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February 7, 2004

Reading Peggy Noonan with Rivka. Who writes:
I’m a psychologist in an HIV clinic. I meet people every day who have problems like, “I just found out I have HIV, and I’m seven months pregnant, and I don’t have anywhere to live or enough money for food.” I face common diagnostic questions like, “is this person just crazy, or has HIV irrevocably eaten away part of her brain?” I worry about things like, “Do I even want to know whether that psychotic guy brings a gun to the clinic?” “Family values” problems in my world are things like, “Ever since I told my parents I have HIV, they make me eat off a paper plate when I visit.”

I actually love my job. But it’s spoiled me for modern living, because I come home from the clinic, log on to my computer and read things like this:

But strangely enough, I’m feeling another emotion besides anger. I feel overwhelmed by sadness at this most recent (and most prominent) example of the flush of our nation’s cesspool we call prime-time entertainment. Sure, I was shocked and appalled by what these performers did. But I can’t shake this pervasive feeling of sadness. So many people to feel sorry for, so much hurt and harm done by one tasteless, classless act on an international stage like halftime of the Super Bowl.
…and I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or go batshit crazy myself. “So much hurt and harm done.” By a breast.

See, this is why people don’t invite me to parties.

[12:41 AM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Reading Peggy Noonan with Rivka.:

Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2004, 03:18 AM:

Rivka, I don't know you, but just for writing that, you can come to my party anytime. You're not the only one who has read about the FCC Commissioner's fury and thought, Who gives a @#$%. And been struck by the irony of how much football on TV plays up the jiggle factor with their cheerleaders--which is fine by me--but then reacts wtih SHOCK that an actual woman's breast was exposed. Oh the humanity...

bryan ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2004, 04:48 AM:

are we sure that this is not the breast that went crazy and marauded the countryside in 'everything you ever wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask.' sure, the breast was white in the film, but that was a fictionalization of a very real and horrifying event.

the talking dog ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2004, 05:04 AM:


Who exactly are you talking about? People for whom the "compassionate, God fearing base" now wants to cut off housing vouchers and job training and emergency room treatment and food stamps for? Have we not prisons and work houses, honey? No need to get your pretty little head worked up over the plight of these disposable people... best to concern yourself with important matters, like St. Peggy does.

The amazing thing is that this issue has to be kept alive by flaks like Noonana; the bully pulpit man claims to have been napping at the time. For those jerks out there who think that the Chimp in Chief is unbeatable-- think supermarket scanner for Daddy, Super Bowl nappy for Junior-- he is OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE FUCKING COUNTRY.

Also-- Karl is losing it. How many times will the Super Bowl be played in Texas? Christ, Chimpy could have landed Air FOrce I at an airport named after HIS FATHER! Christ, he spends 60% of his time in Texas ANYWAY-- he's going to the Daytona God damned 500! He can't be bothered to go to THE SUPER BOWL?

Its not that I care whether Bush showed up at the big game or not. I'm just saying that us lib'ruls need to commit suicide trying to guess who is "electable" will be what manages to fuck us THIS YEAR. We have (or had) not one, but TWO candidates (Kucinich and Sharpton are circus acts, not candidates) who are actually speaking in complete sentences about what actual Democrats actually believe (hint, neither of them is John Kerry). And yet,we intend to commit national suicide again of course, by guessing WHAT REPUBLICANS MIGHT VOTE FOR.

Well, I'll tell you: Republicans, unlike us, have PARTY LOYALTY AND DISCIPLINE. They won't stay home in droves because their pet issue is overlooked. Also-- their man fundamentally (as in fundamentalist) shares their values.

WE just took the #1 guy that actually shares our values and threw hiim on the scrap heap, so that the bo-tox man of a thousand positions who "looks presidential" can take us... well, he might win. But then, so what...

Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2004, 08:53 AM:

This makes me glad I've missed the last 3 weeks of the American media. (We've been out of the country.)

While I did not fail to see images of the offending breast, I skipped most of the toxic media swill assoiated with it.

Rivka ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2004, 10:07 AM:

Actually, I was quoting Mike Gallagher of Fox News - but Peggy Noonan certainly did enough hand-wringing of her own, here.

It turns out I was hasty - I posted before I knew that the "hurt and harm" done could be quantified. Check out the zillion-dollar class-action lawsuit, courtesy of Sisyphus Shrugged.

Thanks for the party invitation, Robert. I will endeavor to spout woe and outrage in an entertaining fashion.

Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2004, 06:22 PM:

I've had dinner with Rivka, and would happily do so again, or invite her to parties if I ever got myself and my home together enough to hold parties. Peggy Noonan, on the other hand, can dine elsewhere.

Tina ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2004, 12:10 AM:

You know, I have to wonder about the feasibility of a counter-suit, claiming emotional damage as a woman for being told there's something innately unpalatable about a breast.

After all, I too have suffered.

PS: is there an unclosed blockquote or something up there? The comments page seems awfully squeezed thin.

Paul ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2004, 08:50 AM:

Ha. My favorite remark so far on this teapot-tempest has been by a CNN pundit (I can't remember who) who blamed the half-time show's "general lack of good taste." Absolutely stunned, I was. In what world have the words "Super Bowl half-time show" and "good taste" ever belonged in the same sentence?

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2004, 02:21 PM:

I never watch the Super Bowl, much less its halftime show, and I'm utterly indifferent to women's breasts. I think the whole thing was deeply silly.

Rivka, it's the same sort of people as the New York Post writer who claimed that a certain violent video game was "worse than anything Michael Jackson might have done" and went on to say that yes, he did think that publishing this videogame was a worse crime than molesting children, whether MJ did so or not.

I just want to shake these people and say "grow UP, you idiots!"

As a character in Gregory's Girl said, "Lot of fuss over a bit o' tit."

talking dog, there are those of us who, given godlike powers, would drop Dean in the White House forthwith, and yet recognize that any candidate who fails to beat Dubya is automatically no better than Dubya, in practical terms. The difficulty is figuring out which candidates those are, and whether there are any candidates left after those are eliminated.

The Aesop fable of the dog with a bone looking into the water comes to mind.

Hlvictoria ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2004, 12:39 PM:

Right along with the Lewinsky affair being the biggest media issue of the year back in the day, this is ludicrous. Great post, Rivka. And it's not just everyone outside North American laughing at the US right now -- Canadians and Mexicans are rolling on the floor right doubled up with laugher right now. It would be great if more Americans would speak up to let those outside the US know there is another version out there...

ChunkyC ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2004, 05:57 PM:

Um, are my wife and I the only ones who thought that watching rapper-boy constantly fondle his little man was far more distasteful than an allegedly-accidental tit-flash?

Tom McMahon ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2004, 09:29 PM:

f Rvk cn't hndl Pgg Nnn, thn mb Rvk shldn't b rdng Pgg Nnn. mndlss cmptr gm mght b jst th tckt. N rsn fr slf-ndcd strss!

Scott Lynch ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2004, 10:21 PM:

The day after the Super Bowl (which I watched, though I apparently blinked for the Breast Seen 'Round the World) I was stuck listening to talk radio for a brief interval with my mom. On came a promo for that night's newscast on a local TV station-- "We've been here on the streets in South Carolina, asking mothers with small children what they think of the Super Bowl half-time show scandal! Find out what they said tonight at five!"

South Carolina? I live in Minnesota.

And "mothers with small children?"

Jesus wept.

But... but what do the baby koalas think? And how about the kindergarteners? Quick, what's cuter than kindergarteners or baby koalas, and what does it think about the half-time show?

Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2004, 09:57 AM:

As I've noted before, every issue can be reduced to a bumper sticker:


Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2004, 11:10 PM:

If Rivka can't handle Peggy Noonan, then maybe Rivka shouldn't be reading Peggy Noonan. A mindless computer game might be just the ticket. No reason for self-induced stress!

[Loiosh]Can I eat him, boss? Can I? Can I?[/Loiosh]

Rivka ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2004, 11:29 PM:

Dan, all I have to say is: If I had two dead teckla, I'd give you one.

Tom McMahon, it takes a certain special talent to turn this into a story about me being oversensitive. Nice going!

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2004, 12:20 AM:

Hey. You don't eat a kethra like that all at once.

Tom McMahon ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2004, 05:55 PM:

Thnks, Rvk, pprct th cmplmnt, spps. f Pgg Nnn psts y ths mch, thn fr gdnss sk pls dn't rd n nn Cltr. Y cld hv strk.

julia ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2004, 08:25 PM:

Um, yo, Tom?

Couth. Catch it.

Tom McMahon ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2004, 09:47 PM:

Thnks, Jl, 'll kp lkng fr t. Y gt n?