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Comments by Scott Miller
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On “Open Thread

OK, Frog. I'm holding you to your 2 game prediction. OKC has to win 3 in a row. Of course if they don't, we can drive CK crazy by continuing to cry about traveling. But we can't be the only ones. I mean did you see the play that they kept replaying where James literally hopped into the air came down defiantly with both feet, paused there to energetically intimidate the refs with the feeling of "this is legal" and then takes another half step? They replayed it like 4 times and no one, not even Van Gundy said a word about the hop. It's over. You can hop in the NBA. Maybe you should try out, Frog.

On “You act like you never saw a severed human head on a tortoise before

Even when it comes to just getting some heavy shit on the air, I still vote for House. On network television, they managed to get the following scene produced:
An episode about two young kids who turn out to have been accidentally exposed to viagra and are exhibiting adult sexual characteristics leads up to House going to their school. CLOSE on HOUSE saying "Do you have hair on your special part?" Camera pulls back to reveal that House is speaking to a 6 year old girl. She screams appropriately and runs away.

I'm not sayin' it's appropriate network television, I'm just sayin' it's mind-blowing that they got stuff like that produced.

What I like about the tortoise scene is that the guy who has a human reaction to it ends up being saved because he had a human reaction.

On “Open Thread

I've never seen him play much better than he's playing now. But where would the Heat be without the shooting of Bird, I mean Battier? Crazy.

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I blame Scott Brooks for this one. Because Derek made a big shot he kept him in the game way too long. When Sefolosia (who does have nerve problems and did make a critical turnover) came into the game with like 3 minutes left, OKC came back. You have to have him and Ibaka in the game more, especially with Durant out with fouls. Brooks made bad decisions. He also shouldn't have had Sefalosia bringing the ball in. You gotta know your people and their people. LeBron and Wade have a strange tendency to get beat down mentally and when OKC is stealing balls and blocking shots, they get down. Oh, well.

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Prometheus did have a couple moments. The self-directed surgery scene, when the new Sigorney Weaver cuts out an alien fetus, would get CK chuckling in a good way. The best thing about Avengers is the humor. Robert D Jr has some great quips. Iron Man and the Hulk become friends in a very well developed way, with their intelligence being the mutual draw. The whole movie is remarkably smart. I can't remember ever seeing a scene like the one when all the Avengers argue about what's going on. It brought to mind the dialogue in Amadeus, when the composer explains the way he's going to layer all the vocals in The Marriage of Figero.

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Just saw The Avengers. It was really good. I thought of the James K piece on the American "sacrifice" ethos. Interesting dialogue between Captain A and Iron Man. I think CK would be very interested in the whole thing. Did I report back about Prometheus? Sucked. Really sucked. The topper was when this one guy who had died beyond all possibility of coming back in a human way comes back to the ship and the captain, who's supposed to be a rational, clear thinking, astute captain guy, just lets him back on board without questioning the situation at all. The theater was empty on a Sat night so it was like we didn't get the memo, and those of us there were all just shaking our heads at how bad it was.

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Yes, KD has a shortcoming. Ginobili in that same situation (with advantage of being a step ahead of a sleeping defender) would have forced the refs to make a call. He's the best ever at that in my opinion.

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I did over-think that spelling. And while I'm here I can't help but point out something about LeBron's foul. He was not the wise vet there. If you have it recorded, watch how he doesn't know where the ball is. He's not making a defensive switch or anything. He's just a little slow. Biggest play of the game and he's not paying attention. So the ball comes in to Durant and he's out of position. If he was in position, I have no problem with an NBA foul being committed there, like the way Cooper would foul there. Totally different. LeBron phased out mentally like he does, and then used his strength to make up for it, hooking Durant seemingly casually because he's using so little of the abundance of strength he does have, making it look like less of a foul than it is. And this goes to what I wrote awhile back. Durant is not strong. If he gets fouled he won't make that shot and he didn't. That's a problem and it will remain a problem. That's the NBA, but a ref should be able to feel when someone is compensating for inattention and call them for it. That would be NBA level reffing. Didn't happen.

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Yes he did. I didn't see the montage. Didn't realize OKC's been getting non-calls. DId see Sephaloshia make one of the greatest saving the ball from going out of bounds plays in history last night. His nerves are hurting the team, though. He's really uptight and it's why their first quarters have been so horrible. I know it's getting old to complain about the traveling but I don't know. Wasn't it enough to go to the 2 steps is okay point? Do we really have to accept three for everyone and 3 and half for LeBron? I didn't even like letting 2 slide because 2 makes it complicated. It's relatively easy to spot someone taking 2 steps as compared to the legal one and a half. Once you make it okay to take 2 it's twice as hard to call the game and officiating ain't easy to begin with.

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It would be a great montage to put together the top 10 LeBron travels of the night. He skips. He hops. He trots. Ridiculous. The last uncalled foul on him took the cake. If OKC wasn't so fun to watch I would boycott the whole thing.

On “from good to goods, and the return of questions

But look at how I wrote that. It's a mess. You have to feel sorry for me, even though there may have been something going on with your site (because I definitely deleted those weird extra words as I was typing).

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OK. Well, I can give you a kinda-sorta on the second part. Your old friend Curtis White does a pretty good job of explaining in his book "The Middle Mind" how the "middle-mind" how Durant, yoga, and art are used placate the masses. Health-care vs Durant is like Oden vs Durant, but I do see your point.

On “Open Thread

Exactly right about Durant being longer and simpler. It's a simplistic beauty. It will be on us if we grow tired of watching. Good thing Westbrook is there to provide the drama. OKC may even be a perfect team in need of no fine tuning. I've been surprised at how limited Perkins is, but even that is perfect because Collison is really great at coming into the game when he does. CK is also right on about the Ls. They were closer. But when I say that OKC is perfect as is, it doesn't mean they're unbeatable. Their style of play is beatable. Durant will go cold at some point and that opens the door to muscle, which Lebron really has and when you let someone as strong as he is take 3 and a half steps to the basket, there's no way to defense that. Ugh. I still can't get past that ugliness. It was so great for it to be foiled last night.

On “from good to goods, and the return of questions

Yes, to that first part. It's especially sad to watch the Latino communities being ripped out of their established system of social relations. Research shows that despite many severe inequalities regarding health care, clean water, etc, Latinos were less likely to develop stress related medical issues like heart disease. That's changing for the worse as a result of the continued "ripping," which is always one step ahead of the immigrants ongoing ability to invest positive third world values into a community here.

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This will surprise you, but my equation was my way of saving everyone from having to endure my ideas on poverty and wealth. The LOOGers assume that everyone wants wealth. And I don't blame them. One of the creepiest things about our present condition is that the poor no longer to recognize the problem with being rich. I think they used to see that wealth was no blessing when it came to morals or suffering. They had the biblical idea about it being easier for a camel to fly through the eye of a needle than to enter heaven, and they had the regular perception to see how the rich suffer. Money corrupts. It corrupts the soul and it turns family members against you in ways that even Shakespeare never figured. Now, it's also true that only a wealthy person can afford to see the equality involved in the world's suffering. The poor starve. The rich eat their young. Equal. The poor have always held the moral high ground. No more. Equality. Inequality can't exist. Greed makes it impossible for us to surrender to the will of God, or Nature, or the Breath. Greed desensitizes us to the experience of our life force. James K rationalizes his championing of greed. But it's okay. His suffering is equal to his ignorance. Equality. At the same time, advocates for the poor increase their sensitivity to life and...oh wait...I was about to get into an advocacy of productivity. Does that make me a libertarian? No, because I stopped. Emptiness. That's what I meant to advocate. Emptiness is the same as wholeness.

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Inequality is temporary and reversible, while goodness is definitely inevitable and irreversible, and even if badness is as inevitable and irreversible as goodness, the stasis would be keeping everything equal so inequality can't really exist.

On “Open Thread

Isn't it amazing how good Durant is already? Poor Portland. Oden, Durant. What a fork in the road.

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i down, 3 to go.

On “The Mediocracy vs. Leo Strauss

I'm going to have a numerologist work out the numbers rundown expressed in this Miggs statement. I think it might help us identify the RHP as the Neopagans, or Ceremonial Magicians.

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I don't know from Strauss, but it interests me to skim the mediocre blog posts on him. LIke this one... target="_blank">http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2003_archives/001589.html
I think what the author explains there in respect to Strauss' text on Machiaveli relates to what you were saying regarding Strauss' numbers usage. Not really numerology. It's more like code. But the mediogers do connect Strauss with the Kabbala and you know where that leads. A numerological yellow brick road. Love it. I like the whole thing about people thinking Strauss is an elitist. I like the way he warns his readers "to be careful." The inscrutibilia is not only inscrutable but dangerous. You have to understand that the exoteric nature of true knowledge filled writing opposes its esoteric meaning. "Opposes." Love that. Maybe Miggs is on to something after all.

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I think maybe there's still something for me to like in there somewhere. I'll read what you wrote again and see. And in answer to your question, it was in the link, The Mediocrity of LS

Yes, there's also a lot of nonsense (numerology and the like).

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Well, why didn't you tell me that Strauss was into numerology? I don't h8 him anymore.

On “An und für nichts (liberalism on drone warfare 2)

CK--it is interesting linguistically. This is all also very germane in connection to the Kahn way of seeing things. It may not be about love and justice, but there's sacrifice involved. In a way, I'm being asked to sacrifice any possible gain I was getting from using the word. Because I have no interest in using it to exert some kind of intellectual or political power over anyone, it's easy for me to drop its use here on the blog. No problem. But can a word be hurtful outside of context? Yes and no. "Retard" would fall into the "never to be used" category. And yet, even on the yes side everything depends on context. The n word is a word I'm never comfortable using. But how about "black"? When I used to be the only white guy at this one gym, after playing ball, at around 2 in the morning, we would all sit around and have a beer and shoot the shit for a bit. There was usually one or two new guys, so it was up to me each time to communicate well and effectively. To make the process go smoothly and quickly, if it became part of the conversation, I would use "African American" a few times. Then, once my awareness of racial sensitivity had been established and it was obvious where I was "coming from," I would for the sake of "expediency, humor, or a bit of both" slide into the use of "black"--as in "I know black guys look at me and think I can't play." Using a cumbersome term is restrictive when it comes to humor. People should have a feel for where someone is coming from. I never met an African American man who couldn't roll with things contextually. A bigot using the word black is going to feel a certain way to an African American. So there are what we could call dangerous words. Unlike the "never to be used" words, they depend on context. As you have pointed out, retarded is not in itself particularly offensive, but it is dangerous and a feeling of danger is part of comedy. Being on either side of humor in a good way required a willingness to be at least slightly out of control. Control oriented people are rarely funny and rarely enjoy humor. You can't be truly funny and be afraid of dangerous words and ideas. Won't happen. And while people afraid to be funny can make other people feel bad for enjoying a good joke or story, it's their loss.

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The reply line went off, so I'm writing here now. Bob, this is about you and me. We're the ones communicating. If you are hurt by the word, I'm sorry. There's no one else here to get hurt. I understand your point. When people assume that because a few people are okay with something that makes it okay they're wrong. If I was doing that, I would be wrong. But look at the context bob. I was telling a story about intolerance. A community of bigots got their karmic deserts. They didn't know the guys were gay. They found out in an hilarious way when it hit them in the face. It's a stronger tale told by someone who isn't all liberal perfect. The story was nuanced for Christ's sake! I established the lack of bigotry with preliminary correctness. You were just looking for a fight, and when you realized it was wrong, you insisted on something that isn't true. First you made a mistake. You thought I used the word retard. If I had, you would have been right. Then, instead of recognizing your mistake you made another one. There is a huge diff between retard and retarded. You said there wasn't. You were wrong. Can the world retarded still be offensive? Yes. Of course! Without the context and without the fact that I was in obvious support of the guys it would be. I'm obviously not saying that just because they don't find the word offensive, it's not. It is. Relatively so. They became Buddhists because Buddhists are more tolerant. The story is about intolerance but we don't have to be so concerned all the time that we can't nuance things as well as I did and have people get it. You would have got it if you didn't hear "retard." You heard retard because you were looking for trouble. Again, there is no trouble here.
Look at how difficult you're being. First you get sensitive because I'm talking like you're not here. Then you don't want me to make it about you and me. You might want to make up your mind on that one.

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.

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