Linkage

Paleo Retiree writes:

  • Adrian Hyland delivers a thoroughly-reported big-picture piece about the carb wars.
  • Yo, baby.
  • Manosphere vet Matt Forney on what it’s like to be interviewed by ABC.
  • A short q&a with the very reasonable and intelligent architecture critic and historian Witold Rybczynski. Fun quote: “Since historic revivals have occurred regularly over the ages, there’s no reason to expect that they won’t continue.” Note the interviewer’s horror. I’m looking forward to Rybczynski’s new book.
  • Matt Taibbi says that the real cause of our public-pension funding crisis is cut-throat hedge-fund misbehavior.
  • Gavin McInnes suspects that most women aren’t happy as fulltime workers.
  • A very detailed look at a false rape accusation.
  • I’m thinking that “Let It Bleed” is probably the Rolling Stones’ finest moment.
  • Zachary Pearson’s “Theory and Structure” introduction to making craft cocktails is an informative, brainy delight: acidity; sugar; bitter; alcohol.

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog 2Blowhards.com. Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
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20 Responses to Linkage

  1. Toddy Cat says:

    He may or may not be right about hedge funds, but it’s always important to remember that Matt Taibbi is a drug-addled loon who is pretty much wedded to a dead-left narrative. To Taibbi, everything is the fault of “The 1%” Since some things actually are the fault of the 1%, he’s occasionally right, but in the same way that a stopped clock is right twice a day. His columns should be labeled “For Entertainment Purposes Only – Indulge in Moderation”.

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  2. Yeah, Taibbi is Democratic Party hack. Since the hedge fund ripoff was completely bipartisan, he’s got a 50% chance of being right in his tirades.

    Feminism Has Made Women Less Happy

    Bitching about being unhappy seems to have been the job of women pre- and post-feminism. They know men jump when they bitch, so why not bitch?

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  3. Faze says:

    The greatness of “Gimme Shelter” carries the album. Most of the other songs are weak, and two are excruciatingly slow. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is pretty good, but the stunt arrangement using the boy’s choir is a distraction that doesn’t add anything to the song. I’d say their best was “Aftermath”, “Between the Buttons” or “Out of our Heads”.

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    • No love for “Monkey Man”? “Midnight Ramber”? “Live With Me”? I love the early Stones too, but generally I’m one of those “they were at their best when they were being produced by Jimmy Miller” fans.

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      • Faze says:

        Imagine, if possible, “Let it Bleed” without “Gimme Shelter”. The mighty reverberations of that song color everything that follows with its power and authority. You’re sure right about Jimmy Miller, through. Their best producer by far.

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    • I know this is a boring answer, but Disc 1 of “Exile” still blows me away every time I listen to it.

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      • Last night I was listening to “Beggars Banquet” and I found myself thinking, “Y’know, maybe *this* one is their best …” Hard to believe how good they were for that stretch, from the early days right thru “Goat’s Head Soup.” Some missteps but an awful lot of great stuff.

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  4. Fake Herzog says:

    Toddy Cat beat me to it — how can anyone in their right mind (like our host) trust anything Taibbi writes? I tried to make my way through the linked article but quit after about four paragraphs. The horror of giving $200 million to hedge funds who want to go out and make a good return on that money — just like a mutual fund money manager, or a bond fund manager, etc. I suppose you could argue that public pensions should keep all their money in index funds, but then retirees are even more screwed and will have to suffer worse cuts to their benefits because all the accuaries were assuming returns on investments that did better than most index funds. Now what?

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  5. chucho says:

    Pinpointing their finest is an eternal question, but to me it’s clear that “Goat’s Head Soup” is their most underrated.

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  6. I’m not sure I understand the hate for Matt Taibbi. I think he’s done a lot of brave and important work since 2008. I don’t know of anyone who has made a lot of these hard-to-understand shenanigans more vivid and clear than he does — I have my moments when I think he may even qualify as one our era’s great writers. (To my mind, some of the best writing-of-any-kind that got done in the 1980s was journalism about that era’s financial-sector misbehavior. Why shouldn’t that be the case about our own era?)

    A couple of specific responses: What makes you think he’s drug-addled and untrustworthy? I’m sure he’s enjoyed a lot of raucous times, particularly when younger. But these days he’s doing complicated, dicey financial reporting. He’s cultivating a lot of contacts, he’s maintaining a lot of trust, he’s perusing a lot of mind-numbingly dry documents, he’s organizing complex material, and he’s almost certainly having to go thru nearly everything he writes with fact-checkers, editors and lawyers. That’s a lot of hyper-responsible, on-the-ball work — you can’t do it unless you’ve got a very clear head. Do you think of him as drug-addled because of his past? Because he writes in a hyperbolic, gonzo tone? But he’s many hundreds of pieces and a few books into his career, and I haven’t yet run across anyone offering any substantial criticisms of his reporting about the financial world’s misbehavior. Other financial journalists seem to respect the hell out of him, in fact. So I doubt that, in this phase of his life anyway, he’s doing a lot of his work while shitfaced. It would have shown up long ago in bad errors, angry and betrayed sources, and lurid exposes about his shoddy methods. There are a lot of powerful people out there who don’t like what he’s saying — I think it’s likely that they’re looking for any weak spot in his work as a way to take him out. I’m sure he knows that’s the case too, and so does everything he can to make sure he’s got his facts nailed down good and firm. Which, as far as I’m concerned, makes me even more likely to trust his reporting.

    As for his leftieness, I don’t know what to say. Sure it’s there, but if we’re going to pay attention to only those reporters and media figures whose political p-o-v we approve of, then we aren’t going to be bothering with the news much at all. You can’t overlook the 10% of his work that’s political and enjoy the 90% of it that’s straight reporting? Besides, if now isn’t a good moment for a reporter to be motivated by amazement and outrage at our elite’s misbehavior, then I don’t know when would be.

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    • In my youth in the music biz, I was in coke financed bands. Taibbi, I have no doubt, is a coke user. The ranting style tells the whole story. Then again, in the arts and journalism biz in NYC, who isn’t a coke user? Coke users, and their ranting style, long ago wore me out. I won’t work with musicians who are coke users. Passed on a lot of gigs because of that.

      His wild partisanship makes his stuff irrelevant to me. Shit, I know who the financial meltdown thieves were. I worked for them. In NYC, they are all liberal Democrats. I was also employed as a consultant in the “fix” that was Dodd/Frank. The “fix” turned out to be another scam, cleverly disguised as a make work employment scheme for the greater good of Diversity.

      Taibbi’s failure to grasp that the financial scam of the mortgage meltdown was completely bipartisan makes him an idiot, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t need to know how the scam was carried out, since I worked right in the middle of the whole pile of shit as a flunky.

      If you want to understand this biz, Steve Sailer is far more intelligent, nonpartisan and coherent.

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      • Toddy Cat says:

        PR,
        Sure, there are lefty writers out there that you can trust. I do not believe that Taibbi is one of them, and I do not see how anyone can read what I can only describe as his ravings and take him seriously as a journalist. Sure, Taibbi is right occasionally. So is that guy who thinks that the world is being run by shape-shifting lizards. If other financial journalists respect him, that surely tells us more about financial “journalists” than it does Taibbi. The basic problem with hyper-partisans like Taibbi (or his counterparts on the Right, who cetrtainly exist) is that, even when what he states is true, you know that you are only getting half the story, the part that follows the party line – and that can be worse that having nothing at all. If you leave out what the Nazis or Communists were doing at the time, and just reported the misdeeds of the Allies/Free World, it would be very easy to convince someone that the Totalitarians were the good guys (Chomsky and Moldbug have a tendency to actually do this, which is why they are not overly trustworthy either, although one can learn from both of them). Anyway, I guess that we’ll just have to agree to disagree on Taibbi. For what it’s worth, I agree with you about “Let it Bleed”…

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  7. Toddy Cat says:

    Simce I might be asked to name one, I’d classify Stephanie Mencimer of Mother Jones as a trustworthy lefty journalist. Sure, she puts a leftist spin on things, but she doesn’t ignore wrongdoing by some people just because they have a “D” behind their name. Her work on the Iraq false rape story has been outstanding. That’s the difference between being a left-wing journalist, and a party hack.

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    • I liked her piece about the false rape case too. Has she been good generally?

      I’ll make a few small points where our discussion about Taibbi goes and then drop the subject. 1) His gonzo style is just a style. Given that you can choose to write consciously in one style or another — including the Hunter S. Thompson mode — I don’t think you can really conclude what kind of state someone’s in just from his/her style. By this point in his career, Taibbi can probably do “gonzo” in his sleep. 2) Beneath the ranting tone, these pieces of Taibbi’s are meticulously reported and organized — and the main thing that characterizes real coke-driven writing is its disorganization. I don’t see how anyone who’s whacked-out on drugs could write a piece like the one I linked to. Granted that it *is* possible that Taibbi turns in chaotic coke-addled ravings and his editor pulls the pieces together for him … 3) No one reporter or thinker delivers the full story, and I’d never expect anyone to do so. Where the news goes, you have to read multiple sources, or so it seems to me. And, while I wouldn’t suggest that people read only Taibbi, he certainly seems to me to be a worthwhile stop. He digs up shenanigans no one else does, and he explains ’em well and makes ’em vivid like no one else. 4) I love Steve Sailer, but I don’t think even he’d claim to be “nonpartisan.”

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      • Sailer is the very essence of nonpartisan. He’s contemptuous of both the Republicans and Democrats, and he’s hated by both sides. You can’t get any more nonpartisan than that. He’s a total outsider.
        I think you’re confusing nonpartisan with disinterested and uninvolved.
        If he is partisan, please tell me which party he belongs to.

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  8. Toddy Cat says:

    “Has she been good generally?”

    Hard to say. Generally speaking I disagree with her, a lot. But I think that if she uncovered wrongdoing by someone on her “side”, she would grit her teeth and expose it. Heck, that’s exactly what she did in the Iraq story, and you have to admire that. Steve Sailer has done the same thing, with regard to the Right. Neither of them is “non-partisan” (is anyone?) but they are both willing to criticize people on their side, when they think that they are wrong. Taibbi, not so much. I guess that’s what I mean by “hyper-partisan”. But who knows, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there is something to be gained by reading Taibbi – but given how unpleasant I find his writing, I think I’ll just let you read him for me…

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  9. Sailer’s a paleocon who’d like to recapture the Republican party. He writes about what the Republicans need to do all the time. Saying that he’s “nonpartisan” is like trying to claim that Pat Buchanan is nonpartisan. I don’t get it.

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  10. Fake Herzog says:

    Here is a perfect response to the Taibbi piece, which distills the essence of why he’s such a hack:

    http://american.com/archive/2013/october/the-real-reasons-we-have-a-public-pension-crisis

    Because Taibbi is blinded by his ideology (Wall Street = bad, working man and pensions = good) he can’t understand that our current pension problems are simple math — politicians promised too much to too many government workers and hid the true costs for many years and now the bill is coming due. The fact that Wall Street would love to help these pensions get higher returns on their investments is like saying your local ice-cream man would like to make a profit on the chocolate/peanut-butter ice-cream cone he just sold you — it is a simple fact of life.

    I am particularly interested in this issue as I will rely on a public pension for my retirement; I’m just not crazy and I realize that it won’t be worth what politicians claim it will be today — there will have to be cuts to make it sustainable.

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