Media Criticism

Giving More Authors and Readers Freer Access to Each Other is "Reactionary," Because…Ayn Rand!

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One of the more gross and annoying aspects of modern liberal intellectuals is how vital and proper they think it is to piss on every new technique that allows more people to accomplish more things, because, well, near as I can tell the dominant "thought" behind this is that it limits the cultural power of gatekeepers, which for some reason are dearly loved by people who a) see themselves as culturally "on the side" of the gatekeepers or at the very least not on the side of those making and using the techniques.

Or b), they just really get off on penning people in behind gates.

I've written on this phenomenon before as it applied to the New Republic's sneering at the terrible offense of Kickstarter (which allows people to easily and cheaply raise funds for their particular version of cool stuff) and the New Yorker being alarmed and annoyed by the "maker movement" (which encourages the use and spread of techniques and ideas that allow more people to, again, make more cool stuff). Anything that allows more choices and abundance outside a context that's political or that fails to enforce "social consciousness" just gripes some writers' guts a whole bunch. I genuinely don't get it—and neither do they get what they are complaining about.

The latest annoying example of this trend is from the U.K. Guardian, by Alan Skinner, titled "Self-Publishing is not Revolutionary–It's Reactionary" and sneers at the rise of the "authorpreneur."

Some excerpts w/arguments:

self-publishing is neither radical nor liberating. And, as revolutions go, it is rather short on revolutionaries. It is actually reactionary, a contracted version of the traditional publishing model in which companies, who produce for a wide range of tastes and preferences, are replaced by individual producers each catering to very narrow range.

No, in fact they are replaced by a wide range of individual producers producing whatever they want to for everyone in the world.

But while traditional publishing, in Skinner's read, is nicely and sweetly centralized by experts (and don't worry he writes—anyone can submit a book to a trad publisher! Well, not really), the ability for every writer to reach every reader is something much, much worse: individualistic.

By definition, self-publishing is an individualistic pursuit in which each writer is both publisher and market adventurer, with every other writer a potential competitor and the reader reduced to the status of consumer. Publishing then becomes timid, fearing to be adventurous and revolutionary lest it betray the expectations of its market. This is a natural tendency in traditional publishing but it is one restrained by the voices of its authors who are free to put their work first and entrepreneurship a distant second. With authorship and entrepreneurship now equal partners, the new authorpreneurs have thrown off the dictatorship of the editor to replace it with the tyranny of the market.

What makes an author able to put work first and entrepreneurship a distant second? Well, I guess mistakes made by editor and publishers, at times. A point that Skinner might find too vulgar to mention is that an author through trad publishing gets at best around 10-15 percent of the income from his work, as opposed to easily 4-5 times that through e-book platforms, so the amount any writer needs to sell to be recompensed for her work is actually far lower with self-publishing.

Cross-subsidies from commercial titles support poets, academics and writers of new and daring literary fiction who will never appear on bestseller lists. Such concerted action is impossible in a fragmented world where each writer pursues individual success.

One hears this a lot. He provides no evidence of it, specifically. The whole notion of "cross-subsidies" may happen on occasion, though generally when publishers print books that don't make a lot of money it's because they made a mistake, and generally a pretty cheap one, given size of most advances and lack of any expense on promotion, not because they are nobly supporting literature. The "support" that reaches writers in a self-published e-book market is enormously higher per reader/customer reached than in a traditional model.

But how do you know self-publishing is really wrong, when the weakness of assuming that traditional publishing will somehow find or distribute more great literature (presuming we are in a world where anyone is writing great literature) with more support to the author (as opposed to themselves) becomes obvious with about 10 seconds of thought? Because, Ayn Rand!

the individualism of the self-publishing authorpreneurs, is disturbingly close to Ayn Rand's Objectivism, in which the greatest goal is individual fulfilment. No wider context needs to be considered because these wider goals will take care of themselves if every individual pursues a personal objective without regard to anyone else. It is the philosophy of pure laissez-faire capitalism that rejects community and mutual responsibility.

No, self-publishing is the philosophy of "I write whatever I want, and I have the means to find out if anyone out there in the community wants it" rather than the philosophy of "God I hope I can fool an editor and a marketing board into paying me an advance far, far more than the book will ever earn back." The "wider context" he worries doesn't exist is one where authors are unfettered, get more for their work, and are recompensed based on how much the literary community writ large chooses to support them.

Better, thinks Skinner (and I hope there is no mass audience that was on his side), that authors be tended and managed by huge international conglomerates who will, as most authors who pay any attention know, take 85 percent or more of the income on your work for no consideration other than a loan (which they, kindly enough, generally will not try to dragoon out of you at any cost if it doesn't technically recoup) and are every step of the way more interested in maximising their income over gaining you either income or readers (note their general unwillingness to do or spend anything at all on promoting your work once they've paid the bills to print it and ship it to Amazon, and their desire to keep e-book prices as high as they think they can, and that's not to help the author.)

There is so little substance to his argument I can't imagine what would inspire him to write and publish this unless it's having big ownership stakes in French or German megaconglomerates. Because this guy nattering about community and attacking individualism and laissez-faire is doing so in service of arguments that don't help readers and don't help writers. They only help publishers.

I made fun of a similar gatekeeper attack on self-publishing for Suck.com back in the go-go 00s. As I wrote then and as most professional authors not at the tippy-toppermost of the poppermost know:

Indeed it is true that, as Bissell and Younce write, "without an editor, marketing or publicity, [a] book will enter the world with a silence that makes a tree falling in the woods sound like Chinese New Year in comparison." What they don't mention is that the great majority of books published by even Manhattan-based publishers with lovingly crafted colophons and well-situated offices face the same deafening disinterest. While these books don't qualify as "vanity publishing," the great majority of professional published authors will find their efforts to have been in vain…..

As a service sought out, gatekeeping is noble enough. As an impermeable barrier, it's a cultural crime. Only those afraid of what's out there, or convinced they can't defend themselves, crave impregnable gatekeepers. 

That said, the cultural and technological changes of the past decade have made it easier, though of course never actually easy, for any writer anywhere to reach any reader, and for communities of affinity and communication to arise and thrive that will provide each of us with self-crafted means of "gatekeeping" about what we might like or want to read.

These new systems don't involve paying high salaries and giving midtown Manhattan offices to a bunch of people who could not possibly care less about author or reader, and that's, um, a shame, I guess.

Bonus "disgusting examples of the intellectual twists people will go through to justify state action to restrict our possibilities" in this huge Nation think piece on how marketplace choice is objectively bad for us and needs to be stopped.

NEXT: Tesla Motors Opens Up Its Patents

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  1. One of the more gross and annoying aspects of modern liberal intellectuals is how vital and proper they think it is to piss on every new technique that allows more people to accomplish more things, because, well, near as I can tell the dominant “thought” behind this is that it limits the cultural power of gatekeepers, which for some reason are dearly loved by people who a) see themselves as culturally “on the side” of the gatekeepers or at the very least not on the side of those making and using the techniques.

    93 word lede. Goddamn Doherty, this run-on sentence brought to you by the Marcotte School of Excellence in English Writing.

    1. Just coming down here to write that. I thought the sentence was going to end after just a few more words, but it just kept shambling on.

      1. It had more to say.

      2. Why are people afraid of the period? Why do they insist that their sentences go on and on and on and on? Is it crass to limit your sentences to one or two clauses?

        1. Sometimes. I like the conversational rhythm of a rolling sentence sometimes. It tonally sets up a comic moment for the punch of graf 2. Blogs tend to be written on the fly as well. There are a bunch of reasons. That could have been three sentences. But it wasn’t.

          1. And that could’ve been 1 sentence.

          2. Don’t let these philistines get to you. It’s like they’ve never read a book written before 1900.

            1. Don’t let these philistines get to you. It’s like they’ve never read a book written before 1900.

              No fucking shit. I read a book written by a real-live conquistador detailing his fun-times mixing it up with the natives of South America… written in something like 1684 or some shit.

              Jesus christ, entire PAGES of single sentences. Everything conjunctified by ‘and’.

              1. People had more lung capacity back then.

              2. I think that’s a Spanish thing. My last Spanish teacher — a very well-educated, upper-class Chilean woman — would use comma splices like there was no tomorrow. A little googling reveals that my experiences were not necessarily atypical. I think it’s technically incorrect (how could it not be?), but apparently less of a faux pas than in English.

            2. 93 words would be a fairly short sentence in a good deal of written Portuguese.

          3. Can I use “Go-Go Zeroes(00’s)” as a band name?

        2. Look how much better it reads if you make one change.

          One of the more gross and annoying aspects of modern liberal intellectuals is how vital and proper they think it is to piss on every new technique that allows more people to accomplish more things. Near as I can tell the dominant “thought” behind this is that it limits the cultural power of gatekeepers, which for some reason are dearly loved by people who a) see themselves as culturally “on the side” of the gatekeepers or at the very least not on the side of those making and using the techniques.

          1. Still needs a comma after “Near as I can tell.”

            1. Maybe he’s pregnant

          2. Doherty is just doing his part to help reduce punctuation inflation.

            1. WE MUST NOT ALLOW THE PUNTUATION GAP TO WIDEN!

            2. Pe3riods, commas, and all varieties of colon are scarce.

        3. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” is NOT followed by a period. Instead, it’s followed by a semicolon, and a long string of pairs of contrasts.

          Semicolons are wonderful.

      3. “This general estimate of the supplies was proportioned to the real and imaginary wants of the state; but as often as the expense exceeded the revenue, or the revenue fell short of the computation, an additional tax, under the name of superindiction, was imposed on the people, and the most valuable attribute of sovereignty was communicated to the Praetorian praefects, who, on some occasions, were permitted to provide for the unforeseen and extraordinary exigencies of the public service.”

        http://www.gutenberg.org/files…..172HCH0004

        1. “In the course of these depredations, a great number of the children of the Goths, who had been sold into captivity, were restored to the embraces of their afflicted parents; but these tender interviews, which might have revived and cherished in their minds some sentiments of humanity, tended only to stimulate their native fierceness by the desire of revenge.”

          http://www.gutenberg.org/files…..262HCH0003

          1. “Haughty implacable remnants of Noblesse struggling with humiliated repentant Barnave-Lameths: struggling in that obscure element of fetchers and carriers, of Half-pay braggarts from the Cafe Valois, of Chambermaids, whisperers, and subaltern officious persons; fierce Patriotism looking on all the while, more and more suspicious, from without: what, in such struggle, can they do?”

            http://www.gutenberg.org/files…..nk2HCH0089

            1. “If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected.”

              http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18t…..ashing.asp

              1. If your point is that English style has suffered since 1900, I heartily agree. For models, look to Demosthenes in Greek, Cicero in Latin, and Hume and Gibbon in English.

                1. Washington’s was longest.

            2. The telephone merely represents the further erosion of the written word.

      4. but it just kept shambling on.

        Thoreau would have called that “a good start.”

        1. Holy crap.

    2. The full title is the Marcotte School of Excellence, or at least Adequacy – let’s not be discriminatory towards minorities who, thanks to conservative efforts, aren’t afforded a full fucking education like they fucking deserve, because racism – in English Writing for the Purpose of Spreading Ideas and Challenging Narratives.

      1. ^ This is a wonderfully accurate parody of Marcotte’s writing.

        This is still the most wonderful Marcotte quote of all time.

        The most amusing part of this Jezebel post asking what makes a feminist rock star has got to be the link to Tim Cavanaugh sniffily mansplaining to the women writing about women in music that their work is very cute, if missing a critical economic analysis that supposedly is the master mover of all musical trends, a theory that requires him to pretend America as a whole embraced bands like Huggy Bear and Excuse 17 that worked in a boom time. (81 words)

        At least Doherty’s run on stays with one theme. Marcotte’s run on sentences tend to leap from thought to thought with no explanation of how she got there.

        1. Irish, you ignorant slut, you just don’t get Marcotte at all. That wasn’t a sentence. It was a haiku. Or possibly a limerick. I’m not really sure, I don’t get Marcotte very well because I’m an ignorant slut too.

        2. Maybe she has no explanation for how her thoughts got there.

    3. It’s not really a run-on, it’s actually coherent. It’s just missing a comma after “near as I can tell.”

    4. Insta-edit:

      One of the more gross and annoying aspects of modern liberal intellectuals is how vital and proper they think it is to piss on every new technique that allows more people to accomplish more things. Near as I can tell, the dominant “thought” behind this is that it limits the cultural power of gatekeepers. These gatekeepers, no surprise, are dearly loved by people who a) see themselves as culturally “on the side” of the gatekeepers or b) at the very least not on the side of those making and using the techniques.

      1. +1 Best version.

    5. THIS IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN EVERYONE IS THEIR OWN EDITOR

      1. When everyone is his own editor. :-p

        1. I think you mean his or her or its, you cis-misogynist.

          1. Cis-ogynist?

            I’d almost trade in my current handle for Cis-anthropist.

        2. “Is this them?”

          “…are these they…”

          “who talks like thaaaaat?”

        3. Using “their” in that fashion is perfectly cromulent.

      2. Self-publishing authors can hire editors. I’ve edited several self-published books, and had editors work on my own novels.

    6. 93 word lede

      That fucking Persig guy could go entire pages without a period.

  2. God these people are appalling They hate everything they can’t control.
    In better news Dana Loesche is smoking.
    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/190154/

    1. Nice!

    2. Damn.

    3. I want one of those.

      1. It’s a nice gun, too.

    4. In better news Dana Loesche is smoking.

      Dane Loesch or S.E. Cupp?

      1. Dana Loesch or S.E. Cupp?

        Now, THAT’S a tough one.

        1. Dana Loesch or S.E. Cupp?
          Now, THAT’S a tough one.

          Both! The correct answer is both! You don’t mind if one giggles while she watches you busy painting the kitchen with the other!
          Kids these days…

      2. Loesche. Cupp is a bit of a nitwit. I read somewhere about Cupp doesn’t like it that men comment on her looks in forums like this. She goes on Fox News siting with her legs crossed side to the camera in a tight short skirt and she doesn’t like people to notice? Whatever.

        1. This isn’t a conversation about their personalities, John.

          If I wanted to talk about personalities I’d have a conversation with Jesse. Get your head in the game.

          1. This isn’t a conversation about their personalities, John.

            ^^^^
            So extremely, absolutely, universally THIS. No wonder we’re below replacement rate in the Western World.

        2. No, Cupp giggled at every joke Bill Maher made at conservative’s expense on ‘Real Time’. Maher even ogled her tits and she giggled.

          1. Good grief, his every single post is about his man crush on one of his lefty heroes.

          2. So she has a terrible sense of humor. Again, we’re not talking about personalities here.

            1. Butthead’s talking about one of his man crushes. Later in the thread, he’ll talk about Booosh. Imagine that?

              Wonder when he’s gonna go Mary on us again? I’m not feeling like pushing him into another freakout tonight, but it’s a comin down the tracks before too long.

              1. I like a politically incorrect cynic!

                Bill Maher is that 100x more than anyone else today – now that Carlin is dead (RIP).

                1. Palin’s Buttplug|6.12.14 @ 7:58PM|#
                  “I like a politically incorrect cynic!
                  Bill Maher is that 100x more than anyone else today”

                  Yeah, Bush jokes are really “edgy” right, asshole?

                    1. Damn. Hitchens was pretty awesome. He looked good in that clip too.

                    2. Irish|6.12.14 @ 8:18PM|#
                      “Christopher Hitchens’ greatest moment.”

                      Maher didn’t have the decency to be embarrassed.
                      The producers could have played canned Bush jokes and added a 5 minute live intro; all Bush jokes all the time!

      3. As much as I despise partisans, TEAM RED has a total lock on the hottie/cutie population. Malkin, Hamm, Loesch, Cupp…there are probably a bunch more too. It doesn’t mean anything, but the disparity in this metric between the TEAMs is staggering.

        1. The Team Blue hotties make millions in Hollywood instead.

          1. Because that’s the only place where team blue hotties can earn a living.

            “Sit there and look pretty, babydoll, let us do the thinking…” -Director

          2. Pretty sure those people had no politics until they got to Hollywood and got Rich.

            They are actors for god sakes. If you ever talked to an actor you know they are all pretty much vane babbling idiots with really nothing going on between their ears.

            Even the unfamous ones…kind of weird really.

            They pick up their politics from the writers and directors and producers and the left coast who are all basically Marxists.

            1. They pick up their politics from the writers and directors and producers and the left coast who are all basically Marxists.

              This, and their PR agents.

              Listen, Hollywood actors and actresses pay people to tell them what their publicly stated political views should be.

              Rich socialists get applauded by democrats for the kindness in their hearts, despite their wealth. Nevermind that their policies will never effect their wealth.

              Rich individualists get booed by democrats for being selfish and uncaring, and get accused of plotting to serve the poor to the rich.

              Republicans probably don’t care either way, unless they come out and say things really stupid.

              Therefore, PR agents advise all their clients to be either democrats, socialists, or to keep it to themselves. They tell them to push environmental and social issues so that they will be liked. Nevermind they have almost 0 real effect, except crafting their own PR image.

              It’s just the way they do business.

          1. I’ll be in my bunk. Which is actually the ship’s Agony Booth.

        2. She might actually get me to convert to her TEAM.

          I hope that there isn’t any kind of test where the answer isn’t either Ronald Reagan or Russel Kirk.

  3. Bonus “disgusting examples of the intellectual twists people will go through to justify state action to restrict our possibilities” in this huge Nation think piece on how marketplace choice is objectively bad for us and needs to be stopped.

    I can’t even… I can’t… No.

  4. the tyranny of the market

    What the. I don’t even. Huh?

    1. It’s basically the tyranny of democracy, but without guns or the threat of force, or the ability to spend other people’s money, or politicize every issue. Pretty horrific stuff.

    2. It’s gibberish, but don’t tell him. He’s so proud of that little gem, thinking it’s actually meaningful.

      Don’t lock eyes with him either.

    3. The tyranny of the market is what this piece is all about.

      The tyranny of the market is that you must actually produce stuff other people want in order to entice them to buy what you’re selling. But since most people are uncouth half-wit troglodytes, the market encourages the production of dreck.

      If you are producing quality stuff, only a few people are sufficiently enlightened enough to appreciate the quality of your work and you’re not going to gain the rewards you so richly deserve merely from the marketplace. Therefore, we obviously need something other than the market to determine the distribution of rewards. Just because you’re producing what people want is no reason to think that you somehow deserve more than someone producing something nobody wants.

      1. This.

        This is about of a group of elite snobs who are horrified at the idea that people’s incomes be determined by the choice of the vulgar masses.

        They want the gatekeepers, such as themselves to determine what people should read, because only such gatekeepers can force the vulgar masses to read “good” literature, and guarantee the incomes of the “deserving” authors that produce it.

        Basically it means that writers who produce unpalatable dreck, but think very highly of themselves, want publishers to force people to buy their books.

      2. Thanks for progsplaining it to me.

  5. One of the more gross and annoying aspects of modern liberal intellectuals is…

    …projection. As always, it’s projection. They project the conservatism (in the real sense, that is, a dislike of change) that they actually feel onto their opponents, because according to their world view they are supposed to be the open-minded, change-embracing intellectuals. Except they’re not. At all.

    If you look at anything they accuse their enemies of, you can be sure they are doing that exact thing themselves in some way. If you look at the things they say they stand for, you can be sure that the policies they advocate will have the exact opposite result. If you realize that they are humans at war with their own natures and their own actual selves, things like doublespeak and their ability to not be hampered by cognitive dissonance and their hypocrisy all become clear.

    1. But without projection, we’d have no drive-ins. Think about it.

      1. And we wouldn’t have planetariums! Then where would I go to get stoned and listen to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway while looking at fake stars?!?

      2. We have drive-ins? Where?

        1. Goochland Virginia has one. We just saw a movie there last week. Wicked Witch of the West kinda thing. Mrs. LFOD wanted to see it and I hate most theaters.

        2. There’s still one on Cape Cod, in Wellfleet.

    2. At what point do we stop calling liberals liberals?

      I mean you can’t get more conservative then defending established publishers against the self published.

      What would the “New Left” of the 60s with all their fly by night newsletters and self stapled magazines said about all this?

      They sure as hell would not have called it liberal.

      They would have called Alan Skinner a fascist.

      1. Yesterday. I call myself a liberal now, to people who I suspect won’t or can’t understand libertarianism. They’re progressives. I’m a liberal. And I say that with confidence because the shit that comes out of my mouth now is the same shit that came out of the mouths of people that were labeled as ‘liberals’ when I was a wee bairn.

        So sorry I’m pro-choice on everything.

      2. At what point do we stop calling liberals leftists liberals?

        I don’t. I call them progs.

        1. I don’t call them at all.

          Fucking progs.

  6. The biggest self published writer i know of is Huge Howley. He has written some ok Sci-fi most notable is “Wool”

    As far as i can tell he is Center left politically.

    His attitude toward getting published and self publishing is “get off your ass and do it”

    I imagine if this episode effects him at all it would be for him to move away from the left.

    1. Howey didn’t express any particular politics in his works that I’ve read (including all of the Wool series) that I could tell, other than “societies trapped in underground bunkers because of an apocalypse can get kind of oppressive”.

      1. Are those Wool books any good? I see them on Amazon all the time but never got around to buying them.

        1. They’re not bad at all. Howey has this kind of morbid looming dread that persists through the series (and honestly, in much of his other work too, though it is really pronounced in Wool). If something can go bad, it will. You can pretty much count on it.

          I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something to read. It’s not great scifi, but it’s not bad at all. I’m looking forward to the movies getting made, since he has a good sense for visual settings.

        2. I liked the Wool Omnibus.

          I have not read the sequel or prequel.

          If anyone has read those I would like to know if it is Ok (like I won’t be confused about what the hell is happening) to read the sequel without reading the prequel.

          I kind of get a pretty good idea of what happened before from the Wool Omnibus…and am only really interested in knowing what happens after Wool.

          1. I liked them all. I forget the exact order of the settings (and time does tend to go all over the place anyway). I would just read them in the order he wrote them, you’ll be good.

            1. I would just read them in the order he wrote them, you’ll be good.

              That is the problem. The prequel was written after Wool but before the sequel. I don’t want to read the prequel.

              1. Then don’t. You totally don’t need to. Just read the original novels in order and you’ll be fine.

              2. Does not compute. I would say you’d be missing out on a lot if you didn’t read all of them – assuming you enjoyed Wool.

        3. Howey was my first thought too. I love his stuff, FWIW.

        4. Spoiler: It’s all about a tribe of sheep cultists after the apocalypse. Each year in the fall, during the festival of wool, they sheer the sheep and engage in a great orgy of bestiality. Oops, I ruined it for you, didn’t I?

      2. SPOILERS!!!!

        The Wool Omnibus does revolve around a populist workers revolution…

      3. I too did not detect any politics in his works. I did hear him on a podcast and I would concur that his politics are at least slightly left of center.

        Also, to those who are asking if the books are any good, I liked them all.

    2. I read the first wool and started on the 2nd one, but got side tracked and never finished it. I had checked it out from Amazon free lending library. Pretty good stuff

  7. the new authorpreneurs have thrown off the dictatorship of the editor to replace it with the tyranny of the market.

    “Competition and Incentives are bad, Mmmkay.” What a cunt.

    1. & this:

      the new authorpreneurs have thrown off the dictatorship of the editor to replace it with the tyranny of, but their end product, a book, an article, a blog, or other media, like all other consumer products, must compete in tyranny of the market.

      As she seems to think there wasn’t any market before now….not to mention she doesn’t dislike tyranny at all. In fact, she longs for it. & during her best dreams, the climax comes when she finds out the Total State is run by none other than herself.

      Thogh as Epi stated – these people are at war with themselves, as such, she’s likely so self loathing, the dream that gets her the moistest is when the Total State is run by Barak and she’s on her knees giving praise.

      Side note: I purposefully left in Tyranny of the Market? because it’s true.

      Not in the way this idiot intends to use the word, but the market, any market, isn’t nice, loving, reasonable, nor supportive. It doesn’t care if you’re sick, healthy, born from wealth, spawned in poverty, a pet rock lover, a minority, a writer, or even a woman.

      In fact, the market is completely non-caring. It has a simple rule: produce what others value or fail.

      In that way – it is completely tyrannical and thankfully so.

  8. “Anything that allows more choices and abundance outside a context that’s political or that fails to enforce “social consciousness” just gripes some writers’ guts a whole bunch.”

    Progressive Rule#1: People can’t be trusted to make choices for themselves.

  9. Leaves of Grass
    (drops mic)

    1. (drops mic)

      People seem pretty big on grass around here.

  10. Indeed it is true that, as Bissell and Younce write, “without an editor, marketing or publicity, [a] book will enter the world with a silence that makes a tree falling in the woods sound like Chinese New Year in comparison.”

    Uh…no that’s not true. How much publicity does the average right-wing book get? Not a whole lot, but because of the relatively inexpensive right-wing blog system, many of those books become massive best sellers anyway. Mark Levin would not be the massive publishing force he is before the internet existed.

    The internet has completely done away with the need for publishers and expensive marketing because all you have to do is become popular on a few websites and hundreds of thousands of people will hear about you.

    1. Mark Levin being on the radio IS publicity. Shocking, enormous publicity of a sort almost no author gets. Publicity doesn’t have to mean “the publisher is spending money.”

      1. Which just proves my point that the entire idea of publisher provided publicity is absurd.

        Admittedly, I think John Green would have been a better example of what I’m talking about than Levin. Green runs blogs and has a really popular youtube channel, and he sells gobs of books. The publicity from his youtube channels and popular blog is far more than what a traditional publisher could give him.

        In Green’s case, he does publish through a traditional publisher, I’m just pointing out that the internet and other forms of media have made the idea that publisher driven marketing is necessary a bit obsolete.

        1. Sure. That article was from 2001, and people’s media diets were a very different thing. Books do need publicity. But they don’t need publishers.

        2. Writing, like music, and other artistic endeavors is all about proving to the publishers that you’re a safe bet.

          In music – that’s done by playing music in front of people and gaining a following. IE – you prove to the distributors that you can build and maintain a fan base long before they spend dime one.

          The reason is because music execs, just like book publishers, really don’t care exactly what they produce (within reason) nor does it matter to them whether they personally like it or not. So long as the group/individual/etc has already proven a part track record – it’s a bet worth pursuing.

          Now, thankfully, it’s a great deal easier for writers to build a fan base and prove a safe bet to publishers because the costs of producing a blog and the like is much lower than self publishing a book.

          The author’s fear is only that once people who know how to write are actually allowed to attract an audience, her fancy degree, correct upbringing, her perfect friends, and of course, the most important attribute she has in the whole wide word, her perfectly moral & perfectly correct beliefs, will all be meaningless.

          As for the rest of us – we can only hope this comes true sooner rather than later.

    2. All those Christie Sims dinosaur rape novels probably would not have done so good if left wing gawker sites had not commented on them so much.

  11. When I first heard about modern Self-publishing optiions, they bore the stigma in my mind of the 80’s vanity press market – that is they were a recourse for people who were not good enough to get published.

    My mind changed after a discussion with William King (Okay it was a whole mess of us at a dinner table in a hotel) wherein he described how publishing houses havereally gone insane with the blockbuster model and will discard even people with name recognition in their genrea (such as quasi-legent William King) who would make a reliable return on investment for them in favor of a wild shot at the mega-bestseller.

    At that point I decided ‘screw traditional publishers’. All they could provide was validation, since they don’t even give advertising budgets to most books anymore.

    PS, Sometime soon I’ll have finished incorporating the final edits to my latest book and I’ll be trying to shill it here (and a lot of other places).

    1. Wait, do you also go by Charles Hurst, Author and publisher of the Wild Wolf E-Zine?

      1. No. I’m afraid not.

        1. If I understand how this works, I should have an orange name now.

          1. I was correct. Outside of here, and the local yokel paper, that’s where I post my random useless thoughts.

        2. No. I’m afraid not.

          Wait, I know how this joke goes. That’s your response after the bartender asks, “Hey! Aren’t you a piece of string?”

    2. Since I’ve already gone and orange-linked my name, I might as well stop talking around the details of the book.

      It is a non-ideological tale which grew out of a mental backlash at my failed attempt to write a serious take on the superhero genre – so I wrote a story that embraced the genre whole-heartedly. It did much better since I was actually able to finish.

      There is a dust jacket blurb here.

      I’m sad to say that while there was some influence from the Commentariat, I had to tone down the greivence industry representative because their dialogue based on the real greavence industry people was unrealistic. I had to do the same to the libertarian character. Since this is fiction, that character is female.

      1. Sounds great. Officially on my list to buy.

      2. I will read the crap out of that.

      3. Sounds awesome! Gonna buy this, also.

    3. I know next to nothing about the publishing industry, but I doubt the assessment your described was or is true with the majority of successful publishers.

      I say that confidently without specific know as the logic is the market rewards businesses for making money – and as such, I doubt any publisher would let their resources sit idle while searching for a possible mega-blockbuster instead of publishing a fairly sure bet and… you know… still look for the mega-blockbuster.

      Obviously industries like publishing can get struck to trends and the like, but the idea that successful publishers won’t publish a book that will make them money because it’s boring seems farcical, or at least illogical.

  12. OT:

    What with Iraq now being conquered by Sunni nutters, the Shia nutters across the border in Iran are contemplating intervention.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/n…..30899.html

    Another triumph for the “smart power” being wielded by the Nobel Prize Winner.

    1. And Dumbya had nothing to do with this?

      Gawd, you are a partisan hack, RC.

      “YOU MEAN THEY IS TWO KINDS OF MUSLIMS?”

      (Dubya 2004)

      1. Look, he mentioned Bush. Another shocker.

      2. Soooo…

        Why did Obama stay in Iraq for 5 years?

        1. Boosh, it’s the fault of Boosh. Did you not already know the answer to that?

        2. “Why did Obama stay in Iraq for 5 years?”

          He answers the phone and Bush whispers the MAJIK WERDZ, and, presto: He CAN’T bring the troops home!
          Amazing how powerful that Bush guy is, isn’t it? He’s also infected the brain of a asshole named shreek!

    2. Another triumph for the “smart power” being wielded by the Nobel Prize Winner.

      As much as Obama’s Iraq policy has been feckless this scenario was practically set in stone the moment Bush&Co; decided to depose Saddam. One long, drawn-out, strategically foolish, bloody, expensive clusterfuck from conception.

      1. And yet that isn’t stopping some people from calling for the U.S. to go back in and intervene. I don’t know who…it showed up in my Google news feed and I did not bother clicking. But did we learn nothing?

        1. But did we learn nothing?

          Do we ever?

          What’s maddening to me about this (well, one of the things) is that we had the illustrative example of the former Yugoslavia as to what it looks like when three tribes that fucking hate each other jammed into one artificially constructed state are finally freed from the dictator holding them all together. When the US invaded Iraq we created the circumstances for that war. We were able to limit it through painful exertion while we were there but it was never going to last beyond that. Until the Kurd, Sunni, and Shiite factions fight it out and achieve either victory or exhaustion they are not going to be convinced of the desirability or need for peace.

      2. And yet that isn’t stopping some people from calling for the U.S. to go back in and intervene. I don’t know who…it showed up in my Google news feed and I did not bother clicking. But did we learn nothing?

    3. In a perfect world, the U.S. would leave the Iraqis and Iranians alone and let them hammer this out between themselves.

      The best solution would be to covertly arm both sides and encourage them to wipe each other out. Keep the Kurds on friendly terms and cultivate them as a strong ally in the region. Use a war as cover to eliminate the loudest anti-American voices in Iraq and Iran. Then, once both sides are all tuckered out from a 4-years+ war, get the UN to make peace between them again and send in the Blue Helmets as peacekeepers.

      If we’re going to do this Pax Americana thing, let’s do it 100%.

      1. If we’re going to do this Pax Americana thing, let’s do it 100%.

        Exactly.

    4. Another triumph for the “smart power” being wielded by the Nobel Prize Winner.

      I was thinking this morning that when we call Obama “Chocolate Nixon,” we actually do Nixon a disservice.

      For all of his many, many faults, he at least had a coherent and goal-driven foreign policy.

      1. That an when Nixon said he’d end a war and bring the troops home, he actually did it.

        So on the whole – Nixon was not only better at foreign policy than Obama, but Nixon’s word was also more trustworthy.

  13. the individualism of the self-publishing authorpreneurs, is disturbingly close to Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, in which the greatest goal is individual fulfilment. No wider context needs to be considered because these wider goals will take care of themselves if every individual pursues a personal objective without regard to anyone else. It is the philosophy of pure laissez-faire capitalism that rejects community and mutual responsibility.

    This paragraph is goddamn hilarious. The ‘wider context’ in this case is the survival of parasitic publishers who no longer serve a goal to a large number of authors. Apparently writers should sacrifice themselves so that publishing companies can get half their profits.

    I’m deeply confused as to why artists are ‘mutually responsible’ to people who just get rich off of their art. Shouldn’t the Nation be applauding the fact that these productive, proletarian writers finally got out from under the boot of the capitalists who have been stealing the value of their labor?

    1. Oh, far more than half! It tends to be a 90-10 to 85-15 split.

    2. All I could think while reading this was, “And here I though Rand’s characters were totally outlandish and unrealistic.”

  14. I think they’re scared for two, related, reasons.

    1. Maker culture is *reducing* the individuals reliance on others. Right now I am dependent on an interwoven web of suppliers to make and get me the stuff I want/need to survive. This streamlines that and reduces the *power* that social disapproval carries – the less I *need* you, the less I *care* what you think about me.

    2. Loss of centralization means that there will be all sorts of things happening in private that will be beyond state (and, by extension, social)control. When there are only a handful of publishers, you can name and shame the one’s that don’t to the line. When there are so many you can’t even count them all, there will always be enough who simply won’t *care* (or worse – who will cater to those who live opposed to the mainstream).

    Overall it means less and less influence for Top Men. Indeed, it makes it more and more obvious that the world is too complex for Top Men to *ever* manage.

    1. This streamlines that and reduces the *power* that social disapproval carries – the less I *need* you, the less I *care* what you think about me.

      This is a good point, and strikes at the controller’s hearts. They treasure every tool they have to control others (and seek tirelessly to expand them through government, outrage, political correctness, etc), and seeing any of them weakened or done away with terrifies them.

      But there is also another element that I’ve always noticed with these types. I’ve always gotten a vibe off them like a person grasping at a life preserver when they start freaking out about someone leaving the collective or being independent. One of the reasons they want control and to force everyone into a collective is because that’s how they survive. They’re terrified of having to do things individually. They would much rather rope the rest of in and steal from us and require that we participate in their “social contract” and force people to do things for them. Losing that scares the shit out of them.

      1. It goes even deeper than that. They need other people because the very idea of doing something on their own is terrifying to them. Life is terrifying to them, and they deeply resent the people who aren’t as terrified as they are. So they spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince everyone that everyone needs them as well. They’re worthless, and they’re doing whatever they have to do to avoid confronting that.

        1. Look, they take the specifications from the customers and
          you bring them down to the software engineers. No, not physically, but that’s pretty fucking important!

    2. Overall it means less and less influence for Top Men. Indeed, it makes it more and more obvious that the world is too complex for Top Men to *ever* manage.

      When was the last time you used a Yellow Pages?

      The even bigger bonus of this creative destruction is that all of the money that would have been sent to the phone company for their ad can be spent otherwise.

      That and fewer companies called AAAAAAAAAAA1 Plumbing.

      1. Finishing the thought now…..

        The gatekeepers and their lackeys can see the end of their world coming and it terrifies them. The loss of control over the common man negates their main reason for being.

        Their desperation to remain relevant is why they keep getting shriller and shriller in their attacks on individualism.

  15. The crap about traditional publishing supporting poets is nonsense.

    There are zero – ZERO – poets making a living publishing new poetry in the US today.

    The poets can make ten bucks from self-publishing as easily as they make ten bucks from traditional publishing.

    …so why don’t they? Because they require traditional publishing’s prestige. They use that prestige to con their way into nonprofit grants and teaching positions. If self-publishing becomes dominant, they won’t be able to do that any more – because their overwrought, mannered garbage will be indistinguishable from everyone else’s. In a world full of people scamming their way through life based on an empty credential, nobody is a bigger grifter than a published author.

    1. I honestly can’t think of a single living poet that I actually like, and I’m one of the rare people who actually reads poetry.

      The last poet I liked was Czeslaw Milosz, and he died 10 years ago.

      When we were fleeing the burning city
      And looked back from the first field path,
      I said: “Let the grass grow over our footprints,
      Let the harsh prophets fall silent in the fire,
      Let the dead explain to the dead what happened.
      We are fated to beget a new and violent tribe
      Free from the evil and the happiness that drowsed there.
      Let us go”?and the earth was opened for us by a sword of flames.

      That poems pretty chilling when you consider that he wrote it while fleeing Poland during WWII.

    2. I honestly can’t think of a single living poet that I actually like, and I’m one of the rare people who actually reads poetry.

      The last poet I liked was Czeslaw Milosz, and he died 10 years ago.

      When we were fleeing the burning city
      And looked back from the first field path,
      I said: “Let the grass grow over our footprints,
      Let the harsh prophets fall silent in the fire,
      Let the dead explain to the dead what happened.
      We are fated to beget a new and violent tribe
      Free from the evil and the happiness that drowsed there.
      Let us go”?and the earth was opened for us by a sword of flames.

      That poems pretty chilling when you consider that he wrote it while fleeing Poland during WWII.

  16. The crap about traditional publishing supporting poets is nonsense.

    There are zero – ZERO – poets making a living publishing new poetry in the US today.

    The poets can make ten bucks from self-publishing as easily as they make ten bucks from traditional publishing.

    …so why don’t they? Because they require traditional publishing’s prestige. They use that prestige to con their way into nonprofit grants and teaching positions. If self-publishing becomes dominant, they won’t be able to do that any more – because their overwrought, mannered garbage will be indistinguishable from everyone else’s. In a world full of people scamming their way through life based on an empty credential, nobody is a bigger grifter than a published author.

    1. There are zero – ZERO – poets making a living publishing new poetry in the US today

      But there could be if you weren’t a racist who hates the children.

      1. I hear Fluffy doesn’t even love poet-saint-calypso artist Maya Angelou.

        1. Who just died, if you hadn’t heard. I guess God needed another angel.

    2. Did you ever stop to think that maybe, MAYBE some poets could actually make a living from traditional publishing if you weren’t stealing their audience away with your 99 cent self-published ebooks? Eh? Ever think of that?

  17. The crap about traditional publishing supporting poets is nonsense.

    There are zero – ZERO – poets making a living publishing new poetry in the US today.

    The poets can make ten bucks from self-publishing as easily as they make ten bucks from traditional publishing.

    …so why don’t they? Because they require traditional publishing’s prestige. They use that prestige to con their way into nonprofit grants and teaching positions. If self-publishing becomes dominant, they won’t be able to do that any more – because their overwrought, mannered garbage will be indistinguishable from everyone else’s. In a world full of people scamming their way through life based on an empty credential, nobody is a bigger grifter than a published author.

  18. The crap about traditional publishing supporting poets is nonsense.

    There are zero – ZERO – poets making a living publishing new poetry in the US today.

    The poets can make ten bucks from self-publishing as easily as they make ten bucks from traditional publishing.

    …so why don’t they? Because they require traditional publishing’s prestige. They use that prestige to con their way into nonprofit grants and teaching positions. If self-publishing becomes dominant, they won’t be able to do that any more – because their overwrought, mannered garbage will be indistinguishable from everyone else’s. In a world full of people scamming their way through life based on an empty credential, nobody is a bigger grifter than a published author.

    1. Dude, I like totally believed you after you said it the 4th time.

    2. They can’t get published when you flood the internet with your capitalist comments!

    3. “Don’t tell me what the poets are doing
      On the street and the epitome of vague
      Don’t tell me how the universe is altered
      When you find out how he gets paid, alright”

    4. “Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” G.K. Chesterton

  19. Sorry.

    Damn iphone.

    1. So, don’t talk to Fluffy about poetry. Let me just note that down here.

  20. Liberalism is standing athwart the future, yelling STOP!

    1. Being that you’re Reasonabled, I have no idea what you bleeted, Shreek.

      I plan on keeping it that way.

      1. He said he lubs his man crush idols and something about Boosh.

        1. Did you mean “loves” or “lubes”?

      2. Ironically he complimented you.

  21. Ayn Rand:

    The Presidential election of 1976. I urge you, as emphatically as I can, not to support the candidacy of Ronald Reagan. I urge you not to work for or advocate his nomination, and not to vote for him. My reasons are as follows: Mr. Reagan is not a champion of capitalism, but a conservative in the worst sense of that word?i.e., an advocate of a mixed economy with government controls slanted in favor of business rather than labor (which, philosophically, is as untenable a position as one could choose?see Fred Kinnan in Atlas Shrugged, pp. 541-2). This description applies in various degrees to most Republican politicians, but most of them preserve some respect for the rights of the individual. Mr. Reagan does not: he opposes the right to abortion.

    The Ayn Rand Letter, Volume IV, Number 2, November-December 1975

    What a mind!

    1. Man, that quote would totally embarrass me if I was old enough to have voted for Reagan. Like some people here.

      1. I did vote for Reagan in 84 as my first vote. Even now that I know he was a dolt I don’t regret it because Mondale was worse.

        Most of my voting pattern is to vote against the idiot (Dubya).

        1. So how do you explain your Obama support then?

          1. Dubya was already leaving office no matter what.

          2. Obama continued and expanded on every one of Bush’s policy initiatives.

          1. But, John McCain!

            Can you imagine where we’d be right now with John McCain?

            Actually, I imagine we’d be right where we are now, without Obamacare.

            Hell, maybe bombing Syria. Other than that? I’m not sure it would be much different.

      2. I’m old enough to have voted for Reagan and that quote doesn’t embarrass me a bit. I had some hopes for Reagan, but I was quite aware that he was an actor and quite capable of faking his sincerity. And when he went with Bush as his running mate….

        1. I suppose not being a complete economic incompetent like every other president past 1963 has its merits, but it’s hilarious that conservatives treat Reagan like a demi-god because he was wrong only 88% of the time vs. 97% for Nixon and 99% for LBJ.

          I used to think that presidential rankings were tallest dwarf competitions, but now I’m thinking serial killer with the fewest murders.

        2. I convinced all my fellow grade school class mates to vote for him in a mock election at my catholic school.

          I had not been exposed to much libertarianism at that point.

          Though I am pretty sure I said the words “Get America Working again” in my impromptu speech.

          Though I don’t think that swayed the vote. I was living large in the classes public eye because a week before I read a story i wrote about a Conan like character slaughtering a village full of Orcs.

    2. Is there a point to this post? Are you making an argument here?

      Or is it another of your rhetorical hit and runs where you post some drivel and then fail to explain what the hell you’re talking about?

    3. My reasons are as follows: Mr. Reagan is not a champion of capitalism, but a conservative in the worst sense of that word?i.e., an advocate of a mixed economy with government controls slanted in favor of business rather than labor (which, philosophically, is as untenable a position as one could choose?see Fred Kinnan in Atlas Shrugged, pp. 541-2).

      I love what a total narcissist Ayn Rand was. Who quotes their own book as evidence of their argument?

      1. Who quotes their own book as evidence of their argument?

        Uh, God the Almighty…DUH!

    4. And Peikoff thought Reagan was the second coming of Hitler. So?

  22. With authorship and entrepreneurship now equal partners, the new authorpreneurs have thrown off the dictatorship of the editor to replace it with the tyranny of the market.

    One recent development in my interactions with lefties is that I’ve started describing the market to them as I might a five-year old. By a trick of language evolved by their hominid brains, they operate under the assumption that the market is a thing out there in the same way that they think the state is a thing out there, separate from the individuals who are acting.

    My careful explanation is that the market is a shorthand, symbolic way of referring to voluntary social activity: trading, fucking your neighbor’s (consenting) wife, bargaining at yard sales. The state, or crime, refers to what people do when they’re engaged in involuntary activity: theft, fucking your neighbor’s non-consenting wife, looting.

    You, too, can win many friends on the left with this simple approach, which has the benefit of reminding your lefty cohorts of your disdain for their ignorance of the origins of human flourishing.

    1. . . . bargaining at yard sales

      See – there’s your problem right there. Unregulated yard sales don’t protect the consumer and must be shut down until an appropriate agency can be created to institute safeguards and oversee the proper running of these businesses.

    2. There’s a market in wife bangin’?

  23. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Holy fuck, that Nation article he mentions at the end of the post:

    ” As she explains it, “true choice requires that a person have the ability to choose an option and not be prevented from choosing it by any external force, meaning that a system tending too far toward either extreme”?capitalism or socialism?”will limit people’s opportunities.” This is the same cause that, in different ways, rallies both Ben-Porath and Greenfield and suggests that a critique of the proliferation of choice can also allow for a serious reframing of liberalism and the market model.

    Her argument is that you aren’t truly free unless you are an omnipotent God unconstrained by anything in the universe.

    She argues in favor of a ‘middle ground’ between Capitalism and socialism, but in such a middle ground you’d still obviously be prevented from choosing things by an external force simply because scarce resources mean there will always be choices you’re unable to make. Therefore, her own argument in favor of a welfare state fails the test she lays out because she is a fucking idiot.

    1. I also note the wishy washy fallacy that choosing a middle ground is inherently better than either of the ‘extremes.’

      Let’s say one person says ‘let’s build a bridge.’ The second person says ‘let’s not build a bridge.’ A third person says ‘let’s build a bridge that only goes half-way because we don’t want to be too extreme in our choices.’

      In a sane and decent world, the third person would be beaten to death for being stupid.

      1. In our world that person has a long and successful career in politics.

  24. OT: She’s Sooooo Presidential!

    Poor Hillary just can’t help herself but become aggressive while she’s being interviewed by noted aggressive conservative NPR host Terry Gross.

    When they call it show business for ugly people, Billary, they usually mean that the ugliness is limited to the exterior.

    1. I heard that (and posted about when I first learned about it).

      To her, the function of liberal lady journalists is to gush and ask questions like “how do you deal with bearing the weight of women’s hopes and dreams on your shoulders?”

      When Gross acted like a journalist instead of playing her role as a cheerleader, Hillary felt betrayed.

      And she doesn’t like being crossed.

      1. I bet the People Magazine reporter didn’t aggravate her like Gross did!

        http://cdn01.dailycaller.com/w…..people.jpg

        1. As long as the ideology of her media coverage doesn’t stray from the NPR-People Magazine zone, Hillary will be able to limit herself to one blowup per week.

        2. Teamed with one of the Kardashians! Genius cover!

    2. The Butcher of Benghazi even sounds like an hold hag.

      ‘I have a great record…’ A great record? A great record of fucking what? And what difference at this point does it make, biaatch?

      1. A great record of saying she has a great record, duh.

        And Bill cheated on her and she has a grandbaby and was in the poor house after leaving the White House, so she’s obviously a very sympathetic grandma, the sort you might see on any given Sunday at the church potluck.

  25. Reflections of a soccer fan:

    “It’s like in soccer: you have to deal with the penalties where they fall; you can’t choose where they’re going to land. Life is like that, and you have to deal with it even if you don’t like it.”

    “Put yourself in the game with others and with God; don’t settle for a mediocre ‘tie,’ give it your all, spending your life on the thing that really matters and lasts forever.”

    http://www.catholicreview.org/…..-world-cup

    1. “It’s like in soccer: you have to deal with the penalties where they fall;

      It also helps to be able to acrobatically fall down like a professional stunt person, every time someone touches you in the slightest, and then be able to writhe around on the ground, putting on a act that puts most Hollywood actors to shame.

      1. Don’t they have a group of judges with score cards to rate the performances?
        Or is that ice skating?

        1. The difference is that you get rewarded immediately in futebol by getting a free shot at a goal, or with the other guy that happened to almost touch you, getting a yellow card. And yellow cards are bad, Mmkay?

          1. What’s the part of soccer where everybody stands in front of the goal and one guy tries to hit them in the nuts with the ball? That’s the only interesting part of soccer to me – aside from the occasional riots in the stands when somebody scores. I’m assuming the riots are from people who have been coming to the games for years vainly hoping to see a score and just woke up to realize that they slept through another gotdamned score.

    1. It took five years to suppress his tingling sensation and acknowledge this?

    2. Wow. That’s more surprising than the Brat win.

    3. WTF? Has the pod people invasion started already?

    4. fuck.the.what??? Did he fall on his head before the show?

      1. …”And that’s what this system’s doing right now. We can’t control the deficit, we can’t control the debt, we can’t control the border. What is government good at?”

        Uh, yeah, that’s a good question.

        1. I could have answered him. What government is good at is growing it’s own size and scope and robbing everyone fucking blind in the process. Besides that, not so much.

    5. Chris has a new man-crush.

      1. It’s either that or wait for cankles. Sometimes one has to make tough choices.

  26. Random whatever thread!

    Someday in the near future I’m going to replace my awful, terrible, useless vacuum. It will be a beautiful moment, but what are good brands to look at? I will have some money but not an excessive amount to spend on a cleaning appliance. Suggestions?

    1. Find something that really sucks.

      1. She’s already met Jesse.

        1. I may be laughing entirely too much at this.

      1. They’ll be happy to come by your house and give you a demonstration. You don’t even have to invite them or anything!

    2. I want you to buy a $650 Dyson (it’s on sale for only $550!), use it for a few weeks, then tell us how good it is.

        1. Come on, haven’t you seen their TV ads? Aren’t you curious if a six hundred dollar vacuum is really three times as good as a two hundred dollar one?

          1. I don’t ever see TV ads so I was unaware of this.

    3. Don’t buy a Bissell pet hair eraser. They’re terrible.

      1. As I have cats, this is a useful post.

        1. I have a dog and a cat that I think spend most of the day growing and then shedding fur. The pet hair eraser was tempting because of the name.

          1. I’m fairly certain that’s all my cats do, too. Then they play fight & rip out chunks of fur that come apart & coat my entire floor with a fuzzy layer of black & white.

    4. Just pay people to clean your place for you like I do. They bring their own vacuum. Problem solved.

      1. Except that you left out the part where none of them will ever return a second time.

        Running, shrieking, “El horror! El horror!”

        1. That’s why I use a big service who can rotate cleaners. Trust me, dude, I hate doing my own cleaning, so I thought of everything.

      2. Will you pay for them to clean my place, too?

        1. That depends. What are you offering in exchange?

          1. You may have to work that out with Serious.

            1. Hmm, I’d better talk to him. I don’t want any non-damaged goods. You have major emotional problems, right?

              1. I….plead the Fifth?

                1. Hmm…that seems entirely too reasonable. Maybe he was lying about the emotional problems…

                  1. I could burn your house down if you don’t pay for my cleaners, if that would make you happy.

                  2. I assume no responsibility for how she behaves when she is cut off from daily communication with me.

                    I’m kind of the one thing keeping her sane at this point. So if she goes off like the Incredible Hulk at you, don’t say you’ve not been warned.

    5. Yes, try a Shark. I have one, and it’s the best vacuum I have ever owned, so far. About half the price of a Dyson, which I was going to get until I read the reviews on Amazon.

      Now if this thing just keeps it’s suction power more than a couple of years, I will be a really happy customer. The one complaint I have with my model is that the damn attachment hose is too short and I’m always turning over the vacuum when using it.

      1. Hmmm, okay I will put them on the list. Thank you!

        1. Read the reviews on Amazon.

          1. Holy crap, these are really good. Thank you so much for the tip!

      1. Do you have a video response for literally everything?

    6. Oreck. They are light as a feather, never leave any dirt behind, and are reasonably priced. We’re very happy with our set.

  27. The Onion launched a purposefully ridiculous and surreal Buzzfeed parody site called Clickhole.

    If it’s just going to be ridiculous jokes like this, I think I’m really going to like that site.

  28. We have a new Poet Laureate!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06……html?_r=0

    One of his old poems:

    http://www.newrepublic.com/art…..ign=buffer

    1. Sweet fuck. Everything Fluffy said about poetry…well, that guy isn’t helping poetry’s cause.

      Then jump-cut again from so many years ago.
      Storm’s on us, first hail and rain,
      then hail again like a bunch of moth balls.
      Or hard tears of the Christian martyrs,
      Halfway between us and the place they cannot get to.
      Pity on them. Pity on us and our judgmental summer shower.
      Pity on all the risen and the unrisen.
      Pity on life and the dirt.

      That’s deep, man. Did you see how he randomly indented some parts of the stanza? Fucking deep, man.

      1. I would have nominated this one:

        Got this dance that’s more than real
        Drink Brass Monkey here’s how you feel
        Put your left leg down your right leg up
        Tilt your head back let’s finish the cup
        M.C.A. with the bottle D. rocks the can
        Adrock gets nice with Charlie Chan
        We’re offered Moet we don’t mind Chivas
        Wherever we go with bring the Monkey with us

        1. I’m sorry, do you no longer have to be able to write in order to call yourself a poet?

          What the fuck is this?

          These days, I look at things, not through them,
          And sit down low, as far away from the sky as I can get.
          The reef of the weeping cherry flourishes coral,
          The neighbor’s back porch light bulbs glow like anemones.
          Squid-eyed Venus floats forth overhead.
          This is the half hour, half-light, half-dark,
          when everything starts to shine out,
          And aphorisms skulk in the trees,
          Their wings folded, their heads bowed.

          Aphorisms skulk in the trees? I know what every word of that sentence means, but the sentence itself is ludicrous.

          1. Since there is no market whatsoever for poetry, writing well doesn’t matter in the slightest. You just have to figure out a way to be the flavor of the month by appealing to the vanishingly small set of people who decide who is a “poet”. Think of most installation art; it works the same way. But at least physical art will have some market for it. Poetry? Uh…not really.

            1. Since there is no market whatsoever for poetry,
              writing well doesn’t matter in the slightest.
              You just have to figure out a way to be
              the flavor of the month
              by appealing to the
              vanishingly
              small
              set
              of people who decide who is a “poet”.

              Think of most installation art;
              it works the same way.
              But at least physical art will have some market for it.

              Poetry?

              Uh…not really.

          2. Longfellow should have been the Poet Laureate. I remember a poem of his I heard in school – it was a while ago, but I think I remember the gist:

            Listen, my children, and I will tell
            Of a patriotic man who did so well
            It started way back in history –
            “One if by land, two if by sea”

            Riding through the night, in the moonlight,
            Redcoats on his tail ’cause they want to stop the fight
            He rode for six hours, then he got hailed
            By grateful patriots who gave him some ale

            “My name is Paul Revere, and I ride like the wind
            I keep riding and riding ’till the very end
            I’m Paul Revere, and I get respect
            I’ll drink brass monkey until I get wrecked.”

          3. He’s saying that words themselves can’t capture the direct awareness of dusk, watching day turn to night. He’s putting down language and symbolism as secondary to direct experience, which is a pretty zen move for a poet from Tennessee.

            Just browsing through his stuff, I think he’s a pretty damn good poet and not a bad pick, especially given the way that poetry has turned academic and explicitly political with clowns like Angelou and Baraka being elevated to celebrities.

            1. He’s putting down language and symbolism as secondary to direct experience,

              I think that was the same concept as:

              “I think that I shall never see,
              A poem as lovely as a tree.”

              1. Every time I hear that poem, I think about every other innocent person Wilson got killed before he mercifully stroked out.

                “He kept us out of war”

  29. ” I genuinely don’t get it?and neither do they get what they are complaining about.”

    They are control freaks who think of the rest of humanity as chattel. They hate anything that empowers individuals. It is as simple as that Brian, there is no need to look for deeper meaning.

    Consider Cass Sunstien, whose entire life’s work can be summed up with ‘People are too stupid to know what is good for them so Top Men, such as myself, should make all of their decisions for them.’ .

    1. See Tony below:

      “there are good reasons to have gatekeepers on publishing. “

  30. Self-publishing is for people who can’t get published, meaning their stuff sucks. A lot of shit gets published as it is. Publishing means getting professionally edited, designed, catalogued with libraries, and indexed if necessary (let’s see mere mortals make a good index)–all at no cost to the author.

    There will be the occasional genius who slips through the cracks of the industry. Fine, nobody wants to prevent him from paying to print his work. But for nonfiction, you also need the legitimacy of good sourcing and peer review if necessary.

    The point is there are good reasons to have gatekeepers on publishing. But it can exist simultaneously with self-publishing, and the Internet means anyone can self-publish.

    1. Tony, you’re insufferable.

      There’s a lot of garbage that gets published. Not only that, most people who get published is thanks to their connections (think of Seinfeld’s wife getting a cook book published only to find out it was pretty much plagiarized).

      Also, there are PLENTY of writers out of the “loop” that are better than “published’ writers and thanks to the internet and blogging, we get exposure to them as opposed to some company determining who gets to be fit for printing.

      Piss off with your top-down, gate-keeping bull shit.

      Moreover, thank God for self-publishing and blogging because it introduce me to so many great sports writers as opposed to the shit ESPN pimps out.

      1. introduced.

      2. There’s a lot of garbage that gets published.

        I said that. I’ve read Dan Brown.

        most people who get published is thanks to their connections

        Yeah, it’s a problem. But it is a business. I just said there’s nothing wrong with self-publishing, I’m just making the case for the continued existing of traditional publishing. I’m a conservative in some ways.

        1. Dan Brown has the writing eloquence of a 5 year old.

        2. That’s . . . exactly what you did *not do.

          Self-publishing is for people who can’t get published, meaning their stuff sucks. . . (let’s see mere mortals make a good index)

          Your whole post is saying that self-published stuff sucks and that there are IMPORTANT things *only* and established publisher can do.

          And you end with

          The point is there are good reasons to have gatekeepers on publishing.

          Absolutely *none* of what you wrote say that there’s ‘nothing wrong with self-publishing’ and is making a (piss-poor) case for why self-publishing *shouldn’t* exist.

          And if you think ‘. . . getting professionally edited, designed, catalogued with libraries, and indexed if necessary’ comes at ‘no cost to the author’, you live in a strange and alien world that bears little relation to this one.

          1. You don’t know what you’re ranting about. And I believe saying I have no problem with self-publishing is sufficient.

      3. I have a friend who works as a test writer for educational exams. He always told me that he likes to write and would do it as a hobby. He said he had a collection of short stories that he was working on. One day he sent me a copy of 3 of the short stories. I read a lot and have read a lot ,I mean a LOT. Including a lot of stuff that amateurs write.

        I read those and I was stunned, I am not kidding you, the guy is freaking incredible, I had no idea. One of the stories was about his experience of how he ordered sea monkeys from a comic book when he was a kid. It was based on a true experience, but it was fiction. That’s the way he usually wrote. That short story ranks with the best that I have ever read from well known fiction and sci-fi authors.

        I told him to get working on a career in writing fiction because he’s a serious waste of talent. He actually laughed at me. He doesn’t think he is any good. I told a friend of mine who is an avid reader about him and forwarded the 3 short stories to him. He was like, you have got to be fucking kidding me, he wrote these?

        I never could get the guy to try getting published, he seems to be embarrassed to show his work to many people because he doesn’t think he’s good enough. I didn’t stop bugging him for a long time, but I finally gave up. What a shame.

        1. It is very common for artists/writers to be terrified of negative reactions to their work, so they just don’t put them out there to be judged. Even excellent writers and artists can suffer from this; it’s actually very common (my mother and several friends suffer from it, so I have seen a lot of it). And usually, no matter how much you tell them–truthfully–that their work is great, they just won’t put it out there because they can’t handle criticism of it. And not in an arrogant way, more of a “that was my baby and someone said it was terrible and now I feel like I utterly suck” kind of way.

          It’s a real shame, but I have seen it so many times that I’ve just come to realize that it’s pretty normal and there isn’t a lot that can be done about it.

          1. I think it was John Gardner who said that the most important trait for writers is to be defiant, because when you’re unknown your work will be ignored no matter its quality, whereas if you’re successful you’ll attract criticism by people looking to make a name for themselves or just stir the pot, which is what drunks and authors tend to do.

            Or maybe I just made that up, but writers can’t allow themselves to be sensitive if they’re going to be read.

            1. I think it was John Gardner who said that the most important trait for writers is to be defiant, because when you’re unknown your work will be ignored no matter its quality, whereas if you’re successful you’ll attract criticism by people looking to make a name for themselves or just stir the pot, which is what drunks and authors tend to do.

              So that explains The Man from Barbarossa. And Lavender Peacock.

          2. That may be what it is, because everyone who’s ever read his stuff has told him he’s a very gifted writer. Maybe he thinks we’re all holding any criticism back, being friends and family. He has to know he’s good, so maybe he’s just afraid to know how good, or not, and thinks it’s best to not know.

            1. You know, maybe it’s a better feeling to be thought of as great by a few people close to you, than to throw yourself to the wolves and find out that you’re really just average after all?

          3. I think this is true.

            For the heck of it I submitted a TV screenplay I wrote to this guy. Long story short, he enjoyed it and considered me ‘advanced’ and so I joined his workshop. Long story short, my screenplay was a semi-finalist in a pretty decent contest judged by industry people.

            I had no idea where my idea or writing stood but soon found out as other guys stepped forward to suggest I push forward with it.

            Naturally, I did nothing and opened up a daycare and went into another direction.

        2. You’re gonna make me open up more than I want to, but I can relate very much to that story. While my comments shouldn’t serve as examples of my writing (I’m a nitty-gritty editor-writer when I’m doing serious stuff), everyone around me has always tried to get me to publish. But the odds are long even if you’re good, and I’m horribly sensitive to rejection. One wonders, since being a writer and being an introvert probably coincide a lot, how much good stuff gets lost to apprehension. Think of all the classics that were pulled from fires or otherwise published against the author’s will.

          1. I learned to distrust gatekeepers through Bob Costas and his ilk like Wilbon and their ailing rantings against bloggers and the like.

            Those guys are lucky they landed those jobs and sat on them. Very hard to displace them. No one had a shot. I mean, really, are you gonna convince me there’s but ONE Rick Reilly on the continent?

            With blogging, you find out there are plenty. Some refined, some raw. But all good to me.

            Fair enough about your point. But you’re still a dirty progressive. Taw-taw.

            1. I learned to distrust gatekeepers through Bob Costas and his ilk like Wilbon and their ailing rantings against bloggers and the like.

              Funny it was Deadspin that opened my eyes to the junk that ESPN actually is and then look what happened to them. Irony burn.

              1. Deadspin was great for a while about seven years ago or so but it too is annoying now.

                But, yes, DS did a lot to open eyes.

    2. Publishing means getting professionally edited, designed, catalogued with libraries, and indexed if necessary (let’s see mere mortals make a good index)–all at no cost to the author.

      Except the 90% of their profits the publishing company gets.

      You do realize publishers don’t work for free, correct Tony?

      1. Also, there’s no reason a self-published author can’t hire an editor. If you only hire the people you’re going to need rather than going through a publishing firm, you can buy services a la carte and only pay for what you need rather than being charged for things you could do yourself.

        If I have a talented artist friend who can design a book jacket, why should I be required to go through a publishing house and use whatever book jacket they choose for me? If I can edit my own work, why hire a publishing house to do the editing?

        If you only buy what you need help with, it drives down the price of books which helps the consumer, and it allows you to keep more of the profit, which helps the writer.

        1. Okay. So yes usually publishers own the work and get the profits, with authors getting royalty payments. But I can literally think of one self-published person who made it big. There are probably more. But the publisher not only gives you all the production for free, it gives you what I forgot to mention: marketing for free. Odds are if you succeed as an author you are published. (Successful self-publishers get picked up by someone anyway.)

          And I’ll let you in on a secret. Publishers hire editors and designers a-la-carte too. It’s just that they’re gonna be tested and, again, the author doesn’t have to pay for them. Getting published, aside from the nepotism thing, is about a meritocracy. Self-publishing is usually narcissism. But nobody wants to ban narcissism.

          1. There are probably more. But the publisher not only gives you all the production for free, it gives you what I forgot to mention: marketing for free.

            You keep using the word free. By ‘free’ do you mean ‘included in the money they take from book sales?’ Because not actually free, it’s just paid for out of the percentage they take from your book sales. Do progressives not know what free is? You realize if you’re paying for it, even indirectly, it isn’t free, correct?

            Publishers hire editors and designers a-la-carte too. It’s just that they’re gonna be tested and, again, the author doesn’t have to pay for them. Getting published, aside from the nepotism thing, is about a meritocracy.

            Oh, Tony. It’s so cute watching you adamantly support big business. I’m excited to hear you explain the merits of big banks and Walmart using the exact same logic you just provided me.

            1. I have never been against institutions. I’ve been explicitly for the concept of institutions. Including capitalist ones–but you think I believe all businesses should die because I think government should prevent them from poisoning people or undermining the point capitalism itself. The problem is with your unquestioned loyalty to whatever big business lobbies want, not any hypocrisy on my part with respect to institutions.

              By ‘free’ do you mean ‘included in the money they take from book sales?

              Well, I mean free compared to what happens in self-publishing, in which you have to pay for production, marketing, and printing. See how my position is actually the more meritocratic way?

              As I said, everyone is free to self-publish and attempt to make more money than they would with royalties. It’s a free country.

              1. Well, I mean free compared to what happens in self-publishing, in which you have to pay for production, marketing, and printing

                As in 2014, most self-publishing is done via e-books (e.g., Kindle) the cost for production and printing are nil.

                1. We’ve got to ban e-books. We’re putting book binders out of business also. Weren’t those poor buggy whip factory workers enough suffering for you libertarians who feel no empathy? Next thing, you’ll be wanting to create self healing roadz and bridgez.

                2. And the lack of professional editing and marketing shows, or rather doesn’t.

                  1. And the lack of professional editing and marketing shows

                    I agree. I wouldn’t pay more than .99 cents for the average self-published Kindle book…and yet, at that price Wool author Hugh Howey has made a lot of money. 7 digits lots.

                  2. And the lack of respect for the consumer you have shows.

                    You’re the sort of guy who would have banned penny dreadfuls and stood over the pulp sci-fi boom of the 40’s and 50’s because the quality of work didn’t meet *your* standards.

                    You show your controlling impulses again and again. You are against *any* increase in consumer choice because you don’t think they’ll make the choices *you* think they should.

                    *If* a full-scale publisher provides sufficient value-add to a client, that client *will* continue to use the publisher. If not, then they won’t. It just means that the publishers will have to step up their game, cut the fat, and increase efficiency to stay in the game.

                    1. *Plus*, you want to talk about ‘professional editing’? Check out pretty much any modern newspaper.

                      Grammar errors, spelling and punctuation errors. All that on top of errors of fact (and I’m not talking about stuff that’s in dispute) – which they have a whole profession dedicated to handling.

        2. Also, there’s no reason a self-published author can’t hire an editor. If you only hire the people you’re going to need rather than going through a publishing firm, you can buy services a la carte and only pay for what you need rather than being charged for things you could do yourself.

          Evidently self-publishing is why Young Adult novels have really exploded in recent years and why a girl I dated previously was making a lot of money using her creative writing degree as a freelance editor.

          Really, it’s been a godsend to a lot of humanities majors who might otherwise have useless degrees.

          1. Oh come on. What we really need is for a bunch of big shot published writers, publishers, and top critics to get together once in a while, give each other awards, and decide who new might get invited into the club. We should only be able to read those ‘accepted’ writers, for our own good, or we could be exposed to reading stuff that’s not that good! The horror!

    3. Though a bit time consuming, indexing is not difficult in LaTeX. Of course, LaTeX is a heavenly instrument, so perhaps your point still stands.

      1. With searchable e-books, are indexes really that useful anymore anyways?

        1. Definitely not as useful.

    4. Self-publishing is for people who can’t get published, meaning their stuff sucks.

      So in this case, a market institution is an accurate indicator of quality.

      1. Seeing Tony wrote that makes very sad.

        He gets so close to understanding how the market works and then just fails at the last part.

  31. Here is how people really feel about the immigration issue:

    In one key finding, most respondents said even legal immigration should be cut by at least half. Currently, the U.S. allows in about 1 million legal immigrants a year, but 16 percent said that should be cut to 500,000, another 17 percent wanted to see it drop to 100,000, and a full 26 percent said they want to see a halt to all legal immigration. By contrast, just 16 percent said to keep it at 1 million and only 11 percent wanted to see an increase to 2 million.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com…../?page=all

    In contrast to the baseless propaganda of reason.com, actual Americans don’t like their country being flooded with non-Asian minorities.(And keep in mind that NAMs, Asians and Jews as 39 percent of the population) There is a reason libertarians don’t win elections, NO ONE supports them.

    1. In contrast to the baseless propaganda of reason.com, actual Americans don’t like their country being flooded with non-Asian minorities.

      That’s weird. I didn’t see the people in the poll saying ‘We want immigration to drop, except for Asians.’

      You sure you’re not forcing your own bizarre racial preferences on other people there, American?

      1. I would like to stop Asian immigration too. But we all know that the NAMs cause most of the problems that people think about when they think of immigration, they’re the ones who come in and ruin whole neighborhoods. They’re the ones who cause great cities to decay.

        1. The only things the Latino immigrants in my community have done is bring really good food and low-cost labor. Rhetoric about the blight on society they represent comes from the racism. It’s not the other way around.

          1. What’s your community? White liberals usually live in plush, mostly White and Asian communities, away from the small dwellings of their low paid Hispanic helot class.

            1. Oh, I live in a white liberal enclave, and the Latinos are in their part of town, the blacks in theirs. It’s possibly one of the most segregated cities in the country, actually. Still, you don’t have the data to back up the claim that Latino immigrants are a net drain on society. If you really care about that you’d go after white old people.

              1. Well why don’t you practice what you preach and move to the Latino part of town, or worse, the Black. After all, diversity is wonderful, right?

                Old White people have been working and paying taxes their entire lives.

                1. Minorities don’t work or pay taxes?

                  I choose to live where I’m most comfortable, and it’s in the city center area so actually the most diverse option available.

                  1. Minorities pay a whole lot less than their share of the taxes.

                    it’s in the city center area so actually the most diverse option available.

                    It’s a White enclave, yet it’s diverse. God you’re a nimrod.

                    1. Minorities pay a whole lot less than their share of the taxes.

                      That’s because the Illuminati Zionist shape-shifting reptiloids don’t tax minorities in currency; they tax them in blood. Area 51 is used as a staging ground for when FEMA rounds all of them up in camps because the reptiloids can only drink blood type B, which is used to incubate their eggs. Indeed that’s why Whitney Houston was SACRIFICED by the ILLUMINATI for the Jubilee of the Queen Elizabeth!

                2. I did. I live in a city that’s 95% Hispanic (almost exclusively from Mexico.

                  I go *days* without seeing another white face sometimes.

                  Is there supposed to be a danger lurking in this lower middle/upper lower class town? Are the 5 year old houses in this neighborhood hiding some terrible threat. Are the new apartments, stores, and restaurants opening up across town hiding the decay that’s *really* there.

                  I got a counter-proposal for you. How about you get off your arse and travel out to where the NAM’s actually live and work. Not the barrios where a small percentage of them are, but the solidly middle-class enclaves of BSP’s that work hard, pay taxes and incrementally improve their lives.

            2. Is that you, Murikan?

        2. I know, fuck them NAM immigrant wops and mics. Bastards just *ruined* this country.

  32. I would like to vent about the World Cup for a moment. My worst fears were realized today: That teams would not only have to fight through Brazil but referees as well.

    What a cheesy call that was.

    1. Croatia were playing dirty. They were fouling way too much and getting away with it a lot. They did well defensively, but obviously they were extremely outclassed, and Brazil came out flat and stayed that way most of the first and second half. Croatia are lucky that Brazil were not playing nearly up to their potential today, or it would have been more like 6 or 7 to 0.

      1. We musta been watching two different games.

        They were playing rough but believe me, Brazil can play dirty too as they showed during Confed Cup.

        But, that aside, what’s it got to do with the one bad call?

        1. You mean the call on Neymar that led to the 2nd score? I’ve seen lots worse calls than that. It was a take down.

          You aren’t suggesting that the refs are trying to rig the cup for Brazil, are you?

          1. The one on Fred in the box.

            No, to the second question. But there can be renegade refs as 2002 showed with Moreno who screwed over both Italy and Spain. In the process, denying fans a much better potential final. That is, Italy/Spain vs. Brazil as opposed to a dreadful German side.

            1. I’m a recent fan, wasn’t watching back in 2002. My wife got me started watching during the last world cup. She knows more about the game than I do still. And she said Brazil wasn’t at fault on any of the calls, so I’m sure it’s true, lol. Not really, I do remember one time they were running down the field and I can’t remember who it was, was literally riding the shirt of a Croatia player down the field, holding on with both hands. She saw it right away and was saying ‘let go, let go, idiot!’. They got away with that one.

              1. “and she said Brazil wasn’t at fault on any of the calls, so I’m sure it’s true, lol.”

                Well, I’ve been playing and watching (and for a time coaching) it for over for 37 years and have watched since 1982.

                Brazil was at fault for a few calls and Fred essentially fell to the ground in the box. Not sure where all this Brazil can do no wrong thing came from. They can be reckless and petulant. If Brazil is losing, they lash out as demonistically (my word) as any country I’ve ever seen.

                Sorry to break it to you, erm, your wife.

                1. Hyp, and Neymar is another player heavily criticized for his diving like Ronaldo.

                  His yellow today was deserved.

                  All that being said, solid team. Not sure their the outright favorites as some claim, but a very good squad.

              2. Is your wife Brazilian because she’s dreadfully wrong. Hell you and her are pretty much the only people on the internet I’ve seen today who think that way, including Brazilians.

                1. Croatia doesn’t have the class of Brazil that much we can agree. But they do have some really good players (mostly on the right side of the field). Modric, Srna, Kovacic – man, those are great players. That and the fact Croatian/Serb/Yugolslavs have always been technically sound teams with strong determination.

                  That’s why the call rubs me wrong. They could have drawn that game. They were containing Brazil well.

  33. Kickstarter is great when it’s being used to get pre-orders for a tangible product so the maker can make sure there’s sufficient interest before they commit resources to manufacturing.

    It’s terrible offense is that it’s increasingly being used to raise venture capital for a vaguely defined business where the “donors” accept all the risk but get none of the profit.

    1. Since you say this nearly every time Kickstarter gets mentioned, is it safe to assume that you got burned?

      Anyway, Kickstarter is an intermediary. And it’s only a “terrible offense” to take funders’ money without sharing profit or equity if you deliberately led them to believe you would.

    2. Because the “donors” don’t understand the terms of their donation?

    3. Blame your government for that.

  34. The clueless libertarians like Irish probably don’t get the irony of seeing them attack the publishing industry as UNFAAAIIIRRR to the authors while Tony, the liberal, defends it. Don’t they know that it’s a private sector industry and therefore never ever unfair to people?

    1. And I’ll bet Irish consorts with the JOOOOZZZZ, too!

      Go back to Stormfront, Merkin.

      Sheesh. We deserve a better class of troll. MARKET FAILURE!!!

      1. And I’ll bet Irish consorts with the JOOOOZZZZ, too!

        Prolly, look at his twitter feed:

        https://twitter.com/theirishman89

        Jew this, Jew that. It’s tiresome. At least when the Blacks complain they are actually worse off on average than the Whites. But the Jews? No amount of money or power is enough.

        I’ve been banned from Stormfront, they accused me of being a Jew.

        1. Yeah, all those posts I made in one day like two months ago.

          You got me. It’s such an obsession I haven’t posted anything since like mid-April. Also, those posts were about Torre saying that a Holocaust survivor had white privilege, so I hardly think pointing out the stupidity of that statement means I’m in the pocket of Big Jew.

          1. So is Irish actually er…irish?

            And I wonder why Murikan is permabanned.

            1. Irish is one of those damn Micks, fer sure.

              And, Murikan was banned because he confessed to being a Jooo, didn’t you hear him?

              1. Irish is one of those damn Micks, fer sure.

                Jagger? Mouse? Mantle? Rooney? Dolenz? Spillane?

        2. You would think with all that “money” and “power” they would be able to stop the Palestinians from lobbing rockets and mortar shells at them from the Gaza Strip.

          1. No need. Most of them have moved into my neighborhood now, and the Palestinians don’t have any rockets that can reach Baltmore.

          2. They could, very easily, reoccupy Gaza? They could kick out all the inhabitants, drive them to Egypt. But they don’t want to do it, why? Because Gaza serves a purpose. Palestinians would have a lot more sympathy with the rest of the world if they didn’t act like such savages all the time. But they do, and thus with the Gaza Strip Israel can broadcast their savagery and the international community, especially goy Americans, will sympathize instead with Israel. If they kicked them out as they easily could, people might sympathize instead with the Palestinians.

            But Israel WILL kick them out. The Likud niks are staunchly opposed to a two state solution and keep building settlements. Do you think that, in a future one state Greater Israel, the Palestinians will get the vote. Do you think Likudniks will give it to them?

            1. Can you skip to the part where you explain how the shape-shifting Illuminati PROJECT MONARCH reptiloids from Sirius B are involved? Because that’s always my favorite part of your paranoid schizophrenia-induced ramblings.

              1. Does that include Chemtrails and HAARP?

                1. Ha! That’s what the Annunaki want you to believe, sleeper! HAARP is nothing more than a light show to entertain the Zionist Skull and Bones global elite during their homosexual orgy parties at Bohemian Grove!

                  1. homosexual orgy parties at Bohemian Grove

                    Ollie Stone’s next film?

                    1. I didn’t know Bryan Singer was branching out…

                    2. /hovers cursor over link

                      Is this something I really want to do?

            2. Not AGAIN!
              Buenos noches, Merkin. Que pasa?

    2. Ha. You’re a moron. Libertarians are in favor of the individual over hierarchical institutions of all sorts. If people can produce books without having to go through a company, that’s wonderful since it increases efficiency. I no longer have to pay the publishing company, and this is good for me and good for the consumer.

      Libertarians are pretty much always in favor of do it yourself programs like 3D printing, self-publishing, or individuals fixing up their homes without getting a handy man. The fact that you don’t know this but are so self-congratulatory as to call other people clueless shows that you’re really lacking in self-awareness.

      Maybe you should learn about libertarian arguments from somewhere other than your Nazi friends.

      1. I’m sure you support small business instead of mass corporations like Wal Mart or McDonalds. I’m being sarcastic, I know it’s all about ideology to you. Those corporations have the right ideology, book publishers don’t.

        1. Let the projection flow ‘Merican!

    3. Shut up, Murikan.

  35. Look, if people are publishing their own work, it means that books which do not conform to the leftoid narrative might be read by somebody. Diversity is conformity, donchaknow?

    Plus you’re obviously missing the wider context of the social consciousness…oh fuck, I’m not good at being a pretentious lefty intellectual poser.

  36. A former Episcopal bishop wants the government to force his interpretation of Christianity on religious dissenters –

    “Most embarrassing of all is the specter of people asking in the name of religion for permission to discriminate. This flies in the face of what every world religion claims in their own version of the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Such a “golden rule” is the great common teaching among all religions, an understanding shared with non-religious people, atheists, humanists and most civilized societies. Why would some religious people want an exemption from following a core teaching of their religion?…

    “Add to that the Hobby Lobby case’s assertion that the freedom to practice one’s religion without interference by the government extends beyond individuals to corporations. Such an assertion trivializes religion itself. Corporations don’t gather in religious community, don’t worship anything (except perhaps the bottom line), don’t pray, and they don’t possess a soul in need of redemption.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..igion.html

    1. I have a religious objection to government. Does that mean I can NOT pay any taxes?

      1. Yes, but you’d stand a good chance of being sent to prison.

        On the bright side, you’d be able to join a white supremacist gang there.

        1. join a white supremacist gang there

          Even they wouldn’t have him. Well they would “have him” in the biblical sense, I guess.

          1. That would be an epic win for everybody.

            The Aryan Nation would get new meat on their menu, we wouldn’t have the read any more crap from Murikan around here, and Murikan would be able to indulge his secret fantasies without admitting it to anybody but himself.

    2. Such an assertion trivializes religion itself

      However requiring people to ignore or contradict their religious beliefs when engaged in commerce does not trivialize religion at all.

      and they don’t possess a soul in need of redemption.”

      They are literally soulless capitalists!!!

  37. Forget Slender Man causing murders, there’s much worse afoot: Watch Dogs is making children hack electronic signs!

    1. I got the game the day it was released. No thanks to UPlays unspeakable atrocity of a download system. One day, I’m going to play it.

      1. I mean especially since I now know that it possesses the soul of childins.

      2. I recently (mostly) finished Saints Row IV. It was too short; it only took 44 hours to complete the main quest and all side quests.

        1. *Only* 44 hours? How much are you looking for?

          1. Most good games are 50 – 100+ hours. Although there have been some greats that are only 40 hours if you complete all quests, Fallout 3, for instance.

            1. Fallout 3, for instance

              ??

              You’ve put 100+ hours into NV but only got 40 hours out of Fallout 3? What are you, weird or something?

              1. Yep. That’s right as far as I know. Most people complain about how short Fallout 3 is, that and the terrible worstest of all time ending. 40 hours, that’s about it, unless you enjoy running around the wasteland with nothing more to do.

                But yes, I’m weird. I write computer code all day and post here. Is there anyone who does those 2 things who could be completely normal?

                1. Agreed about the original ending, though dying at the end is kinda a Fallout thing, and they fixed it with the DLC. Did you play the F3 DLC? It adds a whole new dynamic. And yes, one of my favorite things about F3 was wandering the wasteland, particularly the DC area for hours on end. Turn out the lights, get a good set of headphones, and lose myself in the uncomplicated desolation.

                  But yes, I’m weird. I write computer code all day and post here.

                  Goes for all of us. 🙂

                  1. Did you play the F3 DLC?

                    Nope, haven’t played it. I don’t actually own any of the F3 DLCs.

                    I do own all of the NV DLCs, all of which I have not played yet either.

                    I’ve been playing Far Cry 3, Crysis 3, and Spec Ops – The Line, on and off, in the little time I’ve had to game. Can’t decide which one I really want to play, but I’m leaning towards finishing Far Cry 3.

                    1. I do own all of the NV DLCs, all of which I have not played yet either.

                      Well you have that to look forward to. The Lonesome Road DLC was my favorite part of NV.

                      in the little time I’ve had to game.

                      Dude, seriously. My dad, who is a lifelong gamer of all varieties, just recently retired and is rubbing it in my face at the moment.

          2. I got 700 hours in Skyrim.

            1. my mom (in her 60s) has over 1000 on skyrim and oblivion both. seriously.

      3. You’re going to be disappointed.

  38. You see people, when leftists don’t control the media, it is a corporate tool for capitalist oppression. When they do control the media, going outside of it’s official organs is an anti-social act that undermines the collective good.

    I would also offer Edward Snowden as an example. How dare he leak information that harms a progressive president outside of the official pages of the New York Times! It’s for the common good that they get to decide what is published.

    Twenty years ago all these people were watching Manufacturing Consent on a repeat loop.

    1. Like how Lenin was advocating for the abolition of the state, the army, cops and bureaucrats mere months before Red October. I wonder what changed his mind?

    2. It’s really breathtaking how mendacious and ignorant they are. There are just some issues where they can’t help but reveal their elitism and utter contempt for the ignorant masses.

      But they’ll insist on thinking of themselves as intellectual and compassionate.

    3. Well said

    4. The reactions to Bezos buying The Washington Post, and to the Amazon-Hachette and Amazon-Warner disputes have been telling, too.

      1. They used to hate Borders for putting small booksellers out of business. Now they hate Amazon for putting Borders out of business.

        1. They used to think Mom and Pop stores were run by close-minded bigots but Wal-Mart is bad for driving them out of business.

  39. So I’m watching Stossel vs. Team Red. All the Team Red arguments boil down to “if we let people do what they want, bad things will happen.” Stossel has yet to make the simple rebuttal that bad things will also happen if you ban things. But he has been good so far about saying that the fundamental value of freedom trumps any utilitarian concerns.

    There was a pretty good moment of bathos where the Team Red guy started saying that we need to ban things because the Declaration of Independence lists our basic rights. Even as he recited “the pursuit of happiness”, he did not pause for a moment. I shouted “there it is numbnuts, you lose!”

    1. Hmmm…why didn’t they promote this?

    2. Bolton should never change.

      1. He does debate well, though.

    3. Bolton quotes the old Roman proverb that if you want peace, prepare for war.

      Because we all know how peaceful the Romans were.

      1. Bolton quotes the old Roman proverb that if you want peace, prepare for war.

        Did Ron Moore write a DS9 Episode with that title?

      2. To paraphrase one historian, they kept claiming their wars were fought for self-defense. They self-defensed their way into control of chunks of several continents.

        1. You Know Who Else claimed that their war was in self-defense?

          1. King Victor Emmanuel?

          2. The Na’vi?

            The aliens from The Abyss?

            The ball aliens from that Futurama episode?

          3. D.A.R.E.?

        2. Listen, you know how hard it was to move the doors of the temple of Janus? Those things were huge! It was much easier to just leave them open all the time.

          1. And thus the door stop was invented.

        3. Complete the analogy:

          Taking advice from the Romans on how to keep the peace is like taking-

          diet advice from Jabba the Hutt

          moderation advice from Lon Chaney Jr

          anger management advice from John McEnroe

          singing advice from Florence Foster Jenkins

          dialogue writing advice from George Lucas

          self-control advice from Keith Richards

          1. DON’T TALK SHIT ABOUT JOHNNY MAC!

    4. “if we let people do what they want, bad things will happen.”

      That somehow sounds remarkably similar to what Team Blue says.. Huh….

      1. I know, what a weird coincidence, right?

  40. Tony vs. Murikan: However wins, we lose.

    1. The statist vs the racist. That has a sort of ring to it.

      1. How can you tell?

  41. Someone should prepare to primary Kevin McCarthy. You’re Next!

    1. Stole my joke.

    2. One of the pod people should primary him.

      1. So a Democrat?

  42. Holy hell, Stossel vs. Dobbs.

    1. Derbz vs The Stache.

      1. DEY TUK YER DERBZ!!!

        1. The don’t have to return him, really.

  43. I’m really impressed at how Michael Jordan has improved between Fruitvale Station and Space Jam.

    And Shaq should’ve played Johnny Storm instead of him.

  44. Hayek and Mill double-header!

    1. double-header
      Nobody Showed Up.

  45. Ooh, now Dobbs can invite Stossel onto *his* show, and the Circle of Life can continue!

  46. Al Franken vs. Stossel? Oh yeah.

    1. I want Sheldon Richman and John Bolton in a steel cage on The Independents to debate the current events in Iraq. I would pay extra to see it.

      1. With GILMORE and Cytotoxic as the refs, right?

  47. City of Los Angeles pays $215K to settle lawsuit with man who was kicked out of a city council meeting for wearing a Klan hood

    The Venice-area resident, who is black, wore the hood and a T-shirt emblazoned with a profanity and a racial slur against African-Americans during a 2011 meeting of the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners.

    Hunt has worn the outfit at other city meetings to confront what he believes is government discrimination, said his lawyer, Stephen Rohde.

    “He has co-opted these images and uses them to protest back against the city,” Rohde said.

    At the parks commission meeting, then-President Barry Sanders told Hunt that his garb violated city rules of decorum and told him to remove the hood and “offensive signage” or be ejected.

    Hunt was escorted out and cited for disturbing a public assembly but wasn’t prosecuted.

    The settlement “means that the city is held accountable when it violates civil rights and First Amendment rights,” Rohde said.

    City Councilman Bernard Parks, who also is black, says the council decided to settle because it might have been forced to pay much more in legal fees if the case had gone to trial.

    “This is one of those things where you hold your nose and vote,” Parks said.

    So it’s that easy, huh? Dave Chappelle was a visionary with his Clayton Bigsby skit.

    1. “Well, your eagerness to join the Klan is appreciated…your admission essay is quite eloquent…ahem…and you even brought your own hood and robe…but, ah…there’s one slight difficulty…”

      1. I call myself Klansmandingo.

  48. So if Kenneth McCarthy is the next majority leader then does that mean Donald Sutherland is next? Along with Gabrielle Anwar and Daniel Craig that is.

    1. *Kevin McCarthy*

      1. Distinguished Gentleman?

        Epi would get it, btw.

  49. VIDEO: Eccentricity merges into usefulness – Chicago artist fills potholes

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..video.html

    1. Wait, here’s the correct link:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..video.html

      1. So he’s a libertarian then? We love throwing art into the ground and burying it.

    2. I protest the lack of pot in those holes.

      1. Well, let me introduce you to some of my lady friends, and you will no longer be protesting the lack……

    3. Does he have permission?

  50. Can’t vouch for the accuracy of this item, but it’s a cute little heartwarming story:

    “A Syrian bride-to-be has asked her fianc? for 15 decapitated heads of pro-Assad troops as her dowry and set up a marriage termination clause worth 50 more decapitated heads.”

    http://english.alarabiya.net/e…..dowry.html

  51. So why are e-publishers outputting stuff in single, proprietary e-reader formats? Are they hoping to integrate their biz vertically the way phonograph and radio makers failed to do?

  52. So Brian, was this deliberately meta given that the guy is a self-published author?

    1. who has self-published his last three novels

      What the fuck?!?!

  53. Dude knows how to get down on it.

    http://www.WentAnon.tk

  54. re: ” this huge Nation think piece”

    Back in the Cold War days, market advocates would point to the fact that, in a US supermarket, one could choose from over a hundred varieties of toothpaste whereas in the USSR consumers were fortunate if the single type in any size was in stock.

    Now we learn from the Nation that the absence of choice in Soviet system was a feature, not a bug.

    Not only did a single state-owned supplier of toothpaste eliminate wasteful competition, it also contributed to the mental health of the workers by eliminating the opportunity to make choices that are so mentally disturbing. The science behind this is settled, so no debate should be considered.

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