November 8th, 2022
Whoa. Dershowitz’s accuser withdraws the accusation, and both have entered into a settlement.

Virginia Giuffre, a victim of Jeffrey E. Epstein who for years maintained that the law professor Alan Dershowitz sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager, settled a defamation lawsuit against Mr. Dershowitz on Tuesday, and said that she may have made a mistake in accusing him…

The joint statement also included comments from Mr. Dershowitz, who commended Ms. Giuffre for her courage in saying she may have been mistaken.

November 6th, 2022
From a review of a biography of Anthony Bourdain.

[F]eeling a little dopesick is part of the point of doing heroin… [T]o some degree, pain, shame, and degradation are part of the appeal. These are the feelings – not the high, not the euphoria – that actually crack a user loose from the ‘smothering chokehold of love and normalcy.’

The last phrase is Anthony Bourdain’s complaint about his childhood.

*****************

Recall psychoanalyst Adam Phillips:

These are parts of ourselves – that don’t want to live, that hate our children, that want ourselves to fail.  [T]here is something strange about humans: they are recalcitrant to what is supposed to be their project.

July 19th, 2022
Intro Rationality

Rationally, it would seem to make sense for people to spend half a billion dollars on their house and fifty million on the boat they’re on for two weeks a year, right? But it’s gone the other way. People don’t want to live in a hundred thousand square foot house. Optically, it’s weird. But a half billion dollar boat, actually, is quite nice.”

July 15th, 2022
Ooch. Ouch. Eech.

Above all, at no point during Carrie Cracknell’s directorial debut do you ever get the sense that anyone’s actually read Persuasion.

May 23rd, 2022
‘[It] difficult it is to fathom Depp’s motivations for instigating [the defamation lawsuit]. He and his supporters say he filed the suit to clear his name, but it has put more terrible behavior of his on the record than any scrubbed and ghostwritten op-ed could do.’

[Depp’s] trial affords many glances inside [his] extravagant yet bleak fortress: the insulating layers of handlers and yes-men; the huge, empty homes loaned out to hangers-on; the noxious mix of paranoia, dependence, and impunity bred by ultra-celebrity; the disorienting suspicion that everything is permitted and nothing necessarily has to be true…

The New Yorker thinks about the Depp/Heard trial.

******************

Interesting parallels with Michael Jackson, especially the desperate self-drugging. Maybe TS Eliot had it wrong. Humankind cannot bear very much unreality.

May 15th, 2022
’48 percent of Lebanese citizens [are] seeking to emigrate. For those 18 to 29, the percentage [rises] to 63 percent …’

What if they gave a country and nobody came?

May 10th, 2022
I find these little nuggets so you don’t have to.

In May 2000, the entrepreneur Kurt Andersen said raising money for a media start-up called Inside was as easy “as getting laid in 1969.” That was a few weeks after the stock market peaked. Seventeen months and one merger later, Inside shut down. (Mr. Andersen clarified in an email that he did not actually have sex until the 1970s.)

March 29th, 2022
LOL

Ted Cruz retweeted a video comparing a U.S. Army recruiting video with footage of a Russian paratrooper with a shaved head and declared that a “woke, emasculated military” might not be a good idea.

It would be interesting to know what has happened to that paratrooper since Putin invaded Ukraine.

March 1st, 2022
Putilia: The Mad Scene.

[A bunker in the Urals]

Soldier: He is importunate, indeed distract:
His mood will needs be pitied.

Oligarch: What would he have?

Soldier: He speaks much of Holy Mother Russia; says he hears

There’s tricks ‘i the world: and hems, and beats his heart.

[Enter Putilia.]

Oligarch: How now, Putilia?

Putilia: Lord, we know what we want, but know not
what we may get…

[Sings] Then up I rose, and struck my pose
And broke the Ukraine’s door.
Let in the blood! Let in the death!

And then depart no more…

Ghost of Tsar Nicholas: Pretty Putilia!

Putilia: Indeed, la, without a ruble, I’ll make an end on’t.

I hope all will be well. We must be patient: but I
cannot choose but weep, to think they should place Aeroflot
in the cold cold ground. Good night, sweet ladies

Good night, good night.

February 28th, 2022
“The Mad Russian,” by Ivan Tkutchurkokoff

“Putin believes that in historical terms, as in Peter the Great and so on, blood will be forgotten and his legacy as the uniter of the ‘Russian lands,’ no matter the cost, will remain,” Nina Khrushcheva, an international-affairs professor at the New School in New York and the great-granddaughter of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, told me. She said the Russian leader appears to “have lost all grip on reality, more so than I was willing to admit only yesterday.” She added, “I didn’t think he was suicidal, but he clearly is, and is taking the world and us with him.”

November 21st, 2021
Pack of Tasteless Roses

UD‘s on Amazon’s German site, enjoying the not-quite-there English.

November 4th, 2021
Quote of the Day.

“The unbridled discretion exercised by the City; its use of the heckler’s veto as an explicit justification; its shifting, post hoc rationalizations; and the City’s invocation of political rhetoric by rally organizers and speakers, point to the conclusion that plaintiff is likely to succeed on the claim that the City engaged in viewpoint discrimination with respect to plaintiff’s political views.”

Hapless, hopeless, Baltimore, city of UD‘s birth, attempts to keep a group of vile people from assembling there. The people sued, and the judge… well…

October 27th, 2021
Wanna know how smart the highest paid person at a high profile American university is?

[Washington State University football coach Nick Rolovich met with] Dr. Guy Palmer, a world-renowned WSU regents professor of pathology and infectious diseases… Over about an hour, Rolovich drove a conversation that focused on topics that were consistent with what Palmer said has been shared by the “anti-vax crowd on social media” over the past several years.

“Kind of typical ones: Is Bill Gates involved with the vaccines? Does [Gates] hold a patent on the vaccines?” Palmer recalled to ESPN. “He asked whether SV40 [the simian virus] is in the vaccines and whether that could be a dangerous thing. And the answer to that is no.”

*************

The ignorance here is appalling. George Soros holds a patent on all the vaccines, not Bill Gates. Bill Gates isn’t even a Jew.

October 27th, 2021
Yes. The Trump comparison everyone’s making has been unpersuasive to me, too.

Zemmour has often been compared to Trump and he does want to Make France Great Again. “We want to protect our language,” he says, “the most beautiful in the world, the most clear, we want to protect it from American and North African influence and inclusive writing.’”

A better comparison, though, might be with Boris Johnson. Like the British Prime Minister, Zemmour has a first-rate mind and is often mistaken for a clown.

October 21st, 2021
‘But the fact that they’re not repelled by the incessant bloodletting and by many characters’ flamboyant cruelty to one another says something weird and disturbing about modern sensibilities.’

No kidding.

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