g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
Tal G in Jerusalem
Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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Wednesday, November 1, 2006
19:34 - Best laugh all week
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=23178_A_Message_to_John_Kerry_from_Ira

(top)
This is the kind of thing you just don't want to run across at work—because you start laughing, and then people notice and want to see, and you have to hide it and make excuses because you don't want to bring up politics at work.

So practice your silent shoulder-heaving chortle before clicking. That is all.

Via CapLion.


18:09 - Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto

(top)
Someone gets fired at Apple today!



That's the new iTunes 7.0.2 that showed up in Software Update this morning. The store is in Japanese.

Question from a co-worker: would you rather be caught cheating in a casino, or have to shuffle into Steve's office to explain something like this?

Hmm. J-pop for ¥150 a track...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
12:56 - Not that there's anything wrong with that
http://www.classicalvalues.com/archives/004193.html

(top)
Thanks, Judith at Kesher Talk, for describing this phenomenon so well:

"People just assume you're a Democrat." Boy do they.
Another thing they do which Kornblat doesn't give an example of, but which we all have experienced: They always start political conversations. None of us do. We have learned that no one wants to argue issues on their merits, that the room gets very quiet and unfriendly, that people start screaming at you, or rant the most loopy beliefs and conspiracy theories. We just assume that is not a topic anyone can treat in a dispassionate manner.

But they always provoke political conversations. Well, not conversations, which would be enjoyable and enlightening. They make pronouncements. And look around the room to see if anyone not only doesn't agree, but doesn't agree enthusiastically. As a friend deep in the closet in the theater world put it, you can't just sit quietly and wait for the topic to change. No, you are suspect if you do not vocally endorse the official opinion of the group. You thought you were in a project meeting or a coffee klatch or a dinner party, and all of a sudden it has turned into the Communist Youth League Self-Criticism Session.

And then, after they have assumed, because no one in the room has fangs or horns, that a political support group is what everyone wants (and they do, except for you) - if you express your difference of opinion, they are offended that you spoiled the intimate feeling in the room by being other than they assumed, based on their superficial reading of you. In other words, they brought up politics, but they are the only ones who get to play.

I realize that the tables are probably turned depending on where you live; but here in the Bay Area, and in LA, and in New York, it certainly holds true.

And yet... I also have the feeling that this is true:

Like many people, Judith notices that Republicans don't behave this way towards Democrat friends. I think the reason is that Republicans are very accustomed to keeping their mouths shut, to not telling friends and coworkers how they voted. In some cases, their very livelihood depends on being "in the closet."

My theory, based on what I've seen from those around me, goes like this:

Conservatives believe they are the ones who understand how human nature works, and liberals are well-meaning but naïve and counterproductive.

Whereas liberals believe they are the Good Guys and conservatives are the Forces of Darkness.

(You can see this in the symbols each side chooses for itself. One side claims symbols like rainbows and doves and flowers, pretty scenery and cute endangered animals—who could dispute the goodness of these things?—while the other opts for symbols of more ambiguous, less one-dimensional phenomena like nation, community, family, and faith. Both sides like peace—really—but one extolls the dividends of peace, while the other extolls peace as an end in itself.)

There's a fundamental difference in attitude toward the opposite side. One group views the other with a kind of sorrowing pity; the other views their opponents as inhuman monsters.

Even when it's a small group of people with minds open to both sides, as is a rare treat for me (but one I enjoy like an ice cream cone), I still know that politics is one of those subjects—like religion—that is bound to end up making someone present feel uncomfortable, no matter how much the others start out agreeing with you. Sometimes even hearing someone lecture a willing listener is physically painful to endure.

And I don't think that's a unique feeling. I think it's more prevalent among Republicans than Democrats, which is what lends to the whole "silent majority" thing. You only see bumper stickers on Leftists' cars these days; and from that, one might conclude that the cars without any bumper stickers on them are just undecided or apathetic. Not that they're actually conservatives. But that's bound to be the case for a lot of them: silent, smiling-and-nodding, tiredly-sighing, grinning-and-bearing-it conservatives.

Yeah, I'm certain that there are the belligerent types of Republicans, particularly in places like the Midwest and the South. I've known a few. But I also know that when they're drawn from the ranks of the older, more socially invested, more professionally rooted, and more family-oriented strata of society, they're going to have a somewhat different tactic with which to deal with their fellow human beings than those people from the college-age, uninvested, monetarily dependent, anything-goes age group. You tackle different topics depending on whether you're talking with your next-door neighbor over the white picket fence, or exhibiting your sexual freedom and personal alternate reality to the "normals" on the sidewalk. In the former case, you know you gotta live with these guys. But in the latter, you know you can always tune 'em out.

Meh. I dunno. I've probably just got another warped, distorted perspective through this myopic lens of mine. I just have this feeling that as you get older, politics becomes more of a topic with which to include people in the same discussion, rather than to shut undesirables out from it.

Via InstaPundit.

UPDATE: Hey, apparently I was quoting Charles Krauthammer and didn't even know it:

To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand
this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals
think conservatives are evil.

Via Steven Den Beste.

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