2:00PM Water Cooler 3/3/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Long-tailed Potoo, Amazonas, Brazil. “Recording without noise filter. If you want to hear the bird’s song more clearly, I uploaded the same recording with the filter in the same list.” I like all the night sounds; I wish I could have visited Amazonia. Have any readers?

* * *


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“Here’s food for thought, had Ahab time to think; but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels.” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

Biden Administration

“Joe Biden expected to issue first presidential veto in anti-ESG vote” [Financial Times]. “Joe Biden is on course to issue the first veto of his presidency after two Democratic senators sided with Republican lawmakers in opposing a White House rule that allows fund managers to consider environmental, social and governance factors in their investment decisions. Jon Tester, a Democratic senator from Montana, on Wednesday afternoon said he would join fellow Democrat Joe Manchin in voting to roll back a US labour department rule that allows retirement plan fiduciaries to include ESG considerations in their investments. ‘At a time when working families are dealing with higher costs, from healthcare to housing, we need to be focused on ensuring Montanans’ retirement savings are on the strongest footing possible,’ Tester said in a statement. ‘I’m opposing this Biden administration rule because I believe it undermines retirement accounts for working Montanans and is wrong for my state.”


“See No Evil” [Harpers]. Gitmo, which Obama didn’t shut down, after promising to, and Biden did not shut down, after not promising to:

[Mansoor Adayfi:] As you know, Guantánamo was created out of the legal zone, out of the legal system. Torture was the mechanism of Guantánamo. Torture, abuse, and experimenting on prisoners. We went on a massive hunger strike in 2005. And there was force-feeding. It was torture.

I saw a fucking handsome person come in and he said, “I’m here to ensure that you are treated humanely.”

m[Mike Prysner:] It was Ron DeSantis?

[Adayfi:] Yes. And, “If you have any problems, if you have any concerns, just talk to me.” We were drowning in that place. So I was like, “Oh, this is cool. This person will raise the concerns.” But it was a piece of the game. What they were doing was looking for what hurts us more so they could use it against us. In 2006, when DeSantis was there, it was one of the worst times at Guantánamo. The administration, the guards, all of them were the worst. They cracked down on us so hard. When they came to break our hunger strike, a team came to us. The head of the team, he was a general. He said, “I have a job. I was sent here to break your fucking hunger strike. I don’t care why you are here. I don’t care who you are. My job is to make you eat. Today we are talking. Tomorrow there will be no talking.” The second day, they brought piles of Ensure and they started force-feeding us over and over again.

[Prysner:] For those who don’t know, Ensure is a thick milky nutritional shake mainly marketed on daytime television to elderly people. It is very hard to drink.

[Adayfi:] Yes, and Ron DeSantis was there watching us. We were crying, screaming. We were tied to the feeding chair. And he was watching. He was laughing. Our stomachs could not hold this amount of Ensure. They poured one can after another. So when he approached me, I said, “This is the way we are treated!” He said, “You should eat.” I threw up in his face. Literally on his face.

[Prysner:] Ron DeSantis?

[Adayfi:] In his face. Yeah.

This won’t get traction, of course (and plenty of people will say “Good for DeSantis!”). But worth a read.

Trump Legacy

“The Democratic Insider Who Fought the Trump Administration” (interview) [Douglas Letter, Pro Publica]. Review of some of Letter’s cases. Letter: “One is the census case. The Trump administration illegally attempted to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. And during litigation, lots of evidence was put in the record that they were doing so for a very bad purpose, which was to keep down the count of Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans. So we joined a batch of states and others who were challenging the validity of that. I argued before the Supreme Court, and it’s an interesting opinion. The Supreme Court ruled in our favor, upholding the lower courts, and wrote a fairly narrow opinion but one that is quite meaningful. This was the first time that the Supreme Court had ruled that it did not trust the explanation given by the executive branch. The lower courts had held that the executive branch had acted in bad faith in making it seem like there was a valid justification for doing this. And the evidence showed that that was not true — that the Commerce Department folks who are in charge had asked the Justice Department to basically cook up a rationale. The Supreme Court affirmed and said that the citizenship question had to be stricken. I was very proud of that.”

“‘Panic station at Fox News’: how the Murdochs agonised over Trump’s loss” [Financial Times]. The deck: “Details of network’s handling of US election denialism explode into public view via Dominion lawsuit.” More: “Denver-based Dominion was catapulted into the limelight when the Trump campaign claimed its devices fraudulently awarded votes to Biden. In its lawsuit filed in March 2021, the voting machine company said those allegations were amplified by conservative news outlets, particularly Fox News, which gave them ‘a prominence they otherwise would never have achieved.’ The evidence — consisting of depositions and hundreds of internal company communications harvested during legal discovery — shows that Fox for months agonised over how to handle Trump’s election denialism. The December email to Scott came after Murdoch and his eldest son Lachlan, Fox chief executive, received a panicked text from Paul Ryan, former speaker of the House and a Fox board member. ‘We are entering a truly bizarre phase of this where [Trump] has actually convinced himself of this farce’, Ryan wrote as he urged Rupert and Lachlan to do the ‘right thing’ and broadcast a ‘solid pushback’ of the lies. Rupert asked Lachlan to call him to talk it over, noting Trump had ‘sounded really crazy’ that weekend in Georgia.” • Trump had the wrong theory of the case (and I don’t know why he latched on to electronic voting machines. Vulnerable as they inherently are, like all digital devices, but you still have to show the vulnerability applies in particular precincts. Now, if Trump had blamed the spooks, the press, and social media for suppressing the Hunter Biden story — and what’s sauce for Clinton’s emails is sauce for Hunter’s laptop — he would be looking pretty good right now).

Republican Funhouse

“The Antiwar Conservatives Rise” [Rod Dreher, The American Conservative]. “Y’all know I’m sitting here in Budapest, agreeing with Viktor Orban and the Hungarian government that we need to be pushing hard — very hard — for peace. The Hungarians don’t have any love for the Russians, and have consistently and correctly condemned the Russian aggression. But they also don’t think the Ukrainians are God’s gift to humanity (ask them about how Kyiv treated the ethnic Hungarians of far western Ukraine before the war), and they do not want Ukraine to drag all of Europe into a catastrophic war. As with so much else, American conservatives are now trying to catch up with the wisdom of PM Orban. I hope they catch up before it’s too late.”

“Florida bill would require bloggers who write about the governor and legislators to register with the state” [NBC]. “A Republican state senator in Florida has introduced a bill that, if passed, would require bloggers who write about Gov. Ron DeSantis, his Cabinet or state legislators to register with the state. Sen. Jason Brodeur’s bill, titled ‘Information Dissemination,’ would also require bloggers to disclose who’s paying them for their posts about certain elected officials and how much. ‘If a blogger posts to a blog about an elected state officer and receives, or will receive, compensation for that post, the blogger must register’ with the appropriate office within five days of the post, the legislation says. It defines ‘elected state officer’ as ‘the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a Cabinet officer, or any member of the Legislature.’ Failing to register would result in a fine of $25 a day, and the penalty would be capped at $2,500 per posting, NBC affiliate WFLA of Tampa reported. The bill says the bloggers’ reports to the state ‘must include’ the ‘individual or entity that compensated the blogger for the blog post, and ‘the amount of compensation received from the individual or entity.'” • Stuck pig squeals. Maybe I should be reading more Florida blogs. Can readers suggest any? nNo Kossacks, please!

“New bill would eliminate Florida Democratic Party” [WESH]. “Spring Hill Republican Senator Blaise Ingoglia has filed SB 1248, which would be called ‘The Ultimate Cancel Act.’ While it does not mention the Democratic party’s name, it would direct the Florida Division of Elections to ‘immediately cancel the filings of a political party, to include its registration and approved status as a political party, if the party’s platform has previously advocated for, or been in support of, slavery or involuntary servitude.'” • Owning the libs….

Democrats en Déshabillé

Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). It follows that the Democrat Party is as “unreformable” as the PMC is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. If the Democrat Party fails to govern, that’s because the PMC lacks the capability to govern. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

* * *

“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might have violated House rules with Met Gala gifts, watchdog says” [USA Today]. • It was dumb when she did it, and now it looks even more dumb. The complaint:

Rot in the Nevada Dems, unsurprisingly:

Presumably the party chair will be re-elected…

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Dark money and special deals: How Leonard Leo and his friends benefited from his judicial activism” [Politico]. “A network of political non-profits formed by judicial activist Leonard Leo moved at least $43 million to a new firm he is leading, raising questions about how his conservative legal movement is funded. Leo’s own personal wealth appeared to have ballooned as his fundraising prowess accelerated since his efforts to cement the Supreme Court’s conservative majority helped to bring about its decision to overturn abortion rights. Most recently, Leo reaped a $1.6 billion windfall from a single donor in what is likely the biggest single political gift in U.S. history. Fundraising reports for 2022 have yet to be filed but spending by Leo’s aligned nonprofits on his for-profit business in 2020 and 2021 demonstrates the extent to which his money-raising benefited his own bottom line. And it shows how campaign-style politics — and the generous paydays that go along with it — are now adjacent to the Supreme Court, the one U.S. institution that’s supposed to be immune to it.” • Ka-ching.


Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data).

• Readers, we seem to hovering near 28 of 50 states. Could those of you in states not listed help out by either with dashboard/wastewater links, or ruling your state out definitively? Thank you! (Also, apologies to anybody I have missed; please leave the link in comments again).

Resources, United States (Local): CA (dashboard), Marin; CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NM (dashboard); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OR (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater).

Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).

Resources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful readers: Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, Joe, John, JM (2), JW, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, otisyves, Petal (5), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White. (Readers, if you leave your link in comments, I credit you by your handle. If you send it to me via email, I use your initials (in the absence of a handle. I am not putting your handle next to your contribution because I hope and expect the list will be long, and I want it to be easy for readers to scan.)

• More like this, please! Total: 1 6 11 18 20 22 26 27 28/50 (56% of US states). We should list states that do not have Covid resources, or have stopped updating their sites, so others do not look fruitlessly. Thank you!

* * *

Look for the Helpers

* * *

Finding like-minded people on (sorry) Facebook:

“Covid Meetups” [COVID MEETUPS (JM)]. “A free service to find individuals, families and local businesses/services who take COVID precautions in your area.” • I played around with it some. It seems to be Facebook-driven, sadly, but you can use the Directory without logging in. I get rational hits from the U.S., but not from London, UK, FWIW.

Covid Is Airborne

“Estimated Airborne Decay of SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19)” [Department of Homeland Security (MinNYC)]. “Use the sliders to select the UV index, temperature and relative humidity of interest. Information on how long SARS-CoV-2 would be expected to remain stable in aerosols (airborne) will be displayed in the table below. Users can find the environmental conditions for a specific location by accessing general weather resources online.” • This is brilliant. It’s also screaming out to be an app — and integrated with 3Cs.


“Confronting Medical Misinformation” [Coalition for Trust in Health & Science (KLG)]. Their version of you do you: “All people have equitable access to the accurate, understandable and relevant information necessary to make personally appropriate health choices and decisions.” • KLG writes: “Notice the procedure masks instead of masks that work…head hits desk.” Speaking of misinformation:

If these people must be performative, could they at least model masking technology that… performs? The About page, fortunately, has no red flags, except for lack of funders, but this looks like a pretty low-budget operation to me.

“CSIS officer fired for complaining publicly about agency’s lack of COVID-19 masking” [Global News]. Canada: “A Canadian intelligence officer has been fired for speaking publicly about what he felt were inadequate COVID-19 policies at CSIS headquarters during the height of the pandemic. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service dismissed Gary Vos Smith for giving an interview to Global News about the lack of mandatory masking at the agency’s building in Ottawa. A disciplinary committee found that Vos Smith had acted ‘in an inappropriate manner,’ according to a termination letter he received from CSIS director David Vigneault on Nov. 16, 2022. The letter, obtained by Global News, also said he should have known his actions ‘could pose a notable risk to the organization as a whole and from an identity management perspective.'” And: “[M]any [CSIS employees] were unable to work remotely because of the secretive nature of their jobs. Some complained about inadequate health and safety protocols, and hundreds signed a mass grievance in February 2021, complaining about the lack of physical distancing at headquarters and weak policies on workplace masking. Vos Smith was the only one to do so openly.” • Our spooks are either more disciplined, more delusional, or…. already have good ventilation, as elites do.

Scientific Communication


“Antihistamines and azithromycin as a treatment for COVID-19 on primary health care – A retrospective observational study in elderly patients” [Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (kareninca)]. n = 84. “Between March and April 2020, 84 elderly patients with suspected COVID-19 living in two nursing homes of Yepes, Toledo (Spain) were treated early with antihistamines (dexchlorpheniramine, cetirizine or loratadine), adding azithromycin in the 25 symptomatic cases. The outcomes are retrospectively reported…. Given the low fatality rate observed in our patient population, this treatment protocol merits immediate consideration for the treatment of COVID-19 and future evaluation in randomized controlled clinical trials, taking into account the probably decisive role of antihistamines, which was the only treatment most of our patients received.” • Alert reader kareninca says that Claritin is in her protocol because of this study. (Claritin is an anti-histamine, although with different active ingredients.)

Elite Malfeasance

On the origins debate:

The Jackpot

* * *

Looks like “leveling off to a high plateau” across the board. (I still think “Something Awful” is coming, however. I mean, besides what we already know about.) Stay safe out there!

Case Data

BioBot wastewater data from March 2:

For now, I’m going to use this national wastewater data as the best proxy for case data (ignoring the clinical case data portion of this chart, which in my view “goes bad” after March 2022, for reasons as yet unexplained). At least we can spot trends, and compare current levels to equivalent past levels.

☆ NW ☆ Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, from February 25:

NOTE “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.” So not the entire pandemic, FFS (the implicit message here being that Covid is “just like the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week period” is appropriate for bothMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these people so much. Anyhow, I added a grey “Fauci line” just to show that Covid wasn’t “over” when they started saying it was, and it’s not over now.


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, published March 3:

-1.0%. Still high, but at last a distinct downturn.


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,146,630 – 1,146,142 = 488 (488 * 365 = 178,120 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).

Stats Watch

* * *

Tech: A recipe for beating Twitter’s “For You” algorithm:

What I notice is that “For You” adheres much more closely to what I actually want to read than their previous algo did, and for better or worse, actually includes a lot of accounts I follow (and would therefore expect to find in the “Following” Tab).

Tech: “Your Ring camera features are about to change, and not in a good way” [Tech Radar]. “Starting March 29, smart home brand Ring will begin requiring users to purchase a Ring Protect Plan for its devices as it’s placing several currently free features behind a paywall. On that day, owners of either a Ring doorbell or camera(opens in new tab) will lose access to Home and Away Modes on the official app and Amazon Alexa without a subscription. Home Mode(opens in new tab), for those who don’t know, deactivates in-house sensors so people can move freely inside while keeping the ones outside a residence activated. Away Mode fully secures a house by arming all sensors and having the cameras constantly record; great for people who want to keep an eye on things while away. So as you can see, Ring is going to be charging people to use two of the more basic features.” • Let the enshittification begin!

Tech: “Amazon pauses construction of second headquarters in Virginia” [CNBC]. This is the building shaped like a giant screw. “The move comes as Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has taken steps to curtail expenses across the company in the face of slowing revenue and a gloomy economic outlook. That’s led the company to announce the largest layoffs in its history, totaling more than 18,000 employees. Amazon is also reevaluating its real estate portfolio and sunsetting some projects.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 48 Neutral (previous close: 56 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 60 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 2 at 1:40 PM ET.

Groves of Academe

“Commentary: Go ahead and major in English. You’ll be fine!” [Los Angeles Times]. “Then there are the humanities majors. These are the people who couldn’t tolerate the idea of business school but somehow ended up with a sales job anyway, and who, while working quietly at the computer, decided most NFT art is unbelievable garbage [it is] and that ChatGPT is already boring [ditto]. We are discussing you today.” And: “Professional exile is the predominant experience of English majors today, who live like passport-holders from an ailing nation on a long-term visa — you have a book in you, but it’s not clear it will ever come out.” Or several. Finally, Arendt, DuBois, Homer: “The immeasurable value in encountering any of these writers — or spending time with any serious creative, intellectual or spiritual work — comes from cultivating the radical subjectivity that is our birthright as humans, the burden we carry for all time. Observation, testing and replication can and will build faster jets, better medicines or more capable AI. But where do rights come from? Whose history should be taught about the founding of the United States? What’s good prose, and who’s just a blowhard trying to show off? What immortal fire connects Johnny Cash with Kendrick Lamar? You don’t need to be an English major to ask any of these questions. You just need to be a seeker. But the humanities can help you look.”

“The Left Should Defend Classical Education” [Jacobin]. “[Roosevelt] Montás goes beyond the usual human capital arguments — reading Plato will help you get promoted at McKinsey! — making the case that college is not just about making a living, but also making life worth living. In advocating the canon for all, Montás is arguing for a more egalitarian model of schooling than our current one, which too often reserves liberal arts as a luxury for the few, while the working class is supposed to be grateful for a vocational education and a pile of debt. (Let them eat STEM!) Montás argues that the great books should be incorporated into every course of study, even the preprofessional. Montás is a voice in an ideological wilderness here: We don’t see many on the Left making the case for classical education. On campus, the student left tends to oppose these kinds of core courses as a stance against Eurocentrism, patriarchy, and racism, and much of the academic left agrees. But there is no reason why great books courses can’t be diverse; Montás devotes chapters in his book to African (St Augustine) as well as Indian (Mohandas Gandhi) thinkers. In any case, it’s anti-intellectual to reject ‘dead white men’; we would miss out on thousands of years of literature and philosophy, and thus, centuries of truth-seeking and inquiry. As my Brooklyn College student was suggesting, too, the culture we live in today has been formed by these works (without them, we don’t even know what an Achilles’ heel is). College administrators often reject great books programs to avoid the culture wars they inspire and out of professed commitment to ‘student choice,’ which sounds progressive but is just another way of reducing education to customer service.”

The Gallery

“The Art of the Shadow: How Painters Have Gotten It Wrong for Centuries” [The MIT Press Reader]. “In many cases, the rules of physics that apply in a real scene appear to be optional in a painting; they can be obeyed or ignored at the discretion of the artist to enhance the painting’s intended effect. Some strong deviations, such as Picasso’s skewed faces or the wildly colored shadows in the works of the Fauvist school, are meant to be noticed as ingredients of the style and message of the painting — they serve communication purposes. On top of that, an alternative physics operates in many paintings, one that few of us ever notice but is just as improbable. These transgressions of standard physics — impossible shadows, impossible colors, impossible reflections or contours — often pass unnoticed by the viewer and do not interfere with the viewer’s understanding of the scene. Because we do not notice them, transgressions of physics reveal that our visual brain uses a simpler, reduced physics to understand the world. Artists can endorse this alternative physics precisely because these particular deviations from true physics do not matter to the viewer: The artist can take shortcuts, presenting cues more economically and arranging surfaces and lights to suit the message of the piece rather than the requirements of the physical world. In discovering these shortcuts or strategies of image compression, artists act as research neuroscientists or as visual hackers, and we can learn a great deal from tracing their discoveries.” • Fascinating!

I think the shadows under the bridge are OK:

Musical interlude:


“Huge New Study Shows Why Exercise Should Be The First Choice in Treating Depression” [Science Alert]. A meta-study. “Because individual studies have looked at such a wide variety of physical activity types, intensities, population subgroups, and comparison groups, it may be difficult for clinicians to make sense of evidence suggesting physical activity is beneficial in the treatment of mental health disorders. So [clinical exercise physiologist Ben Singh from UniSA] and his colleagues at UniSA conducted a broader type of study called an umbrella review, to evaluate how all kinds of physical activity affect depression, anxiety, and psychological distress in adults. An umbrella review examines a collection of reviews rather than individual studies to provide an overall picture of what existing research says about a specific subject. Put simply, it provides ‘umbrella’ coverage of all the evidence on a topic. The research team extracted all the eligible studies published prior to 2022 from 12 electronic databases. Overall, they analyzed 97 reviews that included 1039 trials with more than 128,119 participants. When comparing the effects of exercise to those of usual care across all populations, they found that exercise improved symptoms of depression, anxiety, and psychological distress 1.5 times better than talk therapy or medication. ‘We also found that all types of physical activity and exercise were beneficial, including aerobic exercise such as walking, resistance training, Pilates, and yoga,’ says Singh.” • Here is the original. After looking at that horrid Cochrane study, I really don’t want to regard meta-studies as unproblematic, so maybe readers can dig into the methodology.

Zeitgeist Watch

“Meet the men paying to have their jaws broken in the name of ‘manliness'” [GQ]. “In 2019, Ali started hanging out on Looksmax.org, an online forum in which men strive to achieve their “aesthetic potential”. Looksmaxing is a facet of the manosphere, that swamp of online communities that’s often a potent mix of toxic masculinity, men’s rights and misogyny. There, one can encounter a whole array of influencers, from pickup artists and provocateurs like Jordan Peterson to self-proclaimed misogynists like Andrew Tate. The manosphere is dominated by “red pill” ideology, which references the scene in The Matrix when Neo chooses to take a red capsule instead of a blue one and, in so doing, see the world as it truly is. To be “redpilled” can refer to any unsettling awakening; in this particular context, it describes an understanding of society in which modern men have become disadvantaged by a feminist power shift that leaves them unable to find sexual partners. Women, meanwhile – or so the distorted logic goes – can take their pick.” • Hence, “jawline fluidity.”

“The Weird (and Wired) Truth Behind What’s Really in Coca-Cola” [Eater]. “By the early 20th century, cocaine’s popularity had stirred up a powerful opposition movement, which linked the drug with delinquency and madness — particularly in the South, where racist fears that the drug was leading Black users into crime led to the first American bans of the drug. Following suit, Coke’s then-president, a devout Southern Christian named Asa Candler, decided to make a change to the drink’s secret formula. He insisted on keeping the coca leaf, so that Coca-Cola still contained coca — but he switched to ‘decocainized’ coca leaves, with all traces of the drug removed. The newly formulated ingredient would be combined with kola nut in a powder given the mysterious cover name ‘Merchandise #5.’ Coca-Cola might have taken the cocaine out of their drink, but the company still needed to source coca leaves, which became more and more challenging. By 1914, the American federal government had officially restricted cocaine to medicinal use. So, as the government began debating an official import ban, Coke sent its lobbyists into the fray, pushing for a special exemption. Their fingerprints are all over the Harrison Act of 1922, which banned the import of coca leaves, but included a section permitting the use of ‘de-cocainized coca leaves or preparations made therefrom, or to any other preparations of coca leaves that do not contain cocaine.’ Only two companies were given special permits by the act to import those coca leaves for processing — one of which was Maywood Chemical Works, of Maywood, New Jersey, whose biggest customer was the Coca-Cola company.” • And still is. I wonder what “decocainized” means in practice….

“Young People and Enthusiast Cars Are Saving Manual Transmissions” [The Drive]. “Manual cars reached an all-time low market share in 2021, consisting of less than 1% of new car sales, according to J.D. Power figures. Since their 0.9% floor, there has been a rebound. Sales rose in 2022 to 1.2% and now in 2023 manual cars consist of 1.7% of the new car market. That represents a year-to-date rise of 12.2%… The evidence says fans of the stick shift aren’t dying out, either. Half of the buyers of manual Acura Integras were between the ages of 18 and 46. Likewise, a quarter of new MX-5 buyers are 18 to 35. In short, there are small but solid indications that the stick isn’t dead yet.” And: “The resistance to performance for performance’s sake and electrification altogether is growing, though, and not necessarily in a reactionary anti-environmental way.” Perhaps it’s resistance to the digital?

Class Warfare

Norfolk Southern Toxic Train Bomb:

“In a growing petrochemical hub, the East Palestine derailment triggers ‘an uneasy feeling'” [Grist]. “[T]he [controlled burn] didn’t go quite as planned. A towering, bulbous cloud of black smoke erupted from the train in the explosion and then spread over the surrounding area like a pool of oil, where it hung in the low atmosphere for hours and hours. Experts have attributed the smoke’s stubborn refusal to dissipate to a weather phenomenon called an inversion, where warm air that rises into the atmosphere after a sunny day traps the cold air coming off the ground as night falls. “The smoke that was supposed to stay up started banking down a bit on the area,” [fireman Chris] Laderer explained.” • Couldn’t they have checked for an inversion? What’s up with that? This whole piece is well worth a read. Seems like Appalachia is a lot like NOLA, and not just because of petrochemical disasters.

“What Norfolk Southern’s History of Accidents Say About the Company and Industry” [Cleveland Scene (Carla)]. “Derailments litter the past five years of Norfolk Southern’s accident reports. To be fair, most of those incidents are relatively benign: Nothing spills, nobody gets hurt. Still the frequency of these incidents is hard to miss. Axios noted that in a recent earnings call executives acknowledged accidents are climbing. The Dispatch recently reported that Norfolk Southern is near the top of major rail companies when it comes to accidents per million miles. Speaking on background, one former conductor said Norfolk Southern doesn’t have great reputation when it comes to safety. A consultant with significant experience in the industry said among the big four railroads, Norfolk Southern isn’t as bad as Union Pacific, but it’s still pushing the bounds of safe operation.”

* * *

“It’s Not Only Doctors. Hospitals Are Burning Out Janitors, Too.” [Peste]. From October 2022, still germane. “Burnout is something that happens to a worker when they are overworked and underpaid. But such circumstances are de-emphasized in the very term “burnout,” which, you’ll notice, does not emphasize the material but the psychological. A worker is supposed to find meaning. Pay, benefits, time off, and health care are secondary. But the least well-paid workers, those with demanding jobs just as essential as clinicians, don’t even get the psychological support. Physicians joke that their employers tend to emphasize the psychological as a treatment for burnout – resilience, yoga, pizza parties – and not, say, more pay or generous sick leave. But janitors and food service workers (who are often contracted out to hospitals, not direct employees) don’t even get these psychological benefits meant to distract from material needs. Healthcare institutions, governments, and lay people at least make an outward show of respect for doctors and nurses. Witness the rituals of applause and pot-banging in many cities at the outset of the pandemic, and the banners, now a little sad and worn, praising “health care heroes” that adorn many a hospital lobby. Too few are praising the people that make the medical centers run.” • And who are as at risk medically as HCWs, if not more so, and more at risk socially.

Prices rise because firms raise them:

News of the Wired

“A Three-Dimensional Taxonomy of Achievement Emotions” [APA PsychNet]. “In line with current definitions (e.g., Scherer & Moors, 2019), we view emotions as multicomponent changes in an organism’s psychophysical system that occur in response to events or situations important to the organism. These changes can comprise affective, cognitive, physiological, motivational, and expressive-behavioral components. For example, anxiety before an exam typically includes nervous, uneasy feelings (affective), worries about possible failure (cognitive), physiological arousal (physiological), impulses to avoid taking the exam (motivation), and anxious facial expressions (expressive behavior). Each of these components can involve multiple processes, such as physiological arousal comprising processes triggered in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Following “critical” emotion theories that question classic conceptions of emotions as hard-wired affect programs (Moors, 2017), we contend that these processes are coupled in probabilistic ways and can vary between and within persons. For example, behavioral expressions of emotion vary more across persons and cultures than previously thought (Barrett et al., 2019).

As such, emotions are best viewed as affective episodes that include multiple, loosely connected changes in a multidimensional space of component processes. However, the patterns of these changes are not arbitrary. Instead, some patterns are more likely to occur in response to specific events. These prototypical patterns make it possible to distinguish between different emotions, semantically represent them in language, and use verbal self-report to assess them (Fontaine et al., 2013). Given the flexibility of the multicomponent patterns that we call emotions, we believe it is best not to view them as categories defined by clear-cut boundaries, but rather as prototypes representing families of similar patterns (see Russell & Barrett, 1999, for a similar view).”

“Lichen Latte, Anyone?” [JSTOR Daily]. “[A] few centuries ago, lichen were welcome medicaments in the ancient and early modern apothecary…. [L]ichen still appears in our alimentary routines. According to the authors of Urban Lichens: A Field Guide for Northeastern North America, ‘usnic acid harvested from lichens is often used as an ingredient in all-natural toothpaste and deodorant’ for its antimicrobial properties. But DIY apothecary beware: the compound can be toxic in higher doses, and lichens sequester pollutants like heavy metals from the air that could reappear in homemade brews. Better, perhaps, to appreciate the versatility of lichens from a relative distance.” • So, no.

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From JL:

JL writes: “A wild Dendrobium display in the late afternoon sun. We first discovered these high in our tangerine trees — they appear to be quite adept at propagating themselves.”

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Realist

    “Notice the procedure masks instead of masks that work…head hits desk.”

    Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks

    This study found that coronavirus aerosols and droplets were completely stopped by a surgical/procedure mask when used as source control.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > This study found that coronavirus aerosols and droplets were completely stopped by a surgical/procedure mask when used as source control.

      When the masks are gappy? I don’t think so.

      In any case, checking the Abstract shows that you’re wrong:

      We identified seasonal human coronaviruses, influenza viruses and rhinoviruses in exhaled breath and coughs of children and adults with acute respiratory illness. Surgical face masks significantly reduced detection of influenza virus RNA in respiratory droplets and coronavirus RNA in aerosols, with a trend toward reduced detection of coronavirus RNA in respiratory droplets. Our results indicate that surgical face masks could prevent transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals.

      Obviously, “reduced detection of coronavirus RNA in respiratory droplets” ≠ “completely stopped.” Other problems with the study will doubtless occur to readers (like it only applies to symptomatic, e.g. coughing, individuals, not asymptomatic, simply breathing, hence the very WHO/CDC-inflected fudge of “respiratory droplets” instead of “aerosol.”

      So there are a couple of problems with your comment:

      1) Lying is bad;

      2) Assuming our readers are stupid is also bad (since many of them will check the link, as I did).

      I think you have a bridge you need to be under. Go away.

  2. JM

    There might be better sites than these at more local levels, but they’re at least official; I couldn’t find anything wastewater related from a quick search. Also, it feels like Brave’s search got worse…and they’re throwing Google-esque garbage at the top of searches more, of course using “AI”.

    Alaska dashboard: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/af2efc8bffbf4cdc83c2d1a134354074/

    Alabama dashboard: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

    Arizona dashboard: https://www.azdhs.gov/covid19/data/index.php

    Arkansas dashboard: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/633006d0782b4544bd5113a314f6268a/

      1. square coats

        I think Wyoming had stopped wastewater monitoring but might be planning to start again sometime this year:




        https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/coronavirus/wvsa-collecting-wastewater-to-test-for-covid-19/article_93575337-8f1d-5182-bb01-9ed983b12a6f.html (if you look at this page in reader view you get the first sentence of the article saying 2023)

        It looks like West Virginia might just be sending data to the CDC:


        Possibly likewise for South Dakota:



        I also found this crop of data sets


        but haven’t tried to look at what specifically they are because all these state government website UIs have started to hurt my brain.

  3. ChrisFromGA

    Re: Amazon pausing HQ construction

    I don’t have a stock chart handy, but I will wager that the year when Amazon ran their HQ sweepstakes, shamelessly getting cities and states to shower them with tax breaks, corresponds to the peak in Amazon stock.

    1. cnchal

      Peak Amazon stawk price, so far, was 2021 and the HQ swindle was launched late 2017.

      2017 stawk price – $40

      2021 – $190 ish

      Today – $94

      Its a money loser at the moment despite the grotesque subsidies wrangled from the peasants. Expect the Amazon begging bowl to be shoved in our faces. They have already put out the notice that they are on the hunt for moar loot from the MIC and bought a pill mill recently.

      Whip cracking sadists may as well put that Ring on Bezos finger. They have earned it.

  4. John

    Does raising prices beyond the level of inflation constitute price gouging? Who would do such a thing?

    1. FreeMarketApologist

      1. Generally no, although some states are considering legislation that limits the amount of price increases (saw something on this for New York the other day).
      2. People who want the cover of external events to hide their profit seeking.

    2. Objective Ace

      How do prices get set initially? An entrepeneur simply decides how much he wants to “gouge”.. and the market either buys or doesnt buy his product. And that becomes an iterative process every year/month/whatever. He can raise, lower, or keep his prices the same. What inflation does really doesnt matter except that it hides what is going on and can make it harder to plan

      Rather then worrying about treating the symptoms — the government would be better off treating the source: combatting monopolies. Thats the real reason these companies can continue to raise their prices (and lower wages) regardless of what inflation does

    3. BlakeFelix

      A rational capitalist. Corruption breaks capitalism and gives it a bad name, but in theory if there is a shortage and prices rise then a sane producer charges what the market will bear and reinvests some of his windfall profits into increasing his supply until prices come back down and it ceases to be profitable to do so. Then there is usually a glut and prices crash. It’s an annoying process, but turning shortages into gluts is arguably the main strength of the invisible hand of the market. Bad price gouging usually comes from monopolies or people who can manipulate markets, and is usually decried by the government when there is a sudden shortage but the government doesn’t want to pay full market price for stuff so they would rather implement price controls and have people do without. To my understanding, anyway.

  5. John

    Registering bloggers who write about government officials. Proposing a bill that would outlaw the democrat party. Are these supposed to be harbingers of what the gift of a DeSantis presidency would present to the nation?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Are these supposed to be harbingers of what the gift of a DeSantis presidency would present to the nation?

      That seems to be the general idea. Sort of a “Florida Man” concept, but amped up.

      1. John

        Indeed. The possibilities are legion. Was it not said that we should fear or guard against a Trumpian without Trump’s shortcomings?

        1. some guy

          A question arises . . . . if the election presents us with Biden/harris versus DeSantis/whomever; are there people who hate the Democrats so much that they will vote for DeSantis/whomever in order to own the Democrats?

          Let us remember, someone will be the President. There is no way we can prevent a President from existing after the election. So does it matter whom that President will be?

          1. ambrit

            Au contraire! There are several ways to “…prevent a President from existing after the election.”
            Just look at the cases of Lincoln, Garfield, Harding, Kennedy, et. al.

            1. some guy

              I meant legally. If we get to the point where various people and factions decide they can prevent President after President after President from existing . . . . then society itself may get too violent for decent mainstream normies like myself to survive in it for long.

              If we reach that point, my only hope would be to go gray and hide all the way.

              1. ambrit

                I’m with you on the Grey Man Strategy.
                Florida Grey Man seems to be a contradiction of terms. Oh well, I “grew up” in Miami.

        2. semper loquitur

          I said it numerous times, to numerous people, when Biden scuttled into office. I said “If you think Trump was bad, wait till you see Trump plus a brain!” Everyone ignored me as they were too busy celebrating the fall of the Trump and the heralding of a new Golden Age.

          1. ambrit

            Too many online solons compare “Creepy” Joe Biden to the Scarecrow in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ This is pure deception. The real ‘Wizard of Oz’ character “Creepy” Joe resembles is the Tin Man. He has no Heart. His Senatorial, Vice Presidential (where he specialized, naturally enough, in vice,) and Presidential record proves it.

          2. some guy

            Umm . . . . what we are seeing now is a horrible hybrid of Clinton plus Obama plus half a brain. A real live ” ManBearPig” . . . . half Clinton, half Obama, half brain.

            Trump plus a brain would be DeSantis. That would be a sight to see. But not in DC, hopefully.

            1. semper loquitur

              Umm, that’s my point. DeSantis is a sentient Trump. Biden is a child sniffing zombie.

            2. hk

              I don’t know about that. Trump had a knack for understanding what middle America is worried about and distrusts and saying the “right things” at key moments that made PTB uncomfortable. For example, he is the only serious politician openly criticizing the bipartisan warmongering and the waste of resources that could be used for people here, like in East Palestine, OH. DeSantis never struck me as someone who has a visceral understanding of the what makes middle America tick: he always seemed to me as more of a poser, someone who puts in a show, whom the Left thinks is like Trump for superficial reasons, but not someone who convincingly “gets it.” (In fact, a smoother version of Rick Santorum, in a way.).

              1. Terry Flynn

                smoother version of Rick Santorum,

                Horrible sight just entered my mind (if not at work and don’t know what Santorum was redefined as then look it up on urbandictionary)

        3. BrianC - PDX

          Trump will always be linked to Obama. As Obama’s most significant legacy. The Trump Presidency also marks the beginning of a new era.

          When Trump was elected it showed just how deeply the rot had spread. I thought immediately of this passage by Tacitus the Elder:

          Welcome as the death of Nero had been in the first burst of joy, yet it had not only roused various emotions in Rome, among the Senators, the people, or the soldiery of the capital, it had also excited all the legions and their generals; for now had been divulged that secret of the empire, that emperors could be made elsewhere than at Rome.


          I was telling friends to watch out for the next one, because Trump would be followed by someone far more disciplined, ruthless and driven. Now that the rot had been shown to be so widespread and pervasive.

          We are truly living in interesting times.

          1. hk

            I think one thing that people miss is that both Obama and Trump sold the same product, albeit in a totally different manner. Both ran on some version of “Hope and Change” because both understood that a large chunk of Americans were tired of conventional politics, wanted to see something change, and were hoping that someone from outside the politics might be able to get something done, but would not vote for usual politicians. (And everyone else would automatically vote for the party candidates no matter who that might be)

            They were both similar, too, in being swallowed up, willingly or otherwise, by the conventional politics in DC and failed to deliver on their promises. Yet, both were, ironically, still saner than others. I am thankful to Obama for not creating a worse mess in Middle East than he did (although he still caused, or, at least, abetted a lot of problems ) and I am thankful to both Obama and Trump for not starting a crisis with Russia, among others. Trump was remarkably quick and competent when providing relief early on in the Covid era.

            After the 2+ Biden years, both Obama and Trump look like paragons of competence and sanity, to be honest.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              > They were both similar, too, in being swallowed up

              I don’t believe that Obama was in any sense “swallowed up.” He was a con artist from jump. Remember Citigroup picking his cabinet? Remember his inaugural, that happy time, when he suddenly switched from “hope and change” to austerity?

              I give Trump credit for the occasional spurt of genuine feeling, although usually quickly suppressed. That Obama s.o.b. was cold, cold, cold, all the way down. Still is.

      2. JustTheFacts

        Thank you for the Harpers’ article on DeSantis, Lambert. It truly shocked me. I thought he might be an OK choice for a Republican. No longer. You cannot be decent if you have been involved in torture.

    2. some guy

      I remember reading that in Ceaucescu’s Romania, that every typewriter had to be registered and a “typeprint” was kept of every registered typewriter at Security Central.

      I suppose the digital equivalent would be forcing the registration of every computer and every personal digital device at Security Central.

      Obviously a better political party than “Democrats” is needed. People who seek relief through such a better party, if they can build one, need to accept the basic fact ahead of time that replacing the Democratic Party with something better will mean several decades of Republican Party Rule in the meantime, with no promise of anything ever coming after. Such people should absolve themselves of guilt, regret, remorse, etc. if their several decades long “better party experiment” leads to DePermaSantis type rule forever and forever. Sometimes the attempt just fails.

      1. ambrit

        Do not give up “Hope.” It is possible that both legacy political parties in America collapse within a few years of each other. It has happened before. Think, oh, Whigs and Democratic-Republicans into Republicans, and old style Jacksonian Democratic-Republicans to Democrats.

  6. Wukchumni

    Fear and loathing leaving Las Vegas, or how I learned to love getting to Interstate 40

    Dateline: Denny’s in Searchlight Nevada, where Hwy 95 goes from 75 to 55 to 45 to 35 and 25 mph in an awful hurry and officers of the law lie in wait for offenders to be shown the error of their ways along with revenue enhancement possibilities, for what I was told by my waitress were Las Vegas cops with a few years left before retirement and they drive from LV & back daily to have an easy job at a speed trap.

    There was a cashier and 1 waitress for the entire restaurant, and couple cooks in the back. It was the only game in town aside from a drive through McDonalds and I wanted a sit down meal, so after the cashier went through the line of 6 people paying, she finally got around to me, and asked if I wouldn’t sit at the counter instead?

    I pointed over to the empty 6 or 7 tables, and asked why not one of those, and she relented allowing me to have one all by my lonesome, and took a wet rag and cleaned the table but didn’t bother to wipe off the wet, and for whatever reason there were no paper napkins or towels to be found, and hunting down the wiper, she begrudgingly allowed me to have a dry surface by wiping it down once again.

    I expected the waitress to be more haggard being the sole bread winner for the restaurant, but she was ok with it, more income possibilities she said, with a wink.

    As I ate my avocado bacon burger combo, 3x vehicles were stopped for speeding just outside the window, that’s about $1500 worth of revenue, versus my crummy expenditure of $15 @ a shitty Denny’s in Searchlight.

          1. ambrit

            There used to be a really good seafood restaurant on a short pier jutting into the Biloxi seaside we used to frequent. It had a signed photo of LBJ sitting at lunch with some of the patrons and workers lined up behind him. An example of a real “meat and potatoes” politico at work. The place was bought up be a casino developer that only cared for the property. The restaurant is long gone while a gaudy as all get out ‘cheap’ casino shines it’s splendiferousness across the waves every night. Alas, the casinos here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast have terrible taste in food prep and delivery. The locals joke that the installation of a Mickey D’s or a Burger King in one of the gambling palaces will be a definite sign of “The End of Days.”

    1. Carolinian

      I’ll pass on your report to Denny’s corporate headquarters which is a mile from where I sit. I used to eat the Grand Slam sometimes when I lived in Atlanta and found it abundant if not all that good. We also once had a Shoney’s in my current town where, I am told, they would sear your burger with a heated wire to make it look grilled.

      But we also had one of the very first Hardee’s and those tiny burgers really were charcoal grilled. I can still taste them, along with the milkshakes.

      And re speed traps, there are reportedly some very shady ones in Texas. In Arizona they dropped the movable speed cameras after a couple of the operators got shot.

  7. Mildred Montana

    >“Huge New Study Shows Why Exercise Should Be The First Choice in Treating Depression”

    Agreed. The catch is, can the depressed person work up the energy or motivation to exercise? That can be difficult. If he or she is able to manage it it is, imo, an effective treatment.

    On the other hand and somewhat strangely, exercise seems not to work for anxiety. In fact, it seems to make it worse. Maybe something to do with a raising of the metabolic rate. The trick with anxiety, again imo, is to lose one’s self in a mind-absorbing and -distracting activity of some sort, such as reading, writing, crafts, home repairs, etc.

    In a nutshell: Exercise for depression, distraction for anxiety. I speak from personal experience only.

    1. Samuel Conner

      If the environment and one’s schedule permits, planning and digging a garden might be a “one activity fits all” kind of thing.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > If the environment and one’s schedule permits, planning and digging a garden might be a “one activity fits all” kind of thing.

        Wholly agreed. Fortunately, I have never had major depression, but in my experience depression is immobilizing. The first rule is to get moving, and the direction or purpose doesn’t matter. Gardening provides good stimulus to get moving, either out of duty to take care of the plants, or because a task must be performed at a set time, like getting seeds in the ground, or watering.

    2. AndrewJ

      Depression is also highly correlated with chronic pain – I know from my own experience that my worst pain days are those when I’m most depressed. Asking a depressed person to do something tiring and painful – exercising – is not realistic, not without assistance. If you live alone? Fuggetaboudit.

    3. Jason Boxman

      Intense exercise is unpleasant when you’re dealing with panic attacks in particular. Is my heart rate elevated because of exercise or am I having a panic attack? Then you actually have a panic attack! Rise, repeat!

    4. Late Introvert

      Good comment. I too have found that depression is enhanced by a lack of activity, and that anxiety is right brain going crazy, so do something left brain.

      1. Irrational

        Would broadly agree with comments above. In my case, running is/was my anti-stress treatment. Unfortunately, a knee injury prevented me from dealing with some very stressful work & life events and it has definitely been a tough time, especially in December/January. I do believe that discipline – had I been able to run – would have gotten me out the front door, but I might be wrong! I hope to eventually resume running now I have had an operation – walking just doesn’t do it for me – but it’s early days yet.

    5. Carla

      At least forty years ago, my mother told me that a friend of the family was being treated for debilitating depression. The doctor told him to walk three miles in any direction, then turn around and walk home, every day. The prescription worked.

  8. Carolinian

    Re “jawline fluidity.”–in her autobiography Jane Fonda said that before one of her first movies the studio wanted to extract her back teeth for better cheek bone emphasis. She said no. She also said Dad was mean.

    Meanwhile the Daisy Mae fashion look is still at large in the neighborhood. Maybe both genders are eager to attract–as it always was.

  9. fjallstrom

    Nevada Dems, isn’t that the pro Sanders democrats that took over Nevada, and the old guard first looted the treasury, then resigned en mass?

    If so, then whatever lack of structure the current leadership is denounced for, was the intended result from the old guard. And criticism from the old guard should be read in that way. Just so we keep in mind what the fight is about.

    1. Daryl

      Author of the tweets studiously avoids saying what should be done to improve things.

      One person raises the stripped funding in the comments and is immediately attacked for criticizing a non-binary black person, while the actual content is unaddressed.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > One person raises the stripped funding in the comments and is immediately attacked for criticizing a non-binary black person, while the actual content is unaddressed.

        Dear Lord. Completely hopeless. It seems like the identity hierarchy (properties are apparently additive) will be added on to the gerontocracy…

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Nevada Dems, isn’t that the pro Sanders democrats that took over Nevada, and the old guard first looted the treasury, then resigned en mass?

      Correct. That was the [genuflects] Harry Reid faction, Reid being known for his wisdom and discipline.

  10. Rick

    Of course, from the Oregon Heath Authority:

    Starting April 3, workers, patients and visitors in Oregon health care settings will not be required to wear masks.

    It [the month long lead-up] also gives members of the public, particularly populations at increased risk of severe disease—communities of color, tribal communities, rural communities, lower-income communities, those with underlying medical conditions, seniors and parents of vulnerable infants—a chance to plan health care visits and protective measures.

    Hmmm, I guess we’re supposed to get a lifetime of medical appointments scheduled for the next month.

    Or something else? What “protective measures” can we take?

    At least there’s a clear list of who doesn’t count, good to know.

  11. Tom Stone

    Just a drie by comment.
    It struck me the other day that the order to destroy the Nordstream pipelines was an illegal order.
    The power to make war resides in Congress and the senior military who were involved in this plot were certainly aware that Congress was “Out of the loop” and that War had not been declared on France, Germany, Switzerland or Russia.
    The Oath is to obey the “Lawful Orders” of your superiors.
    I won’t be holding my breath waiting for the head of SOCOM to be grilled under oath about this crime, but it does make it crystal clear that the senior US Military and both houses of Congress that they are the human equivalent of the tools you buy at Harbor Freight.
    Cheap and disposable.

    1. digi_owl

      Wasn’t one of the things about the Vietnam war that Congress authorized the president to make war without a formal declaration of same? Or was it just that instance in history?

      And maybe that is why they needed to have a third party included, to allow for a different hand on the trigger for plausible deniability.

      Still, it is a nice reminder that for all the hoopla about the POTUS election the formal role is as the executor of the will of congress (there is also the presidential veto but that can be overruled).

  12. griffen

    Wowser, that GQ article is something. I do recall a similar article that discussed the bone lengthening process and that sounded really unpleasant and painful. And of course, an expensive option. Breaking your jaw to reset your mandible and maybe do a little chin configuration? Yikes.

    Not for me. Just not going to do it. Makes me think instead of the Fight Club scene, where the Norton character just thoroughly bashes in Jared Leto’s face to a pulpy bloody mess. Or really any number of boxing films where the eyes are swollen and all manner of blood covers the face.

    1. Roger Blakely

      Thank you, Lambert, for the softballs.

      “To be “redpilled” can refer to any unsettling awakening; in this particular context, it describes an understanding of society in which modern men have become disadvantaged by a feminist power shift that leaves them unable to find sexual partners. Women, meanwhile – or so the distorted logic goes – can take their pick.”

      The problem that I have with this sentence is that it is true.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Ali (not his real name) has been waiting for this day since 2020, when, amid the stasis of the pandemic, he began reaching out to cosmetic surgeons. But the seed was sown much earlier, in his teens, when Ali first felt himself fall behind his “better-looking” friends. As he saw it, they had no problem getting girlfriends, whereas he struggled. He didn’t consider himself ugly, but the guys around him seemed to channel a different sort of energy. It was crushing to see the genetic lottery at play; even more so when some of his friends were scouted as models. Online dating – the cold, hard stats of a low match count – only put the feeling into numbers.

        Yep. Saw this with more attractive friends. Their apps blow up. It’s insane. These people live in another world.

        Deeper and more dangerous than the red pill is a worldview known as the “black pill”. Blackpillers believe almost every element of life can be determined by your physical appearance and the genetic hand you’ve been dealt. According to their brand of biological essentialism, relationships are largely a primal transaction. While Redpillers believe that they can attract a partner by triggering women’s supposed subconscious desire for an “alpha” mate – through money or so-called “game” – blackpillers believe those who don’t meet a certain threshold of attractiveness don’t stand a chance.

        Certainly makes a difference; We know from studies that more attractive people get more promotions, are considered more trustworthy, smarter, and so forth.

        1. some guy

          I remember once seeing from time to time a very attractive blond young woman named . . . well, we won’t worry about that. One find day I saw her with someone who looked like a fat bald little Woody Allen without the charisma. They were obviously a couple. My thought was . . . ” well, it must be love.”

          Many years later, while at a salt-water-aquarium hobbyists conference in California with a friend, I started chatting with a statuesquely spectacular beautiful tall blonde young woman. After some talking, she said something like ” well, my boyfriend should be coming out of the presentation pretty soon now.” Uvv course. I just assumed the boyfriend would be a 6 foot four inch Southern California surfer beach god dude. In fact the boyfriend was skinny, very uncharismatic seeming, pimply, about 14 years old looking. My first thought on being introduced, well hidden behind my smiling poker face was ” Oh! My! God! THAT’S the boyfriend!?”

          So you just never know.

          1. Jason Boxman

            Given the number of people in the world, there’s bound to be some variation. Nonetheless.

    2. Roger Blakely

      I would have thought that the article was written by a woman. It is actually written by a man. However, the article is written in a way that women find acceptable. GQ is run by women, so said Kevin Samuels before he died last year.

      Richard Reeves, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, has been making the rounds to promote his new book about the crisis facing men and boys. In his opinion the ideas discussed in this GQ article are dangerous to society. The problem is men cannot find sexual partners. Men take to the internet for answers. They encounter this curious set of ideas. Here is the problem: Rollo Tomassi and Wheat Waffles are right.

  13. Wukchumni

    Its no secret that i’ve had a crush on My Kevin (since ’07) as he crushes it as Speaker of the House, getting a lot done.

    When Kev goes to Taiwan he promises to abide by the One-China policy and will only use a salad plate in Taipei.

  14. IM Doc

    Why am I, along with the janitors, increasingly burned out?

    Let me introduce you to another lesson in Big Pharma Methodology…………….The smell just exudes from the journal pages.

    This “landmark” article came out in the NEJM this week. All the usual ooohing and aaahing in the med Twitter verse.


    In brief, kidney stones are a fairly common issue – and one of the tenets of the Standard of Care – and also found in algorithms and guidelines everywhere – is putting patients on a diuretic called HCTZ in hopes of decreasing the incidence of stones. I am not going to bore anyone with the biochemistry but the theory was that this drug helped to prevent further kidney stones going forward.

    A bit of history. The drug HCTZ has now been generic for decades. When it first came out it went under the trade name of HYDRODIURIL. It was indicated only for hypertension and edema. All those years ago, Big Pharma did a few very lackluster studies to show efficacy in decreasing kidney stone incidence. This would be “off label” but big bucks are involved in getting doctors to prescribe DAILY pills for anything, on or off label. Very soon, this practice became standard operating procedure – and as I said before long, it was the standard of care. HCTZ was included in all of the major guidelines and algorithms. Because it was the standard of care, failure to use it could be a liability issue.

    Here is the problem. More than three decades ago, I did one of my intern conferences on this very subject. I discovered that the original trials of using HCTZ for stone prevention were uniformly poor in one way or the other. There was no good evidence to continue doing this in any way until appropriate studies could be done. Everyone in the room agreed. And furthermore, during my entire career, whenever this came up in conferences, the same conclusion was reached. And yet it continued to be the standard of care for decades.

    Until, all of a sudden, BOOM now this paper comes out. And an actually well-done trial ( there are a few quibbles) is done – and AMAZING – the drug does nothing. Questioning minds would immediately ask – WHY NOW? We have been using this drug for decades?

    Well, a quick call to old students of mine “in the know” reveal that there are 2 different drugs in the pipeline that are going to be coming out in the next 12-36 months that are going to be used to decrease kidney stone incidence. And they will likely cost hundreds of dollars a month. This is Big Pharma’s way of clearing the runway. “We know and have known this stuff really did nothing for decades, and thank you for your support and billions of prescriptions, but now we must torpedo HCTZ to make way for big blockbusters…WE ARE SAVING LIVES!!!!” And within weeks, HCTZ will be badmouthed and scrubbed out of existence for this indication to make way for the new ones. Keep the lucre flowing.

    I have seen this same thing so many times in my life. But please note….The indications for a majority of drugs used in medicine today are just at best flimsy. Avoid pills. Do everything you can with your diet, exercise, and lifestyle to avoid the pills in the first place. There are literally hundreds of examples I could list, just like this one, where there is at best tenuous evidence for pharma intervention.

    But SCIENCE!!!!!!!…… Again, this is an example of Evidence-Based Medicine at its finest. We have known for decades HCTZ did virtually nothing – and have not only NOT used it – but the professional societies and leaders have pushed it with algorithms and guidelines.

    We really need a reset in the worst way.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Absolutely and thank you. My masters and PhD were so heavily rooted in so called evidence based medicine. Even “current paradigm based methods” like n-of-1 trials never took off. (Too costly for public health bodies.)

      Problem for us is that if these better trials had been conducted we’d know about the variance of outcomes and suddenly big pharma doesn’t look so good.

    2. Ana

      @IM DOC. Thank you, this info will have a ripple effect at UC Davis medical center for several reasons.

      I have been on HCTZ for years because kidney stones run in my family. I have had them and also have Osteogenesis Imperfecta which complicates things. I’m one of their more exotic therefore closely followed patients

      Need to have yet another chat with my kidney specialist. He is a great doc by the way and saved my life last year.

      Ana in Sacramento

  15. Turtle

    Good to hear that manual transmissions in cars are being saved. I do my part to help, and a significant factor of my decision to drive manual is economic in nature. In my experience and from reading and hearing about automatic transmissions, the manual ones require less and cheaper maintenance than automatic ones.

    Other reasons to drive manual:
    It provides an actual override over sudden acceleration issues, like some automatic cars experience occasionally. I can always disengage the engine entirely.
    Apart from the most modern and advanced automatic transmissions, manuals tend to have better fuel economy.

    1. Wukchumni

      A manual transmission is no fun in stop & go LA freeway traffic, I felt as if i’d blundered into a Jane Fonda Carobics class:

      ‘Give me 863 more leg lifts, feel the burn!’

    2. Laura in So Cal

      They also save on brake pad wear and tear in my experience since you don’t have to ride the brakes to slow down. I hate driving an automatic car since I always feel very disconnected from the car.

      1. Turtle

        Great point about the brake pads that I hadn’t thought about. Makes total sense.
        Agreed on feeling disconnected too. It’s interesting… with manual you get to choose whether to disengage the engine, while with automatic the car gets to decide whether to disengage you.

        1. KLG

          I drove a 2020 Honda Civic, bought new in July 2000, with a manual 5-speed and did not change the break pads until I gave it to my daughter as a second car and had the pads changed along with the belt and hoses. In 2018, 130,000 miles.

      2. mrsyk

        The savings in brake pad wear are in exchange for increased clutch wear. According to my mechanic anyway. I prefer a stick, but they are dear and difficult to come by. My reasons # 1 and 2 for a manual is you can perform a rolling pop the clutch jump start and for driving in snow.

        1. cnchal

          > The savings in brake pad wear are in exchange for increased clutch wear.

          That depends on how engine braking is used, and I try to minimize it or when downshifting matching the revs to the speed of the car before releasing the clutch. Whenever I have a coast down opportunity that’s what I do. Shift to neutral and coast as far as possible then a light application of the brakes slows me to the appropriate speed or to a stop. Letting the brakes warm slowly with light application makes them last much much longer than rushing up to the car in front and slamming the brakes on.

          I am on my second gen 6 Honda Accord (1998 – 2002) with the four cylinder, five speed stick and the first one went to the junkyard at 300,000 miles with the original clutch, still running good but rusty. Tires last almost forever too. If all cars were built like those, the manufacturers would go broke and mechanics would have almost nothing to do.

          1. msyk

            I can agree with that. My first 3 Saabs were 5 speed manuals. Never had any transmission work done on any.
            I admire anyone who who musters 300K+ miles from their auto.

    3. Martin Oline

      You can also jump start them fairly easily unlike an automatic which needs to be going 35 MPH or more. Electronic ignitions may have changed this but I have not had the need to do that in 35 years or more.

    4. britzklieg

      I love my manual 2006 VW GTI and hope to keep it running as long as I do! And manuals require more alert driving it seems to me, more engagement with what is, afterall, an essentially dangerous venture every time one is on the road. Florida drivers are nuts.

  16. Wukchumni

    I wish I could have visited Amazonia. Have any readers?

    I visited vis a vis reading Candice Millard’s:

    The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey

    She’s a masterful storyteller, and what a tale!

  17. Glen

    More from the American railroad “burn pit”:

    Leaked audio reveals US rail workers were told to skip inspections as Ohio crash prompts scrutiny to industry

    In the industry I’m in, this is a maintenance strategy called “run to failure”. Our managers wanted to do it, but we had to point out in many areas it literally broke the law, and in other areas it was exposing the company to very high risk of accidents and major equipment failures resulting in factories getting damaged and/or stopped.

    But I’m not surprised that the railroads do this, it’s probably one of the means to implementing PSR.

    So hey, rejoice for Wall St and American CEOs! Live near a railroad? Worried about that railroad strike that Biden had to squash? Relieved he did it? Then you too helped those railroads achieve HUGE PROFITS by your volunteering to be a chemical burn pit!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > In the industry I’m in, this is a maintenance strategy called “run to failure”.

      If indeed that’s the case, I’d say that people like Buffet (who owns BNSF) are betting on the Jackpot, and extracting all the value they can before that happy sequence of events.

      In fact, one might think the whole country is being run to failure.

      1. Glen

        The exact same thought had crossed my mind.

        And maybe reflects old thinking. Does a giant pile of crap make one better prepared for the Jackpot? Or does it just put a giant target on your back? I’m not sure.

  18. Terry Flynn

    Curious how the Fox vs Trump issue will play out.

    Murdoch prides himself on not backing losers.He pretty much controlled New Labour so don’t see him controlling Democrats in USA as difficult.

    Looking forward to 4th and final season of succession….

  19. Adam

    Isn’t the tweet on the Nevada Democratic Party is coming from a centrist who at the very least is siding with the people who actually caused the “rot”? Progressives surprisingly took over the party several years ago and the outgoing corporate friendlies took all the money they had on hand with them, which then has the consequence of the official now progressive-run party having much less reach.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      From Politico:

      Judith Whitmer, the insurgent party chair who wrested control of the party from mainstream Democrats, is facing a challenge in her reelection campaign next month amid doubts from her own former supporters and accusations that she abandoned her progressive principles. And even key figures in Bernie world — including Sanders himself — say they are unhappy and embittered by what’s transpired.

      “The senator is pretty disappointed in Judith’s chairmanship, specifically around her failure to build a strong grassroots movement in the state,” said a person familiar with Sanders’ thinking. “A lot of us feel sad about what could have been. It was a big opportunity for Bernie-aligned folks in the state to prove some of the folks in the establishment wrong. And that hasn’t happened.”

      The situation has left the Sanders coalition in Nevada fragmented right at the onset of the critical 2024 election. And it has set off larger debates about what, exactly, the progressive movement should be doing during the twilight of the senator’s career. There is even talk that it might simply be a waste of time for the progressives to win control of a state party’s machinery.

      “There just has been a complete lack of competence or ability to accomplish anything significant,” said Peter Koltak, a Democratic strategist and former Nevada senior adviser for Sanders’ 2020 campaign, of the current state party leadership. “Look, there’s a lot of well-meaning activists involved there, but they don’t understand the ins and outs of how you build modern campaigns.”

      To me, the really worrisome factor is that the vast, vast majority of the contacts were digital, not physical.

      I missed this detail. As 2024 heats up — and it’s only March 2023! — I really need to invest more time in the Politics section.

      1. Carla

        Gee, I’m pretty disappointed in the senator, too. Is what she did worse than building a grassroots movement and then pulling the rug out from under it?

      2. Cassandra

        Here’s a thought: many of those passionate, hopeful volunteers that knocked on doors for Bernie and donated many $27s that they couldn’t really afford… are unhappy and embittered by what has transpired, and have dropped out of politics. Or at least the part that aspires to reform the Democratic party.

  20. ForFawkesSakes

    Here’s a blog read, at the very least, by attorneys in civil law offices of North Florida. It has a liberal with a capital L perspective, IMO.

    (In the event that I didn’t stick the link landing, it’s floridapolitics.com.)

    Florida Politics.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I fixed the link. It should have looked like:

      <a href=”http://floridapolitics.com/” rel=”nofollow ugc”>Florida Politics</a>

      which the comment toolbar will help you do. Click the “Link” button. Paste in or enter your URL*. Press OK. Your “open tag” will appear in the comment, with the cursor positioned after it. Type in your text (here, “Florida Politics”). The cursor will now be positioned after that text. You will observe that the toolbar will have changed to “/Link”. Click it to enter the “close tag”, and your Link is complete. This is quicker and easier in the doing than in the telling.

      The general concept is that a “link” is not simply a URL, but an anchor (“a” is for anchor) in the text, and the text selected inside the link indicates the topic covered by the URL in some way.

      NOTE * The URL should look exactly like it looks in the example. The Link dialog “helps” you by pre-populating the URL field with “http://”. If you paste your URL after that, you will end up with a URL with two “http://”s, which is broken. To avoid this, do a Select All in the field, and then paste in your URL over the existing “http://”.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Meet the men paying to have their jaws broken in the name of ‘manliness’”

    ‘While Redpillers believe that they can attract a partner by triggering women’s supposed subconscious desire for an “alpha” mate – through money or so-called “game” – blackpillers believe those who don’t meet a certain threshold of attractiveness don’t stand a chance.’

    Those blackpillers may have a point. There are plenty of women on dating sites that will not consider a man if he is less than 6 feet tall – a small percentage of the population – as well as having a six-figure salary which is also a smaller amount of the population. Having a strong jaw line comes right out in the image for a profile hence this being a desirable trait. And character? That is merely an afterthought.

    1. ambrit

      The phenomenon of women, and is it only women?, setting unrealistic standards of “attractiveness” for their dating pool reminds me of the old therapist’s joke: “Never date someone you meet in a Therapist’s waiting room.”

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Err…what was The Matrix about?

      I thought it was a bit obvious. I mean Trinity has short hair. That’s film code. And the whole bit with the names. I think he says my name is Neo. This movie is lit, but it had less subtlety than an episode of Star Trek.

  22. Martin Oline

    Perhaps this subject has been covered before but I know there are a number of people here who enjoyed the old COLUMBO TV series of the ’70’s. My wife pushed me watch a series on Peacock that is very similar in style, at least the protagonist’s manner and speech. It is called Poker Face and the main character is not a detective but someone who can tell when someone is lying. She gas not yet referred to her wife but her delivery is eerily similar to Peter Faulk’s. The writing is burdened from the politically correct atmosphere of Hollywood but the acting is fairly good. The ninth and final episode of the first season aired last night and I would enjoy hearing if anyone else has noticed the similarity.

    1. JM

      I haven’t watched it, just heard second-hand from someone who also hasn’t watched it yet. But, the way it was described to them was that there was a crime at the start, up to ~30 minutes, where you see the perp and victims and how it all happened; then afterwards the main character comes in. They immediately drew the connection to how Columbo episodes go, and put it on their list to watch.

      I don’t have streaming services, but it does pique my interest, I love Columbo!

    2. Bugs

      That was the penultimate episode. Next week is the final. Great show. Natasha Lyonne is fantastic in it and each week has a “special guest star”. Even the opening credits are an hommage to the Sunday Mystery Movie format of so long ago. Highly recommend.

      Now bring back McCloud. And McMillan and Wife. Those were good TV.

  23. Laughingsong

    The Art of the Shadow: How Painters Have Gotten It Wrong for Centuries”

    I actually went to art school for a couple of years, and one of the requirements was a “Physics for Artists” class, which ended up being one of my favorite all-time classes. At first I wondered why, since other requirements covered color science and perspective, but it was extremely helpful. And yes, we covered how to plan shadows from one or more light sources, and also covered things like capturing motion accurately…. For example if you wanted to paint a ball rolling off of a table at one of its mid-fall points in an accurate or believable manner…. Or, if you did want to mess with it and make something more surreal, you could do so in an informed way.

  24. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: Red pill and manly men with broken jaws.

    This is a joke right? I didn’t think anyone surprised by the Wachowski siblings.

  25. ChrisRUEcon


    Lambert > Takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners?

    If this is a metaphor for “chllin’ in the great beyond” … then let me provide some numbers with which you may abide

    It’s stunning to see both the Politico article and the BofA article it links to avoid the word “death” … so of course, I had to look up COVID deaths by age, and I happened across this CDC site:
    Provisional COVID-19 Deaths by Sex and Age – CDC Data Sets

    The data in the table is cumulative from 1/1/2020 to 2/25/2023. The second-to-last column is interesting, and measures “Pneumonia, Influenza Or COVID Deaths”. An interesting grouping to be sure – ostensibly a confirmation that the CDC sees COVID as a purely respiratory affliction – but for us tape-watchers who care more about the deleterious effects of COVID on the immune system … well … one has to ask why so many people in the prime of their lives are dying from the flu in the last 38 months.

    In any case, I did the math – counting up that penultimate column to include ages 18 to 64 gives us 755,922 – three quarters of a million working age people have been lost to COVID, Pneumonia or Influenza since the start of 2020. That’s almost 38% of the 2M workers the authors say are missing. I guess that’s not a big enough “chunk” for them …

  26. square coats

    Re: DeSantis, Guantanamo, torture

    The bit in the article where Adayfi says that while guards were torturing them the guards would only say the word “eat” instantly called to mind for me the “Circle of Sh_t” section in Salo / 120 Days of Sodom with the repeated yelling of “Mange!”

Comments are closed.