Monthly Archives: November 2012

On the Reply-allpocalypse

Last week’s “reply-allpocalypse”– in which an email accidentally replied to the entire NYU student body led to a multi-day virtual conflagration that nearly brought the school’s email system to its knees-  reminds me of another, similar incident from my college days.

When I was at Brandeis in the late ’90s, a female student a year behind me sent out a mass email about the Taliban and the many atrocities they were conducting against women at the time. A just and worthy cause, to be sure, but the problem was more in the execution than the thought.

The bottom of the email asked not for sanctions, or U.S. or NATO military intervention, but rather something else: For those reading it to add their names to a petition against the Taliban’s actions, to continue to forward it, and for every 50th person to send the email to a certain email address at Brandeis University.

Aside from the mechanics of the email forwarding- which led to that particular email address being shut down- I’m having a hard time seeing how they were expecting the Taliban to respond to an email petition. Much less one from Americans, much less from Brandeis University. I mean, they think we’re the infidel!

What I found especially hilarious was that I kept getting versions of that email forwarded to me years later- even after the U.S. had invaded Afghanistan and defeated the Taliban.

Steve Irwin Getting Killed by a Stingray Was a Bigger Scandal Than Watergate, Because No One Died in Watergate

Paul Waldman tears apart the idiotic, McCain-favored argument that Benghazi was “worse than Watergate”:

It is true, as my conservative friends point out, that no one actually died in Watergate, while there were four deaths in Benghazi. Those deaths were a terrible tragedy. But unless some evidence emerges that President Obama or somebody else in his administration, through some act of corruption or misconduct, actually caused those deaths, the deaths don’t raise the magnitude of the “scandal” past that of other scandals that weren’t related to any deaths. For instance, 241 service members Ronald Reagan sent to Beirut were killed in the bombing of Marine barracks in October 1983, but I’ll bet that not one of my angry Twitter correspondents considers that a “Reagan administration scandal” (nor, by the way, did almost any Democrats at the time, rightly or wrongly)… let’s be honest: Republicans aren’t worked into a lather about this because of their long-standing passionate commitment to security at our embassies and consulates. They’re hoping that if we keep digging, some kind of nefarious behavior will be discovered, and they’ll be able to use it to embarrass the administration. That’s politics, of course, so it isn’t all that surprising. But that’s all it is.

Also, try not to be so damn gleeful about Benghazi news.

The Tolstoy-Quoting Stops Now!

Preparing to write my review of “Anna Karenina,” I looked up a few other reviews. These were the ledes, literally, of the first three I opened:

David Edelstein, New York: “Every unhappy movie is unhappy in its own way, and Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina is as boldly original a miscalculation as any you’re likely to see.”

A.O. Scott, New York Times: “Bad literary adaptations are all alike, but every successful literary adaptation succeeds in its own way.”

Dave White, “All happy moviegoing experiences are like one another. All unhappy etcetera-blah-blah. You know.”

I was going to begin with a “War, What Is It Good For?” joke.