THE FATUOUS, INFANTILE AND FAUX: Replacing your pillows, still doting on Friends!


Why Donald J. Trump is our president:
Saturday morning, there it was, as fresh and as cool as the proverbial "other side of the pillow!"

The report had been published online at 6:30 AM. This is the way the report was described in MOST RECENT/VIEW ALL, Slate's main list of its featured contents:
When Should You Replace Your Pillows?
Finally, but also at last! Finally, we were going to get some straight talk concerning some news a person could actually use!

Hungrily, we clicked Slate's link. Main headline included, the report to which we were taken started as shown below:
STRATEGIST EDITORS (9/7/19): When Should You Replace Your Pillows?

For something you use every night, pillows are surprisingly easy to forget to refresh.
If it feels a little lumpy at bedtime, by morning you’re probably more focused on your coffee than last night’s sleep. But when exactly should you replace your pillows? The sleep specialists we reached out to had varied opinions.
By now, we were truly curious—and perhaps a bit ashamed. We'll admit that we've never given much thought to the question of pillow replacement and when it should take place.

We make the analysts sleep on their arms, or perhaps on their shoes, in their spartan sleeping quarters. And when it comes to our own pillow replacement needs, we've never achieved an appropriate focus. We've never much wondered or cared!

Now, though, the unnamed "Strategist Editors" had reached out to several sleep specialists—and it sounded like the specialists held competing views! When do you need to replace your pillow? The unnamed editors' unhinged report continued exactly like this:
STRATEGIST EDITORS (continuing directly): Dr. Joshua Tal, a psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders, told us he has heard that anywhere between two and seven years is a good time frame for pillow life expectancy. Dr. Janet Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor, said you can expect a basic poly or down-alternative pillow (also known as fiber pillows) to last only six months to a year. And Dr. Michael Gelb, a TMJ and sleep specialist, told us fiber pillows usually last one to two years. All agreed that down pillows last a bit longer—“three or more” years, says Gelb—but can be difficult to clean, which can, according to Kennedy, lead to “allergies, congestion, and even snoring."

If the varied time frames are a bit confusing, you can always try what Tal calls the “shoe test,” coined by sleep specialist Michael Breus. “What you do is you fold your pillow in half, put a shoe on the back side of the pillow, and then let go of the pillow,” says Tal. “If the pillow folds back into shape and flings the shoe off of it, you’re good. If it doesn’t, it’s kind of lost its ability to hold your head up properly.” (Just be sure to use a substantial shoe and not, say, a flip-flop.)...
The editors had spoken to two psychologists and to a TMJ specialist, whatever the heck that is. But their views on how long a pillow might last were all over the place.

In fairness, Dr. Tal only shared what he has heard about the subject at hand. He then suggested the old "shoe test"—and do not use a flip-flop if you adopt this approach!

We encountered this piece on Saturday morning, soon after it was posted. The inanity continued from the place where we've left off—and yes, this utterly silly report was included by Slate in its list of the day's most important reports.

For the record, the Strategist Editors eventually recommended a list of ten pillows. The list included the Wamsutta Extra-Firm Side-Sleeper Pillow and the Xtreme Comforts Slim Hypoallergenic Shredded-Memory-Foam Standard Bamboo Pillow With Cove [sic].

The Bluewave Bedding Ultra-Slim Gel-Infused Memory-Foam Pillow also made the list.

As it turns out, Slate partners with New York magazine to bring us this recurrent feature from the STRATEGIST EDITORS. These are four of the editors' most recent reports at their home STRATEGIST site:
What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Scalp Brushes and Pimple Patches
By The Editors

What to Buy to Look Like: A Classics Professor
By Johanna Hanink as told to Karen Iorio Adelson

The Best Shoe Racks and Organizers, According to Professional Organizers
By Lauren Ro

Novelist Helen Phillips on the Only Item of Clothing She Wore on Her Book Tour
By Helen Phillips
Two obvious questions: Who the golden age of Pericles is Johanna Hanink? Also, why was her peculiar-sounding report just "told to Karen Iorio Adelson?"

Incredibly, Hanink is reported to be "an associate professor of classics at Brown University." According to the editors, she's the author of How to Think About War: An Ancient Guide to Foreign Policy.

According to Adelson's report, we were "hear[ing] from" Professor Hanink "on the sun hats, tote bags, and posters that are popular among classics professors." As a result, readers would know what to buy to look like a classics professor!

Two key points:

As best we can tell, this wasn't a joke—and we've made none of this up. Having said that, we'll also say this—on Sunday morning, at 6:30 AM, Slate also posted this report, listing it in its main table of contents:
I Shave Off My Calluses With This Funny Tool
Yes, Baby Foot is a much-cherished tool, but sometimes a peel just won’t cut it.
How badly do the people at Slate want to bring us this type of reporting? This what-to-buy callus-shaving report originally appeared at New York magazine on May 11, 2017! Slate had journeyed back two years in time to bring us this top information.

The sheer stupidity of this material helps us understand why a person like Donald J. Trump is now the American president. But before we start to deproblematize so weighty a matter, let's discuss a feature we encountered early Sunday morning, in that day's New York Times.

In this particular cultural meltdown, the main report was written by Wesley Morris, critic-at-large for the famous newspaper.

Needless to say, Morris graduated from Yale (class of 1997). In 2012, he won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism for his work at the Boston Globe.

Did we mention the fact that Morris graduated from Yale? That he did so more than twenty years back? In Sunday's morning's New York Times, his lengthy report carried this online description:
‘Friends’ Is Turning 25. Here’s Why We Can’t Stop Watching it.
Again, we felt embarrassed. We had no idea that the NBC sitcom Friends debuted in the fall of 1994, twenty-five years ago. We didn't know that the endlessly rebroadcast show was observing its 25th birthday!

Morris has been paying attention! As he began to muse about Friends, he was soon saying this:
MORRIS (9/8/19): “Friends” was easy TV at an elite level. So many jokes, so much body comedy, so many surprises and awwws, and squeals of live-studio audience excitement. Hairdressers were doing—and not infrequently botching—the Rachel. Coffee shops became people’s second homes. Tens of millions of Americans watched all of that writing and directing and acting, all of that seemingly effortless effort, for all 10 of its years. That work and a country’s devotion to it feels like proof of a golden age of something.
Did we mention the fact that Morris graduated from Yale; that he writes for the New York Times; and that the upper-end journalistic guild once awarded him its highest prize?

We repeat those facts for a reason. As he continued, Morris seemed to say that he can't stop watching Friends even in these latter days:
MORRIS: [T]he many nights I’ve spent recumbent on my sofa laughing at, say, Ross and Phoebe debating evolution, or Phoebe, Joey and Ross impersonating Chandler, or Chandler blanching at Monica’s desperate new cornrows or Rachel taking forever to tell somebody who the father of her baby is—those nights have never really been about the situation comedy of “Friends.” They’ve only ever been about us—me and these six people—and my apparently enduring need to know what they’re up to and how they are, even though I’ve known for 25 years.
Morris offered this cry for help in yesterday's New York Times!

Readers, don't misunderstand! A ridiculous newspaper like the Times would never let such an august occasion pass with just one lengthy tribute from one of its prize-winning critics.

We've often described the New York Times as our nation's dumbest newspaper. Yesterday, the entire front page of its Arts & Leisure section was consumed by a heartbreaking photo of the abandoned Friends set. Inside the section, the paper's high-profile Sunday edition featured these essays, along with the effort by Morris:
'Friends' Is Older Than Some of Its Biggest Fans
By Nancy Coleman

25 Years Later, It Turns Out Phoebe Was the Best Friend
By Sloane Crosley

Why 'Friends' Won't Get Rebooted
By Saul Austerlitz

Grieving About Canceled Shows? Get Over It

By Margaret Lyons
Again, you think we're making this up. Go ahead! Click our links, or take a look at yesterday's Today's Paper listings. And by the way:

Coleman, Crosley, Austerlitz and Lyons all seem to be actual people. Coleman graduated from college in June and is now a New York Times "culture reporter." But the other three, joining Morris, can't be excused by their youth.

So far, we've mentioned a classics professor from Brown and an award-winning, aging Yale grad who seems to think he's actually friends with six fictional people who went off the air way back when. We'll return to the peculiar behavior of our professors and journalists as the week proceeds.

So far, we haven't mentioned the most embarrassing thing we saw in yesterday's New York Times. But these first observations do start to explain the deeply dangerous state we're all in, a matter we'll be "interrogating" all through the course of the week.

Tomorrow: At the Times, Scott Hershkovitz "is a philosopher"—and so is [NAME WITHHELD]!


  1. The depths of Somerby's ignorance and his inability to care about what matters to other people suggests an explanation for his constant rants about empathy, especially for The Other. He himself doesn't give a damn and he knows that is abnormal, so he is trying to "fix" himself.

    First, he says he doesn't know what TMJ is. It is a source of chronic pain for many people, a real medical/dental disorder. Anything that disrupts sleep is also problematic because sleep-deprivation leads to a whole bunch of bad stuff. But Somerby mocks it.

    And then he chastises Slate for talking about the TV show friends. It is probably true that this 25th anniversary buzz is the result of a publicity campaign to attract attention to the availability of the show on streaming outlets. Even Conan talked about it, and he is not above product placement. But it also was a genuine pop culture phenomenon, akin to the The Simpsons (which was widely discussed by news media as anti-school and slacker culture). Slate discusses things that matter to many people. That is what a newspaper is supposed to do.

    If Somerby were objecting to the blurring of lines between advertising and reporting, I could understand his ire, but this is suggesting that "elites" shouldn't report on everyday concerns but somehow should remain above the trivialities of life. That makes no sense at all.

    Then he pretends that this is ALL the news contained in Slate or anywhere else. There is clearly room for both kinds of reporting, especially on line.

    Somerby is wasting his time with us today. No one is going to stop caring about friends, and who cares if they offer some advice about pillows that might help a few folks avoid TMJ (or some other sleep problem)?

    1. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a pain in the jaw joint that can be caused by a variety of medical problems. The TMJ connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull (temporal bone) in front of the ear. Certain facial muscles that control chewing are also attached to the lower jaw.

    2. Man, you a idiot. You need to lighten up and get a sense of humor. Also, reading comprehension would help, with thinking that you are apparently unable to perform, might get you to understand that these are parlous times and the articles Bob refers to are a frivolous "waste of time."

    3. Bless you @10:34!

      You are funnier than Friends (sic) and The Simpsons S05+ combined!

      (Sorry, but Slate is still just as pathetic and funny.)

    4. My husband has been reading The Greek Myths aloud to me (because we old folks know a little bit about having fun, kids) and we finished The Illiad in early summer.

      I had no idea the classics professor look is in. Good to have a tote bag out tthere so you can appropriate the correct woke classics professor look.

      It's a minefield out there.

      "Eidolon Apollo Tote
      Classics as a discipline is kind of in a rocky period right now because there has been a lot of activity among the extreme rightin terms of its use and references to antiquity, and the discipline of classics itself is coming to terms with its own very long history of implications in racist and sexist power structures. "

    5. This is exactly what Somerby does when he uses Aristotle to bolster his lame views.

    6. we finished The Illiad in early summer

      In the original, no doubt: Menen aeide Thea Pelliadeo Achilleus.... You go, girl!

    7. Thanks, Deadrat.

      Can't wait till I get my totebag.

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  2. "The sheer stupidity of this material helps us understand why a person like Donald J. Trump is now the American president."

    No, dear Bob.

    Knowing things that your globalist zombie cult has been doing for the last 30 years should help you understand why a person like Donald J. Trump is now the American president.

    1. The media pretending to care that Republicans pretended to care about Hillary Clinton's email protocols helps me understand why a Russian asset is now the American President.

    2. Anon, yes, that was pure hilarious cabaret. Republicans cared about email protocol and management. Bwahaha!!!

      A person directly involved in the discussions said that the removal of the Russian was driven, in part, by concerns that President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.

      The decision to carry out the extraction occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria, had been provided by Israel.

    3. Tickets for the Sept. 17 fundraiser in Beverly Hills go for as much as $100,000 per couple as part of President Trump's re-election efforts organized by Trump Victory...

      I wonder if any of those economically anxious real Americans from MW diners will be attending.

  3. There is nothing fatuous about caring about the details of every day life. Publishing this stuff in news outlets (as has been done forever) did not put Trump into office and removing such content won't take him out of office.

    Somerby was too lazy to write an actual column today so he serves us this rewarmed hash. Where's the ketchup (or catsup as the elitists like to call it)?

    1. Somerby was too lazy to write an actual column today so he serves us this rewarmed hash.

      It really is a disgrace. Have you asked him for a refund?

  4. "Also, why was her peculiar-sounding report just "told to Karen Iorio Adelson?""

    If you're going to write about how to look like a classics professor, you need to have one actually involved. But professors tend to be busy, so the actual writing was done by a reporter, who is most likely not a classics professor. But you can't use someone's ideas or words without attribution -- that is plagiarism, so the "as told to" covers that base for both women.

    Does this really need to be explained to a longstanding blog author and occasional editorial writer? Or is Somerby feigning ignorance to con the rubes? He wouldn't want anyone to think he knows anything about this elitist shit.

    1. The author's middle name is Iorio. That is Italian. It may be that she has a longstanding interest in the Classics (Greek & Latin) that led to a friendship with that Classics professor and this is her way of collaborating and combining two interests.

      Somerby has no imagination if his response to such articles is merely contempt and he doesn't bother thinking about the lives of people who care about it.

    2. No, Somerby is just making fun of women, who tend to care about what other women wear (because it helps them choose their own clothing). Men tend to wear a simple uniform that is always correct and requires little thought. It is either shorts and a t-shirt or sports-shirt, or it is a suit with or without a tie, or it is jeans and that same t-shirt or sports-shirt, sometimes with a sport jacket. Clothing is a no-brainer for men, who no doubt use their huge brains for other purposes. Since the clothing uniform is obviously to Somerby, he thinks women are silly to engage in the fashion image-creation and identity antics that both men and the fashion industry have encouraged since the beginning of recorded history.

    3. If you're going to write about how to look like a classics professor, you need to have one actually involved.

      For broad values of “involved.” If all you’re doing is reporting on how classics professors look, you could observe them in their natural habitat, say in the classics departments of universities or at the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies.

      But professors tend to be busy, so the actual writing was done by a reporter, who is most likely not a classics professor.

      Substitute any profession for “professors” and “classics professor” and the statement is true. What usually happens is that the reporter interviews the busy person.

      But you can't use someone's ideas or words without attribution -- that is plagiarism, so the "as told to" covers that base for both women.

      Thank you, Capt. Obvious. That base is usually covered when the reporter wields quotation marks and attributes the enclosed words to the speaker.

      Does this really need to be explained to a longstanding blog author and occasional editorial writer?

      Of course not. It’s just an odd triviality that the reporter uses phrasing usually reserved for ghost-written books.

  5. Here's an article discussing a political scientist who has arrived pretty much where Somerby has on the capacity of human beings for exercising rational judgment.

    Somerby's great sin, it seems, is to focus on the extent to which the irrational and trivial (and the just plain stupid) infects humans over here "on our side."

    1. Yes, The Others on The Other Side would never care to know about pillows. Only a liberal rag would publish such trivial stuff. Liberals should be above worrying or caring about pillows. Why, we should all be sleeping on boulders, if you ask me.

      Anyway, yawn. Text me when Somerby bothers to attack the massive focus on sports that occurs in rags like the New York Times. Didja ever wonder why he never criticizes that, the massive manpower devoted to people kicking and hitting little balls?

  6. “The Strategist” is “New York Magazine's longtime service-oriented shopping section.”

    What did Somerby expect to find in the Strategist? An analysis of climate change proposals?

    What’s next? TDH excoriates People magazine for publishing so many stories about celebrities and their goings-on?

    And here is how Slate describes itself:
    “Slate is a daily magazine on the web and podcast network. Founded in 1996, we are a general-interest publication offering analysis and commentary about politics, news, business, technology, and culture. Slate’s strong editorial voice and witty take on current events have been recognized with numerous awards”

    So it is “general interest”, including “culture”, and tries to be “witty.” Words that don’t appear: “liberal”, “hard-hitting news analysis”, “stories that only appeal to Bob Somerby.”

    Again, does Somerby expect something else? He should read something else then, instead of wasting his time.

  7. The Times is a big newspaper. It has plenty of space for trivia AND malicious lies about our President.

    1. The Times is a big newspaper. It has plenty of space for trivia AND malicious lies from our President.


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