To go with “hedonic treadmill,” we now have “euphemism treadmill.”

[R]eplacing an expression with negative connotations is like swatting away gnats, because those same connotations regularly coalesce on the new term as well. Crippled was changed to handicapped; after a while, this needed replacing, and thus came disabled; today terms such as differently abled attempt yet again to elude the negative associations some assign to physical disability. This is an old story, one that the cognitive scientist Steven Pinker calls a “euphemism treadmill.”


Hedonic treadmill definition here.


And can this be true? No way does UD have the grit to read the actual document.

Do [the Brandeis Language Police] really intend to stigmatize the singing or playing of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”? Or to banish the expression rule of thumb because of an obscure and probably false folk etymology — namely, an antique British law that allowed men to beat their wife as long as the instrument used was no wider than a thumb?

“[F]emales can grow to lengths of 24 inches while males only grow to be about an inch long.”

The sole purpose of the male fish is to help a female reproduce, reads the post. “Males latch onto the female with their teeth and become ‘sexual parasites,’ eventually coalescing with the female until nothing is left of their form but their testes for reproduction,” reads the post.

Keeping Up with Europe’s Royalty

Prince Aimone, Duke of Puglia, declined to meet for an interview in the Tuscan country estate of his father, Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, who was reportedly punched twice in the face by his cousin, Vittorio Emanuele, at the 2004 wedding of the future King Felipe VI of Spain. Soon after that altercation, Amedeo claimed to be the legitimate Duke of Savoy.

“Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”

George Wallace would be so pleased with Cornell University’s segregated rock climbing class.

Lwam Asfaw ’21 explained that when choosing a P.E. class, it was the BIPOC label that ultimately encouraged her to enroll in the course. She explains that the BIPOC label works to make participation more comfortable, accessible and encouraging in an unfamiliar environment. Asfaw said that people should be focusing less on why segregation exists and more on why there’s a need to segregate.

The Problem with Nihilism.

“It is amazing how many of [Trumpists’] hopes and dreams did center on Hunter Biden’s addiction, Hunter Biden’s sex life, Hunter Biden’s laptop, and interesting for a political party that has based so much on ‘nothing matters’ to discover to their disappointment that nothing matters,” said Charlie Sykes, author of How the Right Lost Its Mind.

“Haven’t they sort of established a small universe where nothing matters? You can pay off a porn star and it doesn’t make a difference. Did they really think that somehow Hunter Biden was going to make a difference?”

For those of us who have long wondered what the point of Monaco is:

Prosecutors said Mr. Sarkozy sought to illegally obtain information from Gilbert Azibert, then a magistrate at the court, including by promising to use his influence to secure a job for the judge in Monaco.

“We are going to destroy the GOP.” The crowd loudly cheered and started chanting: “Destroy the GOP! Destroy the GOP!”


‘[In the first debate,] Biden, in the eyes of most, did what he had to do, giving America a solid alternative to what is turning out to be a slow descent into political and cultural insanity.’

And in the second, he did even better. We may indeed be able to escape from the snake pit.

When you’ve been a bad girl, haughty is never a good look.

From Ghislaine Maxwell’s just-released 2016 deposition.


Did any of the masseuses … perform sexual acts for Jeffrey Epstein?

I have just answered the question.

No you haven’t.

I have.

No you haven’t.

Yes I have.

You are refusing to answer the question.

Let’s move on.

I’m in charge of the deposition. I say when we move on and when we don’t. You are here to respond to my questions. If you refuse to answer, the court will bring you back for another deposition.

Let’s Review.

Over 200,000 Americans have died. The economy has tanked, shedding tens of millions of jobs. The White House itself is the center of a massive Covid-19 outbreak that has infected the president, the first lady, several senators, and many other administration and Republican Party officials. Far from a beacon of resilience, the president has become a symbol of just how deeply the country has been affected by the pandemic. In public appearances since contracting the virus, he appears hoarse, shaky, and frightened; reports of his hospitalization include at least two concerning drops in oxygen level and a cocktail of drugs that indicate pneumonia...

Trailing in the polls with only 30 days left before the 2020 election, the president has embraced a reelection strategy that is, even for him, profoundly stupid...

Trump is now trailing with every age group of voters and is underwater with senior citizens — a voting block that helped him immensely in 2016. He is trailing by increasingly large margins in every swing state and [Biden] appears to be pulling away in Florida and Pennsylvania. A landslide defeat grows more likely by the hour…

“[Y]our enervated, pastel-filled new life in Florida…”

NYC to Florida: Drop dead.


(UD thanks Jon.)

The Tricks of Memory

“Larry Kramer wrote The Normal Heart while staying at the Inn at Little Washington,” UD told Mr UD as they talked about him after his death.

“What? Hundreds and hundreds of dollars a night, and then meals for hundreds and hundreds of dollars? I doubt it.”

“I read it in Reports From the Holocaust. He was looking for someplace quiet. He said he loved their little courtyard garden.”

“How did he afford it?”

“Well I guess he made a lot of money on Women in Love.

Thinking about it, though, Mr UD maybe had a point. Eating all your meals at the Inn at Little Washington?

So UD went paging through Kramer’s book, and here is what she found:

I had returned not only from Europe, but from Cape Cod, where I had written the first draft of The Normal Heart, and I was on my way south, to an isolated log cabin in Little Washington, Virginia, loaned me by old friends, to write the second draft.


From your lips …

… to God’s ears.

Trish Dishes

In front of a graphic reading, “Coronavirus Impeachment Hoax,” [Fox host Trish Regan] accused Democrats of creating “mass hysteria to encourage a market sell-off” and sowing fear about the virus “to demonize and destroy the president.”

‘What’s more fraught is Birch’s declining to see mental illness as something capable of treatment or productive intervention. Carol and Anna both undergo electroconvulsive therapy, and Carol has sporadic access to talk therapy. Nothing helps.’

A reminder, from a New York Times review of Alice Birch’s “clear-eyed and comfortless” new play, of the value of art that goes against the grain.

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