Two innocent police officers were murdered in New York last week. However, something about the official statement from the NYPD really troubled me. « A [New York] Daily News investigation found that at least 179 people were killed by on-duty NYPD officers over the past 15 years. Just three of the deaths have led to an indictment in state court. In another case, a judge threw out the indictment on technical grounds and it was not reinstated.
Watching the Brendan Eich backlash backlash, I’ve been collecting stupid talking points. Some have been covered better by other authors, but not all of them. So here they are, numbered so I can refer to the response without needing to go through it again. (1) “It’s inappropriate to single out Mozilla in this way. What about other asshole CEOs?” People boycotted Domino’s Pizza because of the founder’s political donations. They’ve refused to shop at Whole Foods because of the CEO’s political views.
…At least, medieval Christianity understood. For most of the year it preached solemnity, order, restraint, fellowship, earnestness, a love of God, and sexual decorum—and then, at New Year’s, it unleashed the festum fatuorum, the feast of fools, and for several days the world was upside down. Clergy played dice on the altar, brayed like donkeys instead of saying “Amen,” had drinking competitions in the nave, farted to the Ave Maria, and delivered spoof sermons based on parodies of the Gospels (The Gospel According to the Chicken’s Arse, perhaps, or The Gospel According to Luke’s Toenail).
According to the New York Times, I can no longer think of myself as in any way middle class. Interestingly, the US has worse social mobility than several European countries—but not worse than the UK. I remember back in the John Major days, hearing a lot of talk about the “classless society”. A lot of people seemed to believe the US was one.
It’s been a bumper month for Transparent Society demonstrations. Michael Richards went into a racist tirade. He played Kramer on Seinfeld, but I’m guessing he won’t be doing any NAACP benefits now. Perhaps they could invite him to the Comedy Central Roast of Whoopi Goldberg. Allegedly he had ranted about Jews previously, but nobody had heard about it because nobody had had a camera handy. A Muslim student was repeatedly tasered by a campus cop with a history of police brutality and suspensions.
1. It’s 10:30 at night. You’re watching TV, when someone knocks quietly on the front door. Do you: Answer the door. Ignore it. Yell “Go away.” Pretend you’re not in. Call the police. Fetch your gun. 2. Imagine you open the door. It’s dark, and a light rain has recently stopped. There’s a man at the door. He’s reasonably well dressed, but has torn the pocket of his trousers on something.