[posted by Justin Levine]
Scott Eric Kaufman, in one of the more subtlely humorous posts I’ve seen all night:
As happens fortnightly, I feel inspired to denigrate an Ann Althouse post. Many would read it, snigger, then take in the local nightlife. To me, her stupidity is unignorable. I witness it and cannot help but call shenanigans. A nightmarish enigma who somehow finagled tenure from a respectable institution, Althouse considers herself the calm, reasonable voice of liberal feminism. If someone wears a nightie within a square mile of Bill Clinton, her dulcet tones denounce the hussy with benign force. She is not one to niggle with piddling arguments, so when she took her nightstick out this weekend.
Sorry. Can’t do it. Can’t take it anymore.
Am paralyzed by the stupid.
I cannot be too niggardly in my praise of this post. It’s the funniest set of quotes since Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap. When you see humor like this, you know the end is nigh.
The latest example of the L.A. Times‘s anti-law enforcement bias comes in a story titled, incredibly, Police shot unarmed man, witness says. The deck headline reads: “The account of a teen present at the shooting in Van Nuys differs greatly from the department’s explanation.” And the opening of the story reads as follows:
A teenager who witnessed his friend being fatally shot by a Los Angeles motorcycle officer offered a dramatically different account of the encounter than police Friday, saying the man was killed while trying to surrender and wasn’t carrying anything in his hands.
A police official overseeing the shooting investigation confirmed that the teenager gave investigators a similar account, but said detectives believe he is lying. Two bystanders saw the suspect approach officers with an object in his hand, according to the official.
The object, which turned out to be a 24-inch metal microphone stand, was recovered at the scene, police said.
Let’s review the evidence. Two “bystanders” with no reported connection to police or the dead teenager say he approached police with an object in his hand. Indeed, in the 22nd paragraph, they are described as “two independent eyewitnesses.” This corroborates the police account, as does the recovery of the item. But the dead teenager’s friend predictably says he was unarmed. So we get a headline suggesting the cops shot an “unarmed man” according to a “witness” — not “friend,” but “witness.” Same for the deck headline, which calls the dead teenager’s friend “a teen present at the shooting.” Neither headline refers to the friend as a friend, nor does either headline mention that more than one disinterested witness corroborates the police account.
More sensationalism to the detriment of the LAPD. Par for the course.
A left-leaning friend of mine, who reads Andrew Sullivan regularly, asked me my opinions on a few topics like Libby, the U.S. Attorney scandal, GTMO, and the like. My opinions on these matters are well-known to most regular readers, who know that I support the Administration on some of these issues, but not all. At the end of the exchange, my friend e-mailed to say:
I’m fine with being corrected by an informed, principled viewpoint. Your brand of conservatism is almost OK.
Heh. If I can get most left-leaning readers to agree that my views are “almost” reasonable, I think I’m doing pretty well.
From the fun “links I found at Volokh” file:
- Stuff White People Like. Hilarious. It is fascinating, though, to contemplate the reaction if one were to substitute another group for “white.” Not so funny any more, is it?
Via Volokh here.
- Optical illusions. My kids loved these. There are more available by reading the “full article,” and still more available by clicking the “Optical Illusion Archives” scrollbar on the left margin near the bottom, and selecting one of the options.
Via Volokh here.
UPDATE: While we’re tossing out frivolous fun things, a friend e-mails a link to this YouTube video, which is pretty cute:
Once the subliminal analysis starts, my friends, it never stops. This post assumes familiarity with the post immediately below, which addresses the silly notion that Hillary Clinton deliberately included a shot of the letters “NIG” on a child’s pajamas in a campaign commercial, as part of a racial dig at Barack Obama. As you will see if you read the post below, I think this is ridiculous.
But that’s not all she did! The conspiracy theorists are out in force — and when that happens, all sorts of things “come to light.”
I have received an e-mail from Phil A. (copied to numerous other people, so expect to see this elsewhere) claiming to note multiple Jewish references in the Hillary commercial. I’ll embed it again so you can easily see them:
:04 — six-pointed stars on the girl’s pajamas.
[:12 — the NIG reference discussed in my earlier post.]
Phil also notes a blue and white tinge to the opening scenes, which is, in his mind, a reference to the blue and white flag of Israel.
Finally, Phil says: “The very first scene, of the front of the house…check out the shape of the porch-lamp on the left…” I put this full-screen and watched it 3 times and I don’t know what he’s talking about. At least I kinda-sorta see the other stuff he’s talking about.
I remember reading the book Subliminal Seduction in college, and being briefly taken in. The author had numerous examples of allegedly subliminal ads, some of which might have been legitimate attempts to manipulate, and many of which probably weren’t. What destroyed the illusion for me was the author’s claim that the word “sex” was everywhere. He provided numerous visual examples of the word appearing in all sorts of commercials.
Thing is, I started seeing the word everywhere I went, in regular day-to-day life. Sure, I had sex on the brain, partially because I was a college student, and partially because I was reading this book about how “sex” is everywhere. If you try hard enough, you’ll see it too. Just look for the cross-hairs of the letter “x” in any interesting pattern you see. Once you find it, then with enough imagination you can often find an “s” and an “e” in front of it. (The “e” can be upper-case or lower-case. THE SUBLIMINALISTS DON’T CARE!!!!!)
I am now very skeptical of any claim of subliminal message placement. But it’s fun to discuss. And if it makes into the Big Media bloodstream, it’ll be fun to watch Hillary deal with it.
UPDATE: I summarize these two posts over at Hot Air.
I thought the Big Controversy over George Bush’s 2000 “RATS” commercial was nonsense. But a lot of liberals took it Ever So Seriously, and news organizations ran stories implausibly claiming that every single frame of every single campaign commercial is METICULOUSLY PLANNED OUT TO THE NTH DEGREE!!!!
Now we have a Hillary commercial where a kid is wearing pajamas that seem to have the letters “NIG” on them. It’s at :12 here:
As with the Bush commercial controversy, I think the claim is nonsense. Never mind whether you think the letters really say “NIC” — it looks to me like it’s a “G” and the mind fills in what’s missing. I wouldn’t put anything past Hillary, but I think it’s absurd to claim it’s planned out.
But no more absurd than the claim about the Bush commercial. So as a media critic, I think it will be interesting to see how the media handles this.
If it were Obama’s commercial, with a subliminal disparaging remark about Hillary, it would be ignored. But since it’s Hillary’s commercial, and the media are in Obama’s pocket, I’m not so sure.
Here is the Bush 2000 “RATS” commercial, so you remember. Pay attention around :25, when the word “bureaucrats” comes onto the screen, filling the screen with the word “RATS” for a second:
UPDATE: A commenter says these are “GOOD NIGHT” pajamas. Makes sense.