Dave Rappoccio on the least likely event that just apparently happened in the NFL:
What I think is funny is an irony that I don’t think anyone else has picked up on yet. Andy Reid, a coach with quite possibly the worst reputation for time management on final drives, now effectively, in a way, holds the record for fastest game winning comeback drive in an NFL game.
It is. It’s the fastest. The only way a comeback can be faster is if the exact same thing happens but the guy runs to the endzone slightly faster. There is no way to score a faster comeback. Extra Points or conversion attempts do not take time off the clock. Effectively, the Falcons, despite scoring the go-ahead touchdown…were never actually ahead. When the clock started again, the Chiefs had the lead. The Falcons lead was maybe a minute of real time, but in game time sits in a weird vacuum between dimensions, never to be found. This is the fastest game winning drive in NFL history, and the man who owns it couldn’t call a timeout properly if his lunch date depended on it. Andy Reid, a man who is so baffled by clocks he’s still trying to understand how daylight savings works, owns this record. This might low-key be the most amazing thing that happens all year. Sometimes football can deliver in ways you’d never expect.
… so many people want to glom onto the moral stature of the civil-rights movement and reenact it for every single American with a grievance (save for conservatives who, like the Civil War re-enactor who’s always forced to play a Confederate, must always be cast as the bad guys). If you take all the people idiotically, reflexively, and sanctimoniously invoking Jim Crow at face value, it’s hard not to conclude they’re reflexive and sanctimonious idiots — or simply dishonest. And while that’s probably true of some, it’s clearly not true of many. Instead, I think you need to see this tendency as a Freudian slip, a statement of yearning, a kind of self-branding or what you (well, probably not you) might call moral megalothymia.
Megalothymia is a term coined by Francis Fukuyama. It’s a common mistake to think Fukuyama simply took Plato’s concept of “thumos” or “thymos” and put a “mega” in front of it because we all know from the Transformers and Toho Productions that “mega” makes everything more cool.
But that’s not the case. Megalothymia is a neologism of megalomania (an obsession with power and the ability to dominate others) and thymos, which Plato defined as the part of the soul concerned with spiritedness, passion, and a desire for recognition and respect.
Fukuyama defined megalothymia as a compulsive need to feel superior to others.
And boy howdy, do we have a problem with megalothymia in America today. Everywhere you look there are moral bullies utterly uninterested in conversation, introspection, or persuasion who are instead hell-bent on grinding down people they don’t like to make themselves feel good. If you took the megalothymia out of Twitter, millions of trolls would throw their smartphones into the ocean.
Make no mistake: This is a problem across the ideological spectrum, because it is a problem of human nature in general and modernity in particular. But in this context, it’s a special malady of elite liberalism.
“AAaargwannawannaaaagongongonaargggaaaaBLOON!” which is the traditional sound of a very small child learning that with balloons, as with life itself, it is important to know when not to let go of the string. The whole point of balloons is to teach small children this.
One of my Federalist colleagues recently observed that, “When I write pieces that upset liberals, I get angry, personal hate mail. When I write pieces that upset social conservatives, I most often get this: ‘I appreciate your well written article and I will pray for you, sir, that you will find the God who loves you.’”
This absolutely tracks with my experience — and as an atheist, I’ve got a certain track record of writing pieces that upset religious readers. I get the occasional angry or dismissive comment, but on the whole the reaction is an almost annoying amount of Christian charity. Not so when I take on, say, the environmentalists.
Why the difference? Why is the Angry Left so angry?
Some of the Federalist staff were discussing this, and we came up with a couple of possibilities.
Rich Cromwell quipped: “It’s the difference between dealing with those who are certain they’re following the edicts of the one true faith and dealing with Christians.” Heh.
Little Harry blinks at me through his heavy Sellotaped glasses. “What’s that for?”
“It’s a submachine gun,” I say. “It fires lots of bullets.” I mime. “Bang bang bang!”
I’m helping out on a school trip. Normally I avoid volunteering – it’s too easy for self employed parents to end up as the school’s go-to. However this visit is to Edinburgh Castle and my daughter Morgenstern was very keen I should put in a showing…
So here I am helping to herd 5-year olds through the military museum. Morgenstern is nowhere in sight, but little Harry has latched onto me.
“Oh,” says Harry. He copies my mime and sprays the room. “Bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang.”
“Not like that,” I say. “Three round bursts or you’ll run out of bullets. Plus the thing pulls up.” I mime. “So like this: Bang bang bang!… Bang bang bang!”
Solemnly, Harry discharges three imaginary bullets. “Bang bang bang!”
“Right,” I say, “Now, the other side have guns too. You have to use cover… better if you have a hand grenade, of course.”
His blue eyes widen. “What’s a hand grenade?”
So together we have a great time clearing each gallery with imagined grenade, automatic fire and bayonet.
Later on the way back to the bus Harry says, “My Daddy says wars are bad because people get killed…”
Yes, I had in fact spent the afternoon teaching (my best recollection of) World War Two house clearing tactics to the son of a local clergyman and peace activist.
Life’s hardest lessons are often learned most easily when taught with a smile. Crash Davis, the over-the-hill catcher in Bull Durham, taught his girlfriend, a believer in reincarnation, a priceless lesson in the vanity of human wishes by asking her this teasing question: “How come in former lifetimes, everybody is someone famous?” George Grossmith, the author of The Diary of a Nobody, put his finger on a similarly hard truth — most of us, no matter how well we may think of ourselves, are unimportant to the rest of the world — with equally diverting results.
Grossmith’s book, published in 1892 with deadpan illustrations by Weedon Grossmith, the author’s brother, is a fictional chronicle of the life of Charles Pooter, an obscure London clerk. He begins by asking the reader a rhetorical question worthy of Crash Davis: “Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see — because I do not happen to be a ‘Somebody’ — why my diary should not be interesting.” What follows is a brilliant one-joke comedy in which an infinitely and ingeniously varied number of changes are rung on the same note. In addition to being a “nobody,” Pooter is humorless and self-important — yet he thinks himself a great wit and a man of consequence. As a result, he is forever falling victim to comical embarrassments produced by his inability to see himself as he really is.
What I find most striking about The Diary of a Nobody, though, is the cumulative pathos of Pooter’s serial humiliations, with which it is impossible not to empathize. Yes, he’s both preposterous and pitiful — but as you chortle at him, you’re likely to ask yourself whether you might look just as ridiculous to the rest of the world…
A witch didn’t do things because they seemed a good idea at the time! That was practically cackling. You had to deal every day with people who were foolish and lazy and untruthful and downright unpleasant, and you could certainly end up thinking that the world would be considerably improved if you gave them a slap. But you didn’t because, as Miss Tick had once explained:
a) it would make the world a better place for only a very short time;
b) it would then make the world a slightly worse place; and
c) you’re not supposed to be as stupid as they are.
Written and Performed by Remy
Music tracks by Ben Karlstrom
Produced and Edited by Austin Bragg
I heard the news and i was sad
A crazy man who’ll power grab
He’ll probably bomb countries unapproved, yeah
The debt will double – Won’t abate
He’ll build up the surveillance state
I guess it won’t be all that different, ooh yeah
He might be so awful, So unhinged
Defense Secretaries leave and then
Imply his White House knows not what to do yeah
He’ll wage a war on whistle-blows
there may be unexpected gropes
He’d be that nightmare
They call “deja vu” yeah
He might take the data from our phones
Have citizens killed by flying drones
Mock the disabled oh no we’ll be through yeah
So if you’re mad and on the streets
Concerned about this overreach
Well where’ve you been
It isn’t all that new, yeah
1. How easily the college-educated go barking mad.
2. The most reliable “safe space” is a padded cell. The least reliable ought to be on campus.
3. The new administration might want to consider “transitioning” several Ivy League universities into mental homes to serve an urgent public need.
4. If you think Trump is bad, you should read some history. It wouldn’t take much. His views, in the main (as stated, not as falsely attributed), would have passed as middle-of-the-road liberal about one generation ago. On many of the issues, Trump is farther Left. By traditional standards for despots and demagogues, he strikes me as fey.
5. Which is why I despise him. I didn’t like liberal mediocrities then, and I don’t like them now.
6. On the specific question of his taste in fixtures and furnishings (including likely cabinet choices), we must be firm. On the basis of his Manhattan apartment alone, I’d be inclined to appoint a Special Prosecutor.
7. I will hope he is sufficiently Machiavellian to nominate Ted Cruz for the Scalia vacancy on the Supreme Court.
8. And then he could make a personal appearance there, shouting and waving his little hands. That could create three more vacancies.
9. Melania and Michelle should do a sitcom together. (“Transition Team.”)
10. As of three-thirty a.m. the night before last, I achieved a state of happiness I had not enjoyed for a long time. And this was with the help of only one (1) 750mL bottle of strong Belgian monastic ale. (Chimay, the red label, from the Pères Trappistes of Scourmont.) As I have indicated, I do not much care for that Donald fellow. But the defeat of Hillary was exhilarating.
Virtually no one has a good word for gentrification. It is lamented in tones from angry to mournful, by political commentators across the spectrum, possibly including me. Yet many of those same people are … renting or buying homes in “up and coming” neighborhood, which they prize for their proximity to other young(ish), progressive, creative-class people much like themselves. Which is to say that they are gentrifiers. In a neat inversion of the old activist slogan, they are “being the change they don’t want to see in the world”.
Their location puts them in the paradoxical situation of wishing gentrification wouldn’t happen, while avidly rooting for all the stuff that gentrification brings, from farmer’s markets to dog parks. If they are homeowners, too, they are not unhappy about the local price appreciation (their financial plan may indeed require it), however much they may regret its effects in the abstract. As a practical matter, this is something like declaring that you hate the Yankees, but have $5,000 on them to win the World Series. Your loyalties are bound to be divided.
The stories never said why she was wicked. It was enough to be an old woman, enough to be all alone, enough to look strange because you have no teeth. It was enough to be called a witch. If it came to that, the book never gave you the evidence of anything. It talked about “a handsome prince” … was he really, or was it just because he was a prince that people called handsome? As for “a girl who was as beautiful as the day was long” … well, which day? In midwinter it hardly ever got light! The stories don’t want you to think, they just wanted you to believe what you were told…