The Original Endasher

It is time for me to say what I really mean.

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'Homeland' Question:

Do the recent Betray-us revelations make it easier to suspend disbelief w/r/t the soapiness—and odd insouciance to security—of Homeland's CIA/Pentagon, or tougher to accept its basic competence (not to mention mostly cordial relations with the FBI)? 

Btw, SNL's Homeland take from the other week was really, really good—especially Bill Hader’s Saul—but given that she trotted out the devastating Katie Holmes riff again in the same ep after premiering her baroquely rubber-faced Claire Danes, does anyone get the sense that Anne Hathaway really is becoming celebdom’s cruelest, iciest mean girl? I mean, besides Taylor Swift. 


So, when Romney wins, are there going to hundreds of thousands of people on Boston Common? Outside the library at HBS?

The Real Question

Not whether the hurricane will postpone the election, but whether the blackout should extend daylight savings time, otherwise scheduled to end this weekend. If my memory of Dark Knight Rises serves, the Lower Manhattan Commune, presided over by the Scarecrow, is deciding this issue right now.  

Proceedings of the Academy for Brooklyn Anthropology

I guess it goes without saying that noting what the people in front of you in (a hysterical, never-ending) line at the supermarket buy on the eve of a WEATHER DISASTER FROM THE SKY is a matchless opportunity for ethnographic fieldwork. And sure, call me a Boasian cultural relativist, by convenience if not conviction. 

But really, Pratt Couple—he with the embroidered Turkish (Turko-Persian?) cravat, she in matching leopard-print leggings and tiny backpack—kale and three (!) containers of feta cheese is what comes to mind?

(Incidentally, there seems to be a major price depression going in fancy balsamic vinegars I used to stop myself from buying—euroPIIG crisis related? I would’ve never noticed unless a rolling-black-cart traffic jam pushed me into the aisle. Score!)

Proof that ‘throwing Israel under the bus’ doesn’t work, or that polling is bunk

An apparently rigorous and pretty well-hyped AP Racial Attitudes poll finds Americans are slightly more racist against blacks (51%) than they were four years ago, which will cause Barack Obama about 2% of the vote. The polling protocol puts the substantive questions about race at the tail end of many seeming generic 2012 Election poll queries. But the real juicy number is buried on page 14 of the protocol:


IMG4.  Do you happen to know the religion of each of the following people?  If you don’t know, you can mark that too.

Barack Obama: 2010 poll | 2012 poll

Protestant…..26 | 28
Catholic……….4 |  5 
Mormon……….0 | 0
Jewish…………0 |18
Muslim………..17 |10
Some other……8 | 2 
No religion……..2 | 35
Don’t know……41 | 2
Refused/N.A……1 | 28


Isn’t this the real story from the AP poll? Fully 8 percent more Americans now think Barack Obama is Jewish than think he’s Muslim, or nearly one in five. Given this sample, isn’t it possible these people aren’t so much ever more racist against blacks as increasingly confused about what words refer to? (Note this was an online survey. Do these pollsters not have a troll alarm?)

Maybe they were thinking Ehud Barak? Though surely any recognition move toward the defense minister/Labor Iran hawk’s way since 2010 would have been counteracted by vague memories of Hosni Mubarak, right? Or do most Americans think he’s a Zoroastrian?     

N.B. It’s conceivable that what we’re seeing is an atavistic reversion to a historical mean: The less popular someone becomes, the more he’s seen as a Jew and a Black. In other words the post-9/11 elevation of Muslims/Arabs was always just a surface blip on more primordial hatreds. See John Sununu, a Hellenicized Palestinian by paternity, who’d never be accused of deviously “passing” as a normal ‘merican.    

I’m sorry, MSNBC

Ezra Klein know-it-all-boy monologue followed by Chris Hayes whingey-boy monologue as weird boorish adult men Sharpton and Schultz look on is more or less unbearable. Will no one from network really appear on air with (still) lovely Maddow anymore?


it’s hilarious that in the ‘Homeland’ universe, Lawrence O’Donnell is a Matt Lauer-like household name. 

Finally watching ‘Homeland’

Just occurred to me that Carrie Mathison is obviously a reference to Senator Matheson, one of Mulder’s less-than-informative informants, who—come to think of it—pretty much is Joe Biden.

This is almost as cute as when the bank used for dead drops in ‘Breaking Bad’ is a Craddock Marine, which of course figures prominently in TXF ‘Monday’, ‘Amazing Maleeni’, etc.

There is only one show.

(Speaking of which, did I spy a shot of young Claire Danes as Angela in the rather idiotically bombastic title sequence?)