Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ripping off Sedaris, and my own IM conversations

This week's This American Life is all about the campaign in Pennsylvania, and there's a long item on the "Democrats for McCain", a group of jilted angry Hillary supporters.

There a part in Philip Roth's The Plot Against America, where a conservative rabbi endorses the crypto-anit-semetic presidential candidate Charles Lindbergh, and one of the characters realizes that this isn't to get the Jewish vote, it's to give all the not-really-sympathetic-to-the-plight-of-the-Jews voters permission to vote for Lindbergh.

That's actually happening now. Democrats for McCain found the only two black guys from New York in the movement and sent them door to door in Pennsylvania, to give racist democrats permission to not vote for the black guy.

Why? It seems to me, back during the democratic primaries, democrats had a choice between a MacIntosh apple and a Red Delicious apple, and they picked the MacIntosh. But during the primaries, the Red Delicious campaign was so vitriolic, so vehement in their derrsion of the MacIntosh, that they whipped up the Red Delicious supporters in to such an anti-MacIntosh frenzy that now, in the election, when faced with the choice between the MacIntosh and a hot-dog, they've convinced themselves that the hot-dog makes a better apple than the MacIntosh.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Is there a patron saint of people who shop at certain stores? A patron patron?

How about of a brand of tequila? A Patron patron?

Of den mothers? The matron patron?


St Anthony The Great is the patron saint of both butchers and pigs. That seems like a clear conflict of interest to me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jobs jobs jobs

This is kind of what it's like being an Apple fan:

"Do you really *need* a right mouse button?" "Do you really *need* a matte display?"

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not actually about poker

Sometimes to liven things up in my usual poker game one of the habitual gamblers will propose a "prop" bet. A prop is a bet outside of the usual regulatory structure of the game, between two or more players. A popular one is: up to 4 players each pick a suit, and if all the flop cards for a hand are of that suit, all the other players in the prop pay the winner a buck.

Once in a while, when someone's feeling extra gamble-y, he'll propose a prop on a prop, for example "I bet you 2 bucks no one makes their prop in the next 3 hands". This is usually declared far too silly for a respectable poker game and the prop-on-a-prop is shouted down.

In the recent This American Life episode, Another Frightening Show About The Economy, Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson explain that the financial instruments that may have caused the recent Wall Street disaster were, at heart, prop-on-prop-on-prop-on-prop-on-prop-bets.