Odds and Ends Vol 20

Odds and EndsWe’ve got some interesting things here. This volume of Odds and Ends is a bit screwed up because of my recent computer problems. I now have three different hard drives where things are stored, so I’ve lost a couple of funny things. One was a joke Jim Webb sign having to do with his lack of time at the debate. The other was the Gettysburg Workout, which I think had something to do with Paul Ryan taking over as Speaker of the House. Whatever. Let’s get started.

Raise Rates Before US Reaches French Employment Levels!

I love this graph from Paul Krugman for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that this bigoted American idea that the French are lazy is just wrong. But it also shows just how far we are from full employment. Still, the Federal Reserve is almost certain to raise interest rates next month and stop the employment growth that we are seeing. If you still believe we live in a democracy, it is time to wake up my friends. It was a pleasant dream we had, but it was only ever that: a dream.

France vs US Employment

Television Commercials From the 1960s and 1970s

This is a 17 minute long collection of television commercials. It’s pretty amazing for people of my age. What’s perhaps most remarkable, however, is that ads haven’t changed that much. They’ve become more slick in terms of production. But the approach to advertising is the same. There has been no revolution in that way. It’s also interesting to see beloved actors like George S Irving (White Owl cigars), Vic Tayback (Parkay margarine), Nancy Walker (Bounty paper towels), John Houseman (Smith Barney), Ricardo Montalbán (Chrysler Cordoba), Bobby Short (Charlie by Revlon), James Harder (Fig Newton), David Naughton (Dr Pepper), Geoffrey Holder (7-Up), Mickey Spillane and a bunch of other people (Miller Lite), and of course, Orson Welles (Paul Masson). If you notice any others, mention them in the comments. Obviously, you can’t mention the three who gave their names!

Health Inequality

This graph is from a paper on health inequality. The data are from 2007 — so before Obamacare. I think it is shocking in how well it correlates with the red state and blue state maps. The truth is that most of the conservatives I read are of the intellectual variety. But when you look at this graph, it’s clear how much nonsense that all is. Conservatives are just selfish and don’t care about anyone but themselves. And as a result, people die. It is not the case, as most centrist pundits claim, that we are just arguing over the best way to meet the needs of everyone. Conservatives don’t care about that at all. They just care about how much wealth they can accumulate, and screw the rest.

Average Life Expectancy by County - 2007

Angels In The Outfield

James Fillmore always seems to get embarrassed when I highlight his work, but his article on the two Angels In The Outfield films is really good. I had wanted to just cross-post it here, but I don’t want to get in a copyright dispute with SB Nation. So just click over and read his article, it’s really good. If James has anything to feel bad about, it is that he didn’t offer the article to me first.

Racist Liberals

This 12 August 1996 cover of New Republic comes via Matt Bruenig. Over the last year, I’ve been really pleased with the magazine. But during the 1990s, it was horrible. And this racist cover is amazing. How do I know it is racist? Well, how do we know that woman is on welfare? How is it that “The Editors” signified that this woman was on welfare? By making her black. Notice that this is 8 years after the Willie Horton ad. And it is coming from a “liberal” publication. And the welfare “reform” bill that they thought the president should sign has been a catastrophe. But I doubt any of those editors is suffering as a result of it.

New Republic - Welfare Reform

That’s all for today. I had some other things, but they were from Late Show With Stephen Colbert. And the images I created are on my backup computer. And I can’t get them from the show because CBS, in its greedy stupidity, only allows non-subscribers to watch the last five episodes. So we’ll have to leave this edition of Odds and Ends on kind of a downer. Oh well. You’ll survive.

15 thoughts on “Odds and Ends Vol 20

    • I think you are right. I noticed Namath, but completely missed Farah Fawcett. Regardless: nice catches!

      I was especially pleased with myself for knowing Bobby Short because I had no idea who he was at the time but later he became a big deal to me. So when the singing started it was such a pleasant surprise.

  1. The morally dubious editors of The New Republic supported the Contras, and also every stage of Israeli aggression in the 80’s and 90’s.

    • New Republic was never that liberal — even going back a century. But I think they are better today. Brian Buetler is one of my favorite commentators.

      • Yes, apparently, you can’t even spell your email address right! :-) Doesn’t your browser auto-fill it?

            • I don’t even have a data plan on mine. I use it as a phone, as an alarm (if you stick the phone in a tall glass before you go to bed it’s a good loud alarm) and I use wi-fi on it mostly at home when I wake up. Reading a little new stuff helps me get out of bed.

              But since we have wi-fi at work I check a few sites on my breaks, this among them, and I tried entering my name/mail. Screwed that up!

              I don’t have a data plan for the same reason I don’t listen to music on small devices. I ride the bus and that’s my favorite time of the day because it’s devoted book-reading time. I will talk to strangers at the bus stop if they wish, but once I sit down, I have an hour of pure book reading and I will apologetically move to another seat if someone strikes up a conversation. This may be rude yet so be it. It’s something I love dearly, it gives me something to look forward to five days a week, and I’m damned if music, strangers, or the temptations of Internet access are going to fuck with it.

              • Accidental Tourist?! You might put earbuds in your ears so people think you can’t hear them.

                I remember hearing E J Dionne talking about leaving his apartment early in the morning and seeing all these low wage workers (mostly black and brown) waiting for public transit. That is the real image of the poor in America. But the middle class’ image is the one above in this article. An hour commute does suck. I used to have a commute that 2.25 hours each way (two buses and two trains). And it was great for reading. But still!

                I mostly get to read (books) in bed now. I picked up Six Characters in Search of an Author last night. I had forgotten just how disturbing that play is. But I miss my reading time. Now most of what I read is crap that I’m editing.

                • Shortest commute I’ve ever had! It’s vastly important to have dedicated reading time, though. Without it I’d be crazier than I already am.

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