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Saturday, May 03, 2014

[OTP - May 2014] House stadium funding package advances with Cuban baseball player provision

A bill that would enable professional sports franchises to compete for sales tax subsidies cleared a major hurdle Friday, winning overwhelming support in the Florida House.

The tax breaks would be available to professional football, basketball, hockey and soccer teams, as well as professional rodeos and NASCAR-sponsored events.

But baseball teams would have to stay on the bench — unless Major League Baseball changes its rules about Cuban baseball players.

Lawmakers added the stipulation in response to media reports that Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig had been held hostage by human traffickers while trying to establish residency in Mexico in 2012.

Under Major League Baseball rules, players from Cuba must live in another country before they can become free agents. Cuban players who come directly to the United States are forced into the amateur draft, which limits their salaries.

“Major League Baseball [has] inadvertently created a market for human smuggling and the unequal treatment of Cuban baseball players,” said Rep. José Félix Díaz, R-Miami, who introduced the provision with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. “We’re not going to give away our taxpayer dollars until this ill is corrected.”

In response, the MLB issued the following statement: “While the sponsors of the bill in Florida blame MLB policies for the role of human smugglers, they do not provide any support for their premise that Cuban players must rely on traffickers to defect to countries other than the U.S. such as Mexico or the Dominican Republic, but would not need the assistance of traffickers to reach U.S. soil.”

 

Tripon Posted: May 03, 2014 at 09:38 AM | 4455 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: otp, politics

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   1801. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 13, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4706140)
(*) And three minutes of other indicia of deep male attraction, another critical component of homosexuality. That's what it depicted, beyond any argument. It depicted a male on male kiss and three minutes of other indicia of deep male attraction. On a bed. I suppose the context may have had some impact on the "ultimate meaning," such as it is -- but the facts of what it depicted are perfectly clear, no more subject to real dispute than the fact that John Travolta didn't appear in Casablanca. The burden is on you, not me, to explain how the "context" modified the meaning of what was depicted -- and the cultural reaction thereto. So far, you haven't come close to meeting the burden.

Well, for one thing, that "bed" was a deathbed, not a bed at the Honeymoon Hotel. That might make for an entsy weentsy bit of difference. But soldier on, Sherlock.
   1802. BDC Posted: May 13, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4706141)
If I had to put on my divining cap, I would estimate audience reaction in 1927 to the Wings kiss ran like this:

1% Noël Coward, Evelyn Waugh et al. thinking to themselves the primordial equivalent of Oh Myyy.
80% thinking what brave young men we sent off to the Great War
15% thinking what brave young men we sent off to the Great War but that scene is over the top and I wish the movies were subtler
2% thinking what brave young men we sent off to the Great War but isn't that a little smutty in ways I don't want to discuss
1% thinking we must censor this scene and never think about this again
1% young gay men, still not quite sure what's up, thinking what brave young men we sent off to the Great War and I know that that scene is full of awful pluck and camaraderie, but something in me stirred when I saw their lips touch and I wonder if others felt that way too

IOW there's always a range of reactions (and possibly of intentions!) But I don't think that "Yawn, gay lovers, show us something new, Hollywood" was one. And I don't think that any of those six groups would have articulated even "Gay lovers" except the first, and them only among friends, and then only in the sense of riffing on something they knew the other 99% would read differently.

   1803. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4706146)
Jon Gruden said recently that Tebow has remade his fundamentals considerably since he was last in the league, and could now be a viable NFL quarterback.


Someone has said that about Tebow every single training camp since he was drafted.

   1804. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4706148)
I concede the question of Sam's draft round to Ron, whom one should rarely be on the opposing side of. That said, I still think he gets drafted in the 4th or 5th by a team with an edge rusher need - say Atlanta or New York - if he's not openly out of the closet.
   1805. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4706150)
Jon Gruden said recently that Tebow has remade his fundamentals considerably since he was last in the league, and could now be a viable NFL quarterback.


Jon Gruden is an idiot.
   1806. BDC Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4706152)
Tebow has remade his fundamentals considerably

He's in the best shape of his life?
   1807. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4706154)
He's in the best shape of his life?


He converted to Islam.
   1808. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4706157)

The world's ultimate meritocracy is going to let one of the best running backs to ever walk the Earth stay unemployed because he's gay? In 1989?


Forgot to say earlier that we're also talking about the league that drafted one black quarterback before the fifth round between 1936 and 1984.
   1809. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4706166)
Forgot to say earlier that we're also talking about the league that drafted one black quarterback before the fifth round between 1936 and 1984.


I think the point made earlier about AIDS in 1989 is the final word on the question. I don't think Ray understands what the controlling narrative was about gay men in 1989.
   1810. CrosbyBird Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4706190)
how "disappointing" would a Dem candidate have to be, before Dem voters start demanding (real) change, or take their votes/$/support elsewhere?

This is one of the least talked-about parts of having one party that is actively working to endorse values that you find morally repugnant. Without a remotely palatable Republican candidate that can make it through the primaries, the standard for the Democrat opponent becomes outrageously low.

Obama has done some things that I'm not at all happy with, but there's really no viable alternative. Basically, until the Republicans divorce themselves from the religious fundamentalists, the anti-science interests, and catering to the ultra-wealthy, they're more dangerous to me than anything the Democrats can do.
   1811. Lassus Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4706191)
Well, for one thing, that "bed" was a deathbed

What? Good lord, SBB.
   1812. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4706218)
I concede the question of Sam's draft round to Ron, whom one should rarely be on the opposing side of. That said, I still think he gets drafted in the 4th or 5th by a team with an edge rusher need - say Atlanta or New York - if he's not openly out of the closet.
he was a 3rd/4th/5th/6th round prospect before the combine, which he completely bombed. it wasn't just that he was mediocre, it was that there was literally not a single thing he did well. 3rd percentile in height, 29th in weight, 1st in hand size, 29th in 40 yard dash, 7th in bench press, 1st in vertical jump. everything he did there was awful by NFL standards. there was not a single redeeming measurable to come out of his combine performance.

now, maybe/probably the fact that he came out before the combine had some effect on his performance at the combine, but if a straight or closeted man had the same performance, he doesn't get drafted.
   1813. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4706225)
I for one will support any non-crazy non-Hillary candidate in the Dem primary. I've never supported a Clinton in a Democratic primary and I'm not about to now. Whether that will actually lead to someone unseating Hillary is another question.
   1814. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:12 PM (#4706230)
Remember Florida 13, the Congressional District held for decades by the late Bill Young that was won narrowly in the recent special election by Republican Dave Jolly over former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, who many had regarded as a slight favorite? Things keep getting worse for the Democrats - The Most Botched House Race of 2014:
Washington and Florida Democrats took the unusual step of endorsing an independent candidate for Florida's 13th Congressional District at the last minute on the filing deadline day. Now they have egg on their faces after independent Ed Jany, a registered Democrat, surprisingly dropped out of the race Tuesday, again draining Democratic hopes of challenging GOP Rep. David Jolly in a Tampa-area swing seat.
. . .
Just two months ago, Democrats may have been slightly favored to capture the seat held for decades by the late Rep. Bill Young, who died late last year. But despite fielding former gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, a fundraising dynamo who came into the race with high name recognition and benefited from millions of dollars in outside group spending, the party suffered a narrow defeat in the March special election against Republican David Jolly.

It's only gotten worse from there. Sink declined to run again in the fall despite a concerted recruitment effort, leaving the party to turn to Jany, a former Republican who had to run as an independent because, under Florida law, he hadn't been registered as a Democrat long enough. In an effort to help Jany, party leaders pressured local NAACP chapter President Manuel Sykes, a Democrat, to drop out of the race, leaving no one on the party line.

Now Democrats don't have Jany either, and those they pushed out the way on his behalf don't sound eager to jump back into the race.

Jany's departure from the contest leaves Democrats with few options in a district that now looks increasingly secure for the GOP. Sykes told National Journal he is unlikely to get back in the race because of how the Pinellas County Democratic Party treated him when asking him to drop out. County Party Chairman Mark Hanisee, he said, left him a voicemail saying he would be "persona non grata" if he stayed in the race.

"I don't want to get mixed up with party leadership," Sykes said. "Even if they smile at me, I know it's not sincere. I don't feel comfortable."

The easiest time to oust an incumbent Congressman, regardless of party, is usually in the 1st or 2nd election.
   1815. Lassus Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4706235)
Many truly professional analysts far more experienced than anyone on this board find the combine worthless, do they not?
   1816. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4706236)
What? Good lord, SBB.


Yes. Deathbed. The scene in question occurs in the war. The two former friends have fallen apart having become romantic rivals for Clara Bow's character. Both of them are fighter pilots in WWI. Dude 1 gets shot down and is presume dead. Dude 2, remorseful for having lost his friend while still being on the outs over the girl, goes up looking for a fight. He finds a German plane flying his way and shoots it down. He lands to collect a trophy (?!), at which point he is convinced by the locals to go over and see the man he shot down. Turns out it was his old buddy, who had stolen a German plane and was attempting to fly it to freedom. Dude 2 had totally killed his former best bud, Dude 1! The entire "bed" scene, which ends in a kiss, is them coming to terms of forgiveness and reconciliation before Dude 1 ups and dies from his wounds.

It's super sexy.
   1817. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4706242)
Wow, that is detailed. You must have watched at least five, or perhaps even six minutes of "Wings."
   1818. Greg K Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4706259)
Yes. Deathbed. The scene in question occurs in the war. The two former friends have fallen apart having become romantic rivals for Clara Bow's character. Both of them are fighter pilots in WWI. Dude 1 gets shot down and is presume dead. Dude 2, remorseful for having lost his friend while still being on the outs over the girl, goes up looking for a fight. He finds a German plane flying his way and shoots it down. He lands to collect a trophy (?!), at which point he is convinced by the locals to go over and see the man he shot down. Turns out it was his old buddy, who had stolen a German plane and was attempting to fly it to freedom. Dude 2 had totally killed his former best bud, Dude 1! The entire "bed" scene, which ends in a kiss, is them coming to terms of forgiveness and reconciliation before Dude 1 ups and dies from his wounds.

Reminiscint of Rudyard Kipling's Mary Postgate, where a repressed, middle-aged English woman has a young man, who she treats as her son, killed during the First World War (I believe as a pilot). Somewhat later, another pilot crashes near her home. Here it gets a bit ambiguous as Mary seems to assume the pilot is German (though in the story he only speaks French). From the wreckage he asks for a doctor, she instead goes and gets a gun just in case he tries something funny, and spends the next hour or two watching him slowly die. When he finally dies, she walks away from the corpse and masturbates in a bath tub.

Really a great story.

It does also remind me of The Lord of the Rings films, though not Sam and Frodo. More like when Boromir dies, and Aragorn and him have a tender moment where Boromir finally acknowledges him as his King and Aragorn kisses him.
   1819. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:08 PM (#4706268)
Many truly professional analysts far more experienced than anyone on this board find the combine worthless, do they not?
kind of, but not really.

the thing about the combine is that it's not football, but it is the most comprehensive evaluative tool that NFL teams have. combine performance may not be the reason why a team drafts a player, but it might be the reason why a team looks more closely at that player. and that actually is kind of important.
   1820. SteveF Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:08 PM (#4706269)
Many truly professional analysts far more experienced than anyone on this board find the combine worthless, do they not?

Not worthless, no. You certainly wouldn't want to draft football players solely based on those measurements, though. I don't doubt you could find many, many people who think people in the business place too much emphasis on them.
   1821. Greg K Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:08 PM (#4706270)
Also, I hate to do this again, but you guys keep discussing stuff that tangentially relates to my research. A big issue with reading homosexuality (or perhaps more accurately sodomy, as "homosexuality" is a bit of an anachronistic term in the early modern period) into actions in the 17th century is that men kissing, or expressing love for one another, or referring to one another as "my love" in letters, or similar endearments were common enough that reading them as problematic sexually was entirely context dependent. If two men loved one another and expressed that love by kissing, especially after extended separations, it wasn't really worth commenting on. If a man did that, while at the same time pursuing a pacific foreign policy and favouring one political faction led by a young attractive man, rather than another political faction led by a different attractive young man (as it so happened with James I), then it could be read as sexualized. What was entirely normal, accepted behaviour in one context, was something else entirely in another.

I don't know this Wings movie from a hole in the ground (though I'm sure it couldn't have been as good as the television series Wings), but failing to mention that the bed on which the men are kissing is a death bed is pretty flagrantly misleading and disingenuous. Not to mention ignoring the long tradition in Western culture of men expressing love for one another on death beds (or death trees in the case of the first son of Gondor).
   1822. Steve Treder Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:48 PM (#4706286)
You must have watched at least five, or perhaps even six minutes of "Wings."

That's so gay.
   1823. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:14 AM (#4706374)
he was a 3rd/4th/5th/6th round prospect before the combine, which he completely bombed. it wasn't just that he was mediocre, it was that there was literally not a single thing he did well. 3rd percentile in height, 29th in weight, 1st in hand size, 29th in 40 yard dash, 7th in bench press, 1st in vertical jump. everything he did there was awful by NFL standards. there was not a single redeeming measurable to come out of his combine performance.


IIRC this describes Tom Brady fairly well. As I understand it -- and if someone needs to correct me please do so -- Brady was absolutely horrible at pretty much everything they were measuring for QBs at the combine. He was slow, unathletic, couldn't jump, couldn't run. I _think_ there was one thing he was ok at (arm strength?) but I forget.

And yet he turned into Tom Brady. I don't think anything can account for the ability to make good reads and decisions at the NFL-game level.
   1824. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 06:00 AM (#4706378)
If you actually go back to what I wrote, you'll note again the explicit difference I drew between depiction and context. Andy, as is his wont, plucked one of many details out and noted its ... context. (*)

What is depicted in the scene is what I said was depicted in the scene.

I just took another peek at it and noticed that after the kiss, the camera cuts away, for the only time in the scene, to a reaction shot of Clara Bow, who kind of widens her eyes. We can rest assured that the cutaway was no accident and that the director thought the kiss (as opposed to any of the other interactions between them) warranted an exposition of an explicit reaction from her.

(*) And even that's misleading; it's not as though two people can't do things on a "deathbed."

   1825. JE (Jason) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 06:22 AM (#4706380)
Panetta lecture panel weighs in on Snowden, Benghazi:
Gellman declined comment on the latest congressional investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

But Panetta and Morell, noting the attack has been subject to many investigations already, said they welcome the latest one in the House.

"If you look at the polling numbers a not insignificant percentage of the American people still have questions," Morell said.

Morell, who said he already has testified four times about Benghazi, said he is 100 percent confident the upcoming investigation will show that allegations "the intelligence community politicized its analysis" are false.

Panetta, a former Central Coast congressman and Democratic Party stalwart, said there needs to be an investigation to lay out the full story to the public. "The problem has been sometimes bits and pieces of information keep coming out" that raise more questions, he said.

"Obviously there is a concern whether it's going to be a political effort to target an issue for a campaign," Panetta said. "I hope Democrats participate, and it really is a legitimate effort."


It's good to see there are still a few adults in the room. (Hint: Among other things, they're the former administration officials not exclaiming "Dude!" in televised interviews.)
   1826. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 07:47 AM (#4706391)
... actually there is another reaction shot of Bow, early in the scene, when the hair-stroking begins.

She looks ashen in that one -- and it can't be because she realizes the guy is going to die, because that pronouncement comes later. She's obviously reacting -- and is meant to be shown reacting -- to the expressions of "friendship" that progress beyond mere words.

The interpretation that this is just a scene of friendship, in 1927 cinematic code, is utterly ludicrous.
   1827. JE (Jason) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:04 AM (#4706395)
RIP William Ash, 96:
ESCAPE from a German prisoner-of-war camp was not just a bid for freedom. It was a way of humiliating the Nazis, and distracting them from the war effort. But for William Ash it was more than all that: it was an addiction. He made nearly a dozen escape attempts, ranging from the elaborate (tunnelling out from latrines) to the simple but audacious (bolting when a guard’s back was turned).

Most ended in the “cooler”, the punishment cells. He did not mind the isolation: his mind was free even if his body was not. He recalled swathes of poetry from his school days in Texas, and wrote a novel (torn to shreds by a vengeful guard). Mostly he let his thoughts roam over fanciful escape plans. “I catapulted myself over the wire on a giant rubber band, I burrowed out through the walls like one of the mites in the German cheese, I soared on home-made glider wings,” he recalled.

It was during one such spell, in the infamous Stalag Luft III, that he heard the sirens blare, marking the discovery of the ill-fated mass breakout known as the “Great Escape” . But he decried suggestions that he was the model for Virgil Hilts, the American pilot played by Steve McQueen in the Hollywood film of the exploit; he was no good at riding a motorbike, he said. ...

He did not condemn those who cracked under the strain of camp life. But he disliked grumblers at its rigours. Though camp food was indubitably poor, the prices were more than reasonable, he said reprovingly. And laughter and shouting were the best answers to the vagaries of the universe. His posh counterparts thought their years at Britain’s best boarding schools were good preparation in evading authority amid privation. But his own resilience, and skills in finding blind spots and ruses, came from life as a hobo, riding freight trains during the great depression, dodging the “bulls” (railroad police) and scrounging food. Fastidious inmates shunned the gritty “Klippfisch” (dried cod); he gobbled it. He’d known real hunger.

He was achingly close to success when, having found a boat on the Lithuanian coast, he was too weak to haul it into the water. He chanced his luck with some nearby farm workers. They looked at him with sympathy, but then one replied dryly: “We would love to help you but we are soldiers of the German army and you are standing on our cabbages.” ...

After the war he went to Oxford, and rose up the BBC, becoming its man in India. When his increasingly left-wing politics (including brawls with the fascists in London’s East End) ended that career, he became a notable expert on radio drama and a mentor for young writers.

Unable to join the mainstream Communist Party because of his idiosyncratic views, he ended up in the Pythonesque world of British far-left politics, as a founder of the tiny Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist). As well as novels and a bestselling memoir, he wrote books on Marxism, and, in 1974, “Pickaxe and Rifle”, in praise of Enver Hoxha’s benighted and isolated Albania. The regime there was so hardline that it termed Soviet Communism a revisionist fraud. Strangely, he seemed not to see that the workers’ paradise he lauded so quixotically was another prison camp run by bullies.
   1828. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:04 AM (#4706396)
Keep digging, Bear. You're adorable when you're this stupid in public.
   1829. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:18 AM (#4706401)
... actually there is another reaction shot of Bow, early in the scene, when the hair-stroking begins.

She looks ashen in that one -- and it can't be because she realizes the guy is going to die, because that pronouncement comes later.


You're right, because given the circumstances of how he got to where he was, he was the perfect picture of health, and never mind that the French guy said that it had already been too late to call a doctor even before the others had arrived at the scene.

(*) And even that's misleading; it's not as though two people can't do things on a "deathbed."

"C'mon, dear, chin up, we've still got time for a quickie!"

   1830. Ron J2 Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:26 AM (#4706406)
Ray, here's Brady's pre-draft scouting report. Doesn't say anything about his combine. Note that the scout basically sees Brian Griese as the upside.

Notes: Baseball catcher and football quarterback in high school who was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the June 1995 baseball draft. Opted for football and redshirted at Michigan in ’95. Saw limited action in ’96 and ’97 and started the past two years. Completed 3 of 5 passes for 26 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in ’96, 12-15-103-0-0 in ’97, 214-350-2,636-15-12 in ’98 and 180-295-2,216-16-6 in ’99, when he often shared time with super sophomore Drew Henson. Went all the way against Alabama in the Orange Bowl and completed 34-46-369-4. Unlike many Michigan quarterbacks, Brady is a pocket-type passer who plays best in a dropback-type system.

Tom Brady Positives: Good height to see the field. Very poised and composed. Smart and alert. Can read coverages. Good accuracy and touch. Produces in big spots and in big games. Has some Brian Griese in him and is a gamer. Generally plays within himself. Team leader.

Negatives: Poor build. Very skinny and narrow. Ended the ’99 season weighing 195 pounds and still looks like a rail at 211. Looks a little frail and lacks great physical stature and strength. Can get pushed down more easily than you’d like. Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush. Lacks a really strong arm. Can’t drive the ball down the field and does not throw a really tight spiral. System-type player who can get exposed if he must ad-lib and do things on his own.

Summary: Is not what you’re looking for in terms of physical stature, strength, arm strength and mobility, but he has the intangibles and production and showed great Griese-like improvement as a senior. Could make it in the right system but will not be for everyone.

Found a brief clip that has some footage of Brady at the combine and a discussion of his results there. He did very badly. Brady combine
   1831. zonk Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4706418)
This is one of the least talked-about parts of having one party that is actively working to endorse values that you find morally repugnant. Without a remotely palatable Republican candidate that can make it through the primaries, the standard for the Democrat opponent becomes outrageously low.

Obama has done some things that I'm not at all happy with, but there's really no viable alternative. Basically, until the Republicans divorce themselves from the religious fundamentalists, the anti-science interests, and catering to the ultra-wealthy, they're more dangerous to me than anything the Democrats can do.



Historically, I think it's been pretty rare to find a President that's really on the vanguard of any particular political ideology...

I think it's fair to say that a good 20% of the country would probably have been to the left of FDR in the 30s -- various candidates on his left got nearly 3% of the vote in the 1936 election - and I'm betting if Huey Long doesn't get assassinated, it's closer to 10%... You don't have to look too far to find folks in the 30s that were only nascent FDR supporters, who felt he was too moderate: Social Security was weak sauce compared to the nationalized pension systems springing up in Europe the decades before, and the Townsend planners never really accepted it. Of course, the counterpoint would be that FDR saw plenty of efforts stymied by SCOTUS (and the counterpoint to that is that he also had enormous Democratic congressional majorities).

Reagan backed off his supply sider nonsense pretty quickly after his initial tax cuts proved disastrous -- even going on to 'save' Social Security after denouncing it for decades prior... Richard Viguerie and plenty of others were openly talking about primarying him as late as 1983.

Teddy Roosevelt might be the best example I can think of, and he was really an accidental President that got there only because the plan to get him safely out of the way in the VP office backfired.

Maybe Lincoln, but I don't think you have to look too far to find abolitionists who likewise didn't think he was a true believer...
   1832. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4706424)
Thanks, Ron. Actually, the scout does get Brady's "positives" right, particularly the "can read coverages."

   1833. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4706426)
Keep digging, Bear. You're adorable when you're this stupid in public.

Though your poses and protestations to the contrary are an unending source of entertainment (*), the fact of the matter remains:

They're the sophisticates.

You're the rube.

(*) And free!!!
   1834. BDC Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4706429)
I wish Sam the best with the Rams. So much of a football career seems to me to depend on staying healthy. You can assume there will be attrition around you on the depth chart, you just have to hope you're not part of it.

Or maybe that's my impression because I follow the Cowboys :) Seems like there were times last season when their entire starting defense consisted of guys who had started the year as third- or fourth-stringers.
   1835. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4706433)
You're right, because given the circumstances of how he got to where he was, he was the perfect picture of health, and never mind that the French guy said that it had already been too late to call a doctor even before the others had arrived at the scene.

Then how would Clara Bow have known?

Not that it matters anyway, because she wasn't reacting to Hero 1 telling Hero 2 it'll be ok; she's reacting to the hair stroking.

Just as later, she reacts to the kiss.

The director cut to a reaction shot of Clara Bow to the kiss, thus explicitly commenting on the kiss. Film 101. The fact that this was a silent movie, wherein cuts and reactions are critical to the film because the characters can't use words, renders the cut and the shot even more important and telling.

As noted, both reaction shots were to increasing non-verbal expressions of affection -- which is exactly where you'd expect them. In 1927 and 2014.

And even that's misleading; it's not as though two people can't do things on a "deathbed."

"C'mon, dear, chin up, we've still got time for a quickie!"


And what's happened on deathbeds and in situations of death inevitable for millenia of scripted drama and comedy? Honest confessions and portrayals of previously hidden and tucked-away longings and desires.

You've never noticed that? How about the Seinfeld finale?
   1836. GregD Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4706435)
Maybe Lincoln, but I don't think you have to look too far to find abolitionists who likewise didn't think he was a true believer...
Absolutely. You can see this in Horace Greeley's (spectacularly mistimed) 1862 letter The Prayer of Twenty Millions" to see how widespread was the feeling among serious party members that Lincoln was a wishy-washy compromiser. (I don't buy this theory but think it is clear that many, many people including many officeholders thought so.) The idea of knocking Lincoln off the ticket was seriously viable at least until late 1863 (it might even have been more likely) and was out there in early 1864. Even after he cleared any party challenger, Lincoln faced a run by John Fremont, a former Republican presidential nominee, who ran as an independent claiming Lincoln was at best a moderate, more likely a conservative (and promised to withdraw if the Republicans nominated anyone other than Lincoln). In the end, Fremont withdrew out of horror at the Democratic platform, which he judged so bad as to be worth backing Lincoln.

So, yes, it was always thus. In a two-party system, the push to get the majority plus one will draw candidates who appeal more to the middle than to the edges. (It is scary to realize this has still been true in the Republican Party the last two cycles, as I think the party is well, well to the right of McCain and Romney.)

But that's the nature of politics and why it is different than a debating society. Since it has real-world impact, the goal is not self-identification but gauging the option likely to produce the best (or at least, least-bad) outcomes among the available choices.

I, too, would vote against Hillary and for a viable primary challenger (though not for Cuomo) as I too have never voted for a Clinton in a primary. But I would have no reservation voting for her in a general election. Just as I would not critique a Republican who voted for an edgier candidate in the primary but then held his nose and voted for Jeb or Romney Part Deux or whatever in the general. We don't get to invent the world; we are responsible though for our actions in the world that does exist.
   1837. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4706437)
   1838. Greg K Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4706439)
If you actually go back to what I wrote, you'll note again the explicit difference I drew between depiction and context. Andy, as is his wont, plucked one of many details out and noted its ... context. (*)

I haven't been following the conversation that closely, so perhaps I misunderstand what you mean, but I looked back really quickly and I didn't catch where you mention the context of the scene. You've clearly seen the scene and I haven't, so we should probably leave it at that.

Interestingly enough a semiotics professor here in Toronto just wrote a book last year The History of the Kiss which mentions the Wings scene:
"really not a romantic kiss, reverberating more with the desperate love between two dear friends who are about to be separated by death...[but] unconsciously started the process of opening up America's rigid moral attitudes at the time."

Might be an interesting book, one of my favourite books sounds like a somewhat similar study of the history of the smile.
   1839. formerly dp Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4706450)
"really not a romantic kiss, reverberating more with the desperate love between two dear friends who are about to be separated by death...[but] unconsciously started the process of opening up America's rigid moral attitudes at the time."
Why would anyone trust a trained semiotician's analysis over SBB's? The prof probably took all sorts of unnecessary steps, like watch the film, before providing his opinion...
   1840. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4706452)
And even that's misleading; it's not as though two people can't do things on a "deathbed."


"There's nothing really special about public necrophilia. In fact, the popular 1921 movie "Wings" depicts it as normal and utterly unremarkable..."
   1841. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4706454)
I haven't been following the conversation that closely, so perhaps I misunderstand what you mean, but I looked back really quickly and I didn't catch where you mention the context of the scene. You've clearly seen the scene and I haven't, so we should probably leave it at that.

I didn't say much about context, other than by way of distinguishing it conceptually from depiction.

I've described accurately the things that are depicted on the screen -- at least in the easily-available YouTube clip. Including the telling reaction shots.

The most important thing to note about the context is that the scene is played straight (*), not ironically or comedically; accordingly, it bears no resemblance to things like men-in-drag scenes, slapstick, or the intra-male kiss of death in Godfather II.

(*) No pun intended.

   1842. BDC Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4706455)
I was going to look for some new political topic to post, but the top story on Google News is something about Justin Bieber mugging a woman at a miniature-golf course to get her cellphone.
   1843. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4706463)
Why would anyone trust a trained semiotician's analysis over SBB's? The prof probably took all sorts of unnecessary steps, like watch the film, before providing his opinion...

When all else fails, appeal to "authority."

Not that I've necessarily commented on whether the kiss was "romantic" or not.

"really not a romantic kiss, reverberating more with the desperate love between two dear friends who are about to be separated by death...[but] unconsciously started the process of opening up America's rigid moral attitudes at the time."


Question-begging "authority" at that, suffering from the same tautologies desperately proffered by Sam and Andy. The statement is self-negating -- if the culture in fact had the "rigid moral attitudes" the professor suggests, it would not have reacted so blithely to the things we know were depicted on its movie screens.
   1844. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4706472)
... actually there is another reaction shot of Bow, early in the scene, when the hair-stroking begins.

She looks ashen in that one -- and it can't be because she realizes the guy is going to die, because that pronouncement comes later.

You're right, because given the circumstances of how he got to where he was, he was the perfect picture of health, and never mind that the French guy said that it had already been too late to call a doctor even before the others had arrived at the scene.


Then how would Clara Bow have known?


Oh, for Christ's sake, she knew that her beau was lying there after having been shot down in a plane by his best friend, and that his condition was desperate at best. But maybe you looked at that scene, not having witnessed the battle scenes that led up to it, and thought that he'd just suffered a flesh wound.

Not that it matters anyway, because she wasn't reacting to Hero 1 telling Hero 2 it'll be ok; she's reacting to the hair stroking.

Just as later, she reacts to the kiss.

The director cut to a reaction shot of Clara Bow to the kiss, thus explicitly commenting on the kiss. Film 101. The fact that this was a silent movie, wherein cuts and reactions are critical to the film because the characters can't use words, renders the cut and the shot even more important and telling.

As noted, both reaction shots were to increasing non-verbal expressions of affection -- which is exactly where you'd expect them. In 1927 and 2014.


Finally you seem to acknowledge that what she witnessed was a form of affection---powerful in this case, as there was a lifetime of friendship it had built upon---and not some sort of homosexual attraction. You should just leave it at that and quit trying to make the scene into something that it wasn't.

And of course her reaction to the kiss was because at that point she could clearly see that the end was imminent. Or maybe you believe that she was recoiling at the thought that these two guys were really gay, and that she then realized that their blood feud over her heart had all been a big show of diversion in order to fool society.

Funny how not a single critic at the time ever noticed this. Too bad you weren't around to enlighten them.

And even that's misleading; it's not as though two people can't do things on a "deathbed."

"C'mon, dear, chin up, we've still got time for a quickie!"


And what's happened on deathbeds and in situations of death inevitable for millenia of scripted drama and comedy? Honest confessions and portrayals of previously hidden and tucked-away longings and desires.


Yeah, we've seen deathbed confessions of previously undisclosed gay love portrayed so often in movies ever since 1927 that we don't even notice them any more.

You've never noticed that? How about the Seinfeld finale?

In case you hadn't ever noticed it, Seinfeld was a comedy, not a melodrama. And BTW not that it matters, but that aborted "deathbed" scene** you're referring to was in the episode prior to the finale.
   1845. The Good Face Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4706473)
I was going to look for some new political topic to post, but the top story on Google News is something about Justin Bieber mugging a woman at a miniature-golf course to get her cellphone.


I thought this was an interesting article.

   1846. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4706477)
Not that I've necessarily commented on whether the kiss was "romantic" or not.

So was it or wasn't it? Why the coyness?

If it was romantic in any sense of homosexual attraction, then you've uncovered something that neither critics nor audiences in 1927 ever noticed, not to mention the various private groups that regularly monitored films for evidence of scandalous behavior.

And if it wasn't romantic in that sense of the word, then WTF is your point? That a non-homosexual depiction of two lifelong friends reconciling their feud and kissing on a deathbed is somehow the equivalent of what we saw of NFL draft day?

   1847. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4706481)
Oh, for Christ's sake, she knew that her beau was lying there after having been shot down in a plane by his best friend, and that his condition was desperate at best. But maybe you looked at that scene, not having witnessed the battle scenes that led up to it, and thought that he'd just suffered a flesh wound.

Was she told before the YouTube clip that it was hopeless?

Because in the YouTube clip, Hero 1 is told it's hopeless, and her two reaction shots have nothing to do with that telling. The order is hair stroking, reaction shot, delay, "help him doc", "sorry nothing I can do," delay, more hair and face stroking, kiss, reaction shot.

And of course her reaction to the kiss was because at that point she could clearly see that the end was imminent. Or maybe you believe that she was recoiling at the thought that these two guys were really gay, and that she then realized that their blood feud over her heart had all been a big show of diversion in order to fool society.

There's literally nothing about the scene or shot sequences to back up your reading.

Funny how not a single critic at the time ever noticed this. Too bad you weren't around to enlighten them.

That's because they didn't care. What's this, now -- the sixth time this has been noted? The critics saw what they saw and didn't care about what was depicted or implied. To the extent it suggested possible homosexual longing and/or desire -- and it obviously did -- they did not care. Your conceit that the idea never occurred to them is unproven and silly -- the arrogance of the present.

Compare and contrast the 2014 moralizing about how we must care about the Michael Sam kiss. We have the "rigid moral attitudes" about these things, not the society of 1927.

In case you hadn't ever noticed it, Seinfeld was a comedy, not a melodrama. And BTW not that it matters, but that aborted "deathbed" scene** you're referring to was in the episode prior to the finale.

Deathbeds and situations of impending death are the perfect place for the expression and confession of repressed or unexpressed desires and longings and are often used therefor. This can't be reasonably disputed.






   1848. Canker Soriano Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4706485)
I was going to look for some new political topic to post, but the top story on Google News is something about Justin Bieber mugging a woman at a miniature-golf course to get her cellphone.

Tough times. You would think he could afford his own cell phone.
   1849. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4706492)
So was it or wasn't it? Why the coyness?

They did the type of things and expressed the type of emotions homosexual lovers would do and express (*), and those are the things that were objectively depicted on the screen. As was the case with heterosexual lovers, the film didn't show any actual acts ... and of course, Hero 2's death got in the way of any continuation or consummation that might have transpired.

We also know that the director felt compelled to cut away to two reaction shots as the hair stroking accelerated and right after the kiss.

The ultimate meaning was left to our interpretation and imagination.

(*) As you and BDC have noted, men were more florid in language and expression in these areas back then -- remembering things like the trench and other poetry of the Great War -- and the culture was more accepting and sophisticated about that language and expression. That of course supports my broader position.
   1850. BDC Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4706495)
the 2014 moralizing about how we must care about the Michael Sam kiss

Who's doing that? On a personal level, as I noted, I cared about it very little more than Ray did. But a great number of people, to judge from mass and social media, seem to find it intriguing and unprecedented, which it kinda is. Despite the pervasive cultural impact of Wings :) somehow it's happened, no doubt by pure individual free choice among those involved in the values-neutral meritocracy that is big-time football, that not a single active major-college or pro player has ever come out to the public. Now one has, and people are interested. Fancy that.
   1851. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4706500)
the 2014 moralizing about how we must care about the Michael Sam kiss


The only people who really "care" about that kiss, en masse, are the folks outraged by it.
   1852. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4706508)
So was it or wasn't it? Why the coyness?

They did the type of things and expressed the type of emotions homosexual lovers would do and express (*), and those are the things that were objectively depicted on the screen. As was the case with heterosexual lovers, the film didn't show any actual acts ... and of course, Hero 2's death got in the way of any continuation or consummation that might have transpired.

We also know that the director felt compelled to cut away to two reaction shots as the hair stroking accelerated and right after the kiss.

The ultimate meaning was left to our interpretation and imagination.


And yet for some odd reason your interpretation and imagination clash with just about everyone else's, but of course that's merely further proof of your otherworldy insight into all things cultural, past and present.

(*) As you and BDC have noted, men were more florid in language and expression in these areas back then -- remembering things like the trench and other poetry of the Great War -- and the culture was more accepting and sophisticated about that language and expression. That of course supports my broader position.

Not unless you're arguing that the Wings kiss was indeed homosexual in intent, because otherwise it's little more than a routine example of the cinematic devices employed in silent movie melodrama, and has nothing at all to do with the scene on NFL draft day.
   1853. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4706509)
The only people who really "care" about that kiss, en masse, are the folks outraged by it.

Oh, brother. No one "cares" about the kiss; ESPN just followed the guy around with its cameras for eight hours so it could capture it, and all sorts of media are talking about it nonstop and replaying it, but they don't really "care."

Clinton wasn't "really" impeached.
The two guys in Wings didn't "really" kiss.
No one "really" cares about the Michael Sam kiss.

Do you have a Paypal account? I feel like I'm stealing this entertainment. Would you take 11-9 odds on Hillary versus the field?

   1854. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4706515)
And yet for some odd reason your interpretation and imagination clash with just about everyone else's, but of course that's merely further proof of your otherworldy insight into all things cultural, past and present.

There are plenty of people who read the scene like I did.

The reason most don't is that they yearn to believe that progress naturally accompanies the passage of time, and are thus biased in favor of the present. As we've seen play out on the boards, people like Sam literally can't conceive of earlier times being more sophisticated and advanced than today. He's hardly alone.
   1855. Morty Causa Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4706516)
Clinton wasn't "really" impeached.

No, Clinton wasn't really convicted.
   1856. McCoy Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4706517)
The 20's weren't more sophisticated nor more culturally advanced than we are today. Let's put that to to bed right now.
   1857. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4706518)
The 20's weren't more sophisticated nor more culturally advanced than we are today.

With respect to expressions of affection between males, there's ample reason to believe they were.

Do you actually think this is a "sophisticated" age? That seems ... off. It's certainly faux-sophisticated, what with all the knowingness and snark -- but things like knowingness and snark are typically cover for understood or suspected deficiencies.



   1858. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4706519)
There are plenty of people who read the scene like I did.


There's literally no one here that agrees with you. We will assume these throngs of people exist in your mind, along with the homoeroticism of that scene.
   1859. BDC Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4706520)
people like Sam literally can't conceive of earlier times being more sophisticated

I assume you mean Rickey! … the nomenclature can get confusing here. Michael Sam is 24 and just graduated from college, so I hope we can cut him a break on his panoramic view of cultural history :)
   1860. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4706522)
Clinton wasn't "really" impeached.
The two guys in Wings didn't "really" kiss.
No one "really" cares about the Michael Sam kiss.


Clinton was impeached by the GOP House. He was acquitted by the Senate.

The two characters in Wings kissed in the deathbed scene. It was in no way homoerotic.

The only people who care about the M. Sam kiss are people outraged by it. ESPN followed Sam around in the later rounds because he was a story, and late round draft picks are thin on stories. It's infotainment 101.
   1861. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4706525)
people like Sam literally can't conceive of earlier times being more sophisticated


I actually linked to a piece on James Buchanan that flies in the face of this accusation, but you've never been one to let facts get in the way of your rants. What I don't give the slightest credence to is the notion that the scene you are obsessing over in Wings was homoerotic. It simply was not, and you are projecting an anachronistic reading of the scene backwards in time. The audiences of 1927 simply did not read that scene as "gay." But continue forward with your "make a complete idiot of myself in public" plan. It's working so well to date.
   1862. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4706528)
It's certainly faux-sophisticated, what with all the knowingness and snark -- but things like knowingness and snark are typically cover for understood or suspected deficiencies.


Now we're back to the nub of it, Jimmy! Tell us about the decline of civilization since the glory of 1979!!
   1863. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4706529)
There's literally no one here that agrees with you.


My understanding is that the Stonewall Riots happened because a bunch of baseball fans rejected the homoeroticism of the Wings scene.
   1864. BDC Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4706532)
The 20's weren't more sophisticated nor more culturally advanced than we are today

With respect to expressions of affection between males, there's ample reason to believe they were


With respect, Bear, that is not historically true. In both the US and the UK, the 1920s were a time of strong enforcement of sodomy laws. Gay clubs were routinely raided by police. Nobody, but absolutely nobody, was out in the sense that Anderson Cooper, let's say, is unproblematically out today. The 2010s bear utterly no resemblance to the 1920s in terms of public acceptance of gay affection.
   1865. McCoy Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4706534)
With respect to expressions of affection between males, there's ample reason to believe they were.

There is ample reason to believe they were not while there is very little evidence that they were.
   1866. Greg K Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4706539)
Question-begging "authority" at that, suffering from the same tautologies desperately proffered by Sam and Andy. The statement is self-negating -- if the culture in fact had the "rigid moral attitudes" the professor suggests, it would not have reacted so blithely to the things we know were depicted on its movie screens.

My apologies, I didn't mean for the quote to prove anything, just that it was interesting that a current book studies the scene in the same way we're talking about it here. I'm sure he makes an argument that consists of more than one sentence in the book and I'd be curious to read it and evaluate the merits of his argument.

I have no idea what he says about the kiss, but I suspect "unconsciously" is the key element of his argument.
   1867. formerly dp Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4706542)
When all else fails, appeal to "authority."
You're assuming you've got some sort of special ability to read the scene, without any knowledge either of the era or of cinematic conventions. And you're aghast at the notion that people with such knowledge might just be in a better position to interpret the scene. In other words, *you're* the one making it do what you want it to-- reading it in the way that suits your temporary interests, while at the same time claiming that you can get at a meaning inherent in the text.

Someone pointed this out upthread, but it's really fascinating to you SBB crib interpretive tactics from Queer Theory. You could at least throw a footnote to the late great Alexander Doty.
==
It's infotainment 101.
You've made this point a few times-- has it been granted or even acknowledged yet?
   1868. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4706547)
You've made this point a few times-- has it been granted or even acknowledged yet?


Of course not. To acknowledge the basic truth of that would undermine the "it was a staged kiss to drive the liberal agendas!!" talking point, or whatever it is they're trying so badly at arguing.
   1869. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4706549)
With respect, Bear, that is not historically true. In both the US and the UK, the 1920s were a time of strong enforcement of sodomy laws. Gay clubs were routinely raided by police. Nobody, but absolutely nobody, was out in the sense that Anderson Cooper, let's say, is unproblematically out today. The 2010s bear utterly no resemblance to the 1920s in terms of public acceptance of gay affection.

We've obviously liberalized the legal status of homosexuals, but I was getting at the differing cultural reactions to displays of male affection and depictions thereof.

See, e.g., (Michael) Sam and Wings. And Renee Richards.

What is "sophisticated" about the cultural reaction to "The Kiss" and Jason Collins? I see a lot of moralizing and obsession -- the polar opposites of sophistication.




   1870. GregD Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4706552)
I think there are arguments that the early 1900s, more than the 1920s, was a period of expansive homosocial expressions of affection. Certainly the images of fraternities in the 1890s to 1910s show a comfort with physical affection that seems to disappear by the 1920s and not reappear until the present. As people--including big figure George Chauncey--have argued this was a piece of a different vision of sexuality that he believes held sway, at least in cities or at least in NYC, in the early century, one where there wasn't a clear sense of homosexuality as an identity. Men sometimes had sex with men but this didn't make them homosexuals. This might make them people with strong sex drives or with no self-restraint but not necessarily homosexual. There were people known as deviants or homosexuals but they were people who only wanted to have sex with men. Chauncey argues that men who casually had sex with men were not looked down upon. Men who only had sex with men were denounced and castigated.

The idea that sex with men made one homosexuals emerged more centrally, he claims, around the 1920s and was in keeping with the intense policing of sodomy in NYC.

Chauncey, by the way, does resist the idea of a Whiggish sense of progress and suggests there was a fluidity about the 1900s and 1910s mode that could be more capacious than today. But I think someone versed in that particular history would also caution against reading direct analogies between what a scene meant in the early 1900s and what it would mean if shown the same way today.
   1871. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4706559)
The very existence of a distinct "homosexual" identity is less sophisticated than the fluidity described by GregD -- and as described in things like the Julius Caesar (*) biography in The Twelve Caesars.

(*) "Every woman's man and every man's woman."
   1872. Greg K Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4706561)
Nobody, but absolutely nobody, was out in the sense that Anderson Cooper, let's say, is unproblematically out today. The 2010s bear utterly no resemblance to the 1920s in terms of public acceptance of gay affection.

Huh. I had no idea Anderson Cooper is gay. Not that I follow his career closely or anything.

As for physical expressions of affection between males, I think those norms are always moving around. Men hugging each other, from affectionate full-on embraces at the beginning or ending of long absences, or when someone gets bad news, to the one-arm fist bump to the back, men can express affection for each other nowadays in ways that would have been seen as inappropriate 20-30 years ago.

Then there are those 19th Century photos of men expressing physical affection in various ways that seems foreign to our present day.

Different societies have different norms for what certain physical expressions mean. I don't think you can read from that (or from the reception of Wings) that homosexuality was tolerated and socially acceptable in the 1920s.
   1873. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4706564)
And yet for some odd reason your interpretation and imagination clash with just about everyone else's, but of course that's merely further proof of your otherworldy insight into all things cultural, past and present.

There are plenty of people who read the scene like I did.


If by this you mean that they "read" that kiss was an expression of gay love, I'd love for you to show me a few of those "plenty of people".

The reason most don't is that they yearn to believe that progress naturally accompanies the passage of time, and are thus biased in favor of the present.

Wait, I thought I was always supposed to be "stuck in the 60's".

The more serious point is that while some people (not necessarily Sam) may be too overly dismissive of how present attitudes and mores had their roots in the past, as usual you way overstate your case. If you could ever get over your obsession with making overwrought pronouncements against every cultural trend you don't like, you might actually find some common ground around here instead of always just batting your head against a stone wall.

If you really wanted to discover how we got from 1927 to 2014 in terms of acceptance of gay romantic love, you'd be much better served by acquainting yourself with the way that the emerging late 20th century gay movements incorporated the rhetoric of other rights movements, which in term had their roots in sources ranging from the Bible up through our own Constitution and Bill of Rights. Many movies prior to the Breen code did play a major role in advancing the idea of sexual liberation, but neither in Wings nor in any other Hollywood production of those times did that advancement ever incorporate the acceptance of gay love as normal. All you're doing by clinging onto your absurd interpretation of that one scene in Wings is showing how little you're interested in learning the real ways in how the past does influence the present.
   1874. The Good Face Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4706565)
It's infotainment 101.


How can something be both infotainment AND something nobody cares about?
   1875. formerly dp Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4706568)
The very existence of a distinct "homosexual" identity is less sophisticated than the fluidity described by GregD.
Didn't you recently spend several days arguing against the notion that we needed more than 2 categories for gender?
   1876. Greg K Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4706572)
The very existence of a distinct "homosexual" identity is less sophisticated than the fluidity described by GregD.

I think more or less sophisticated is a problematic way of looking at it. Several historians of 17th century sexuality see the same kind of thing, "homosexual" as an identity a person has didn't exist. The drive for men to have sex with other men was often read as the same drive that led them to have sex with women (though it was almost always seen as a dramatic flaw in a man's character that he was unable to exercise self-mastery over those desires).

Which can all sound nice and liberating. But people were still put to death for sodomy in the 17th century, and later criminally prosecuted into the 20th. So in practice is that better than what we have today?
   1877. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4706591)
it bears no resemblance to things like men-in-drag scenes, slapstick, or the intra-male kiss of death in Godfather II.

How dare you question my ex post facto semiotic analysis? The Godfather 2 kiss is on the lips, unlike the Wings one. The Godfather 2 character says "You broke my heart... you broke my heart," unlike the Wings one ("You -- you know there is nothing in the world that means more to me than your friendship --"). Elsewhere in "Godfather 2," Michael says "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." Do the gay math.

Naturally, there will always be the rare cynic who draws a distinction between kisses of death. Presumably because they've taken the time to see "The Godfather 2" and are actually aware of the scene's pivotal role in the plot, whereas with "Wings" they haven't and don't know what they're talking about. Those kind of informed killjoys take all the fun out of homocinema.

As long as you're measuring the queer-friendly dilation of Clara Bow's eyes, SugarBear, and poring over that lone film clip like it's the Torah, you might notice that that erotic bed scene doesn't occur on a bed at all. It's a wooden bench. But then, some gays like it hard and rough.

Exhibit A: Jack says to the dying Dave, "I was just trying to get one more Heinie." Gay case closed.
   1878. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4706601)
How can something be both infotainment AND something nobody cares about?


Do people "care" about CNN's endless droning on about that crashed Malaysian airliner? Do people "care" about whatever the hell Snooki is doing these days? Do people "care" about today's guest on "Ellen?" I guess, yes, in some rote literalist way, someone out there cares. There's a set of eyeballs that watch all of those things. And in the later rounds of the NFL 2014 draft, there was a set of eyeballs watching to see where Michael Sam might get taken. But that's not a major "care" in my opinion. It's about the equivalent of the exact same carping and "caring" about "how far will Johnny Manziel fall" in the first round.

My point is that very few people are discussing "the Kiss" today in terms of "oh my god, it was the most specialist moment in the history of everything and we're lucky to have discovered electricity to have televisions to have seen it!!" Far more vocal are the people "outraged" that two men kissed on ESPN.
   1879. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4706606)
I think more or less sophisticated is a problematic way of looking at it.


Alan Turing was born in 1912. He would have been 15 years old and entering puberty and sexual identity in 1927, the year "Wings" was released. I'm sure he was amazed at the open and casual acceptance of homosexuality available to him at the time.
   1880. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4706610)
Why do you guys keep talking about "Wings"? It was a pretty mediocre comedy show from the 90s. I don't remember the brothers ever kissing.
   1881. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4706615)
Do people "care" about CNN's endless droning on about that crashed Malaysian airliner? Do people "care" about whatever the hell Snooki is doing these days? Do people "care" about today's guest on "Ellen?" I guess, yes, in some rote literalist way, someone out there cares. There's a set of eyeballs that watch all of those things. And in the later rounds of the NFL 2014 draft, there was a set of eyeballs watching to see where Michael Sam might get taken. But that's not a major "care" in my opinion. It's about the equivalent of the exact same carping and "caring" about "how far will Johnny Manziel fall" in the first round.

My point is that very few people are discussing "the Kiss" today in terms of "oh my god, it was the most specialist moment in the history of everything and we're lucky to have discovered electricity to have televisions to have seen it!!" Far more vocal are the people "outraged" that two men kissed on ESPN.


Deadspin: "Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend after being drafted into the NFL will be long remembered as an iconic moment in sports history."

An "iconic moment." "Long remembered."

Yep. No one "cares." No different than Snooki.

   1882. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4706628)
More from the "No One Cares" files:

Eric Adelson, Yahoo Sports, lede:

"Michael Sam gave us one of the more significant moments in American sports history on Saturday night.

Then Sam and his boyfriend gave us one of the more significant moments in American cultural history.
"
   1883. GregD Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4706635)
The very existence of a distinct "homosexual" identity is less sophisticated


There are certainly plenty of queer theorists--I'm out of my expertise and going by what I pick up in talks so am glad to be corrected--who in fact critique the current set of assumptions about sexuality in all kinds of ways. Chauncey clearly writes with some romanticism about the 1910s.

On the other hand, there are many, many ways in which protection from sodomy prosecutions and the like are extremely helpful.

It may well be that the nadir for gay people was, say, the 1950s-1970s. They had lost the pretended silences of the early century and were exposed in ways that drew attacks and hadn't achieved any legal protection. Who knows?

I think it is more useful to think less in terms of more/less sophisticated, much less better/worse, than in terms of difference. the past is a different country. They do things differently there.
   1884. simon bedford Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4706649)
well it depends on where you were i suppose Greg, here in toronto the 70s got the whole ball rolling that never stopped growing, it became a very front page story for quite some time and the "negative" stereotypes started to fade bit by bit, by the late 80s the ground that had been gained was tremendous and laws that were in place against various forms of sexual discrimination based on orientation were actually fairly draconian, huge fines against employers could be levied, instant dismissal for employees that displayed intolerant views.
the 70s here were clearly a huge turning point, the battle wasnt won at that point but it was very much as churchill would have said "this is not the begining of the end, but it may well be the end of the begining"
in the 20s canadian politics were basically tied to very very conservative religious views, echoes of which would remain til the 90s as well, and acceptance of any form of homosexuality was unknown.
   1885. BDC Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4706655)
in terms of difference

That's a good point. The conditions of the closet in the 1920s produced some very "sophisticated" writing, for instance, like the work of Ronald Firbank (Google his "Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli" if you want to read something sophisticated). But that's sophisticated in a sense of ultra-refined, overwrought and lavish, that verges on the impossible to bear. There's a sense in which one might have nostalgia for an era when a love that could not speak its name was driven into all kinds of elaborate channels, but I'm OK with a world where two young guys can snog on Twitter.
   1886. Publius Publicola Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4706659)
More silliness from those quixotic treehuggers over at the Pentagon:

Climate Change Deemed Growing Security Threat by Military Researchers
WASHINGTON — The accelerating rate of climate change poses a severe risk to national security and acts as a catalyst for global political conflict, a report published Tuesday by a leading government-funded military research organization concluded.

The CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board found that climate change-induced drought in the Middle East and Africa is leading to conflicts over food and water and escalating longstanding regional and ethnic tensions into violent clashes. The report also found that rising sea levels are putting people and food supplies in vulnerable coastal regions like eastern India, Bangladesh and the Mekong Delta in Vietnam at risk and could lead to a new wave of refugees...

Pentagon officials said the report would affect military policy. “The department certainly agrees that climate change is having an impact on national security, whether by increasing global instability, by opening the Arctic or by increasing sea level and storm surge near our coastal installations,” John Conger, the Pentagon’s deputy under secretary of defense for installations and environment, said in a statement. “We are actively integrating climate considerations across the full spectrum of our activities to ensure a ready and resilient force.


   1887. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4706667)
That's a good point. The conditions of the closet in the 1920s produced some very "sophisticated" writing, for instance, like the work of Ronald Firbank (Google his "Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli" if you want to read something sophisticated). But that's sophisticated in a sense of ultra-refined, overwrought and lavish, that verges on the impossible to bear. There's a sense in which one might have nostalgia for an era when a love that could not speak its name was driven into all kinds of elaborate channels, but I'm OK with a world where two young guys can snog on Twitter.

The better example is the reaction to Renee Richards in the late 1970s. There was little to no cultural self-congratulation accompanying an episode justifying a whole lot of it. Even though there were iconic moments, no one bothered saying so. She came, the courts said she could play, she played, the media covered her matches and her story, the media analyzed her chances, and she retired. After awhile, they barely even noted that she was transsexual.

Ho, hum, nothing really to see. "Of course a transsexual woman is playing in the US Open and winning matches. Why wouldn't that be happening?"

That's my working definition of "sophisticated." Or at least an example of it.

Utterly unthinkable today. See, e.g., Michael Sam.
   1888. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4706675)
The better example is the reaction to Renee Richards in the late 1970s.


DRINK!
   1889. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4706679)

An "iconic moment." "Long remembered."


You're quoting Deadspin?
   1890. simon bedford Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4706683)
well i was around for rene richards and they NEVER stopped mentioning her sexual past, not once, so um yeah other than that you are right i suppose.
   1891. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4706684)
You're quoting Deadspin?

Let me guess: No media outlet "really" said the kiss was an iconic moment???
   1892. BDC Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4706688)
they NEVER stopped mentioning her sexual past

I was going to say, aside from the furious controversy over her eligibility to play, Richards was indeed hardly noticeable.
   1893. The Good Face Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4706694)
Without delving into the convoluted discussion on A Historie of Buggery and Divers Perversions of the Bodie in the Colonies, it's patently obvious that people did "care" about the Michael Sam draft pick and reaction.
   1894. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4706695)
SugarBear, why would the media be making such a wall-to-wall fuss about a televised gay kiss in 2014, when media representations of gay kisses were already old hat and unremarkable by 1927?
   1895. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4706696)
I was going to say, aside from the furious controversy over her eligibility to play, Richards was indeed hardly noticeable.


I sometimes think the basic problem SBB exhibits here is a failure to adjust for media saturation in the modern era. Renee Richards 1) was covered extensively as a major story her entire career, and 2) was only covered less extensively than M. Sam is today due to the fact that there were only the three networks and the daily papers to cover it. If ESPN and Twitter had existed in 1979, the coverage of Richards would have been the same as the coverage of M. Sam.
   1896. simon bedford Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4706704)
and what SBB also misses is the media did NOt focus one bit on her playing ability without making a huge fuss about her "past". every time she won it was a controversy, and the media picked up the same angle every time, the impilcation was more often than not that she was "cheating" etc..to try and suggest she was warmly accepted and welcome is divorced from the way the story was presented and the "outrage" that surronded it.
   1897. Ron J2 Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4706708)
#1804 Could be. He looks like a luxury player right now, but there are few teams that don't carry pass rush specialists. And he could be more given that he's supposedly smart with a good work ethic.
   1898. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4706713)
I sometimes think the basic problem SBB exhibits here is a failure to adjust for media saturation in the modern era. Renee Richards 1) was covered extensively as a major story her entire career, and 2) was only covered less extensively than M. Sam is today due to the fact that there were only the three networks and the daily papers to cover it. If ESPN and Twitter had existed in 1979, the coverage of Richards would have been the same as the coverage of M. Sam.

Looks like someone's been drinking too much.

I didn't say a word about the extensiveness of the coverage of Sam and Richards and have not said a word about the extensiveness of the coverage. I was talking about the content of the coverage. The content is significantly different -- for the reasons already noted. The culture in which Renee Richards competed on the professional tennis tour as a transsexual woman under conditions of virtual normalcy did not feel the urge to repeatedly congratulate itself for being the culture in which that could happen. The difference between that, and 2014, is impossible to miss -- unless you want to miss it.

You're also wrong about ESPN. ESPN debuted on September 7, 1979. Renee Richards played in major tennis tournaments through (at least) the fall of 1981.
   1899. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4706717)
I didn't say a word about the extensiveness of the coverage of Sam and Richards and have not said a word about the extensiveness of the coverage. I was talking about the content of the coverage. The content is significantly different -- for the reasons already noted.


Your point here is as empty and vapid as your rantings about silent film.
   1900. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4706718)
ESPN debuted on September 7, 1979.


ESPN was not a major cultural signifier until the mid to late 80s.
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