Tuesday, December 23, 2008
"The biggest lie is the idea that we are entitled to a meaningful and coherent summarizing, a conclusion, of something which never concludes. In that regard, this is the lie I'm telling myself so I don't set fire to anything."
Every day it really does take learning all over again how to fucking live.
Friday, December 19, 2008
(And I am very glad, as we are re, that Miss Lena Horne is not currently our #3. Dammit, EW, don't scare me like that.)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I just spent the greatest communal celebration of my adult life sitting in a dirty apartment while one of my hosts threw up and the other played computer solitaire and asked why anybody gave a damn about politics. Other than the Obama-winning, Libby Dole-smashing, South-Dakota's-actually-sane-re-women's-health-revealing parts I'm feeling rather fucking sorry for myself tonight. On the other end of the country, OTOH, there was much fun to be had, as demonstrated by my friend Jon and his sunroof:
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
As with Paul Newman, Studs Terkel should have at least gotten a pass 'til Wednesday -- both of them, I think would want to see how this campaign ends. And so let us all hope fervently that whoever the "3" in this trilogy might be, that s/he waits at least a little while before completing the cycle.
(ETA ...and that's three. Oh dammit. Oh dammit, that was so what I was hoping would NOT happen.)
Monday, October 27, 2008
Yeah, very quiet; thoughts on that when I get my feet back under me. (I love the new gig but the pace is something else, and then there are all these bookshelves I need to finish building. The most-used fixture in the new house appears to be the Time Sink. Does the kitchen in the TARDIS have a Time Sink? I digress.) But I needed to tell someone that I need to have the entire Particle Zoo (and its Antimatter Annex) shipped to me immediately. That is all. (HT to Book of Joe.)
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The Times today has a not-bad vetting of the woman's personal / political style, which is... well, if this was your boss you'd be chatting up HR pretty much daily. Once you've been through that, may I direct your attention to a film made about the woman before she was even born? It's called A Face In The Crowd, and it was made in 1957 by Elia Kazan. It's the story of a folksy plain-talkin' charismatic with a serious case of megalomania, and it will keep you up nights. The star is Andy Griffith; you will never look at Mayberry RFD quite the same again, and you will have clarity of thought re Sarah Palin's sort that only great art can provide. YouTube has, for the moment, the whole freakin' movie in twelve parts. Get it while you can.
Cosmic Variance has perhaps the most perfect tribute quote.
No words. Great dismay at having no more from himself.
(But I do have this. I generally have a lot of sympathy for those who decide to depart on their own schedule, but for those who choose to leave the remains for family to find? Fuck you. Seriously, talk about leaving this life as a piece of shit. I respect the man's work and I'm sorry about whatever led to this choice, but I'd spit on his fucking corpse right now if it turned up.)
Friday, September 12, 2008
Ike is on its way to Texas. Despite the feeling of many of us re certain political tendencies of Texas (and its fellow hurricane magnet Florida), this is a houseguest no one decent wishes on anybody. If you're in Ike's path, on behalf of everybody else I would appreciate it if you'd get the hell out of there to whatever extent possible. If not, stay safe and hang on; we're all hoping for the best for you. (Photo skeeved with thanks from Michael Farnum's blog -- one of the good security-industry folk currently battening down the hatches. We look forward to hearing an all-is-well from that quarter ASAP.)
But while I wait Estragon-like on those rules of etiquette for telling something their computer's zipper is down, I wonder if the Greek Security Team hackers who 0wned the LHC made even a little effort to contact CERN re the holes before they grasped for their fifteen minutes of fame. Look, dudes, it's nice that you're actually geek enough to not want to screw up the coolest science experiments of the decade, but maybe a little less cheap notoriety and a little more...honor?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
* Except for Jon Stewart, who then as now speaks just fine for me. Though damn him for, of all things, an optimist in that clip. We were so much younger then...
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
To ruin the productivity of my kind, we have Sidetaker, in which he says and she says and then we get to vote.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
"The general public has held a stereotype of heavy metal fans being suicidally depressed and of being a danger to themselves and society in general. But they are quite delicate things."
Hear that, ya damn emo kids? Metalheads are SENSITIVE TOO. Just takes less eyeliner the way they do it. The chart at the bottom of the writeup is choice, though I call shenanigans on dance, indie, and the lack of Frank Sinatra. (I'll give youse outgoing, ya bums.)
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
But the more I read the more I think it's going to be a long freakin' time before we Mac folk get, um, shiny. Nevermind that Google today -- today, Wednesday 3 Sept -- is so flaky I'm having trouble getting Blogger to cope with this post. This is about the amount of vetting that seems to have gone into making sure stuff works just on the PC side. This is the Web we're talking about, where an entire site can be Mac-useless because the business model they're paid by includes a deal with Microsoft (I'm looking at you, Qwest).
If the Chrome folk really are doing significant vetting of even just the most-trafficked sites, there's a significant subset of those sites that they'll have to revisit for Mac purposes. And how much longer does that put off Chrome for Mac? Not that I don't trust Google to do the work -- if there's one thing we know about Google it's that they're good at taking the long view on such things -- but jeez, it would have been nice to have gone public-beta with a littl emore of the public in mind.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
(RCS? AFT? The floor is yours.)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Gimme that old time religion
Gimme that old time religion
Gimme that old time religion
It's good enough for me
-- which sits in need of further expansion. (As if it wasn't already pretty, um, expanded by the various communities of belief / random acts of filk / Usenet community who've taken up the singalong over the years, but one craves the acknowledgment of His Noodly Appendage.) Her reader community came through and how; I'd direct your attention to the first comment, but I'm fairly sure you're going to read them all anyway. And then the song will be stuck in your head for hours and you'll never view the opening of Inherit the Wind quite right again. FTW!
* I can use the most fraught word in the geek-nerd-dweeb label continuum here because everyone knows that next to astronomers, geologists are some of the most blissed-out folk in science. So I'm saying it with either affection or envy. When I know which I'll report back.
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the eldest child of the late Robert F. Kennedy and a former lieutenant governor of Maryland, said the animosity that some Clinton delegates feel toward Obama "is getting worse."
Townsend, a Maryland delegate, was a strong Clinton supporter but now is fully behind Obama. She said she partly understands why some of her colleagues have not joined her yet.
"There's a moment that you want to enjoy your bitterness," she said.
Yes, and if the Dems don't pull it together that "moment" will be 4-8 years long, plus whatever happens with the Supremes. I realize I'm a bit obsessed about this right now, but I have a sick feeling that this election cycle could prove the acme of boomer self-involvement-at-the-expense-of-all-others behavior. I just bought a frickin' house; I am gonna be so pissed if I have to leave it and move to Canada...
Monday, August 25, 2008
I'll buy that. Something that simply smites your elderly ass isn't nearly as horrifying to face as something that steals your mind, your memories, your dignity, and your personal relationships -- my father couldn't visit my grandmother for the last year of his life, as it was just too traumatic to his own dying system -- and leaves you locked inside your own body to witness it. (I asked my grandmother about her awareness of her decline, while she could still be asked. She was "still in there," she told me, and it was awful to see the disconnections. Like being fogged in, she said, and knowing that the signals you were sending out were coming through fuzzed and wrong. Beyond frustrating. Often beyond humiliating.)
So there's that, and the families of Mr. Reagan and Ms. Thatcher will have their own thoughts on who suffers now and how splattery karma can be when it comes around. But I have to confess that though we really did think that Maggie and Ronnie were about the evilest damn things we ever saw back then, I'm hoping that fate has something more... gratifying... in store for Dick Cheney in the full measure of his years.
This could be a true Net phenomenon; the fundraiser is called the HAM-Up Tweet-Up, and it was conceived (and news has been propagating) up in the Twitstream. It launched today, and wouldn't you just love to hear that Twitter had caused 17.5 tons of food to appear along with the usual 8.3 cubic feet of virtual guano?
Thursday, August 21, 2008
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.
4a) Let me (AG) know so I can go see what you said.
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV (it wasn't called Immort Ale for nothing)
60. Carob chips
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
82/100. I am so enjoying my time on this planet.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Dear Lady at the Polling Station Who Shushed Everyone So She Could Read Her Ballot: I'm sorry the stick up your ass was interfering with your concentration, but come on, sweetheart -- if you didn't sit down to read through Seattle's lone ballot initiative in the months you had to do so before today, grumbling over it while standing at the polling booth isn't going to do you a whit of good, as there are about four words' difference between the two versions.
More than this, though, I want to know -- really, you're just now looking at this stuff? Months of campaign info, endorsement slates from every publication in town, an entire Comcast channel of information, and you walk in for a first read? And sweet sticky Jesus, your vote will count as much as mine? Bad enough that you're the sort of person who doesn't just shush but feels compelled to deliver a 45-second lecture to a roomful of people who feel so much civic duty they volunteer to sit there and not mock your ass (hey, that's my job); there's absolutely no way in hell you could be voting an informed ticket. Maybe you're a straight-Dem or straight-GOP voter; that'll get you halfway through the process, maybe. The uncontested races will take you two or three closer to the finish line. But when you hit the judicial slate? God help you. Better yet, God help me, as I have indeed helped myself as per custom and aphorism.
Here's the deal, lady. I know you're busy. We are all very, very busy. We're all sick unto death of this campaign season; we're all a little perplexed by Seattle's new primary system; we're all trying to check the to-do list item that hauls us through the parking-challenged streets of Wallingford to the odd little room in the church. But voting is one of those things that requires that one do one's homework before the exam. If you can't be bothered, understand that you are quite possibly doing more harm than good -- and not only to the cheerful spirits of those who care more than you do about the republic.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I'm annoyed with myself for napping through much of the two-hour span, but more annoyed by far with some of the callers -- for instance, some broad on a second ago was weeping, literally weeping on the phone, because Barack Obama "didn't say that life begins at conception." But loving the pastor on now who's pointing out rather scathingly that the format for these chats was not the same for the two candidates, and that these were in fact two different events. That's America for you, isn't it -- the overwrought and ignorant, and also the knowledgeable and reasoned, side by side.
And I am loving most of all the guy who just pointed out that the entire spectacle of dragging Presidential candidates through a playhouse for imaginary friends is simply beneath us. So when do McCain and Obama drop by to speak at the local noodle house?
Friday, August 15, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
(EOMTTA: You know, I'm just going to do this kind thing for Samuel L. Jackson's safety and declare the third of the Trifecta to be Bernie Brillstein. This is sad in its own way; I temped for him once and he really was a rainmaker. Scary but cool, and in all the spare time I had I copied down every interesting number in his Rolodex. Yes, friends, I had in my very hands the power to dial Barbra Streisand's personal line...)
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I am not sure how wingnuts can fail to understand why their pure-free-market Cloud-Cuckoo-Land evaporates when confronted with the day-to-day reality of life in a highly technical, extraordinarily complex world in which the consumer has a vanishingly small chance of being adequately informed to make the sort of decisions that one must make to live in the world. As a consumer who is painfully aware that she is not adequately knowledgeable about things like food safety and building codes, I like that I can elect people who can set up structures whereby these things are pursued. Robert Niles' essay makes the case for the benefits very well.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
(And if you think that's mean-spirited, you thank me for not posting my thoughts re Robert Novak getting a brain tumor, Ted Kennedy-style. Just no civility left in me at all this week.)
Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
1. Jo Stafford, marvelous singer of standards ("Wheel of Fortune") and apparently a fairly smart cookie to boot. That rich, warm, clear voice -- trust me, your warbling waifs of the current era will not sound remotely this good 50 years hence.
2. Estelle Getty, the first of our beloved Golden Girls to check out -- ironically, the second-youngest cast member (those were indeed some prosthetics, and yes Getty was younger than Bea Arthur). She was a pretty smart cookie herself; according to the LAT obit linked above, her insight into what makes senior women tick was fantastic:
Getty, a natural comedienne famous for her one-liners even in private life, played Sophia for laughs, but she also brought depth to the character. It was her idea that Sophia would always carry a purse because, she said, older women are forced to shed so many possessions in their later years that everything they own ends up in their purses.
"Nobody puts down their life very easily," she explained in a 1992 interview with Newsday.
Not wrong, she.
(ETA: ...3, Last Lecturer Randy Pausch. And also my great-uncle Herb, but that's a more localized mourning I suppose. Though as a WWII vet he loved Jo Stafford, and he could have been one of those gentlemen callers on Golden Girls... Hell of a life. I will miss him.)
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Anyway, Kitsune Noir, which has been so kind in supplying us all with beautiful new desktops each week, has answered my Sunday state of mind with a link to "Martin the Tailor," a wonderful 8-minute documentary that posits one way of existing in the world with both eyes and heart open. Check it out and see if you don't find this Martin Greenfield fascinating.
Martin the Tailor from Ed David on Vimeo.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
1. Tool use isn't so species-particular at all; even weiner dogs can figure out how to operate this robot.
2. I'll bet that's the first time in human history that anyone has written the phrase "even weiner dogs can figure out how to operate this robot." Sweet.
3. Yes, but could a weiner dog build the robot? A little species-pride is fine.
4. But am I so sure the dogs didn't simply modify our species to throw balls for them? We don't require an electrical grid, we're portable, and we can mix up our game a lot more than this admittedly very cool robot. And we're versatile, what with the can-opener operating and all.
5. The day the weiner dogs seize control of the can openers is the day I ship back to my home planet.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
- A mailing list for tech-journalism professionals, in which one of the members is giving a sustained and full-throated oration on what an evil bastard another journalist is. That journalist isn't actually on the list to respond; he died earlier today. The first journalist is responding to the death announcement.
- A post of mine on a Blog Not This One, where I am blessed with not only some of the dimmest readers this side of "Goodnight Moon" but thumbs-up-thumbs-down buttons for the readers too impaired even to post as anonymous cowards. (Not saying all the readers are that dumb, but the IQ curve over there looks like a course in the Tour de France. And no, not the USAT blog. Those commenters, in the odd little neighborhood bar that was T_S, rocked. And the ones that didn't usually got zapped.)
- A comment thread on an earlier post to this blog, in which some drive-by commenter spewed a ton of hate at the end of an obituary; I challenged her to explain herself, but these types rarely return to the scene of the slime. Now I'm looking at the post and wondering if I ought to, out of respect for the family, kill the whole damned thread.
- A screen capture from a friend who spotted a particularly tasty example of how the biggest assholes online often start the self-embarrassment process with "LOL that's the dumbest thing I heard." (HT to Tony. Again.)
And this isn't atypical stuff right now, not in tone or rudeness or level of inappropriate reaction. (Heck, a friend and colleague of mine got a comment on a story the other day that started by pointing out a couple of typos and concluded with an exhortation for her to die. And I know it wasn't posted by our copyeditors.) Worse, it feels harder to get a good conversation going; poor Science Fair -- goodbye and good luck, on which more anon -- doesn't seem destined to attract that coterie of thoughtful commenters, almost all the blogs over at Other Job seem to be laboring as hard to find "their people" as mine is, and a few of the places on which I'd normally post have reverted to -- !!! -- e-mail for discussion purposes. What next, carrier pigeons and calling cards?
A wise Twitterer I follow asks tonight what makes the world so mean, and now I'm wondering too: Summer's unfortunate tendencies toward id-driven behavior? The godawful economy? The godawful slog to the election? Or is there something more fundamental happening, some basic civility tipping point at hand? I wish I knew. Do you?
biographer to royalty and wife of Harold Pinter. (Yes, you may have an
aspirin before continuing.) You are amidst a tome concerning the love
life of the Sun King when your spouse brings home a Nobel. How does one
graciously acknowledge the interruption? Consider a simple and charming
Nobilis and Nobelius
Elegant and, dare I say, adaptable. See how simple that was? Happy to
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
This isn't really my industry. I never liked journalists -- I thought they ignored all of the things I felt were really important about subjects I cared about. To me, journalists were the lowest form of life for writers. Oddly, even throughout my career as a journalist, I have maintained that low opinion. I've always thought of myself as a writer in exile; someone who is only participating in this field for a brief time to make some money and improve my sense of concision and brevity. When I told people what I did for a living, it was always half-apologetically.
Confidential to Jem, who apparently was in the IPG with me and made no impression whatesoever: Glad you're free of it, my dear -- and to answer your next question, yes I would like fries with that. (If, BTW, you entered journalism to improve your "concision and brevity," you have failed. Badly. Not least by emitting the words "sense of concision and brevity.") Burnout is one thing; I'm crispy on my feet myself. But whining that you've been in the wrong profession all along? As Quentin Crisp said many times, if you've been a pig farmer for 25 years, pig farming is your style. Deal.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Of course, it's not entirely the fault of arrogant, underinformed writers and editors. The people who run these enterprises are ghouls as well, as Gawker documents. On fire today, Gawker. (Follow that link, BTW, to read a terrific piece by Brayden Simms outlining how "management" did him over on that job. He makes the point that the only safe person in publishing is a freelancer; he's all too correct there.)
Of course, things could be even worse. I guess. Wouldn't know. Quit watching the Mariners when the narcolepsy set in. The most entertainment anyone's getting out of those guys in 2008 is the pink-slip parade. Call me a fair-weather fan when tickets get cheaper.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
My marriage doesn't need defending. Sorry yours sucks.
It's a beautiful day. Any day with en masse celebration of the love and hope implicit in making a lifelong commitment is a beautiful day. And anyone who tells you different has an inferior understanding of things like love, and hope, and the human heart. Pity them... and keep drowning them out like folks are doing in California tonight.
HT to QuizLaw, watching Faux News so you don't have to. Except when this sort of thing happens.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I'm not sure I can watch either Matthews or Olbermann tonight. Williams alone is making me hurt. Tom Brokaw looks like he's been poleaxed. W. T. F.
This sucks. And leave it to a goddamned natural-born journalist to die in time for the Friday newshole.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
"No one who cannot rejoice in the discovery of his own mistakes deserves to be called a scholar."
That entire Observer piece is worth reading, BTW, as we all ponder the Nicholas Carr essay in The Atlantic that everyone's talking about. I have some things to say about that, but that's a fairly personal essay and I want to get it right before I post it. But you'll read it here and nowhere else under my byline, which may tell you a bit about where my thoughts are going...
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
If you don't live in Seattle, you may never have heard of Jim Hinde; if you do, you may have heard him and not known his name. The should-be-legendary Pike Place Market busker died in his sleep on Monday. A Vietnam vet, sometime ad man, erstwhile hobo, cranky political observer, Emmy recipient and family man, Hinde became the de facto leader of the Pike Place market arts scene and a powerful organizing voice in our community -- horrified that the lessons of the 60s were lost in the rush to Iraq, but putting his shoulder to the wheel to raise your consciousness (and your ass and some bail, as his song went).
If any guitar in my living memory killed fascists, Hinde's was it. He was the real deal and I'm heartsick that I never requested the interview I'd so hoped to get with him. And I'm heartsick that you'll never get to walk down the Market and hear the man playing and singing, because that's a fine Seattle afternoon right there.
Jim Hinde -- Doin' The Perp Walk
Buy Hinde's "Shout Down The Wind: Songs Of Peace, Protest And Patriotism" on CDBaby
(MP3 posted with the hope and belief that if you get just one Hinde song stuck in your head, you're going to buy his work. Support the artist, support the artist's survivors, and support the notion that genuine protest folk has a place in the culture circa 2008.)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
(And yes, I shared with my own blog because misery loves company. Lots and lots of company. Shall I make some coffee?)
I think I want to go lay on the floor now. And maybe watch Twilight again -- maybe not his best work, but everyone's in it and reasonable fun if you love yourself some cheesy noir, and some Paul Newman.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
(Also? That blog, Plants Are The Strangest People, is making me deeply happy in a add-to-my-Bloglines way. Any fellow fan of Bad Astronomy and Wil Wheaton is someone I'm happy to keep reading, even if his flower photos make me feel all inadequate and eye-challenged and whatnot.)
Monday, June 2, 2008
(Also, could someone open up Blogger's spellcheck and add the word "spellcheck?" Kthxbai. And add "kthxbai" while you're in there.)
1. Bo Diddley, noted gunslinger.
2. Yves Saint Laurent, noted popularizer of women's pantsuits.
3. ...and unless something big happens (get well soon, Teddy Kennedy; I don't want you in the Trifecta for a long time yet ETA: you either, Byrd! stop that!), I'm gonna go with Mr. Fredric J. Baur, inventor of the Pringles can -- not because he's recent (he died last month), not because he gives us a well-balanced Trifecta, but because this commercial extolling his smart design is just too fun.
Mr. Baur, very proud of his invention, had a portion of his ashes buried in a Pringles can. And that dear friends is commitment. (Confidential to any Gunn family members passing through: Remember the ringtoss game Dad made out that used the plastic rings off the top of the old-school Pringles cans? That was a very cool ringtoss. I wish I'd told him so.)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
1. Harvey Korman (that's Hedley!), the gold standard for comedians who laughed at their colleagues' work and, in doing so, let us in on the joke
2. Earle Hagen, who gave us the Andy Griffith Show theme to whistle
3. ...? It's Alexander Courage, composer of the Star Trek theme, which you'll whistle as soon as you're done with Andy Griffith.
A sad grouping for fans of witty classic TV, whether conveyed in words or music.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
But at least this guy is merely kicking the shins of people old enough to not be much bothered by him. And then we have Wendy Portillo, the current front-runner for the 2008 Lori Drew Grownup-Card Revocation Award. Ms. Portillo, as of this writing still a kindergarten teacher at Port. St. Lucie's Morningside school, took a dislike to a boy in her class who has been diagnosed with Asperger's. She chose to express her dislike by having the other children, including the only friend little Alex Barton has ever made, "vote him out of class" -- yes, just like Survivor. The vote was 14-2. Class-ay lady, Wendy Portillo.
I invoked Lori Drew, the woman at the center of the Megan Meier suicide, and though I don't think it's going to come to a bedroom-closet hanging, I have a bad feeling that little Alex is going to be carrying this for a long, long time. (I had a run-in with a kindergarten teacher who made fun of me in front of the class and I still remember it vividly. And I thought of it when I saw that same teacher 25 years later, shuffling down the hall at my grandmother's nursing home, destroyed by Alzheimer's. Just, you know, saying. Memory's funny that way.)
Offline, these things move slowly. Alex is staying home for now, the Portillo woman has been "reassigned," and the lawyers are assembling, though the Florida state's attorney's office says they can't find grounds for charging the woman with any crime. Online, on the other hand... I mentioned Lori Drew, right? Readers at the TCPlam scared up an email address, phone numbers and an address or two; Digg backed their play, and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network is all over the situation. (And then there are the more extensive efforts.)
And my hope? Other than a fond desire for Ms. Portillo to feel the social enlightenment that comes from enhanced contact with a wide, wide selection of her fellow humans, I best like one Digg patron's suggestion: Turn the class over to the two children that voted no. (What, would they be less mature than Wendy Portillo?) If you're that kind of independent thinker at five, you're already on the road to being the kind of person I hope to know. (ETA: Or you could be the kid in Indiana who busted his abusive kindergarten teacher by surreptitiously recording what she says. The fact that the Indiana teachers' union is defending teacher Kristen Woodward by claiming her "human dignity" is being abused by these revelations may help the other 49 states understand why even good progressives such as myself suspect that teachers' unions ought to be broken up like cheap crockery. Looks from here like Woodward's got exactly the amount of dignity she afforded little Gabe Ross.)
Oh, and if you'd like to do something sweet for Alex and the kids in his class? The Net's got that too.
Nolan explains his decision in a great post to Think Progress, posted above; read it through to the end for a remarkably warm and hopeful take on where America's heading. For my own part, I'm painfully aware that few old-line media organizations are comfortable with their on-air / byline talent having opinions beyond the most insipid and conservative possible; I appreciate the stones it took for Nolan, working for the far-right creeps at Comcast, to speak up. And like him -- on my better days, anyway -- I believe too.