Oct 20, 2013 at 22:33:43
“What if the singing the fans hear in the concerts is pre-recorded by the recording artist, and that they like it? What if it is just not possible to achieve that kind of signing quality in the midst of the extraordinary physical, graphical and sound spectacle? What if the dramatic spectacle is in fact much more important to the audience than the less-than-cutting-edge music? If so: What's the problem? This is not a recital, where the singer stands there and does nothing but sing, everybody in the audience just sits there not doing anything (like dancing, moshing, yelling, talking with their friends, comparing everybody's styling in the audience, singing along), and many in the audience don't even open their eyes. If the "what ifs" above are not true (and the audience at a Brittney Spears concert is the same as the audience at a recital of 19th Century German Lieder), then maybe the article's scandal exposure has some meaning.”
Oct 20, 2013 at 03:20:18
“In any case, the comparisons linked to in the article are misleading and unfair, because they are all studio recordings, with all the advantages of that hothouse atmosphere, whereas Ms. Spears' recording is while (as has been said in the comments) doing the most strenuous dancing which is her main focus, and knowing that the sounds she is making are not going to the audience. One doesn't even know if she can hear her own voice in the midst of everything that is going on, with all the frenzied physical activity and the massively amplified other sounds, not to mention all the extraneous stuff (lights, colors, runway - with edges to fall off of, whatever). This article is a real hatchet job; and I say that, without any opinion about Ms. Spears at all, having perhaps never listened to anything she's done. It's just obvious. I hate to see the power of the press mis-used, especially in that way - against anybody. It tends to de-legitimize all writings - even just from its little pipsqueak corner. It's like pre-teen bullying -- meaningless trivia, until it kills someone.”
one-readers-views on Oct 20, 2013 at 04:08:16
“The press has honed its form of bullying to a fine art. Readers have become so used to it they seek out the more cruel releases.”
Orphie on Oct 20, 2013 at 03:45:29
“So, it's "legitimate" then to take untold millions of dollars from fans by presenting lavish tours by a "recording artist" who essentially does limited-to-no actual singing in his or her concerts? The fans get to see dancing, so what's the problem, right?”
“The whole concept of "race" never made any sense to begin with. The process of proliferation of endless varieties started with the first step North of the first person from (as it happens) South Africa. It has been proliferating variety ever since, and that proliferation will never "end". The Jews are a particularly vibrant example of that, their gene pool, as it arrived in America, being the repository of every army that ever crossed Central Europe, and, since they arrived in America, it has just continued blossoming from there. As Godfrey Cambridge once observed: If God didn't want miscegenation, he wouldn't've standardized the parts.”
SouthStJo on Oct 2, 2013 at 01:05:13
“" started with the first step North of the first person from (as it happens) South Africa."
“MAJOR POINT WHICH I HAVE NOT SEEN MENTIONED (regarding the insanity of NRA's incredibly stupid proposal): Since the phenomenon of random mass shootings has taken place in every conceivable type of venue in our country, public and private, the NRA's proposal of having an armed guard in place for protection (putting aside the evidence of Columbine that this measure will most likely be ineffective) would mean an armed guard in every public place in the country, plus in an uncountable number of private places where a number of people from a small family on up would gather - which, I would hope would be obvious, is insane, but which appears, after all, to be NRA's actual policy.”
“Charmingly, "Big nose" is of course a well-known highly offensive racial epithet in Japan, intended to insult people of European descent; and I imagine that, if you are in that culture and have that epithet used against you by people who despise you for it, you would feel it. Remember, in Japan, girls with western features or girls of Japanese descent who were not raised in Japan have been known to be beaten up by their peers in school. Keep in mind the Japanese attitude toward "standing out", that those "standing out" are like a nail standing out, needing a hammer to correct that.”
Ann Thurlow on Jan 7, 2012 at 23:30:27
“On the other hand, Japanese retailers are legendary for their obsequious service, and would be mortified if any of their staff insulted a customer.”
“Isn't it a lot easier, by far (and in ways that make ultimate differences) for an idiotic, bored teenager, to, on impulse, stand there and pull a trigger than it is to run someone over with a car, stab someone, or beat someone with a baseball bat? What difference does it make how they got the gun, or whether it was legal or illegal. There are so many hundreds of thousands or millions of guns laying around this country, and the laws, such as they are (so full of loopholes), are almost totally meaningless in preventing this evil spread, that, practically speaking, guns are available at virtually a moment's notice to anyone. Does the overwhelming prevalence of guns in the U.S. (dwarfing available anywhere else) have anything to do with the exponentially higher murder rate in the U.S. than virtually anywhere else in the world? COME on. Give me a F___in' break. Do the IRA and the gun nuts and their fellow travelers have so much power here that their arguments don't have to make any sense?”
pat3494 on Aug 24, 2013 at 20:32:06
“It matters how they got the gun because the article was about "easy access to guns". I am saying that teenagers do not have easy legal access to guns. There are lots of laws regulating access to guns. It is true that someone can obtain a gun illegally but another law wouldn't have stopped this crime. Gun laws are not full of "loopholes" unless you think nobody should have a gun. Gun sales are highly regulated except in the case of a private sale. In that regard they are no different than other private property. Yes it is easier to kill someone with a gun than to kill them with a knife or baseball bat, but running over someone with a car is very easy. I suggest to you that these teenagers were not just bored or idiotic, they were homicidal. Someone who is homicidal will use other means if a gun is not available. It happens every day. The murder rate is not "exponentially greater" in the US than everywhere else. Also the murder rate in the US has been dropping for years. This case illustrates a crime problem not a gun problem, especially not an "easy access to guns" problem, even though these murderers used a gun. Millions of people own guns in the US and they don't commit murder with them. It is your argument that doesn't make sense. I understand the emotion behind it but it is not based on fact.”
“Some subtle distinctions (maybe too subtle for the good of the argument): I'm not saying that Greenwald is being attacked for being gay, just that it's easier for the British government to harrass his spouse because he's gay; and that the thought game of imagining the difference if he and his spouse were heterosexual should indicate that calculation (conscious or uncounscious) on the part of the "authorities" that the opportunity for indirect demonization makes their probably illegal activity (since there's no actual evidence to support invoking the power against terrorism in this case) easier to get away with.”
ALS 3 on Aug 23, 2013 at 17:55:37
“Right, but that would make more sense in a country that banned same sex marriages. While marriages and investigations aren't necessarily tied together, it seems to be a strange method of getting information. ”
“There's some wild assumptions here. Greenwald's spouse, not excluded from Greenwald's work (maybe actually involved - it's fairly interesting, after all), is visiting (maybe working with) Greenwald's work associate. He goes home, taking some stuff from the associate with him. The wild assumption is that there is something illegal (or otherwise wrongful) about that "transaction". Otherwise, people associated with each other in different places on the planet, especially when work is involve, often take stuff to one another. Why is that "using a spouse to be their messenger"? The only possible implication is that there was something wrong somewhere; and, since there's absolutely no evidence of anything like that (other than that Greenwald, as a legitimate journalist, has material that Snowden gave him- which material Snowden was under some legal obligation not to pass on), where does that assumption come from? Or are you saying that everything connected with Greenwald (or any other journalist with information valuable to the public which the government does not want the journalist to have) has to be regarded as criminal or a security threat, so that everybody connected with Greenwald is fair game for the security service (NKVD, anyone?), no matter the lack of anything resembling probable cause?”
ALS 3 on Aug 23, 2013 at 11:52:34
“I'm referring to people making this about Greenwald being gay.”
“If you don't think "the authorities" care about what is more or less likely to stir up hornet's nests, what they can or can't get away with, and what is more or less likely to play to prejudices that will make what "the authorities" want to do easier, and if you don't think that this is shown by the world's history of demonizing minorities to varying degrees for political gain, it is hard to know what facts would make any difference to what you believe.”
“While I appreciate the distinction, I truly believe that the Republican-Right Wing policy is intentionally aimed at dumbing down, and impoverishing the population (in numerous ways) to make them more right wing. I believe this is shown by their sustained attacks on public education, their economic policies which have resulted in the most massive re-distribution of wealth and power to the tiny percent of the population at the top, and by their base playing to the most powerful prejudices possible through classic nit-picking from the Bible and other religious sources to the derogation of the overwhelmingly humanistic elements of those same sources, which playing can only be achieved by sufficient thought control which is impossible with a population that has sufficient education and sufficient economic opportunity.”
OldUncleTom on Aug 21, 2013 at 19:19:45
“Well, don't forget, you can turn a college honors graduate into a drooling idiot by simply placing them in front of a television set for enough hours. The "dumbing down" of America is a group effort.”
“" It is a near impossibility to have a stable, democratic government where the bulk of the population is mired in ignorance, poverty, and religion." -- Seemingly what Republicans and other Right Wingers are aiming for here.”
OldUncleTom on Aug 21, 2013 at 12:45:20
“I still think there is a difference between "can't read", and "won't read". Egypt's problems are structural; the GOP's problems are voluntary.”
“I don't recall seeing any comments on the following, but it has occurred to me that there is a lot of homophobia playing out in this story. Imagine the difference if a journalist's WIFE (of the opposite gender -- and the comparison is more striking if the detained person is a wife, because of all the traditionalist associations with that status) who was detained. I just have a gut feeling that: (a) Neither the British government nor the American government would have dared to pull that stunt in the first place, and (2) If they did, the outcry would have dwarfed what we have seen in response to Mr. Miranda's detention. Of course there are ways to demonize even the most innocent of wives (see Valerie Plame); but, in that regard, I think it is instructive that even the most evil spin machine so far (Karl Rove's) pretty much failed in their, I think very serious, attempt to demonize her.”
ALS 3 on Aug 22, 2013 at 19:03:41
“Actually, I'd strongly disagree. It was the fact Greenwald and the Guardian used a spouse to be their messenger. I have yet to see a comment where there was a personal attack on Greenwald because he is gay.”
FloridaLAW on Aug 21, 2013 at 04:12:40
“Give it a rest, it has nothing to do with Greenwald's sxual proclivities, the authorities could care less. Greenwald arrogantly announced that he had stolen classified UK documents in his possession, of course the authorities are going to question his boyfriend who obviously was being used as a mule.”
“Thanks again. The only question I have is about the influence of the U.S. I'm willing to believe either of two possibilities: (1) The U.S. is still pulling the strings through it's well publicized, deep and long-lasting military-to-military, minute-to-minute cooperation; OR (2) It appears that all Egyptians agree that the U.S. is behind whatever faction the speaker represents. Certainly the Brotherhood believes, as you do, that the coup was engineered by the Americans; and those who massed in Tahrir Square against Morsi believed that the U.S. was supporting him; and the military, since the coup, has very publicly told the U.S. to butt out. So, if I believe (2) (which is my natural tendency, based on Murphy's Law), that would mean that the problem is the lack of any viable political institution in Egypt that can get the country to function politically (i.e., allow the government to function, while leaving hope that the outs can either at some point get their point across or get elected), the reason for which lack is that, again, the only viable, organized non-military political organization in the country is the Muslim Brotherhood (which, because of its fundamentalist, if not jihadist or triumphalist, foundation, finds it hard if not impossible to define opposition as other than mortal sin, but the most powerful force in the country is the army, which, before the coup (and certainly during the 2011 uprising) had the extraordinarily universal support of the people; and the army is incapable of running a”
kodimirpal on Aug 20, 2013 at 23:11:16
“Thank you for the most comprehensive and insightful analysis. I would not say the army is incapable of running a country, they have (had) been doing it in many countries. We saw in Egypt, Indonesia, in Pakistan , Latin American countries, in Africa. But certainly the army running the Government in Egypt is going to be terribly corrupt, incompetent, appeasing and towing the lines of their foreign backers as Mubarak was for 30 years and as Suharto was for a generation in Indonesia effectively serving the MIC of USA.. World media has been circulating all sorts of cock and bull stories about the Muslim Brotherhood in order not to allow any political administration that mentions the name of Islam or the Quran. This is very unfortunate. Same thing was done in the case of Iran, the usual accusation of theocracy and so on. But cleanliness and sincerity of purpose of Administration wise, the Iranian politicians have been doing a far better job than the Iranian military or an American puppet like Shah , and they are evolving and will continue to evolve more towards secularism as the Muslim countries want to be respected by the world based on more secular principles. Take care Thanks once again”
“Thanks. Despite the suggestion of conspiracism, what you say makes the most sense to me of anything I've heard so far. Indeed, I've been struck by the apparent, absolute cluelessness of anybody on the media, even the intelligent and knowledgeable people on the alternative media. So then, the next question for which nobody has an answer is, assuming your analysis, it would seem that the logic of the circumstances on the ground is that, especially since the military will be incapable of resurrecting the economy, their crackdown will most likely be unsuccessful in controlling the situation, but will only radicalize it; and, since the Muslim Brotherhood is the only organized non-military political force in the country, if a civil war results, those in the middle will be forced to choose sides, either join with a radicalized muslim brotherhood or, like the Chilean middle-class under Pinochet, allow the authoritarian violent crackdown out of fear of the demonized other. The fly in the ointment is that the real support of the Egyptian military at this point is the oil-rich muslim despots, who are against the main radicalizing force in the neighborhood, namely Al Qaeda, and the usual counter-weight to Al Qaeda (namely whatever Shia force is around) is nowhere to be found in Egypt. Any insight?”
“@mbyroncohen : To be honest I am not sure, Anything is possible, Probably Pakistan under Musharaf may be repeated for a few years in Egypt.. As as we see in Pakistan Sharif who was overthrown by Musharaf has been elected, But Musharaf is in custody on murder charges. Morsi may get elected again not now may be after five years. It depends a lot on the policies of the unipolar super power and its darling Israel.
There may be some armed resistance against the coup, but it will likely be crushed by Egypt’s military and attack-dog security forces.
Senior Brotherhood officials are already being arrested, and pro-Brotherhood media gagged, while Washington turns a blind eye.
The threat of a real civil war such as Algeria suffered in the 1990’s after a US and French-backed military coup seems likely, not impossible.
The old US “asset” Mohammed el-Baradei may take over as civilian frontman for the generals, who prefer civilian sock puppets get blamed for Egypt’s economic and social crises.
So much for democracy in the Mideast. The overthrow of a moderate Islamist government will send a message to the Muslim world that compromise with the Western powers is impossible and only violent resistance can shake the status quo.”
“One has to wonder about whether they're on the right path or just below the surface under the lid, as they were under Tito - keeping in mind that they fell apart as soon as Tito was gone. I don't believe that the Serbs have given up their claim on Kosovo, despite its overwhelmingly Muslim population; and I don't know what the state of Serbo-Croatian relations are, despite their common language - remembering that the Croatians allied with the Germans in WWII to slaughter the Serbs (which is why the Serbs dominate the ranks of the army - Never Again). The only lucky ones were the Slovenes, apparently because, due to their geographical position (not between any other groups), they weren't in anybody's way when the s___ hit the fan. One can only hope that, if the Republicans ever allow economic growth to occur again, sustained general economic prosperity might smooth over this awful past karma.”
LarsVictor on Aug 20, 2013 at 05:23:55
“I agree in the uncertainties...but history have showed that different people, with different religion and culture background can co exist with eachother..as long as they try and understand the other part - and embrace pluralisme..
No so many years ago - 150 or so, Denmark foujgt 2 wars against the upper germany (that time it was not yet united under Bishmarck) and we won one (fuled some insane nationalsime) and then lost the second (more fire in that nationalistic fire). 40 years later - we are handed the disbuted region back - as a punishment to Germany after the loss in WWI. The bright and now a bit more mature politicians did not jump the nationalistic wagon (as some had rolled out) but started a referendum process - to establish the border once an for all - by the peoples vote. So instead if whole Slesvig only one 1/3 the northeren part is Danish... and remember we were handed the 3/3..
Yes - is many yeras ago - but show, that you can mature fomer nationalsitic policies in less than 40 years. So i have faith - that when you start the process of pluralsime you are on the right track...”
“Acceptance of pluralism turns out to be between hard and impossible for fundamentalist religionists of any religion. The one exception I can think of offhand is the Turkish fundamentalists who are currently in power, and who have evinced a realistic appreciation of the real-world power of the Turkish military who'd been officially in power since Attaturk (with suppression of the fundamentalist religionsits as inconsistent with a modern state). What is happening in Eqypt between these two forces right now is nothing compared to the recent decades conflict between those two forces in Algeria, in which religious suppression of the elected extremist religionists created a brutal military crackdown that prevented the religionists taking power at all. That crackdown was much more brutal and violent than in Egypt (so far), and tended to amount to a real civil war, with major atrocities on both sides. The only question about that is the degree of certainty that, if the religionists would have had the means, would they have done the same or worse. As I understand it, the example of their pre-crackdown conduct suggests that they would have.”
LarsVictor on Aug 18, 2013 at 03:31:56
“I fear you are right in the prediction of the outcome.
My point about pluralsime is - it is hard to learn - and even harder to master. And it will take some time - long time. Sometimes a democratic development need to take those evil detours - where missery and hate is in the center.
Remember old Yugoslavia, took 15 years of war to breake up - but in the end - they are now on the right path towards a more pluralistic way - where acceptance of different ideas is widely accepted.”
The real story behind the military coup in Cairo led by General al-Sissi is much more complex than the western media is reporting. Far from a spontaneous uprising by Egyptians, – aka “a people’s revolution” – what really happened was a putsch orchestrated by Egypt’s “deep government” and outside powers – the latest phase of the counter-revolution against the so-called Arab Spring.
Even Morsi’s presidential guard remained under control of the Mubarak forces.
The dictatorship’s old guard – better known as the “deep government” – sought to thwart every move of the Brotherhood.
In fact, the stolid, plodding Morsi only became president after more capable colleagues were vetoed by the hard-line Mubarakist courts.
Morsi should have purged the “deep government,” notably the police, secret police, judges, and media who were sabotaging the democratic government.
But Morsi was too soft, and the entrenched powers arrayed against him too strong. He never managed to grasp the levers of state.
Ironically, after all the media hysteria in North America over the alleged dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood, it turned out to be a dud.
The Brotherhood stumbled from one crisis to the next as
Egypt’s economy, already in terrible shape before the 2011 revolution, sank like a rock. Tourism, that provided 17% of national income, evaporated. Unemployment soared over 13%, and over 50% among angry urban young.”
“Re the headline, featuring whether "aid" would continue, as if that had anything to do with Egyptian-American relations: It is important to keep in mind that (1) American "aid" to Egypt goes entirely into the pockets of American heavy weapons makers, and that, at least as I understand it so far, the Egyptian military has little to no functional use of such heavy weapons - although I imagine they might be useful in an all-out civil war -- OR, if Morsi had managed to control the Egyptian military, maybe useful to him in an all-out civil war, or in a conflict with Israel; and (2) The amount of that "aid" is, in any event, dwarfed by the numerous times greater money from the rich Sunni oil countries. Bottom Line: The U.S. "aid" is essentially meaningless in this political context, except for domestic U.S. politics, and whatever considerations might from from the economy losing 1.3 billion dollars a year.”
“The Congress passes a law saying that, for tax-free status, certain types of corporations cannot do any politics at all. A subsequent administration promulgates a regulation saying (falsely) that no politics at all really means primarily other than politics. Groups from both parties drive massive trucks through this phony loophole. The IRS has to figure out how to administer this impossible situation when presented with requests for tax-free status by groups blatantly (and more often than not exclusively) doing politics. Using RAM searches, the I.R.S. tries scanning for keywords - for both parties. Right wingers complain; and Darrell Issa (the king of B.S.) tries to say the I.R.S.' attempts are scandalous witch-hunting (when he's got to know that's a lie). The real scandal is the previous administration which perverted the law and the system with its clearly bad faith regulation; but Representative Issa doesn't look at that because the answers will undoubetdly implicate his people.”
Jul 17, 2013 at 16:08:41
“I'm going to try to say one thing about sex which I think should be universally understood - just to see what, if any, the disagreements might be. The one thing is that an extraordinary, maybe unique, thing about sex is degree to which it creates (to say the least) heightened emotions, and heightened consequences socially. That is, one or more of the commenters talk about the differences in the way sex is treated depending on the circumstances of the society in which the treatment occurs. Yes, but the thought I submit here is that sex organizes the particular societies by ordering the economic facts (i.e., what is available at the time to provide food, clothing and shelter) around what is necessary for the sex to occur without blowing the society up.”
Komrade Killjoy on Jul 17, 2013 at 16:20:29
“This is certainly a factor. I always believed civilization came about because males needed to provide when females were demanding, security, safety and such so that offspring are protected from the elements, and roving bands of marauders. Men didn't know what they were doing, or how to go about achieving this goal, so they gathered groups of people to decide the best way to go about it, hence civilization. Men want to get sex, so they try to create an environment that makes it easy to attain sex. Since women tell men what is necessary for them to get sex, men do what they can to give women what they want, though it's not always ideal.”