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December 9, 2011

barbies, for the awl

The latest in my "Adjusted For Inflation" series for The Awl is up as of yesterday.  It is about Barbie, as in, the doll.

Now, I know that not a whole lot of you have even a passing interest in Barbie and the many Barbie-branded things you could've bought over the past fifty years, but I (and The Awl) am here to tell you that that's no reason not to write about it!

I think the only interesting thing that I left out is that the Handlers, creators of the doll and owners of Mattel, were forced out in the 70s after a series of SEC investigations.  Why were they forced out?  Because after the first Consent Decree was approved by the court, the Handlers were still having book-cooking problems.

SEC Consent Decrees, of course, are the kind of thing I like to write about here, but not necessarily material to the price of a Barbie, so that's why I'm whispering it to you now.

Anyhow, you should go just to witness the creepy, morbid glory of the Farah Fawcett Swimsuit Poster Limited Edition Barbie.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:52 AM

December 8, 2011

michele bachmann vs. 8 yr old

How busy have I been?

So busy in fact that Michele Bachmann calling a conversation with an eight year-old "reprehensible" is barely enough to coax a single outrage from me.  Well, she didn't really call the conversation reprehensible, but she did think that it was reprehensible that an eight year-old would ask her why she hates the kid's lesbian mom, because the kid was set up, you see, and when Bachmann and her husband were running the orphan factory back in Minnesota, she spent enough time around eight year-olds to know that if they say something that hurts your feelings then someone else put them up to it!  (Like Allen Funt, I would say if I were not too busy to care.)

I'm also too busy to point out that Bachmann once ran for president.  Or is?  Something like that.

Posted by mrbrent at 8:20 AM

December 6, 2011

good morning 12.6.11

You'd think that at this point in history I could go a workday and post nothing on this thing and not feel the least bit bad about it.  This is not the case.  In fact, I feel terrible (and then I feel terribler for blathering about it like a teen).

So then let's pretend like it's Monday morning instead of Tuesday morning!


"What of it?"

"How was your weekend?"



"Are we done here?"

In the meantime, maybe you missed this from last week, when GOP pollster Frank Luntz gave a little presentation on the lexicography of Republican dogwhistles!

1. Don't say 'capitalism.'

"I'm trying to get that word removed and we're replacing it with either 'economic freedom' or 'free market,' " Luntz said. "The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we're seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we've got a problem."

2. Don't say that the government 'taxes the rich.' Instead, tell them that the government 'takes from the rich.'

"If you talk about raising taxes on the rich," the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But "if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes."

And that's just the first two!  Do you think that Luntz (and when did pollsters become Ministers of Information again?) gets all the way to ten before George Orwell claws himself out of the grave and demands that Luntz Just Sodding Quit It?

Posted by mrbrent at 9:25 AM