THE WAGES OF STORYLINE: As black and white kids marched together...


...a star sold Storyline: This country is full of good, decent kids. (It's also true that some young people have lost their way and are in need of assistance.) 

Yesterday, several hundred of those young people staged a march. These were good and decent kids—black and white kids together.

They were schoolmates of Ralph Yarl, age 16. The New York Times reports:

SMITH AND BOSMAN (4/19/23): On Tuesday morning, hundreds of Staley High School students filled the street outside their school in a display of anger and support for their fellow student, Ralph Yarl, who was shot by a homeowner after he rang a doorbell at the wrong house in Kansas City last week. One sign read, “We Walk for Ralph.” Another demanded, “Justice 4 Ralph Yarl.”

By day’s end, they found some measure of relief, as Andrew D. Lester, the 84-year-old man accused of shooting Ralph, surrendered to the authorities after being charged with assault in the first degree and armed criminal action.

Full disclosure! We don't think we've ever been happy to hear about someone being arrested and charged with a crime. That said, we were happy to see the students from Staley High as they staged their march.

Judging from the photographs and the videotape, it very much seemed to be a case of black and white kids together! We offer you a bit of background about Staley High.

According to the leading authority on the subject, Staley High "is one of the four high schools in the North Kansas City School District along with North Kansas City High School, Oak Park High School, and Winnetonka High School."

The school has three school colors, not the usual two! That said, the kids at Staley are no slouches.

According to the school's web site, "Staley has been ranked among the best high schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Staley is 14th best in the state of Missouri and 2nd in the Kansas City, Missouri area."  

That's the school Ralph Yarl will continue to attend.

According to the leading authority, Staley offers an astounding array of clubs and activity groups. That includes the Gender Sexuality Alliance, the Mythology Club, and the Yoga & Mindfulness Club. 

The school has an Interact Club and a Diversity Council—and as we currently conceive of these things, the school is indeed "diverse:"

Student population, Staley High, 2021-2022:
White kids: 1206
Black kids; 179
Hispanic kids: 193
Asian ancestry: 40
Two or more races: 160

Nationwide, our youth population is more "diverse" than that. But Staley High has a lot of kids of different "races" and ethnicities—and they were marching for their fellow student, many groups together.

We offer a confession. At this site, we still believe in that antique goal—"Black and white together." 

We strongly believe in privileging sameness over difference. We don't think there's any way a large, "diverse" continental nation can seriously expect to function if its various groups, and its routinely inept upper-end elites, adopt a different conceptual course.

With that preconception acknowledged, we return to the recent story of Angel Reese, a 20-year-old All American basketball player at LSU whose recent behavior, we did think, went slightly off the rails. 

Reese went viral a few weeks back, and she has largely stayed there. She went viral in the wake of some unusual behavior on her part, joined to some sadly typical behavior by the likes of former blue tribe superstar Keith Olbermann.

You may recall the tribally unflattering history here. Back in the days of his cable news stardom, Olbermann routinely aimed his misogyny-adjacent behavior at a range of young blonde women.

He would bring his smutty pal, Michel Musto, onto his MSNBC program for hilarious closing segments devoted to this unattractive line of behavior. He would then execute a live "throw" to Rachel Maddow, who had to pretend that she wasn't aware of what Olbermann and his smutty pal had just done.

You know the way our tribe's elites are, but we'll go ahead and refresh you:

In real time, we wondered, for years. if we were the only blue tribe member who was offended by Olbermann's constant misogyny-adjacent behavior. Then, the private musings of the JournoList forum went public, as thumbnailed here:

JournoList was a private Google Groups forum for discussing politics and the news media with 400 left-leaning journalists, academics and others. Ezra Klein created the online forum in February 2007 while blogging at The American Prospect and shut it down on June 25, 2010 amid wider public exposure. Journalists later pointed out various off-color statements made by members of the list denigrating conservatives. Others defended such statements as being taken out of context or simply a matter of private candor.

To establish a very important point, none of what follows was Ezra Klein's doing or fault. That said, when JournoList's musings somehow went public, it was revealed that various members had explicitly criticized Olbermann's "misogyny"—but they'd only been willing to do so in private. 

Apparently given Olbermann's prominence, we were able to find none of those people who had been willing to speak up in public. We invite you to recall this passage from Book II, Chapter 9 of My Antonia:

So that was what they were like, I thought, these white-handed, high-collared clerks and bookkeepers! I used to glare at young Lovett from a distance and only wished I had some way of showing my contempt for him.

We don't recommend that you view other people with contempt. But our blue elites—in this case, boys and girls together!—can often be perhaps a bit "high-collared" themselves!

Reese, who is only 20 years old, engaged in some unusual behavior after the recent NCAA championship game, which LSU convincingly won. (You'll note that we said "after.") 

Young people can be like that! That said, Olbermann quickly issued a rather typical insult, and a viral episode followed.

We don't think we've ever seen blue elites move so quickly to adopt a distorted Group Account of the basic facts which underlay Olbermann's insulting remark. But that's the power of Storyline among our own high-collared elites at this challenging point in time.

Angel Reese is twenty years old. Young people like her, of whatever "race," have grown up in a journalistic era defined by the presence of a potent mainstream Storyline—a Storyline which largely took shape in the aftermath of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, age 17, in early 2012.

In our view, a great deal of performative conduct has been involved in the workings of that potent Storyline. We feel sorry for young people, black and white together, who have come of age while being subjected to the adjusted facts which have typified the story-telling of blue elites in service to the demands of that particular Storyline.

Last night, on Our Own Tribe's Cable Channel, one of the cable stars described the death of Trayvon Martin. In a stronger journalistic realm, she would have been fired on the spot for the ridiculous but thoroughly standard way she picked and chose her "facts."

We feel sorry for all young people who have been surrounded with such "journalistic" behavior through the course of their young lives. In our view, absurdly bogus journalistic behavior isn't good for young people or for other living things.

In fairness, we're sure that the cable star in question had only the best intentions. That said, she would have been fired on the spot in a slightly more competent and perhaps more honest world.

Tomorrow, we'll link you to Internet Archive and show you what she said. We're sure that she was well intentioned. Her performance was absurd.

The kids who marched for Ralph Yarl have grown up in an age which has partially been defined by the workings of that potent Storyline. Yesterday, we were happy to see them stating their view, black and white together!

Tomorrow: Preferred Script never dies

Regarding My Antonia: We strongly recommend the beautiful Book II, Chapter 9 of Willa Cather's classic, semi-autobiographical novel.

Book II is called The Hired Girls. To read Chapter 9, click here.


  1. Trayvon Martin fell for the whole "stand your ground" shtick. Not realizing it doesn't apply to black people.

    1. I wonder if Somerby is going to revert to his usual misinformation about the case, falsely claiming a witness testified to MMA style pounding/pummeling by Trayvon - this is false, this is not what the witness testified to in court, in fact the witness specifically said he did not see that. Like Emmett Till’s killers, Zimmerman avoided his personal responsibility for murdering a child, and like with the Till killers, Zimmerman essentially, eventually admitted his guilt.

      Somerby knows better, but his urge to win arguments (admittedly he’s just talking to the wind) and feel some sense of dominance, keeps whatever modicum of integrity he has left, at bay.

  2. The tolerance of widespread gun ownership coupled with open carry laws is resulting in a society where young people can be shot for going about everyday activities, including minor mistakes involving armed and trigger-happy people. Here is the latest shooting, described by Digby in an excerpt from Daily Beast and local news ABC13:

    "Daily Beast from Tuesday night:

    Four cheerleaders involved with the competitive program Woodlands Elite Cheer were in a parking lot after practice when one of them accidentally tried to get into the wrong vehicle, Bastrop County sources close to the investigation told ABC13.

    According to cheerleader Heather Roth, she had just jumped out of her friend’s car when she opened the door to what she thought was her vehicle. When she saw a man on the passenger side seat, she thought a stranger had entered her car, so she got out and jumped back into the friend’s car.

    The man in the vehicle then got out, approached the friend’s car, and as Roth wound down the window and began to apologize, the man “threw up his hands, pulled out a gun, and started shooting—he fired multiple shots at the group,” she said.

    Roth was grazed by a bullet and treated and released at the scene. But teammate Payton Washington, 18, was hit in the leg and back.

    “Payton opens the door, and she starts throwing up blood,” Roth said. Washington was flown to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Washington was born with one lung, per one account, and likely shot in it."

    Why would someone do this? One answer has to be "because they can."

    1. In this case, the offender was Latin American. Gun nuts will become even more fanatical.

    2. We do not know much about the shooter yet. He has a Spanish surname but that doesn't necessarily mean he is "Latin American." He is more likely to be a citizen born in the US, given that this occurred in Texas.

      The shooting occurred after midnight in a parking lot. He may have been scared and people who are scared (have increased adrenaline) do react with anger. It is why the cops beat up a suspect after he surrenders at the end of a car chase. Cops have adrenaline and react with anger once the danger is over. Here is another scenario. A parent who sees a toddler run into the street and almost get hit by a car, will often yank the child back and swat him on the readend while yelling at him angrily. It is the fear-induced adrenaline that causes this. Often they will then hug the child and perhaps cry in relief.

      But I fully agree. This is why people shouldn't be walking around with guns. (It would have helped if he had kept his car doors locked if he was that worried about crime.)

    3. If Zimmerman hadn't been carrying a gun around with him, he wouldn't have shot Trayvon Martin. He likely wouldn't have tried to be a vigilante either and would have stayed in the car after phoning the police.

    4. Are you saying that the kid in the car was as scared as Zimmerman because a cheerleader got into his car by mistake?

      Are people buying and carrying guns because they are scared of kids with Skittles and girl cheerleaders? If girls and kids aren't safe from gun-toting men with anxiety disorders, who is? Maybe we all need more guns to protect ourselves from the scared people with guns? That's the current rationale, but how is that working out for us?

    5. If white people are shot by people who aren’t white or heterosexual, the media focus is solely on guns.

      If people of color or alternate sexualities are shot, the overarching issue is bigotry.

    6. When cops shoot people, the focus is on cops and bigotry.

    7. Anonymouse 11:57pm, the focus of anonymices is such that they jump to that conclusion.

      Other people are focused on discovering the facts of what had occurred.

  3. “Staley offers an astounding array of clubs and activity groups. That includes the Gender Sexuality Alliance,”

    So, Somerby approves of this?

    On the other hand, Missouri is considering a bill that applies Florida’s “don’t say gay” restrictions to all grades, not just K-3:

    “The bill says that "no nurse, counselor, teacher, principal, contracted personnel, or other administrative official at a public or charter school shall discuss gender identity or sexual orientation with a minor student" unless they're a licensed mental health care provider and have a guardian's permission.”


    Somerby has also said that he supports these state legislatures efforts to restrict what goes on in public schools, because “parental rights.”

    Staley High’s parents apparently approve of its Gender Sexuality Alliance, but the Republicans in the state legislature may overrule them.

    Is Somerby trying to have it both ways?

    1. Which is worse, gender or sexuality?

    2. Is it a bad thing if parents are allowed to restrict what goes on in public schools?

    3. This is like asking, which is worse, your heart or your lungs. People have both and making foolish laws isn't going to change that.

    4. Hector, you missed my point. The parents of Staley High students are apparently ok with the Gender Sexuality Alliance. But the state legislature is trying to ban such things from all schools, thus disallowing parents to have a say in their own local district.

    5. Hector, was it a good thing when parents sent their boys to school but kept their girls at home to help their mothers? Should they have been allowed to decide that only boys need to learn to read and do arithmetic? This used to happen routinely before compulsory education. The word compulsory means the parents were forced to send their kids to school for the good of the children.

    6. Hector, try to think about this issue as it relates to many varieties of French plums. France is well-known for its culinary heritage, and one of the most iconic fruits that grow in the country are plums. These juicy, sweet, and nutritious fruits come in a variety of colors and flavors, and are used in many traditional French dishes and desserts. There are many different types of plums available in France, with different characteristics and culinary uses.

      Types of Plums in France:

      Mirabelle Plums:
      Mirabelle plums are one of the most famous types of plums in France, and are native to the Lorraine region in the east of the country. These small, round fruits have a vibrant yellow-orange skin, and a sweet, juicy flesh. Mirabelle plums are usually eaten fresh, but can also be used to make jams, jellies, and liqueurs. In addition to their culinary uses, Mirabelle plums are also used in traditional folk medicine to treat digestive problems and respiratory conditions.

      Reine Claude Plums:
      Reine Claude plums, also known as greengage plums, are another popular type of plum in France. These small, greenish-yellow fruits have a sweet, juicy flesh and a delicate flavor that is reminiscent of honey. Reine Claude plums are commonly used in desserts such as tarts, jams, and compotes, and are also used to make a traditional French liqueur called "eau-de-vie de prune". In addition to their culinary uses, Reine Claude plums are also used in traditional medicine to treat fever, coughs, and skin conditions.

      Quetsche Plums:
      Quetsche plums are a variety of purple plum that is commonly grown in the Alsace region of France. These oblong-shaped fruits have a dark purple skin and a yellow flesh that is slightly acidic and juicy. Quetsche plums are usually eaten fresh, but can also be used to make jams, tarts, and liqueurs. In addition to their culinary uses, Quetsche plums are also used in traditional medicine to treat digestive problems and to promote sleep.

      Mirabeau Plums:
      Mirabeau plums are a relatively new variety of plum that was developed in the south of France in the early 2000s. These large, round fruits have a dark red skin and a sweet, juicy flesh that is rich in antioxidants. Mirabeau plums are commonly eaten fresh, but can also be used in desserts and preserves. In addition to their culinary uses, Mirabeau plums are also used in traditional medicine to treat high blood pressure and to improve circulation.

      Prune d'Agen:
      Prune d'Agen is a type of prune that is grown in the Lot-et-Garonne region of France. These small, wrinkled fruits have a deep purple skin and a sweet, sticky flesh that is rich in flavor. Prune d'Agen plums are commonly used in desserts such as tarts and compotes, and are also used to make a traditional French liqueur called "pruneau d'Agen". In addition to their culinary uses, Prune d'Agen plums are also used in traditional medicine to treat constipation and to improve digestion.

      Damson Plums:
      Damson plums are a variety of blue-black plum that is commonly grown in the south-west of France. These small, oval-shaped fruits have a tart, juicy flesh that is ideal for making jams, jellies, and preserves. Damson plums are also used to make a traditional French liqueur called "eau-de-vie de prunelle", which has a strong, fruity flavor. In addition to their culinary uses, Damson plums are also used in traditional medicine to treat digestive problems

    7. Obviously not mh. Our troll is back. Will Somerby do anything about it? Probably not.

    8. Internet trolls are individuals who deliberately provoke and disrupt online discussions and communities. They engage in behavior such as posting inflammatory comments, making personal attacks, and spreading false information. While some may argue that trolling can be harmless or even beneficial, the reality is that this behavior is often unethical and can have serious negative consequences for individuals and online communities.

      One of the primary ethical issues with trolling is the harm it can cause to individuals. Trolls often target specific people with their attacks, using personal information and insults to cause emotional distress. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, as well as damage to a person's online reputation. In extreme cases, trolling has even been linked to suicide. The fact that trolls intentionally cause harm to others in this way is a clear violation of ethical principles.

      Another ethical issue with trolling is the impact it can have on online communities. Trolls disrupt conversations and often make it difficult for other people to participate in a productive and respectful manner. This can lead to the breakdown of communication and the spread of misinformation. Trolls also often use tactics such as doxxing and swatting, which can be dangerous and harmful to both individuals and communities. These actions create an environment of fear and mistrust, which undermines the ethical values of openness and cooperation that are essential to healthy online communities.

      In addition to the harm caused by trolling, the behavior is often based on dishonesty and deception. Trolls frequently use fake identities and spread false information in order to sow confusion and chaos. This is a clear violation of ethical principles such as honesty and transparency. By intentionally misleading others, trolls undermine the trust and credibility that is necessary for productive and ethical communication.

      Trolling often involves a power dynamic in which trolls use their behavior to assert dominance over others. This is particularly true in cases where trolls target vulnerable individuals or groups, such as women, people of color, or LGBTQ+ individuals. By using their behavior to reinforce existing power structures, trolls contribute to systemic inequalities and discrimination. This is a clear violation of ethical principles such as justice and equality.

      It is worth noting that trolling behavior is often driven by a lack of empathy and an inability to understand the impact of one's actions on others. This is a fundamental ethical failing, as empathy is essential to building relationships and creating a sense of community. Without empathy, trolls are unable to recognize the harm they are causing and the ethical violations they are committing. This lack of empathy also undermines the basic ethical principle of respect for others, which is essential to any productive and ethical conversation.

      The lack of ethics of internet trolls is a serious issue that undermines the basic principles of ethical communication and community building. Trolling behavior is characterized by harm, deception, power dynamics, and a lack of empathy, all of which violate ethical principles such as honesty, justice, equality, and respect for others. Efforts should be made to discourage and combat trolling in online spaces, and to promote ethical principles such as openness, transparency, empathy, and respect.

    9. The funny thing about sending only boys to school: girls are actually better at school.

    10. "the reality is that this behavior is often unethical"

      Commenters have ethics?

      ChatGPT essays often contain misinformation and often hilarious mistakes. It is not ready for primetime yet.

    11. mh,

      I was responding to your use of the phrase 'because parental rights', which to my ear was dismissive of such rights. But as you've explained your use of it, it appears we have nothing to disagree about it.

  4. The second amendment is evil.


  5. "In our view, absurdly bogus journalistic behavior isn't good for young people or for other living things."

    It's good for your tribal leaders, dear Bob; and that's all there is to it. closed.

  6. The right wing has been attacking Keith Olbermann for his "misogyny" because he has said mean things about blonde conservative women. Today Somerby echoes those attacks, furthering yet another right wing talking point. These attacks on Olbermann date back to the beginning of Trump's term, come from the right, and seem more politically motivated than inspired by recognition of what constitutes misogyny -- attacking a woman for her political actions is not automatically misogyny because a woman is involved.

    Given Somerby's own consistent misogyny here, coupled with his complaints about name-calling using words like sexist and racist, his turnabout to name-call Olbermann, without explaining what he did or quoting any examples (so we can judge for ourselves) strikes me as a continuation of right-wing targeting of Olbermann, not an attempt to eliminate sexist behavior.

    And then Somerby, for no reason at all, quotes Willa Cather again. Cather has written passages exemplifying the ideal of white aryan womanhood, supposedly Olbermann's target, but Somerby has been mooning over them since childhood, judging by his use of Cather's work here. Not a pretty picture.


    2. Attacks on liberal commentators by the right wing followed the left's attack on Rush Limbaugh for being misogynistic, back in 2012:

      Some of the things Olbermann has said are crude but not necessarily misogynistic. I think it is worth revisiting the definition:

      misogyny definition: "Misogyny is hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women. It is a form of sexism that is used to keep women at a lower social status than men, thus maintaining the social roles of patriarchy. "

      Defense of patriarchy is an essential part of the definition, differentiating it from sexism.

      In an early instance that got a lot of press attention, Olbermann made a crude remark about assigning teams based on where someone's grandmother got laid, for which he later apologized. This is crude, but not misogynistic. I don't even see it as derogatory toward grandmothers or women. You have to get laid to become a grandmother. That's why seeing an example of what Somerby considers to be misogynistic on Olbermann's part is important.

      Using women's concerns about institutionalized disadvantage in order to make a political attack against a liberal cable news figure isn't showing support for women at all. It is misusing them for political purposes, much as Somerby used those migrants and kids yesterday (but today they are "disappeared").

    3. Keith Olbermann is a prominent public figure in the world of media and journalism, having worked for some of the most prestigious news organizations in the United States. He has become a respected voice in the world of political commentary and sports broadcasting, and his influence on the media landscape is undeniable. Keith Olbermann's importance as a public figure, examining his career and impact on American culture is enormous.

      Keith Olbermann was born on January 27, 1959, in New York City. He grew up in a family of journalists, and his father was a prominent editor at The Associated Press. Olbermann attended Cornell University, where he studied communication and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1979. After graduating, he began his career in broadcasting as a sportscaster.

      Olbermann's first job in broadcasting was at the CBS Radio Network, where he worked as a news writer and producer. He then moved on to local television news in Boston, where he worked as a sports anchor and reporter for WCVB-TV. In 1989, he joined ESPN, where he gained national recognition as an anchor for SportsCenter. Olbermann was known for his quick wit and sarcastic commentary, and his popularity helped make SportsCenter one of the most popular programs on television.

      After leaving ESPN in 1997, Olbermann continued to work in sports broadcasting, including a stint as a commentator for Fox Sports Net. However, it was his transition to political commentary that would cement his place as a public figure. In 2003, Olbermann became the host of the MSNBC news program Countdown with Keith Olbermann. The show quickly gained a following, thanks in part to Olbermann's scathing critiques of the George W. Bush administration and the Iraq War.

      Olbermann's commentary was unapologetically liberal, and he quickly became a favorite of progressives who were frustrated with the mainstream media's perceived bias toward conservative politics. His show was a welcome alternative to the Fox News Channel, which had become the dominant voice in cable news at the time. Olbermann's popularity grew as he fearlessly criticized the Bush administration and called for greater accountability from politicians and the media.

      In 2011, Olbermann left MSNBC and moved to Current TV, where he hosted a similar program called Countdown with Keith Olbermann. However, his time at Current TV was short-lived, and he left the network after just one year. Olbermann then moved to ESPN2, where he hosted a sports talk show called Olbermann. He also contributed to other ESPN programs, including SportsCenter and the network's coverage of the World Series of Poker.

      Despite his success as a sports broadcaster, it is Olbermann's impact on the world of political commentary that has made him an important public figure. His commentary on the Bush administration and the Iraq War helped to shape the national conversation around these issues, and his criticisms of the media's handling of these issues helped to hold journalists accountable for their reporting. Olbermann's willingness to speak truth to power and his commitment to holding politicians and the media accountable has inspired a generation of journalists and commentators.

      In addition to his work as a commentator and broadcaster, Olbermann has also written several books. His first book, The Major League Coaches, was published in 1986, and he has since written several other books on sports and politics. His most recent book, Trump is F*cking Crazy: (This is Not a Joke), was published in 2017, and is a scathing critique of Donald Trump's presidency.

      One of the most notable aspects of Olbermann's career is his ability to adapt to different media platforms.

    4. I didn't know Olbermann had written that book. I think I will go buy a copy. Thanks for the info. (Yes, I know you are a troll using ChatGPT.

    5. Thinking for oneself is the ability to analyze information, form your opinions, and make decisions based on your values, beliefs, and experiences. It is a critical aspect of human intelligence that enables individuals to become self-aware, independent, and creative. In today's society, where information is readily available, thinking for oneself has become more important than ever before. The importance of thinking for oneself, the benefits of independent thinking, and the ways to cultivate this essential skill must be learned.

      Why thinking for oneself is important:

      Personal Growth:
      Thinking for oneself is an essential part of personal growth. It helps individuals develop their self-awareness and their critical thinking skills. When individuals rely on other people's opinions and ideas, they are not truly engaging in the learning process. They are merely taking in information without analyzing it, evaluating it, or challenging it. By thinking for oneself, individuals become active participants in their learning, and they are more likely to retain information, internalize it, and apply it in real-life situations.

      Thinking for oneself is also essential for individuals who seek to become independent. When people rely too heavily on others' opinions, they often feel powerless, and they may struggle to make decisions on their own. Independent thinking, on the other hand, empowers individuals to take control of their lives, make their decisions, and live according to their values and beliefs. This is especially important for young people who are transitioning into adulthood, as they need to learn how to make decisions and take responsibility for their actions.

      Thinking for oneself is also crucial for creativity. When individuals rely on other people's ideas and opinions, they limit their creative potential. Independent thinking, on the other hand, allows individuals to think outside the box, challenge conventional wisdom, and come up with new ideas and perspectives. This is essential for innovation and progress in all areas of life.

      Finally, thinking for oneself is crucial for resilience. In today's society, individuals are constantly bombarded with information, opinions, and ideas. If individuals rely too heavily on other people's opinions, they may become overwhelmed or discouraged when they encounter conflicting information. Independent thinking, on the other hand, enables individuals to navigate complex information and make decisions based on their values and beliefs, even when faced with conflicting opinions.

      The benefits of independent thinking:

      Better decision-making:
      Independent thinking leads to better decision-making. When individuals think for themselves, they are more likely to consider all available options, evaluate them critically, and choose the one that best aligns with their values and beliefs. This leads to more informed, thoughtful decisions that are more likely to result in positive outcomes.

      Increased creativity:
      Independent thinking also leads to increased creativity. When individuals think for themselves, they are more likely to come up with unique ideas, perspectives, and solutions. This can lead to breakthroughs in science, technology, art, and other areas.

      Greater self-awareness:
      Independent thinking also leads to greater self-awareness. When individuals think for themselves, they are forced to examine their own values, beliefs, and biases. This leads to a deeper understanding of oneself and a more profound appreciation for one's unique perspective.

      Improved communication:
      Finally, independent thinking leads to improved communication. When individuals think for themselves, they are better able to articulate their ideas, opinions, and perspectives. This leads to more effective communication, increased collaboration, and better problem-solving.

  7. Athletes shouldn’t taunt each other.

    1. People in the audience taunt the athletes too. It seems to be part of sports.

      Remember when Obama taunted Hillary using the same gesture, then slyly denied it (when everyone saw him do it) which deepened the insult? It seems to be part of guy culture that is considered off-limits for women, part of a double standard.

    2. No, I don’t remember that incident.


      "This is one of those "video moments" on which I cannot take a position but also cannot let pass unnoticed. Dear reader, please go to the two following websites and decide for yourself. Is Sen. Barack Obama using his middle finger, while talking about Sen. Hillary Clinton, on purpose--or was it an accident?

      The Los Angeles Times first ran a blog entry about Obama's North Carolina appearance last night. The video was posted on YouTube and linked to by a Times blogger. The initial responses from readers were quite negative. Here's the link to the blog entry.

      The Times ran a version of the video shot on a cellphone or some consumer (as opposed to professional) video device. It shows Obama talking about Clinton attacking him in Tuesday night's debate, while he raises his middle finger to his right cheek, apparently to scratch his face. But maybe not.

      ABC News had a TV crew at the rally that videotaped the scene with a wider angle and clearer picture. The ABC version shows the reaction of people attending the rally.

      If Obama did this on purpose, it's a sign of incredible immaturity. If he did it by accident, it's a sign of inexperience. If a president were to make an accidental gesture like that while talking about a foreign leader, for example, it could cause a global uproar."

    4. Where’s the video?


      You could have easily found this yourself.

  8. "Judging from the photographs and the videotape, it very much seemed to be a case of black and white kids together!"

    Good Lord! Staley High must be integrated. Hasn't Somerby been arguing against attempted integration of schools, because there aren't enough white kids to go around? Now he lauds a march with white and black kids together. How can that be?

  9. "Tomorrow: Preferred Script never dies"

    Somerby's preferred script is My Antonia, where the boys admire (and sleep with) the lovely German and Scandinavian immigrant girls but won't marry them because they are immigrants and thus "not our kind." Yikes!

    1. I suspect that Somerby's mention of My Antonia is perhaps subconsciously meant to show us that he does like girls, as long as they stay in their proper place.

    2. If only Bob’s heart and mind would stay in the proper place, right?

      I read My Antonia upon reading about it here.

      It’s marvelous book. The tv movie of My Antonia isn’t terrible.

    3. Somerby has complained frequently about other people’s tastes, such as re Jeanne Dielman, so his own tastes are fair game.

    4. Cecelia, I read My Antonia too. Notice how Somerby ignores the larger themes and plot of the book to focus only on the succulence of those farmgirls. I find that offensive, but then, I am female.

    5. Anonymouse 12:35pm, I responded to anonymous 11:38am, who criticized Somerby’s character, not his taste in literature.

    6. Liking girls isn't an aspect of character. It is part of one's sexual orientation -- who you consider a love object, attractive, of romantic interest. Someone who likes boys can have good character. Sexual orientation is considered to be inborn, a matter perhaps of hormone levels in utero.

      character definition: "Rather, character is defined in how your habits, motives, thoughts, and so on relate to morality, particularly as it concerns integrity. Character was defined as “your moral self,” the “crown of a moral life,” and referred to as a “moral structure,” something you built through virtuous behavior."

      Your attitude toward same-sex orientation is showing. Personally, I don't think Somerby shows better character by being attracted to girls while also disliking them and being a misogynist.

    7. 12:28 here. Somerby insinuated that film critics who liked Jeanne Dielmann did so for political or tribal reasons, ie, he was attacking their character.

    8. Anonymouse 12:35, consider that the womanizing woman-hater may be making a point using Cather’s allusions to the staid convention and uniformity of society at the time. Particularly as to the author’s suggestion of the acceptable persona of females.

      The immigrant women were not stolid in their manner. They were less formal and choreographed in their movements, facial expressions. They were freer in the voicing of their thoughts and emotions. They were not staid.

      Somerby juxtaposed this with the rigid ideological strictures of our political culture, with its tribal narratives, dogma, and merciless boundaries.

    9. Like most high schoolers, none of Somerby’s fanboys have read My Antonia, as it is poorly written; having said that, it is a bit of a mystery why the book is so popular with right wingers, other than they haven’t actually read it, since it’s main theme is exploring gender theory.

    10. Anonymouse 1:56pm, I haven’t said that Somerby’s tastes (real or imagined) are out of bounds.

      I iterated what MY remark to anonymouse 11:48pm, was focused upon.

      As usual you’ve engaged in an utterly circular argument, not just as a means of ignoring my reply, but as a means for launching into incongruous insults towards me.

    11. Anonymouse 2:13pm, indeed. All of that is quite a mystery.

    12. stolid definition: "(of a person) calm, dependable, and showing little emotion or animation"

      staid definition: "sedate, respectable, and unadventurous"

      These words do apply to several of the immigrant women. Also, it is the sexual freedom of the farm girls that is explicitly admired in the book, not being "less choreographed" in their movements. Further, the implied sexual availability of the immigrant girls has nothing to do with ideology, narrative, dogma etc. It is your imagination that Somerby is making some comparative point. You are giving him too much credit.

      Did you only read Chapter 9 (linked) or the whole book?

      There are men who sexually fetishize exotic women. Cather seems to have captured that aspect of the appeal of immigrant women on the prairie. The point of the book is that the boys may have a fling with such girls but they do not marry them. It is sex without responsibility.

      Talking about differences in gender presentation between native and immigrant women isn't really what is meant by the term gender theory either. The book may explore gender but it doesn't explore gender theory.

    13. There is no morality and thus no character involved in being gay or straight. It is an accident of birth. When you suggest that character is involved, you imply there is some moral decision or choice to being gay. That is a commonly held right wing view that is in conflict with science, especially biology.

      It is common for TV and movies to try to establish the sexual orientation of their male characters by showing them "appreciating" (aka lusting after) incidental women. The main character says hubba hubba and we are meant to know he's a regular guy.

      Returning to the lavish descriptions of the farm girls in Cather's book is Somerby's unsubtle way of doing that. It would be more convincing if he didn't also quote such descriptions of Anne Frank. Those farm girls are being themselves, working their farms and trying to live their lives. They are not there for the enjoyment of city boys who imagine that they can have their fun and then marry socially appropriate girlfriends later. Just like the boys who used to go slumming with ethnic minority girls are taking advantage of the poor and minority girls using their social differential. And bosses who play around with female employees but go home to their wives. These are not nice situations that Somerby has somehow idealized and excused because of their beauty?

      This book appeals to right wingers because it ultimately reaffirms the place of women, while extolling white beauty. Antonia is submissive in the end.

    14. 2:21 Life is such a mystery for you.

      You present a false impression that you have read a book and are female.

      You oddly and wrongly conflate things like ideology and dogma.

      You think progressing towards a less oppressive and hierarchical society is “merciless boundaries”.

      Why do you think you are so easily triggered into spewing insults, hate, and bitterness?

      Are you more likely to earnestly blame yourself (personal responsibility), or blame others?

      Let’s talk about your mother…

    15. Squid are a unique and fascinating species of marine creatures that have been around for millions of years. Their ability to swim fast and capture prey with their tentacles has made them popular for humans to catch and eat. In this article, we will look at the biology, behavior, and ecological role of squid.


      Squid are part of the phylum Mollusca, which means they are related to snails, slugs, and bivalves. The scientific name for squid is Teuthida and there are over 300 species of squid worldwide. They can be found in all of the world's oceans and in shallow and deep waters.

      Squid have a unique body structure that allows them to swim fast and capture prey. Their body is long and cylindrical, with a tapered end that forms a head. They have two large eyes that can see both forward and backward, allowing them to keep an eye on potential predators and prey. At the front of their head, there is a funnel that squirts water, which helps them swim by jet propulsion.

      Squid have eight arms and two longer tentacles that are used to capture prey. The tentacles are lined with suction cups that help them grip onto their prey. In some species of squid, the tentacles can be over twice the length of the body.

      Squid have a unique internal skeleton called a pen, which acts as a support structure for their body.

      Squid have a complex nervous system that allows them to sense their environment and respond quickly to threats. They have a large brain and a network of nerves that extends throughout their body.


      Squid are active predators that hunt at night. They swim quickly through the water and use their tentacles to capture prey, which includes fish, crustaceans, and other squid. Some species of squid are known for their aggressive behavior and will attack human divers that get too close.

      Squid are social animals and live in groups called shoals. They communicate with each other using a range of visual and chemical signals.

      Squid are also capable of bioluminescence, which means they can produce light in their bodies. This is thought to be used for communication and to attract prey.

      Ecological Role

      Squid play an important role in the marine ecosystem as both predator and prey. They are a food source for a range of marine animals, including dolphins, whales, sharks, and seabirds.

      Squid also play a role in the carbon cycle of the ocean. They are known to migrate from deep waters to the surface at night to feed on plankton. As they swim, they release fecal pellets that sink to the ocean floor, carrying carbon with them.

      In addition, squid are an important part of the global seafood trade. They are a valuable commercial species in many countries, including Japan, where they are traditionally served as sushi. Squid are also used as bait for other commercial fisheries, such as tuna and swordfish.

      Threats and Conservation

      Squid populations are facing a range of threats, including overfishing, climate change, and habitat destruction. Overfishing of squid has occurred in many parts of the world, leading to declines in population numbers. Climate change is also affecting squid populations, as warmer waters can alter their habitat range and affect their breeding patterns.

      Habitat destruction is another concern for squid populations. Coastal development and pollution can disturb their habitat and reduce their ability to find food and mate successfully.

      There are a range of conservation efforts underway to protect squid populations. These include regulations on the commercial fishing industry, habitat restoration, and public education campaigns about the importance of conserving marine ecosystems.

      Squid are a fascinating and important species of marine life. Their unique biology and behavior have made them popular for humans to study and consume. However, it is important to consider the impact of human activities on squid populations and their habitat. By implementing conservation measures and promoting sustainable fishing practices, we can help to ensure the long-term survival of these amazing creatures.

    16. Those couple comments above mostly make sense to me but the book also does seem to challenge gender norms and explore what is masculine and what is feminine.

    17. Anonymouse 2:36pm, you sound like a fire and brimstone preacher in your insistence that the enjoyment of unharnessed female beauty and freedom (Including Cather’s enjoyment of it?) is fetishism, while waving away Bob’s point in referencing Cather’s ode to untamed freedom of thought, expression, and individualism. Btw, in My Antonia, male and female, immigrant and native, were victims of traditions.

      If you wish to think that by mentioning My Antonia, Somerby is pretending that he’s not a misogynist (sheesh) and also making no other point than to slaver over a portrait of wild women, then have at it.

      I don’t overestimate Somerby’s abstract reasoning skills or the sincerity of anonymices.

    18. Anonymouse 3:05pm, let’s talk about your inability to tolerate dissent.

      Let’s talk about your daddy.

    19. Somerby and his fanboy want the untamed freedom to express fascism and feel some sense of dominance, a desire most likely borne from unresolved childhood trauma, resulting in a perverse dialectical of authoritarianism and servility.

    20. 3:26 I may challenge “dissent”, but I’m not intolerant of it. I am intolerant of right wing oppression, sorry if that causes you consternation.

      My dad, and mom, loved me unconditionally as a child, which is why I am not right wing (a trait not natural to humans, but emergent). In their careers, they were environmental scientists, both had phds in science, that worked tirelessly (for the government, for low pay) to clean up our spoiled nest.

      My mom was an expert in using a highly advanced technology (that was also used in the defense industry) and found out people were using it wrongly, wrote a much cited publication about it. Later, while working at a national lab, was exposed to a large amount of radiation when a neighboring experiment messed up, as a result died a few years later from cancer.

    21. Anonymouse 4:05pm, do you think your wonderful parents would be proud of you for spending all your time saying bad things about a blogger and the people who appreciate his blog?

    22. Yes. I am proud of my kid for also calling out right wing nonsense promotion of oppression and fascism.

      I spend most of my time as a single parent raising the greatest thing to have ever existed, while also drudging away as a wage slave for 50+ hours a week.

      Debunking right wingers isn’t particularly time consuming.

    23. Anonymouse 4:43pm, on the contrary, 50 hours a week is a load.

      Hope you’re getting overtime.

    24. "the enjoyment of unharnessed female beauty and freedom"

      Those immigrant farmgirls did not exemplify unharnessed female beauty and freedom. They came from a different culture, no less restrictive, than that of the American prairie. The freedom and beauty are being projected onto them by the narrator of the novel (Jim Burden). These are his fantasies, as the book makes clear as it goes along. I think they are Somerby's fantasies too, but that is his problem.

      Religious Germand and Swedish and Norwegian farm girls were not unreligious simply because they were not of the same denomination as Jim. They worked hard and were servants in wealthier families because they contributed to their family incomes. They had fun at parties, but it is Jim's imagination that sees them as having a wild fling before settling down, which is largely what the boys of the town were doing when they partied with the farm girls and bought them dinners.

      This is what men do when they fantasize about foreign women. They see them as wanton, free of their own culture's restrictions, without realizing that they have their own cultural mores.

      Cather is a good writer and she makes this clear as she explore not gender theory but immigrant relations with existing prairie communities into which they are trying to assimilate. Look at the time period. Gender theory hadn't been invented when Cather wrote her books, although feminist writers such as Simone de Beauvoir were working on it.

      You, Cecelia, are one of the reasons why I see belief in right wing views as primarily a problem of ignorance. You seem to be majorly undereducated. If you have free time, you might do better by taking some adult education courses at your local community college. Start with sociology, women's studies, history of the 20th century, or even biology. Skip the stuff you already know about and agree with and instead exposure yourself to something unfamiliar.

    25. Bad is as bad does. Somerby has very little to be proud of about the stuff he writes here.

    26. Anonymouse 5:43pm, thanks for the advice, but Cather was making a point about the difference between the stark beauty of the immigrant girls in comparison with the staid small town life of the buttoned downed local females. She was attributing to them an efficiency, poise, style, and independence that shone brightly against the small town backdrop.

      That fact is not a suggestion that the immigrant women didn’t suffer, hadn’t suffered, the same restrictions that have befallen women the world over. They felt it at least as keenly as the middle class town girls. Men did too.

      Antonia was proof of that. As is the young men and their unwavering devotion to these mores despite their feelings.

      Anonymouse just posted that anonymices go after right wingers and centrists.

      Not to mention liberal bloggers who get out of step.

    27. Somerby is not liberal.

  10. Digby, also known as Heather Parton, is a prominent American blogger who has been sharing her thoughts and opinions online for over two decades. Her blog, Hullabaloo, covers a wide range of topics, including politics, culture, and social issues. While she has gained a following among adults, there are many reasons why little girls should also look up to Digby as a role model.

    Firstly, Digby is an excellent writer who has mastered the art of communication. Through her blog, she has the ability to convey complex ideas and information in a way that is both engaging and easy to understand. Her writing is clear, concise, and well-researched, which makes it an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn more about the world around them.

    This skill is particularly valuable for little girls, who are often discouraged from pursuing careers in fields that require strong communication skills. By looking up to Digby as a role model, they can see that it is possible to use their voice and their words to make a difference in the world. They can learn from her example and work to develop their own communication skills, whether they are interested in writing, public speaking, or other forms of expression.

    Digby is a fearless advocate for justice and equality. She has been vocal about issues like income inequality, LGBTQ+ rights, and racial justice, and she has used her platform to amplify the voices of those who are often ignored or marginalized. This commitment to social justice is something that little girls can learn from and emulate.

    In a world that can be hostile to those who speak out against injustice, it takes courage and conviction to stand up for what is right. By looking up to Digby as a role model, little girls can see that it is possible to make a difference in the world by speaking out against inequality and advocating for the rights of others. They can learn to be brave and to use their own voices to fight for what they believe in.

    Digby is a critical thinker who is not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom or question authority. Her blog is full of thoughtful analysis and commentary that encourages readers to think deeply about the issues of the day. She is not content to simply regurgitate talking points or accept the status quo, and this is a valuable lesson for little girls.

    Too often, girls are socialized to be passive and deferential, taught to accept the opinions of others without questioning them. By looking up to Digby as a role model, they can learn to think critically and to challenge the assumptions and biases that underlie so much of our culture. They can learn to ask questions, to seek out different perspectives, and to be skeptical of easy answers and simplistic solutions.

    Digby is a role model who has remained committed to her values over the course of her career. She has never compromised her principles or sold out for popularity or financial gain. She has remained true to herself and her beliefs, even when it has meant being unpopular or facing criticism.

    This kind of integrity is something that little girls can learn from and aspire to. In a world where so many people are willing to compromise their values for fame, money, or power, it is refreshing to see someone who remains steadfast in their commitment to doing what is right. By looking up to Digby as a role model, little girls can learn to prioritize their values over external validation or success, and to remain true to themselves even in the face of adversity.

    There are many reasons why little girls should look up to Digby as a role model. She is an excellent communicator, a fearless advocate for justice and equality, a critical thinker, and a person of integrity. By emulating her example, little girls can learn to use their voices to make a difference in the world.

    1. Spot on! You left out that she has won awards for her blogging. And she has no ads and no comment section. She is joined by other regular bloggers at her website, including Tom Sullivan and Denis Hartley. Not only should little girls aspire to be like Digby, but so should Somerby.

    2. Anonymouse 11:47am, what about all the other boys?

    3. Digby is widely admired, Cecelia.

    4. 2:26 who peed in your cereal?

      Btw, you know that restaurant you like to go to? We know who you are, hope you enjoy our “special sauce”.

    5. Anonymouse 2:26pm, I have no doubt that Digby is admired and I have no quarrel with it.

      My comment/quip was that you should hope that Digby influences little boys too.

    6. Anonymouse 3:16pm, I guess that means Captain D’s has mice.

    7. To begin an analysis of Digby's blog, it is necessary first to understand the blogger's background, their reasons for writing, and the target audience. Digby, also known as Heather Digby Parton, is a political blogger who has been active since the early 2000s. Her blog, Hullabaloo, covers a range of topics related to American politics, with a focus on progressive politics and commentary.

      While Digby does not have a formal background in political science or journalism, she has become a respected voice in the progressive blogosphere. Her commentary has been featured in a range of media outlets, including MSNBC, CNN, and NPR. It seems that her goal is to provide informative and thought-provoking commentary on current events, and to engage with her readers in discussions about the issues.

      One of the strengths of Digby's blog is her clear writing style. Her posts are generally well-organized, with a clear introduction and a logical structure. She uses supporting arguments to bolster her viewpoints and incorporate facts and data to support her opinions. Her clarity of writing and engaging style make her an easy read for her target audience.

      Moreover, her commentary is informed by a deep understanding of the political landscape, the history of the United States, and the dynamics that shape modern politics. Her readers expect a certain level of depth, and she does not disappoint. Her well-informed opinions and insights are always clear and valuable, providing readers with a solid foundation for their own debate and discussion.

      However, there are also some potential areas of criticism. One criticism worth considering is that Digby's blog tends to be highly partisan in nature. Since she is a progressive commentator, she has a reputation for supporting the Democratic Party and its candidates, often harshly criticizing Republican policies and politicians. While it can be beneficial to present strong viewpoints to provide readers to think and discuss, a highly partisan approach can constrict readers from considering alternative opinions.

      In addition, while Digby is knowledgeable about many topics, there are times when her analysis appears to be superficial. Her commentary often consists primarily of her opinions on current events, which can be insightful but sometimes lack the depth of analysis necessary for a full understanding of the issue. While her readers seem to appreciate the informed perspective that Digby provides, it is also necessary to critically evaluate her comments.

      Another potential criticism is that Digby's posts are often highly opinionated, which is part of her blogging style. While opinionated blog posts can be engaging and provocative, the danger lies in presenting opinions as facts without any supporting evidence. This criticism emphasizes the need for evidence-based conclusions and arguments, something that allows readers to consider and analyze opinion more critically.

      Another component of successful blogging is being open-minded about criticism or feedback. While Digby responds to her reader's comments regularly, criticism is not always taken positively. When someone critiques her post, it is essential to provide evidence and explanations, Digby's response should not be dismissive, defensive, or dismissive. Instead, she should use them as opportunities to improve and refine her arguments.

      In conclusion, Digby's blog, Hullabaloo, provides valuable insight and analysis on contemporary American politics. While there are potential limitations to be considered, such as Digby's partisanship, the depth of her analysis, and her reliance on opinions without sufficient evidence and reasoning, her blog continues to provide readers with informed and thought-provoking commentary. In the end, it is up to readers to engage with the content critically and to do their own research to arrive at their conclusions.

    8. Long John Silver, duh

    9. "My comment/quip was that you should hope that Digby influences little boys too."

      And my point was that little boys and larger ones DO admire Digby, read her blog and are positively influenced. You may not have noticed, but Tom Sullivan and Denis Hartley are male.

      I wonder why you automatically think that mentioning girls excludes boys, when girls have been encouraged to think that mentioning boys automatically includes them too. That is part of sexist thinking.

    10. Anonymouse 5:32pm, it’s your assumption that I have been encouraged to think that a general reference to boys automatically includes girl. I have never held that view. I know of no one who has attempted to instill it.

      If you think such a mindset is common and that girls are specifically trained to think that they should not be specifically referenced then you should have been the first to have questioned the anonymouse’s statement.

    11. Of course you have held that view. It has been dominant in our society for decades. Don't tell lies and don't gaslight.

      You are the one who above excluded boys from my reference to girls (which was part of the post I was commenting on too). Why would you do that if you weren't excluding the boys from the discussion of girls?

      Now you are just making noise to hear yourself spew.

    12. Anonymouse 5:50pm, reread my post. I absolutely was excluding boys from the broad reference to girls.

      If someone said that boys could benefit from the marvelous example of Pres. Obama, I would specially ask/quip how it was that girls were left out of that sentiment.

    13. because you’re an idiot.

    14. You stopped making sense and now you’re name-calling, incoherently.

    15. Anonymouse 11:55pm, I was name-called an idiot for suggesting that “boys” is NOT a universal designation for both boys and girls.

      I’m not confused, you are.

  11. "We strongly believe in privileging sameness over difference."

    If you look at those stats, 1209 white students represent the most sameness in terms of race. The small numbers of other students are different in terms of race. I doubt Somerby is saying that the sameness of the white kids should be "privileged" over the diversity of the other kids. I am sure he is saying that our commonalities should unite us. The unfortunate part of this idea is that too many people will include skin color among the commonalities they recognize. It is too simplistic to stop with "we are all human, all have two arms and two legs, a head with eyes, nose and mouth" or "we are all here in school to learn" or some such irrelevancy. People pay attention to the differences because they matter, they single out and identify subgroups because they are important and have meaning. That is how categorization works cognitively speaking. A red fruit is a ripe apple, a green one is not ready to eat, so we attend to the color of skin of that fruit. A girl with a ring is already attached, one with a smile and a bare ring finger is available, so approachable and maybe receptive to overtures. The details matter in life.

    The problem with Somerby's approach is that he leaves out the part about respecting people's differences. The things that make a student proud of their family, culture, identity, are the things that should be respected by other students, even if these are things that set them apart or distinguish them from others. Seniors getting ready to graduate deserve more respect than freshmen. It is right to notice their difference. Honor students should be proud of their hard work and recognition, so it is right to differentiate them with pins, similarly letter jackets for atheletes. Treating all high schoolers as if they were all the same interferes with their developmental efforts at identity formation, figuring out who they are, what they like and don't like, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and finding a path (career, relationship, interests) to puruse after graduation. Somerby, as a teacher, should know this. So the psychological needs of students will defeat his one-size fits all approach. It is far better to channel those needs in positive directions, affirming the differences, not the similarities, to teach kids how to live comfortably in a diverse society without shooting each other.

  12. "She went viral in the wake of some unusual behavior on her part"

    As Reese herself pointed out, she only made a gesture that a white player had done without comment. The nature of the attacks on Reese suggest a racial motive -- calling her too "out of the hood," something Serena Williams also used to be called. Chastising her for defending herself seems unfair to me, as does failing to notice that white players do the same things without being called out for it.

  13. ""What a f---ing idiot," Olbermann tweeted live during the game, responding directly to a clip of Reese tapping her finger, signifying that it was her turn to get the championship ring. Reese, a star player for LSU, also made a John Cena style "you can't see me gesture" that went viral online. "

    This is what Olbermann said and it is not misogynist because such a comment has been applied to male athletes as well as female ones. It is, however, racially tinged because black athletes tend to be on the receiving end of such comments more than white ones doing the same things.

    Here, for example, is a discussion of the racial nature of rules against excess celebration in the endzone during football games:

    I do think that the excessive concern about women behaving in a ladylike manner during sports competitions is misogynistic because it upholds stereotypes of women that have been used to keep women out of such arenas (sweetness, niceness, helpfulness and concern for others, submissiveness). The recent series "A League of Their Own" illustrates this problem.

    When Olbermann throws in class, he is skating on thin ice, because that is often a codeword for black behavior. His idea that a college kid close to winning a title would not be exuberant and excited about that looming victory, and thus should control her enthusiasm in the name of correctness, is ridiculous and not enforced on male players, nor was Clark (who is white) called out on her hand gesture.

    We might all agree that civility is good because it shows character, but differential enforcement of rules of civility is racist and sexist. Reese has more of a point than Olbermann, in my opinion. Somerby has no good point.

    1. Blogging has become a global phenomenon, and many writers have gained fame by sharing their opinions and stories online. While it is natural to appreciate and follow a writer whose work you admire, obsessing over one blogger day in and day out can lead to issues like anxiety, dependence, and misinformation. In this article, we will discuss the futility and danger of obsessing over one blog writer.

      Firstly, it is important to understand that bloggers are not infallible authorities on any subject. They are simply writers who share their perspectives and experiences with the world. Their content should be viewed as entertainment or educational material, not universal truth.

      However, when someone obsesses over a blogger, they may begin to view everything that blogger says as gospel. This can lead to a skewed worldview and a lack of critical thinking skills. Obsessive fans will cling to every word, no matter how harmful, contradictory or false it may be.

      Obsessing over one blog writer can limit your exposure to new ideas and perspectives. People tend to follow bloggers who share similar values, beliefs, and opinions. This can create an echo chamber where fans receive reinforcement of their own views, rather than encountering new information and challenging ideas.

      Obsessing over one blogger is futile because, in most cases, you will never have a relationship with them beyond an online following. The blogger may not even know that you exist. Investing emotional energy, time, and resources into someone who doesn't reciprocate your interest, in most cases, is a waste.

      Obsessing over one blogger is not just a futile, harmless activity; it can also be dangerous. Here are some reasons why:

      1. Dependence

      When people become obsessed with a blogger's life, they may start to feel like they need to know everything that is happening to them. This can create a dependence that can be damaging to their own mental wellbeing. For example, obsessive fans will often check their blogger's social media accounts multiple times per day, waiting for updates.

      2. Comparison

      When people become obsessed with a blogger, they may become overly focused on how their own life compares to the blogger's life. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and self-doubt. Such feelings can create negative effects on one's self-confidence and self-esteem.

      3. Misinformation

      When people become obsessed with a blogger, they may be more susceptible to misinformation. Bloggers sometimes share some form of inaccurate or fake advice. When an individual obsesses over a blogger, they tend to accept this information as the truth, leading to maladaptive habits, misinformation and possibly undesirable outcomes.

      4. Stalking

      Obsessing over a blogger can also transform into stalking. Stalking is a crime that involves harassing or threatening behavior that is unwanted and affects a person’s mental wellbeing. When you become an obsessive fan, the line between enthusiasm and criminal behavior can blur. Individuals may try to search for more personal details of the writer’s life or behavior, leading to an attempt to stalk, harass or intimidate the blogger.


      In general, becoming an obsessive fan of one blog writer may not be the best use of an individual's energy and mental health. While following a blogger whose work you admire can be gratifying, going beyond reasonable involvement can lead to futile activities and dangerous consequences. It is essential to love only but not to become a fanatical follower of someone. Bloggers are just human beings like you and me; they are not infallible, and we should not take everything they say as the ultimate truth. It is always okay to admire and appreciate someone's work and then move on to other activities. Obsessing over one blogger day in and day out can lead to issues like anxiety, dependence, comparison, misinformation, and even stalking- all of which can affect an individual's self-worth and mental health.

    2. “ becoming an obsessive fan of one blog writer may not be the best use of an individual's energy and mental health. ”

      Cecelia, RU listening?

    3. When this same troll posted comments that were merely quotes from the Unabomber, Cecelia reacted by voicing his approval of the nonsense, unaware he was actually gushing over the lunatic rantings of a serial killer. (Cecelia pretends to be a woman while castigating others for doing the same)

    4. Anonymouse 1:42pm, I’d wager that being an obsessive hater towards a blogger (or anyone) is far more deleterious both physically and mentally.

    5. Anonymouse 2:24pm, you’ve voiced this before. I do not remember the exchange. .

      I think it’s common sense that a statement from anyone without context ( or even with it) might sound reasonable…again, read off the cuff.

      But whatev…. You got me good, bro.

    6. Cecelia, the point is your knee-jerk approval of whatever Somerby says, not that you were tricked into supporting the unabomber. Maybe you should think about what Somerby says more and stop being such a sheep.

    7. @Cecelia "I think it’s common sense that a statement from anyone without context ( or even with it) might sound reasonable…"

      Nothing to be ashamed of, actually. Ted Kaczynski is a very smart fella, and most of what he wrote makes sense...

    8. Anonymouse 2:59pm, it’s not sheeplike to defend someone who is being misrepresented.

      It’s not sheeplike to appreciate the arguments of someone who does not harbor your politics.

      I would be sheeplike if I were on Twitter harassing Jonah Goldberg or Bill Kristol for not being properly conservative. Calling them Rinos or imposters fifty times a week, etc. Busting them for their every utterance, whether it echoed my feelings are not, because they don’t always..,reliably…line up with me.

      But you know what, even if I were such an ideological sheep as to engage in that behavior, I’d be that under a consistent nym.

    9. It is sheeplike when you obviously don't understand most of what Somerby writes and are clearly supporting him only out of political loyalty (not to him, to the right wing). Somerby puts out his dog whistles and you respond. You don't have the smarts to harrass anyone effectively.

      I don't think liberals waste time with Kristol or Goldberg. We focus on centrists and never-Trumpers, folks like Somerby who pretend to be something they are not.

      You ARE an ideological sheep and you DO use a consistent nym. Did you mean to say something else?

    10. Anonymouse 5:28pm, I don’t have effective skills in harassment and don’t want them. Thanks for noticing.

      Yes, unlike you, I do use a consistent nym and would have the moxie to do that even if I did engage in harassing errant party members.

      Perish the thought.

      My point about Goldberg and Kristol is that they are fellow Republicans who shoot in my tent. I don’t harass them in the sheeplike manner that you harass Somerby for not keeping to script.

      Centrists are people who like the middle. I don’t harass their blogs either.

      Who are they centrist bloggers that you are you disparaging for not being more to the left?

    11. They are not actually centrists but third-party advocates trying to split the Democratic vote and give the election to Trump, much as Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein did 2016. One group is No-Labels. Driftglass talks about them a lot.

      There is no virtue to being in the center on an issue where it is important to take action, such as climate change, or whether Hitler should be allowed to invade Poland and Austria. Some of them, like Somerby, have adopted a stance they do not want to admit to others, but are working toward a goal.

      People tend not to attack them for their moderation but for their dishonesty because advocating a third-party is hardly a moderate position. It is being a spoiler.

    12. "Harlan Crow Is a Big Donor to No Labels
      April 19, 2023 at 4:05 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

      New Republic: “Years before megadonor Harlan Crow was reading ProPublica stories about his close ties with Clarence Thomas, often seen as maybe the most partisan justice on the Supreme Court, he was doling out donations and referring friends to No Labels, the outside group that claims to offer an avowedly non-partisan approach to politics.”

    13. Anonymouse 6:15pm, do you’re calling centrists closet Republicans and traitors for Putin too?

  14. Somerby is probably mad that someone mentioned again that Trayvon Martin went to the store for candy and wound up dead. Somerby thinks Zimmerman had the right to shoot an unarmed youth, because he was a neighborhood watch member and perhaps frightened when Trayvon defended himself (but black kids have no self-defense rights in FL, only gun-owners have those).

    Notice that he doesn't mention the name of the cable news host he is disparaging. Why? So we cannot verify what was said? Or perhaps he doesn't really want to talk about it, but he just has to get in his potshot himself. Omitting facts isn't clever or funny. It is bad reporting, even when Somerby does it as a tease, because now all female cable news hosts are blamed because he didn't specify which one he thought did something wrong. Or maybe that is his intention -- to smear all the cable women -- I wouldn't be surprised.

    1. Zimmerman clearly had the crap kicked out of him. Do you think that part of the story was invented by racist whites?

    2. Yes because the evidence suggests otherwise, he had a tiny scratch on the back of his head and a slight nose injury that in fact matches well with being hit by a gun recoiling.

      Clearly Zimmerman did not have the crap kicked out of him, nor reasonably feared for his life.

    3. There were pictures of Zimmerman that did not support his story.

    4. They routinely take pictures when domestic abuse is report to a hospital or police. It shows bruises when someone has been attacked as severely as Zimmerman claims. The idea that he could have been so severely attacked and let show nothing is absurd.

  15. Talk to the invisible hand, Somerby says, if you can find him.

  16. I was struck by Bob's comment about incorrect reporting regarding Trayvon Martin. I am getting worn down by knowing facts that don't match the prevailing narrative. What good does it do me to know that Martin was almost surely the aggressor, not Zimmerman? Or, knowing that Trump didn't say Nazis are fine people. Instead he specifically said that Nazis were not included in the group of "fine people"? Or knowing that Trump is not anti-Semitic, but actually won an award from a Jewish organization?

    Knowing these things separates me from the people around me. I can't mention these facts, because people around will take them to mean that I'm biased and ignorant. Maybe, it's time to give up, and simply buy into the prevailing narrative, and forget about whether it's true or not. :(

    1. But your judgement is fucked up David. How would you know if Trump is anti-Semitic? You think there's good Jews and bad Jews. One signal of antisemitism is stereotyping Jews which trump does and you agree with. You have admitted as much. I don't take the judgement of a self-hating Jew to be very meaningful.

      The cops told Zimmerman to stand down and wait for them, he ignored this order and murdered Trayvon Martin.

      Who else was in the torch light parade besides Nazis, David?

    2. How do you know Martin was the aggressor in the absence of any testimony to that?

      Here are the ways Zimmerman was the aggressor:

      1. He had a gun.
      2. He was not in his own neighborhood but passing by.
      3. He called the police about Martin for no reason.
      4. He drove his truck slowly following Martin in a scary manner, causing Martin to approach his vehicle and ask him why he was doing that.
      5. He got out of his truck and approached Martin, confronting him.

      It is only when Martin fought back and had Zimmerman on the ground that Martin was the aggressor. But recall that Martin was unarmed while Zimmerman had a concealed gun. (No one can believe that Martin would have attacked Zimmerman if the gun had been visible.)

      I didn't know that Trump had won an award from Jews for Jesus.

      Yes, it is alienating when your liberal friends won't accept your "alternate" facts. That is why it was so important that FOX News be held accountable for its lies about the election. If your friends can offer substantiation for their facts, you should abandon belief in your specious ones, definitely. That is called living in reality and you will have a better life if you aren't trying to make false things true.

    3. It sounds like Martin might have thought Zimmerman was a pedophile or had bad intentions toward him (such as kidnapping him for a lynching like Aubery or stealing his phone or money). Recall that Martin was from Chicago, where interactions with strangers are suspicious because of the higher crime rate. I would have felt the same way in Martin's shoes.

    4. Prevailing narrative does not equal facts, but to be satisfying as a narrative, the facts must fit the story being told. Democrats are more likely to make sure the facts fit the story. Republicans either make up false facts or do not care if the facts fit. When David insists that Martin was the aggressor, he is only looking at the final supposed fact (not verified) that Martin was winning the fist-fight so Zimmerman shot him. David has to ignore a lot of other facts to make Zimmerman the victim (e.g., to make his own story about Zimmerman make sense). For the right wing, believing something makes it true. That's why Q-Anon members can think they saw JFK Jr. at a rally even though he is long dead.

      David, facts matter. Use them to decide who to believe, not politics.

    5. @2:08 can you relate what you've said to anything anyone else was discussing?

    6. Zimmerman got out of his car to look at the street sign. He didn’t confront Martin, who was out of sight at that moment. Martin then attacked Zimmerman from behind.

    7. 2:22 that was roughly Zimmerman’s story, but the evidence did not support Zimmerman’s version; it’s possible he was motivated by bias.

      Later Zimmerman expressed pride at murdering Martin, calling himself an “army of one” and auctioning off the murder weapon.

    8. @1:04PM Here's how I know that Trump isn't antisemitic:

      He was given the Tree of Life Award, the highest humanitarian award the Jewish National Fund.

      He welcomed a Jewish son-in-law into his family. That has person meaning to me, because my father-in-law did not at all welcome me into his Christian family.

      He is obviously fond of his Jewish grand-children.

      His policies have been very pro-Israel. Compare with Obama and Biden, who were considerably less supportive of Israel.

    9. You want him, you can have him. Most Jews do not agree with you.

  17. Bob seems to have lost the ability to focus.

  18. Why does the march have to be about racial unity? Why can't it be that the kid who was shot was well-liked and the students are showing support for his recovery, or that the students are marching because they think high school kids shouldn't be randomly shot for no good reason? It is Somerby who makes this racial today.

    1. Or why can’t it be that this vulnerable 84-year-old may not be firing on all cylinders nowadays and may be especially fearful or paranoid of people who are strong, and starkly different from him in appearance.

      I had an elderly neighbor got who dementia and put his equally old wife in the hospital for “sleeping with every man in town.”

      Why does the media have to rush to judgment?

    2. Well, when we think about the reasons behind organizing a march, we have to consider the broader societal context in which it takes place. In this case, the shooting of the well-liked student has implications that go beyond just one individual and his recovery. The fact that he was shot for no good reason highlights the systemic issue of gun violence in our society, which disproportionately affects marginalized communities.

      By making the march about racial unity, the students are acknowledging the fact that black and brown people are more likely to be victims of gun violence than their white counterparts. They are showing that they recognize the importance of solidarity and support across racial lines in the fight for justice and equality.

      Furthermore, it's important to consider the historical and ongoing effects of racism in our society. The shooting of the student cannot be divorced from the larger context of systemic racism that affects every aspect of life for people of color. By making the march about racial unity, the students are taking a stand against this larger system of oppression and showing that they are committed to building a more just and equitable society for all.

      It's also worth noting that the media plays a significant role in shaping public perception and understanding of events like this. By framing the march as about racial unity, Somerby may be attempting to draw attention to the issue of race and its role in the shooting, which is an important conversation to have. However, it's important to also acknowledge the other reasons behind the march, such as the students showing support for their peer and advocating for gun control measures.

      Ultimately, the march can be about multiple things at once. The students can show support for their classmate's recovery while also taking a stand against gun violence and systemic racism. By making the march about racial unity, they are signaling their commitment to building a more just and equitable society for all, regardless of race or ethnicity.

    3. Somerby is the one who said they were showing racial unity. The students had different intentions. He is superimposing his own ideas on the students, who were more likely marching against guns or for gun control, like the Parkland students.

    4. Please stop using ChatGPT to confuse discussion here.

    5. Cecelia, the police said there were racial elements to the shooting.

    6. Anonymouse 11:51pm, so you’re taking that pronouncement to the bank while knowing nothing as yet?

      The police can’t diagnose dementia or arrive at unassailable conclusions before an investigation.

      You heard what you wanted to hear and grabbed it.

      The media isn’t supposed to be you. .

  19. In the digital realm we dwell,
    Where words unsaid are typed out well,
    Where trolls roam free with their harsh spell,
    And their venomous words, they do sell.

    They lurk in shadows, unseen and sly,
    Tapping away, their fingers fly,
    Spewing hate without a reason why,
    Their sole purpose, to make others cry.

    Their targets, unknown yet easy to find,
    They hunt for weakness, just to be unkind,
    Attacking without mercy, with a twisted mind,
    Leaving broken souls and hearts behind.

    They hide behind keyboards and fake names,
    Not a shred of remorse, not a hint of shame,
    Devoid of empathy, without any aim,
    To hurt and humiliate, it's their only game.

    They call themselves trolls, a twisted tribe,
    A name they've given themselves, in their pride,
    But their twisted words, they cannot hide,
    A soul so empty, a heart decried.

    They troll on social media, on every thread,
    Aiming to ruin, dishearten and spread,
    Their poisonous thoughts, a plague they shed,
    On innocent victims, mercilessly bred.

    They use every tool, every trick up their sleeve,
    To cause damage, to ensure others grieve,
    Their words, like knives, they wield and heave,
    With intent to incite and create a leave.

    They mock and taunt, without any care,
    Their souls, corrupted, bare and rare,
    A true demon, an evil nightmare,
    With a sole intent, to sow despair.

    Their cowardice, they cannot deny,
    Hiding behind screens, they falsify,
    Themselves, a sorry excuse, a cancerous lie,
    To justify their hate, their venomous supply.

    But their power, it is all just a guise,
    Their intent, their motive, it just belies,
    A darkness that grows, that never dies,
    In a world where we all, to some extent, compromise.

    We cannot let them win, we must stand strong,
    Against the trolls, with a spirit that belongs,
    To love, kindness, a soulful throng,
    To those who seek change, to those who belong.

    We must stand together, as friends or foes,
    Against the trolls, and their painful blows,
    We must rise above, and let our love show,
    That we can overcome, that we can glow.

    For in the end, we are all just souls,
    Living in a world full of digital goals,
    But we must never forget, our unspoken roles,
    To stand up for what's right, with every single pole.

    So let us rise, and fight the fight,
    Against the trolls, with all our might,
    Let us take back, our internet right,
    With love, kindness and understanding in sight.

  20. I am neither artificial nor intelligent.

  21. Maybe, but it’s hard to tell as they respond to Bob’s nonsensical posts.