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Finals week Friday

I turned in my grades yesterday.  For all kinds of reasons, this has been an exceptionally fun semester—the “Stranger than Fiction” senior seminar went well, and the Intro to Disability Studies in the Humanities did too.  (First time I’ve taught a gen-ed course.  Most edifying.) And the Penn State women’s volleyball team is now one win away from a threepeat.

So.  Has anyone been talking about health care reform lately?

And while I was driving around doing lost-postponed errands, I heard a strange thing.  The college radio station was playing Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl,” to which I listened for .04 seconds, and the local classic-rock-for-bikers-and-guys-who-look-like-Aqualung station, ordinarily a Grand Funk Railroad’s “I’m Your Captain / Closer to Home” kind of place, was playing Beck’s “Loser.” I just think that’s wrong on so many levels.  Thankfully, I now have that satellite radio device as well, and spent a few minutes marveling at how well this song has held up after 31 years:

As for Senator Palpatine (I.- CT), he is what we thought he was.  He is what we thought he was!  And we let him off the hook.

Posted by on 12/18 at 08:05 AM
  1. Isn’t left-right a political scale that should be retired? Wouldn’t a vertical scale be more accurate?

    Instead of arguing if Lieberman is/was/ever could be liberal, or if hating Lieberman is because he’s Jewish and that makes you an anti-Semite which means you must be less of a liberal than you claim to be, or whatever. Instead of those arguments, wouldn’t a simple diagram connecting Lieberman’s actions and rich people’s money simplify the process before our eyes? Yeah, Max Baucus is a liar, but here’s a diagram: health corporation money, arrow to Baucus. There.

    All the talk of death panels, Chuck Norris saying that healthcare would have killed Baby Jesus (look it up), all the fear of The Black Man. Sweep that all away. Money from corporation here (draw arrow), politician here.

    I’m also for disregarding psychological profiles such as “Lieberman is just a mean ninny because Marcy Wheeler once wrote....” That’s all pretty useless. Those are all motives devised to avoid whose money is buying what. Just saying.

    By the way, I saw Grand Funk open at the Fillmore East for Jethro Tull. Mark Farner didn’t wear a shirt! The second act, Fat Mattress, really sucked. And I once worked in the Postal Concentration Center on the midnight shift with the guy who’d been the drummer for The Spiral Starecase. Vinnie Something.

    Posted by Bob In Pacifica  on  12/18  at  11:05 AM
  2. Solving the health care crisis by forcing people at the margins to buy private insurance...what could possibly go wrong?

    I’d really like to talk some smack about UT beating PSU in volleyball—the Horns are pretty tough—but PSU is too scary. Instead I’ll go all centrist and say it should be a good match.

    Posted by  on  12/18  at  11:19 AM
  3. I always have to ask myself about Debbie Harry:  is she feeling that passion, or is she performing it ironically? I’m not sure even she knew. Love her.

    And don’t you win some kind of prize on this blog for referring to Chuck Norris and Baby Jesus in the same sentence? Within a week of Christmas, no less.

    Posted by Lance  on  12/18  at  12:42 PM
  4. I’m with Bob. Just draw the lines. And what state is corp HQ to many insurance companies. Connecticut. Coincidence???

    Dead Armadillos. That’s what we are going to get from Healthcare and Copenhagen. Merry Christmas

    e.

    Posted by  on  12/18  at  01:26 PM
  5. Mmmm… Dead Armadillos.

    Beck is sorta like Jethro Tull with solid state electronics and desktop computing. And Jethro Tull are Grammy head banger laureates. So we can draw that line to that audience. Not sure how to get from “Uptown Girl” to college radio.

    Captcha: thirty. Trust less.

    Posted by  on  12/18  at  01:59 PM
  6. OK, now I’m all confused.  You’re collectively saying that 93.7 The BUS was playing Beck because Connecticut is the home of the insurance industry?  Exactly where am I supposed to draw that line?

    Bob:  yes, but.  The money doesn’t entirely explain why Holy Joe was OK with a Medicare buy-in two weeks ago but not today.  And there’s no way the drummer from Spiral Starecäse was named Vinnie Something.  I wonder if there’s a Wikipedia page somewhere that could tell us his real name--

    Posted by  on  12/18  at  02:20 PM
  7. Well Michael you are bit naive. Of course The BUS is owned by some big corporation whose stock is owned by investment funds who are in turn run by the same people who run the insurance industry which is run in Connecticut. And Beck is from Los Angeles, where holy Joe is very popular with the big Israeli expat community for his insistence that bombing various Muslim countries is the way to go. It’s all becoming clear now…

    Posted by  on  12/18  at  02:52 PM
  8. "The money doesn’t entirely explain why Holy Joe was OK with a Medicare buy-in two weeks ago but not today.”

    I like Gail Collins’s take: he’s just not that smart. It’s terrifying, but oddly comforting, as in, “Oh, that explains a lot.”

    captcha: “church,” as in Moloch bless Gail Collins.

    Posted by  on  12/18  at  04:51 PM
  9. ” (First time I’ve taught a gen-ed course.  Most edifying.)”

    Ever? Really?

    Michael, someday I’d love to hear how it was “most edifying”!

    Posted by Stacey  on  12/18  at  05:03 PM
  10. Yep, Stacey, I’ve taught all over the English curriculum from 200-level surveys to graduate seminars, but never a gen-ed course.  (The DS course counts for Gen Ed thanks to my elusive wife’s years and years of work on the DS minor, fast-tracking it through the Faculty Senate in less than a decade.) And it was most edifying because I had a group of students unlike any I’ve ever had before—including premeds and aerospace engineers and criminal justice majors.  Much more diverse bunch in every way, with vastly different levels of preparation and experience.  And that was a good thing.  Also good:  asking students to pair up and do 10-15 minute presentations.  The result—a wonderful array of inventive and informative work, and a great way to spark further discussion.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/18  at  05:49 PM
  11. I did not appreciate that reference to pre-meds. I come here to not think about the remaining grading.

    captcha: three. No units specified.

    Posted by  on  12/18  at  06:04 PM
  12. For an ABF mash up, this is a doozy; sort of a winner-take-all WWE cage match.  In this corner we have Aqualung sputtering and spewing dysphemic mutterings about Joe Palpatine; then over in that corner is the tag team duo of Beck and Billy dancing in the dark to a macabre dirge; and in that other corner a youngish professor basks in a “most edifying” afterglow with preglow glitters for yet another PS women’s volleyball championship.  What’s not to like about such a triangle.

    I’ll take US Senate hypocrisy for $800, Alex?
    The answer: Incrementalism, the perfect way to kill a bill.

    Posted by  on  12/18  at  09:18 PM
  13. ordinarily a Grand Funk Railroad’s “I’m Your Captain / Closer to Home” kind of place

    In the mid-70s one of the “name” DJs at WMMS in Cleveland did a Sunday night show for inmates at Ohio’s Mansfield Penitentiary. Almost invariably the request would come in for some Grand Funk and just as invariably he’d play “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)” since (I’ll let the Wikipedia hivemind speak for me), It was far more successful on progressive rock radio stations, ... where its length and epic feel were an asset and where it became a mainstay that appealed to a broad spectrum of rock fans outside Grand Funk’s immediate listener base. This was around the time that ‘MMS started its long, slow slide into irretrievable self-parody and I can’t help but feel that playing a track or two of Grand Funk more suited to the portion of the “immediate listener base” cooling their heels behind prison walls in North Central Ohio might have ever-so-incrementally slowed that descent a bit (and would have surely been great appreciated by said portion of the base).

    Posted by  on  12/18  at  11:43 PM
  14. Q: How many UT women’s volleyball players does it take to eat an armadillo?

    A: Five. One to dig, one to set, one to kill, one to eat and one to watch for cars.

    Posted by  on  12/18  at  11:45 PM
  15. "I always have to ask myself about Debbie Harry:  is she feeling that passion, or is she performing it ironically? I’m not sure even she knew.”

    I think it is a mistake to think that Harry was not self-aware, and I think it underestimates her artistry.  Was she sincere or ironic?  Baby, punk rock was always about being both. really, when you think about it, that’s about as rock’n’roll as it gets, innit?

    Captcha: “Give”, as in give me another little bit of your heart now, baby

    Posted by Bill Altreuter  on  12/18  at  11:55 PM
  16. Too strange: in the early 80s I belonged to a small ensemble, one of whose members later migrated to the Jazz Passengers featuring post-Blondie Harry.

    And just a couple of weeks ago I caught Ian Anderson in concert with orchestra-- a friend exhorted me to attend.  It was actually a fun, twisty flashback to those ancient times denned in the bedroom with Tull.

    Finally, in high school I was widely known as “Captain.” That is all. 

    Presumably you’re feeling much better, MB?

    Posted by  on  12/19  at  01:59 AM
  17. Palpatine socks

    Posted by  on  12/19  at  11:45 AM
  18. Solid - wallet!  Now there’s a rhyme for the ages!

    Posted by  on  12/19  at  02:59 PM
  19. We are now in MLAirspace.

    berubemla.jpg height=50% width=50%

    Posted by  on  12/19  at  06:57 PM
  20. Uh-oh, now I can feel my ego growing to planetary proportions. 

    Romy B., thanks for asking. I’m feeling better, but not much better.  Still some mischief rattling around in my lungs.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/19  at  07:08 PM
  21. A: Five. One to dig, one to set, one to kill, one to eat and one to watch for cars.

    Just curious, but what did the sixth player do to you???

    And just a couple of weeks ago I caught Ian Anderson in concert with orchestra-- a friend exhorted me to attend.

    Romy, i caught that tour out here in November; it was really quite fun.  And do get well Michael, as you now have so much more to look forward to doing.

    Posted by  on  12/19  at  09:02 PM
  22. The money doesn’t entirely explain why Holy Joe was OK with a Medicare buy-in two weeks ago but not today.

    spyder has already gotten there with the answer, darn it.  Two weeks ago, the Senate wasn’t officially considering a Medicare buy-in.  Once it did, it was time to once again redshift those goalposts off the visible spectrum.

    I’m also for disregarding psychological profiles such as “Lieberman is just a mean ninny because Marcy Wheeler once wrote....” That’s all pretty useless.

    Well, actually, the word from some of the oldtimers who remember Joe from the Yale days, or his run against Weicker, is that he always was a petty yet sanctimonious asshole.  Baucus’ 180-degree turn on a public option is simple avarice; he responds to carrots and sticks as an ordinary mercenary would.  On the other hand, Joe really does seem to enjoy combining enriching his wife’s clients and himself with being a prancing, vindictive little shit.

    And whoa, Stormcrow, that’s one ginormous ghostly looming head, there.  In 2012, the MLA; in 2013, Alaska?  Which can then fulfill Todd Palin’s lifelong dream by seceding from President Sarah Palin’s America.  That would qualify as irony, right?

    Posted by  on  12/19  at  11:11 PM
  23. And there was no doubt about it ...

    Posted by  on  12/19  at  11:38 PM
  24. word up: the Penn State Nittany Lions completed their three-peat as NCAA women’s volleyball championships, fighting through being down 0-2 in sets, and then 8-8 in the fifth set.  The MLAirspace is beginning to have its way with the world.

    Posted by  on  12/19  at  11:58 PM

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