Republican healthcare plan is “mean”? Every time you parrot Trump’s words you let the GOP off the hook.

“Mean” is when you make fun of someone’s shirt. This bill isn’t “mean.”

There’s this thing people are saying here recently and it needs to stop. Now. The thing they’re saying? The GOP “healthcare” bill is mean.

These were President Donald’s words on Tuesday.

“Mean” is reportedly the word President Donald Trump used Tuesday to describe the House GOP’s American Health Care Act, which passed Congress’ lower chamber last month. Per the Associated Press, “One source said Trump called the House bill ‘mean, mean, mean’ and said, ‘We need to be more generous, more kind.’ The other source said Trump used a vulgarity to describe the House bill and told the senators, ‘We need to be more generous.'”

Now everybody is saying it. Continue reading

A bitter son’s reflections on Fathers Day

I envy those of you with great fathers more than you will ever know.

It’s Father’s Day. In the past I have reposted my story on the day my father died. It’s a funny story, a sad story, an OMG story, a no fucking way that couldn’t really have happened story. If you haven’t seen it and want to, click on over.

Today, though, I want to say how happy I am for those of you who had great dads, and also to say thanks, on behalf of kids everywhere, to those of you who are great dads. I don’t know if you fully understand how much of a difference you make.

My father was not a great dad. He wasn’t the worst guy in the world, but… Continue reading

Chelsea’s new Nike kits: five things to look for

New Chelsea/Nike is deal is good the wallet, bad for those who appreciate actual style.

Baseball sleeves, an off-brand color, a boring stripe - this US kit has it all.

Baseball sleeves, an off-brand color, a boring stripe – this US kit has it all. What can we expect from the forthcoming Chelsea designs?

I absolutely, utterly and comprehensively loathe Nike’s soccer design group. So last year, when a new 15 year, £60 million/year kit deal was signed between Nike and my beloved Chelsea FC … well, damn. Continue reading

Open letter to Reza Aslan: come write for Scholars & Rogues

We can offer you one thing CNN can’t.

CNN has parted ways with Reza Aslan, whose “profane” anti-Trump tweets were widely criticized earlier this week.

In case you missed it, Aslan called Donald a “piece of shit” in a tweet reacting to Trump’s cynical travel ban grandstanding after the recent Manchester bombing.

At Scholars & Rogues, we’re not big fans of CNN, and this little dustup doesn’t change our minds.

So Reza, if you’re reading this, we’d like to invite you to come work with us at S&R. Continue reading

Online Dating

Dame Magazine story on dating in Seattle tells us about the guys, but something is missing

I feel like I’m only hearing half the story about online dating in the Emerald City.

I just tripped across a really interesting article on dating in Seattle from Dame Magazine. It’s from May 2014 – interestingly enough, I lived there then. Which turns out to be relevant.

The main thrust is there are a lot of guys in the city – more than there are women – and they have good jobs and plenty of money. But you’d never want to date any of them.

As technologist and writer Jeff Reifman pointed out in a post titled “You’ve Got Male: Amazon’s Growth Impacting Seattle Dating Scene,” Amazon … has had a huge, awful impact on Seattle’s dating scene. Continue reading

Bill Maher: it’s not the words he used, it’s how he used them

Our fear of the “N-word” only makes it stronger, but Maher used it for a cheap laugh. This is not acceptable and he knows it.

Bill Maher stepped in it on his last show and now a lot of people are calling for his head. He (and HBO) have apologized, and for the moment it doesn’t look as though the network has any plans to sack him, although that could change.

At issue is this exchange between Maher and frequent guest Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb), who invites Maher to visit Nebraska.

Sasse: We’d love to have you work in the fields with us.

Maher: Work in the fields? Senator … I’m a house nigger.”

This sort of controversy isn’t new to Maher, who uses his position to poke – hard – at a range of prickly socio-political issues facing our society. Continue reading

Tiger kills zookeeper because … the tiger had a set of keys?

Information wants to be free. Hamerton Zoo Park officials really fucked up the public statement.

You probably noted the story about the zookeeper killed by a tiger in England the other day. This is a tragic story in every way.

It’s also a maddening example of inept cover-your-ass PR language by the Hamerton Zoo Park’s spokespeople. By now we should all be getting used to the fact that every official agency of any sort on the planet spins us, from governments to Fortune 500s to sports agents to the local school board. If you’re frustrated by the fact that you have take a magnifying glass to every official pronouncement you come across, join the club.

This story features an unusually ham-handed example of what I’m talking about. Continue reading

Alamo Drafthouse / Wonder Woman sexism controversy: let’s have a men-only talk

Hey guys, let’s talk about this outrage man to man.

Alamo Drafthouse is having women-only screenings of Wonder Woman. And across the country people of the male persuasion are losing their minds because it’s sexist.

[sigh]

Okay, let’s talk calmly, man to man, for just a second. It doesn’t bother me at all, so I need to understand why you’re upset.

If these screenings bother you, why? Continue reading

Twin Peaks: The Return and the Red Room: a collaborative reverse spoken word

David Lynch inspired a generation of genius TV. And a moment of unfettered silliness.

The Red Room

The Red Room

Yesterday blindsided me with a moment of sublime creative synchronicity. Twin Peaks fans … walk with me.

First my friend Anders Thyr, the talented Swedish artist, posted this to his Facebook feed:

Twin Peaks… Jäklar vad bra. Har kommit igenom halva andra avsnittet. Måste suga lite på karamellen. Och stanna till ibland bara för att mysa och rysa. Och ta en kopp kaffe. Åh, en riktigt god kopp kaffe 😀 Lynch is back with a vengeance, and I gladly follow! Mind, twist with me!

My Swedish is about as good as my Martian, so I clicked on the translate link to see what he was saying (generally – these translators will get you into the neighborhood, but it’s up to you to find the right house):

Twin Peaks… dang what good. Have gotten through half of the second section. Must suck a little delayed gratification. And stay to sometimes just to cuddle and creeps. And have a cup of coffee. Oh, a really good cup of coffee 😀 Lynch is back with a vengeance, and I gladly follow! Mind, twist with me!

Continue reading

Music and Popular Culture

Chris Cornell dead: the ghosts of Grunge welcome another genius into the fellowship

Nothing speaks to Grunge’s legacy of hopelessness more than the growing body count.

Chris Cornell: 1964-2017

I heard the news today, oh boy: Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell is dead at 52. According to the BBC it’s being investigated as a suicide.

I won’t bother trying to explain his legacy beyond stating the obvious: Cornell was a brilliant talent whose creative vision was central to defining the sound of a generation.

What I will do, though, is offer a lament for the doomed soul of Grunge.

I admit, up front, that I was never a huge fan of the genre. Continue reading

John Oliver’s beatdown of DaVita reminds us: Richard Nixon was an American liberal icon

Noam Chomsky, of all people, has called Tricky Dick “America’s last liberal president.” Sadly, he couldn’t have been more right.

Way back in 2008 I said this:

If he were a candidate in the 2008 presidential election, Richard M. Nixon would be more progressive than either the Republican or Democratic nominees.

What a ludicrous thing to say, right? I mean, Nixon was as twisted and corrupt as any president in US history. Hunter Thompson said “Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning.” He got caught with said pants down in l’affaire Watergate and had to resign. He’s the reason anything remotely scandalous has to have a name ending in “-gate.”

Worst. President. Ever. A fixer of the first order. All of which attached, by association, to the Republican Party, making his name synonymous with the rank evil of the American conservative polity.

That he was congenitally shady is unarguable, but the conservative part probably isn’t fair at all. Continue reading

Rode hard and put up wet: #ArtSunday

Form vs function at the Denver Art Museum

I encountered this slightly worse-for-wear old scooter down at the Denver Art Museum yesterday. The DAM’s wonderful North Building, designed by Gio Ponti and James Sudler Associates, rises in the background.

There are two versions of this shot here – a high-structure black and white that’s processed for maximum drama and color take that’s a bit more “realistic.”

Scooter on the Denver Arts Museum Plaza - black & white

Scooter on the Denver Arts Museum Plaza – black & white

Continue reading

Four ways to tell if “Carolina style” barbecue is authentic

Short version: it isn’t. There’s no such thing as “Carolina style” barbecue.

The Chopped Plate from Mr. BBQ, the best barbecue restaurant in Winston-Salem, NC

The Chopped Plate from Mr. BBQ, the best barbecue restaurant in Winston-Salem, NC

I grew up in North Carolina, about 25 minutes from Lexington, the Barbecue Capital of the World. I suppose I sort of took this remarkable food for granted when I was younger. We’d go to Country Kitchen down at Gumtree Rd and Highway 52 when I was a kid and there was just nothing better in life than a chopped sandwich with a side of hush puppies. Later on, as I moved around, I’d frequent Mr. BBQ, Hill’s, Stratford BBQ and Pig Pickin’s in Winston-Salem. When I ventured down toward Lexington there were all kinds of options. For a while I favored Speedy’s, then Hog City came along and rocked the world. Through it all, of course, there was the old No. 1, Lexington BBQ, down on Highway 64, which Southern Living has justly called the best barbecue in the South. Even regular restaurants would often have barbecue on the menu. Continue reading