasn't, (though he can definitely pack it away if he has to).

JLR:

As TS Eliot wrote, "April is the cruelest month."

As TS Eliot also wrote,

Apeneck Sweeney spreads his knees
Letting his arms hang down to laugh,
The zebra stripes along his jaw
Swelling to maculate giraffe.

The circles of the stormy moon
Slide westward toward the River Plate,
Death and the Raven drift above
And Sweeney guards the horned gate.

Gloomy Orion and the Dog
Are veiled; and hushed the shrunken seas;
The person in the Spanish cape
Tries to sit on Sweeney's knees

Slips and pulls the table cloth
Overturns a coffee-cup,
Reorganised upon the floor
She yawns and draws a stocking up;

The silent man in mocha brown
Sprawls at the window-sill and gapes;
The waiter brings in oranges
Bananas figs and hothouse grapes;

The silent vertebrate in brown
Contracts and concentrates, withdraws;
Rachel nee Rabinovitch
Tears at the grapes with murderous paws;

She and the lady in the cape
Are suspect, thought to be in league;
Therefore the man with heavy eyes
Declines the gambit, shows fatigue,

Leaves the room and reappears
Outside the window, leaning in,
Branches of wistaria
Circumscribe a golden grin;

The host with someone indistinct
Converses at the door apart,
The nightingales are singing near
The Convent of the Sacred Heart,

And sang within the bloody wood
When Agamemnon cried aloud,
And let their liquid siftings fall
To stain the stiff dishonoured shroud.


"Sweeney Among the Nightingales," in my opinion, is the best anti-semitic poem ever written. (To be sure, there have been some good anti-semitic poets - it's practically a sub-genre).
4.2.2006 9:14pm
Vendetta:
Has anyone seen "V for Volokh" yet?
4.2.2006 9:52pm
Mike M (mail):
Comparing March 2005 housing data with April 2006 is probably not a good idea. According to conventional wisdom (which is often wrong), April is when the buyers/sellers come out of the woodwork.
4.2.2006 10:02pm
JB:
What do y'all think of Jill Carroll's new interview?
4.2.2006 10:16pm
RainerK:
ThirdCircuitLawyer

Some time ago David Bernstein was house hunting in the DC area. He suffered a major sticker shock attack from which he is slowly recovering. Following the bubble is part of the therapy.
4.2.2006 10:18pm
The Original TS (mail):
Ouch, Therut, provocatively said.

The illegal immigration problem is extremely complex. Nonetheless, I am completely certain that the way forward, in terms of politics, public opinion and economics, is NOT having all the illegal aliens in the U.S. holding big marches to demand their "rights." I am particularly bemused by the angry demands that the U.S. abandon the plan to build an effective border fence. What in heaven's name are the organizers of this movement thinking?

There could be no surer method of having the large moderate majority in America (who are inherently somewhat sympathetic to illegal immigrants as individuals if not as a class) swing solidly behind draconian anti-immigration measures. This is so politically tone-deaf that you almost suspect these demonstrations are being organized by double agents of the infamous and vast right wing conspiracy.
4.2.2006 10:25pm
Constantin:
I'd add to Kovarsky's impressive list "Too Far to Care" by the Old 97s.

Anybody watch The Sopranos tonight? It was like a Maureen Dowd column come to life. Didactically political--which the show rarely is (I recall a discussion about Hillary during Season 3 and that's about it)--and maybe the worst episode I've seen.
4.2.2006 11:04pm
BU2L (mail):

What in heaven's name are the organizers of this movement thinking?

The organizers of this movement are either are themselves old hippies, or are influenced by old hippies. For old hippies, big marches with corny slogans are the M.O.
4.2.2006 11:06pm
Kovarsky (mail):
constantin,

first of all, i thought it a little eerie that the end credits rolled over pink floyd in tonights sopranos episode.

second, the word "existential" leaps to mind, not "political." the axis of confrontation involves science versus religion, which i refuse to allow to be framed as a "political" disagreement. and existential angst is nothing new for fiction - not even new for HBO - but this season has ben far better bubble gum existentialism than anything that 6 feet under produced in its mortal twitch.
4.2.2006 11:24pm
BU2L (mail):
Constantin, I disagree. Just because the episode,

SPOILER ALERT!!!!


criticized evangelicals, which happens to be a liberal position, doesn't make tonight's episode political. I think it meshed well with the metaphysical stuff discussed by Hal Holbrook's character, and was quite relevant to illustrate Tony's vulnerable state. After all, normally he would have reacted the way Paulie did to Father Intintola.

Also, to disregard hard science on blind faith is perfectly idiotic, and consequently, ripe for mockery - all politics aside.
4.2.2006 11:25pm
BU2L (mail):
Kovarsky, if you say "mortal twitch" and 6 Feet Under in the same sentence, you should realize apologize for the pun.
4.2.2006 11:26pm
BU2L (mail):
realize really
4.2.2006 11:27pm
Constantin:
I felt the entire first scene (Viagra v. birth control) with Janice's narcoleptic buddy and the preacher was too obvious, right down to the shirt the narcoleptic was wearing. It reminded me of a Saved by the Bell episode where Zack would step out into the spotlight at the end and speak directly to the audience. All that was missing was Meadow singing "I'm So Excited." Again, didactic probably is the best word I can think of for it.

That aside, note that the gansta/gangster interaction is recycled from Season 1. Funny then, not so much now.
4.2.2006 11:40pm
Constantin:
Also not so funny are guys who misspell "gangsta," like I did above ("gansta")...
4.2.2006 11:42pm
BU2L (mail):
SPOILER AGAIN

Come on, "funny then, not so much now?" I think the best two scenes in the episode stem from that storyline. First, when Bobby tells the Treach character, "I'm a marksman," and Treach mumbles back, "You are a crazy motherfucker." And then, when Treach lays wounded in the ass, screaming, "he shot me in the ass." Yeah, I doubt that will serve his street cred as intended.
4.2.2006 11:43pm
Kovarsky (mail):
bu2L,

i cannot apologize for something i did deliberately. it's nice to see somebody noticed though.
4.2.2006 11:52pm
Kovarsky (mail):
constantin,

i don't get it? that's not political. that's making fun of an idiotic position, without respect to the political stripes of the people that tend to agree with it. i don't have any problem with christians, or even evangelical christians, but i have a big problem with people that raise their kids to believe that the world was created 6K years ago.

intelligent design and creationism aren't any more "political" than is holocaust denial. they're anti-scientific - apolitical creatures of wilfull blindness.

as for the "viagra" bit, i was in a room full of four people and everybody laughed hysterically. it was a farce - i think most interpreted it for what it is, tony being playfully coy, and not a restatement of the author's (auteur, composer, director, writer, whatever) actual belief about the relationship between birth control and viagra.

in fact, the show could have easily contrasted the morning after pill if it had so choosen, but instead it chose the more absurdist comparison - again, to convey the farcical nature of the exchange.
4.2.2006 11:59pm
Mr. T.:
Kovarsky -

Amazing. I just got back into mp3s after a long time with a computer, and I was thinking about posting a request for song suggestions to branch out in my music selection. Clearly, you read my mind. Thanks!
4.3.2006 9:54am
Houston Lawyer:
I am generally sympathetic to the illegal immigrants here. However, these mass protests and high school walk outs waiving Mexican flags are really pissing me off. Based upon conversations with my friends and co-workers, I am not alone.

And what's the deal with these new starting associate salaries. $145,000, plus bonus, for first years!!! Are there really so few capable law graduates that the price has to go up this high?
4.3.2006 12:22pm
JLR (mail) (www):
By the way, I just want to note for the record that in my original comment, I was just quoting the first line of TS Eliot's "The Waste Land" to describe how April is now upon us. Given BU2L's citation of TS Eliot's well-known anti-Semitism, I want to make it explicit that anti-Semitism is appalling, and Eliot should be condemned for his virulent anti-Semitism. I think BU2L was merely pointing out how anti-Semitic TS Eliot was, but I felt I needed to clarify the context of the quotation since the quote was only lead-in to the "nut graf," to use journalism-speak.

The point of my comment was simply to point out that one way in which "April is the cruelest month" is that April is generally the month in which (to quote from my original comment) "high school students [are] trying to determine which colleges to attend, and...college graduates [are] trying to determine which law schools, PhD programs, or other graduate/professional schools to attend."
4.3.2006 1:43pm
JLR (mail) (www):
By the way, I just want to note for the record that in my original comment, I was just quoting the first line of TS Eliot's "The Waste Land" to describe how April is now upon us. Given BU2L's citation of TS Eliot's well-known anti-Semitism, I want to make it explicit that anti-Semitism is appalling, and Eliot should be condemned for his virulent anti-Semitism. I think BU2L was merely pointing out how anti-Semitic TS Eliot was, but I felt I needed to clarify the context of the quotation since the quote was only the lead-in to the "nut graf," to use journalism-speak.

The point of my comment was simply to point out that one way in which "April is the cruelest month" is that April is generally the month in which (to quote from my original comment) "high school students [are] trying to determine which colleges to attend, and...college graduates [are] trying to determine which law schools, PhD programs, or other graduate/professional schools to attend."
4.3.2006 1:44pm
JLR (mail) (www):
Sorry for the double-posting of the same comment above.

Re "The Sopranos"

(I would have hidden the text using HTML command for font colors, thus meaning someone would have to highlight the text to read the spoiler. Unfortunately, that apparently is a "disallowed tag" in the Volokh comments. So just skip past this comment if you don't want to read the spoiler. Thanks.)

(SPOILER ALERT)

I thought this "Sopranos" episode was a great example of the absurdist streak running through the series. Also, it underscores what is a running motif on the show — how Tony has pity for himself, when in fact he probably was the luckiest guy on the episode, all things considered. Hal Holbrook's character ends up with cancer; the rapper ends up getting shot in the rear; Bobby shot the rapper just to give Tony some extra money; Tony ensures his W2 and health insurance for 10 years plus 12% of the sale price, while the scion of the Barone family ends up getting beaten by Paulie anyway due to the parallels in familial situations; etc.

Tony pitys himself, while a great wind blows around him, keeping him afloat.
4.3.2006 1:56pm
JLR (mail) (www):
Sopranos SPOILER continued:

And I should not neglect to mention the unfortunate garbage collector who got beaten while his son watched.

Tony's pretty darn lucky. And he seemed to recognize it somewhat thanks to the Ojibwe saying, but not really.

Also, notice how the television shows in the background seemed to be somewhat absurd, not really commenting or driving the action, but rather serving as strange juxtapositions to the action. "Gilmore Girls" and "Kung Fu" -- very strange. But I'll have to rewatch again to determine if the dialogue might correlate with the action that followed the clips.
4.3.2006 2:10pm
Aaron:
Houston Lawyer:

Tuition, room and board at Georgetown Law: $48,790.

Multiple by 3.

That's why salaries are going up.
4.3.2006 2:29pm
Kovarsky (mail):
JLR,

I can tell you that the martial arts master featured in some of the tv clims is, if I recall, the most famous such character actor. I believe that is why tarantino selected him for kill bill 2.
4.3.2006 3:40pm
BU2L (mail):
JLR, I totally didn't mean to insinuate any sort of connection between you and anti-semitism. The open thread being what it is, I merely hoped to push the conversation into the direction of anti-semitism in literature. I would never leap to the conclusion that someone is anti-semite based on the fact that they quoted an anti-semitic author. Lots of people quote Eliot, and Dostoyevsky, and Solzhenitsyn, and Hemingway. T
4.3.2006 4:11pm
JLR (mail) (www):
BU2L, thanks for your comment -- I didn't think you were insinuating such a connection either. But I wasn't 100% sure -- hence my explicit condemnation of anti-Semitism, and my explicit condemnation of Eliot for being an anti-Semite. Thanks for your clarification; I greatly appreciate it.

Mr. Kovarsky, yes indeed -- my guess is that those particular Kung Fu clips (as opposed to other Kung Fu clips) were picked for some reason. I'm looking forward to rewatching the episode to get a better sense of how the clips correlate with the scenes that immediately follow them.
4.3.2006 4:45pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"To anyone who is making such decisions during this cruelest of all months, I wish them the best of luck for the present and the future."

As an autistic aries, April is the best of months. It is all in one's perspective.

About those $145 k salaries -- hey, I am very experienced, and i would do it for $100 k, but I think my husband (FBN) AND I would do it for $145 k (two for one), just so long as a hunter/jumper barn is closeby. Mot starting a bidding war or anything ...

My real question, however, is whether or not it is permissible to blog on the Sunday open thread on Monday.
4.3.2006 4:56pm
Leland:
I am particularly bemused by the angry demands that the U.S. abandon the plan to build an effective border fence. What in heaven's name are the organizers of this movement thinking?

There could be no surer method of having the large moderate majority in America (who are inherently somewhat sympathetic to illegal immigrants as individuals if not as a class) swing solidly behind draconian anti-immigration measures.


No kidding. I need only look to my daughters. They are very disinterested in politics and like many teenage girls, they hate their Government class. I couldn't get them to watch the evening News with a bribe. However, you have a couple of their classmates skip class without ramification and all of a sudden they discover external events might just effect them.

I wonder if anyone sees the protests like I do:

A bunch of children of illegal immigrants are walking out of their school to protest the government that is providing them a free education that is subsidized by the legal citizens of that country. The goal of this protest is to convince the legal citizens that why these illegal immigrant parents have absolutely no desire to financially contribute to their children's education by becoming fully responsible citizens, they nontheless make life better by preventing various jobs from being taxed.

I find that a strange, but I think there is more to it...

The legal citizens should simply let this activity continue. In addition, the government should provide taxpayer funded free "emergency" health care without question. Whatever the government does, it absolutely should not erect a barrier that might prevent illegal immigrants from entering and untaxed wealth from leaving.
4.3.2006 7:03pm