CSotD: Uncertainty and principles

Alex adds a caution to the cheerful notion of leaving the city to telecommute from rural splendor.

Which isn’t happening.

But, then again, is.

That first article is based on the logic that just because people are looking at houses on realtor.com and Zillow, it doesn’t mean they’re actually bidding and buying and serious.

The second article involved actually talking to people who sell houses about the number of people who bid and buy and are serious.

Neither one provided the kinds of numbers I’d need to be certain of an actual movement, but at least the second one noted that buying a house isn’t like buying a pair of shoes: The process takes longer and is apt to rope in additional issues.

But people are talking about it, which is all that’s happening in the strip. And I’d add that, out here in the sticks, we’ve seen a lot of people come up to second homes for the interim, and perhaps they’ll stay, who knows?

Meanwhile, I liked the twist at the end, the joke being that this sort of money-saving has usually been visited upon the peasantry, and with just that sort of incremental job-death-by-a-thousand-cuts.

In newspapers, for instance, they’d begin by having pages laid out not at the individual papers but at hubs around the country, and once everyone was used to that, they moved the hubs to Asia. They did the same with customer service, so that, when you called because your paper hadn’t come, you got someone in the Philippines.

The joke being that the sort of banking functions these two prats perform probably couldn’t be replicated overseas, in part because it takes personal contact and expert on-the-scene analysis and in part because nobody really knows what they do at the bank in the first place.

Still, I’d be a little cautious in suggesting improvements, lest eliminating you were to become one of them.


Further uncertainty and the clash of experts is seen in this Adam Zyglis commentary, which I think relies on our on-the-one-hand-but-on-the-other culture, in which, if someone declares that it is raining, the reporter is required to find someone else who insists the sun is shining.

It’s a false concept of “presenting both sides” that the Tobacco Institute exploited for years and which is now being exploited by the oil and gas industry and their political quislings.

There is nearly universal agreement about global warming and its causes, but one must be fair, after all, and present dissenting opinions by unqualified nudniks in lab coats.

It’s not that it encourages constructive debate, but that it provides an excuse to avoid difficult decisions and painful remedies.


Though there is this: Blaming Trump for the fires in California or the rash of hurricanes is kind of silly, and thinking Joe Biden could slam on the brakes and end global warming is ditto.

Trump is only the end result of decades of neglect and Biden would only be the beginning of a long process of slowing down the disasters to come.

Still, as Tom Toles notes, there was a time when we were not simply an example but actual leaders, not perfect by any means but worth looking up to nonetheless, and we’ve squandered that.

Though, to be fair, there are experts who insist we haven’t.

And then there is this totally tangled

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Bob Gorrell)


(Gary McCoy)


(Rob Rogers)

Those who have been living under a rock or perhaps devoting their time to intelligent matters may not know that there’s a French movie on Netscape called “Cuties” about an African Muslim girl in middleschool who falls under the influence of some mean girls who dress provocatively and dance in ways that should even shame older girls.

According to people who have seen it, the central message is that she should keep her values and not go their direction, but how well the director drives home that point seems to be up in the air.

After all, the message of the Death Wish films was that you shouldn’t rape and murder, but just perhaps the people who liked those movies enjoyed watching the crooks’ violence as much as they enjoyed watching Bronson’s revenge.

I mean, we live in a country where a spoiled, draft-dodging rich slacker can not only grow up to be president but then have “Fortunate Son” played at his rallies while his working class supporters cheer.

So maybe the film unintentionally exploits the sexualization of 11-year-olds, or maybe it unintentionally glorifies it, of maybe it does neither. I don’t know; I haven’t seen it.

For my part, I was too early for the Teeny-Bop Revolution. I only knew who Elvis was because my babysitters talked about him, and I look at photos from my childhood and wonder when parents began dressing their kids in ass-clinging things instead of baggy pants.

And if I want to see an immigrant girl question her family’s traditional values, I’d rather it included soccer than sexy dancing.

Not that you have to actually see a movie to pontificate on what it means.

And the pontification has hit fever levels.

But one element of confusion, whatever the movie itself accomplishes or doesn’t, is that pedophilia has become a major cause for the Q-Anon movement.

I don’t know if any of the above three cartoonists have seen “Cutie,” but, however exploitive they may feel it is, Rogers is correct in tying pedophilia to delusional voting blocs.

The Q-Anon connection itself is now up for debate. 

And whether the outrage over Cuties is specifically linked to Q-Anon or not, Q-Anon definitely exploits outrage over pedophilia to help spread its message.

As the reporter in that On the Media interview says, it’s a great entry point for recruiting: Everybody is against child pornography, even if they’ve never heard of Q-Anon.

So here’s my question: If BLM protesters are responsible for the violent fringe lunatics who tag along at their demonstrations, shouldn’t those who want Netflix to take down “Cuties” do more to distance themselves from Q-Anon?

But apparently “distancing” isn’t the same as denouncing.


8 thoughts on “CSotD: Uncertainty and principles

  1. Thank you for cutting right through the red herrings and getting to the meat of the issues. You’re one of the journalists keeping me sane through this time.

  2. The “Death Wish” movies celebrated vigilantism. Along with the other “Urban Decay” movies of that time, the common theme was that traditional law enforcement was an absolute failure. Peace and justice could only be had by violent “outlaw” police, and citizens taking the law into their own hands. It was “us” vs. “scum.” No need to wonder what effect those movies had; just look around.

  3. Google often points me to older posts of yours, and today it pointed me to one from six months ago. It’s surreal seeing how much the landscape has changed from back when we thought “we’ll get through this” like most of the rest of the world has vs. “we just have to adapt”. Back when we thought “if we wait, things will get better” vs. realizing things hadn’t yet gotten bad.

    It’s a week into absolutely smothering smoke for the whole west coast. I know it’s hard to connect to that back east, but out here it’s pretty hard to care about Netflix. We are pursued by fire and smoke, after more than half a year with a deadly virus… I suppose I am glad my children get to be inside for this, but even in my relatively comfortable situation, it’s hard to feel anything less than impending doom, as we sit trapped in our houses waiting… for what? For an election?

    I’m not much for thoughts and prayers, but it’s disappointing how soon the national attention moved away from the west coast to some supposed scandal on netflix. No wonder so many can’t be bothered to put on a mask. Our nation can’t even care about an entire coast. I guess those of us out west always kind of knew that.

  4. I didn’t see “Cuties” either, but I saw the video review by Ben Shapiro (with whom I don’t usually agree) and the snippets he ran leave me indisposed to see the whole thing. He did point out that the director/writer was herself a black Muslim woman who was inspired to make this movie by seeing underage girls practice moves like these — but as you say, it goes beyond depiction into exploitation. I don’t think it should be banned but I think everyone thinking of renting it should know what they’re getting into.

  5. Mr, Bosse, it’s tough to sound sincere sitting on the East Coast, but I’ll try. Signs of the devastation are visible, even out here. In Vermont the sky has been hazy for days, and yesterday the sun was a deep red in the afternoon. It’s shocking to know that I’m seeing smoke from fires 3,000 miles away. This should be a wake-up call for everyone, everywhere. Screw Netflix. Good luck to you.

  6. Fred Clark (at Slacktivist) refers to the phenomenon as the “anti-kitten burning league”.

    No one ever went broke tapping into the performative self-righteousness of American conservatives. One might even say there’s a whole media empire and political party based on it.

  7. I wonder how many would join SINA if it were resurrected.

    Maybe I’ll look and see if there’s a Facebook group I can join or follow.

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