Friday links: Boom! It Sucks edition

Thanks, Failblog!

It’s a disorientingly beautiful day in Missoula, where the sun and light breeze and 71-degree forecast almost distract me from the roaring of the creek, which has gone from eight inches deep to about eight feet. In this way it resembles the Clark Fork river, another usually placid body of water that has decided to erupt in rage and have its way with everybody’s basement. It’s like my father used to say: this whole thing could fall apart at any time. It’s summer now, everything is awesome, but all it takes is one driving mistake or subprime lending crisis or month of heavy rainfall and boom—everything sucks. This week’s link roundup is all about stuff going catastrophically wrong very quickly. You’d think that’d be depressing, but don’t worry: it’s stuff going wrong for other people. Fun, right? I’m sure we personally will be fine.

But I’ve been rude—how was your day yesterday? Did all the high-ranking members of your presidential campaign staff quit? Newt Gingrich’s sure did, leaving the Republican front?-runner without a campaign manager, senior strategist, media consultant or Iowa strategist. All of these people offered different reasons for their departure, helpfully summarized by the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza as follows: he’s crazy. Much like cocaine, Newt Gingrich always seems like a good idea when you haven’t seen him in a while, but after a month you blame him for everything. The man has vowed to continue his “substantive, solutions-oriented campaign” with or without the professionals who first tried to tell him how to do so, but he seems not to be the Prince Rebus the Republican Party is waiting for.

That’s good news for this guy, though, who continues to be the one leader American conservatives can all get behind. It is possible that The Onion has constructed the perfect metaphor in satirizing the negative message of the contemporary GOP with this story about a quality-free candidate that is itself a sign. It’s too bad post-structuralism is beneath us, or we could write a graduate thesis about this. But you can’t summarize humor. You have to quote, reverently:

“Unfortunately for its competitors, the sign has very few vulnerabilities,” said GOP strategist Mike Murphy, who claimed the poster was poised to “coast” to the Republican nomination next August. “It communicates to voters in unambiguous, straightforward terms, it’s photogenic, and it possesses a remarkable ability to stay on message.”

God I love you, Onion. Everything I said about you falling off in 2007 was bullshit, and I apologize.

You know what else happened in 2007? A massive economic collapse possibly caused by very rich people in New York, which hurt them so badly that they cut back their me-explaining-calculus-to-their-children budget from thirty grand a year to twenty-five. The Siddharth Iyer quoted in this article is my old boss, Sid, who is still teaching his ass off so a half dozen New York private schools don’t have to. When Michael Michelson, director of “academic studies” at Riverdale, claims that the vast majority of his students don’t use private tutors, he is either lying or demonstrating enormously convenient ignorance. Riverdale would fail 60% of its students every year were it not for private tutors. It is a school the way Pebble Beach is a gym. Email me if you want to read 1,500 words criticizing curriculum design and pedagogy at Riverdale particularly and NYC prep schools in general. The email will cost you nine hundred dollars.

Meanwhile, among people whom the social organization of America still allows to experience disappointment, Ta-Nehesi Coates has written an amazing editorial about white perceptions of history as expressed in the new X-men movie. He has done this as a guest columnist filling in for Gail Collins, which is kind of like if your jokey uncle couldn’t make it to your bar mitzvah so he sent Saul Bellow instead. It so happens that I was listening to MF Doom when I read this article, causing me to briefly develop the stereotype that black guys love comic books. Then I realized that no, marginalized guys love comic books, and black people are marginalized. Even in X-Men.

I have no proof that Anthony Weiner also loves comic books. It’s weird I wouldn’t know that, considering that I now know the dimensions of his penis within about 15%. Writing the kind of article that guarantees any well-connected 26 year-old a job at either HuffPo or the Daily Beast, Bianca Bosker has explained the technical mechanism that caused Weiner to accidentally make his dick picture a publicly viewable message. Basically, the man exploded his career/marriage with a single-character typo. Boom! It sucks. If only I had hit ‘d’ instead of ‘@’ when I was typing on my Blackberry with a boner, I would probably be mayor of New York next year. Oh, well—I guess that moment determined the course of my life.

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  1. Unfortunately my playlist entered the section devoted to making my girlfriend happy while I was reading that article, so Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris caused me to develop the stereotype that black people like clubs, boats, promiscuity, and like X-Men, failing to address their own racial marginalization in 1960s America.

  2. I like the creativity and uinuqe quality of these photos. I’d say most engagement photos are similar, and here you have something new. This is a very good looking couple too, they look relaxed and happy in the photos. Solid!

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