From Shorpy

The, uh -

Hold on.

No, not yet.

So, the thing about today was . . .

Was this, more or less, at the grocery store, when the clerk said hello (by name, which is one of the things I love about living here) and asked how I was doing and I said “Swinging between depression and murderous rage,” and she nodded because yeah, there’s a lot of that going around.

Because they’re saying five to six by morning. If spring was a fight they would have stopped it. See, we’ve already discounted last week’s blizzard. Happened. Done. It was 81 on Sunday so allll is forgiven, and then this -

Do not say “hey, you live in Minnesota, what do you expect?” I’ve looked at the maps and not one of these storms was born in Minnesota. If there was a Blizzard Geyser in the middle of the state sending plumes of snow into the atmosphere, and it had been discovered by pioneers, and was a regularly acknowledged attribute of the state, yes, I can see where you’d incorporate untimely snow into your life, just as people who live around Vesuvius have to know she’s going to blow off some smoke and burp a little lava from time to time. But all of these fronts are coming from the south and the west. There isn’t anything sweeping down from Canada. We’re just in the path of this freakish insanity like the rest of the Midwest. The reason it rankles and galls has nothing to do with the length of the previous winter. It’s the fact that it’s consuming our ration of green.

The flowering trees are starting to sprout buds. The temps will not reach 60 until Monday.

Darth Weather has altered the deal, and we’re supposed to pray he does not alter it further.

Speaking of which: I always thought it was odd that Lando, the administrator of the Cloud City, won it in a card game. Turns out he just won the job, not the city itself, but it seems odd that such a transfer of power would be legally binding. It’s like showing up to work one day at the White House and Putin is in the Oval Office. There was a poker game last night. Things went poorly for the previous occupant. Please now if you will be bringink in Samovar and picture of me stabbing bear. The writers have fleshed out the backstory in novels, of course - the Cloud City packages Tibanna, a gas used in energy weapons. Makes sense. In one of those twists that makes Star Wars silly, the gas is excreted by enormous gas-filled whales called Beldons. So all the pew-pew-pew fighting in Star Wars is powered by whale farts, then.

It is not snowing at the moment. Thought I should mention that. It’s not even raining.

Maybe they’re wrong.





What is wrong with these people?

PepsiCo is once again learning the risks of celebrity partnerships after an ad for Mountain Dew was criticized for portraying racial stereotypes and making light of violence toward women. The soda and snack food company said it immediately pulled the 60-second spot after learning that people found it was offensive.

The ad was part of a series developed by African-American rapper Tyler, The Creator, and depicted a battered white woman on crutches being urged to identify a suspect out of a lineup of black men.

"For brands that are going after a young demographic, they're always walking that fine line between getting in trouble and appealing to their audience," said Laura Ries, president of Ries & Ries, a marketing firm based in Atlanta.

Oh, such a fine line.


Don't bother; it's gone. Pepsi went through the web and made sure it went down the memory hall. The ad no longer exists. The ad never existed. Those of us who saw it when it was permitted to be seen will be dragged screaming off to the loony bin. But it was real! There were fat white men and a line-up of frightening racial archetypes! And a talking goat! Uh huh. And the

If it had won awards and impressed many people with its "edgy" humor, they'd be proud to let you embed it. By all means! Yes, enjoy our sharp, brave ads - we're always pushing the envelope, and you can help!

But they misjudged it, somehow. Really? How? Did they think the source of the idea innoculated them?

I wonder if anyone lost their job over this. I know that I tend to err on the side of caution more and more these days, because there’s a simple process:

1. Write something that references something controversial, and take a position that is either opposite of the generally-accepted Enlightened View (aka the Default Position) or contains a stern assertion about something we are not supposed to discuss, because it only encourages lynch mobs.

2. Get cited by someone who willfully misconstrues the facts of what you wrote or said in order to illustrate a greater truth you probably hold, or is most likely held by people who agree with you. As in, you say “there is a connection between militant Islamism ideology and terrorism,” and it’s “he believes all Muslims are terrorists.” And then you have to deal with that, as opposed to what you actually wrote, because the perception is out there.

I found myself self-censoring on the work blog today, not because I really thought I’d get in trouble with my bosses, but because it simply wasn’t worth the candle to crack a joke in this particular context - which was this banal piece about the iPhone vs. Another Phone, written by the editor-at-large of This Week. It’s a publication I will certainly never write for, having previously cited the editor-at-large for some smear of pious goo about the Boston bombings. Describing his difficulties with the iPhone’s handling of photos (he doesn’t get iPhoto, which is like “not getting your mailbox”) he said of the Samsung phone's advantage:

For all those Los Angeles shirtless photos a gay guy will inevitably acquire on his phone, it's also really easy to hide photo galleries. The iPhone forces you to the app store for that.

I wrote “If ever you read an article where I say ‘I surreptitiously take a lot of pictures of women in bikinis at Lake Calhoun and needed a way to hide them’, it’s because I’m feeling lonely at work and want a manager to come to my desk and say ‘let’s go to the conference room and have a talk.’”

I looked at that and said, hmm, well, I could make it safe by taking out surreptitiously, since I’m implying he doesn’t have the permission of the bare-chested LA dudes, but as it’s written it does suggest he’s snapping peeper pix, no?

If no, and he’s asking hot guys if he can take a picture for his collection, and they say whatever bro, fine; I don’t care. But I can’t imagine a hetero analogue. I can’t imagine a situation were a guy would say in the process of reviewing a cellphone that he takes a lot of pictures of women in skimpy tops, and wants to hide them in a nested folder, and not get flamed to a cinder even if he was just joking. It would stand for Everything Wrong in the World.

That would be creepy for you, you say, because you’re a married man. Well, according to his sidebar bio, so is he. Point is, the reason the remark stood out had nothing to do with sexual orientation, but the very fact that sexual orientation was tangentially involved made me feel as if commentary on the behavior would instantly make it about sexual orientation.

Mind you, this isn't based on anything that has happened to me, or anything I've ever see or heard of at work. But you know, once I said something on a ship, and a reporter characterized it differently than I'd intended, and a local journalist tweeted about it without knowing anything about the context, and I got hate mail for a day.

Anyway, I just thought it was a weird thing for someone to say.




Hey, let's make ourselves feel better with some archaic cathode-ray-tube-based domestic information terminals. Presenting the TV PARADE OF 1959!

For some reason.

I believe this one was known as the Tippy-Smash:


It seems to be a good fit for a room where the lamps hang two feet off the ground and small vases are placed directly on the floor. In other words, say hello to Billy Barty's bach-pad.


For the traditionalists:



Also acts as the heaviest damned roll-in buffet you've ever owned. Note the floor: everything on the TV would shake off after you'd pushed it six feet over the stones.


Jeanie! Back in the bottle! Major Bowen's at the front door!




Another set that looks like it's standing on tip-toe, ready to fall flat on its face:



Wouldn't any brass leg be full-length, if it reaches the ground? Again, the low-placed items, this time on the walls.


Alien visitor discovered, backed into corner by homeowner:



Garr! Rorrgh! I - am - from - the - planet - you - call - Barclay - 21! Release me!


Hon, do you think you could change the channel without knocking over the antique bowling pins? You're a dear.




And that's it for today! Some interesting updates tomorrow, including a batch of LISTEN clips from a different show - and some of those Peg Lynch anecdotes I've forgotten to dole out. See you around!






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