Sunday Bloody NYT Sunday: Special NFL Crams Michael Sam Down America’s Throats Edition
You better believe that the St. Louis Rams drafting Michael Sam, the first openly gay football-flavored sportsball player, in the seventh round of the NFL draft, is one of the lead stories in today’s New York Times. The Times does its usual dispassionate bit of reporting about it, but if you’d like to tear up a bit about the whole thing, go watch the video (ESPN had cameras at Sam’s house) of Sam tearing up and hugging and kissing his boyfriend.
Welcome to suddenly being St. Louis Rams fans, Happy readers.
Continuing on the sportsball beat, the Times also has a big piece on the sale of the Clippers to racist fuckwit Donald Sterling back in 1981, and reminds you that Donald Sterling has always been a big ball of ick.
In October 1981, the Clippers won their first game of the season. Sterling watched from his courtside seat, shirt unbuttoned to the navel, wine glass in his hand.
There are few things in the universe we’d like to think about less than Donald Sterling unbuttoned to the navel, people.
Last week we learned that Bamz was going to send people or resources or somefuckingthing to Nigeria to rescue the missing schoolgirls, and this week FLOTUS got in on the act as well.
In a rare venture into foreign policy, Michelle Obama on Saturday condemned the abduction of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by terrorists and said that she and President Obama had been personally touched by what she called an “unconscionable” act.
“In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters,” the first lady said in the weekly radio address that is normally delivered by her husband. “We see their hopes, their dreams — and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.”
Man, how hard do you think wingnuts are seething right now? They don’t want to appear insensitive to the plight of abducted children (haha just kidding, they do not care about that), but you know they are just dying to write racist screeds about how Moochelle and Barry are sullying the dignity of the weekly radio address and this would never have happened under imaginary fantasy President Sarah Palin.
Because the Times has bureaus everywhere, they are also able to bring you this delightfully weird piece about how in China, they play a Kenny G song at you until you leave the mall or the train station or whatever.
For years the tune [Going Home], in all its seductive woodwind glory, has been a staple of Chinese society. Every day, “Going Home” is piped into shopping malls, schools, train stations and fitness centers as a signal to the public that it is time, indeed, to go home.
One recent Saturday afternoon, as the smooth notes of “Going Home” cooed repeatedly over the ordered chaos of Beijing’s famous Panjiayuan Antiques Market, hawkers packed up their Mao-era propaganda ashtrays, 1930s telephones and “antique” jade amulets while the last bargain hunters headed for the gates.
To ensure no stragglers miss their cue, the melody plays on a loop — for the final hour and a half.
Sweet Jesus, we know there are many human rights violations in China, but we think being made to listen to this song for 90 straight minutes constitutes one of the very worst offenses.
Are we still mad at rich people and fomenting class warfare this week? Aww hell yeah, because that’s how we do. Up first, accounting and reporting shenanigans at Walmart that ensure that the people at the top get mad money even as the company is whining about what a tough year it’s had. Prepare yourselves for a GIANT BLOCK QUOTE with some accounting tricksies explained far better than if you left it to us.
The impact of 11 “significant” items — including store closings, delays in store openings and the sale of operations — was eliminated from its results. […] The current adjustments essentially make the costs or lost income disappear when figuring performance pay.
Consider the case of William S. Simon, president and C.E.O. of Walmart’s United States unit. Under Walmart’s pay plan, he would receive some incentive pay if sales grew more than 2 percent.
The trouble was, Walmart’s United States sales rose only 1.8 percent in fiscal 2014. That meant Mr. Simon would miss his threshold. Enter the adjustments.
After adjusting for certain items relating to the company’s sales, the Walmart unit eked out a growth rate of 2.03 percent in 2014. On the strength of that “adjusted” performance, Mr. Simon received $1.5 million, the proxy noted. His total compensation was $13 million last year.
Man, we wish we could “adjust” our pay to note that time spent sleeping or drunk is actually a net performance plus guaranteeing a 7-figure bonus.
With all that money, Mr. Simon could probably pick up this week’s nonsense rich person dwelling without breaking a sweat. For just $12 million — pocket change, really — he could grab this.
The five-story, six-bedroom five-and-a-half-bath house has 5,500 square feet of interior space and four distinctive working fireplaces, one that warms a palatial master bathroom that takes up nearly half of the fourth-floor living space. The 1,043-square-foot basement is set up as a children’s playroom/gym/TV room with a separate laundry and storage area. […]
The foyer has a tile floor and original paneling, and the parlor floor retains the original carved cherry staircase, door and ceiling moldings, stone fireplace and oak floors in the 17-by-17-foot reception gallery. […]
The east wall of the living room has an Italian travertine fireplace pieced together like a puzzle in shades of black and gray.
Well, yes, because everyone knows that having an Italian travertine fireplace in just one color is gauche.
Just so you don’t forget that the young and not-rich can also be terrible as well, wander on over to the social etiquette column and read about this poor little grad student.
Unfortunately, my mother thinks she’s hilarious. It used to be that I could take the constant stream of lame jokes and one-liners. But now that I’m living at home again (as a rent-paying college graduate looking for work), she is driving me crazy. Do I have a move here, or do I simply have to find another place to live?
I pay my mother, who took me in while I have no job, some actual money to house and feed and clothe me and provide me with the comforts of a home that I cannot or will not afford, but I simply cannot bear terrible jokes! What shall I do?? Seriously, dude or dudette? Our answer, of course, would have been MOVE OUT IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT YOU BIG BABY, but social etiquette guy handles it with a little more sensitivity and suggests a way to get mom to tone down the bad jokes and only then goes on to remind this callow youth that they could simply move the fuck out.
Before plunging into the columnists, go read this week’s Modern Love, which is a sadly beautiful little piece about continuing to love your chosen person even as dementia sets in, and finding some joy in small moments even as your memories slip away.
You can ratchet your unhappiness back up to its usual quotient by reading Maureen Dowd on Pope Francis. MoDo is here to remind us that while you are all busy digging on the Pope for being all excellent and socialist-y and gay loving, he is actually not so awesome about the nuns wanting the Catholic Church to be a little less awful about nuns.
On Monday, we learned that German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Vatican orthodoxy watchdog, upbraided the officers of the largest group of American nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which has already been investigated and reprimanded by Rome. He objected to their plan to honor Sister Elizabeth Johnson, a Fordham theology professor who has written that women are uncomfortable with “the dominant images of God as father, lord, and king” and would prefer “non-authoritarian” female language for God.
Last year Pope Francis said he would let the Vatican’s coercive reform of the nuns’ group continue. And this past week, he was silent following Müller’s mauling of the nuns.
Because she is a bad writer, MoDo then spirals into one million words about how she would like her discrimination with a frown rather than a smile and then we lost track, but she is pretty much right that although we are stone cold in love with New Pope who is Not So New, he has not really displayed great leadership as far as nun treatment is concerned. Give him time, people. He’s still gotta make abortion mandatory and force you all to get gay-married, so he’s going to need some time to get to the nun thing.
In contrast, there’s nothing redeeming about Thomas Friedman’s column this week, which is mostly a straight-up brag (Tommy doesn’t do humblebrags, people) about what a world traveler he is.
By an accident of scheduling, I’ve visited Kiev and Hanoi in the last couple weeks, and it’s been accidentally extremely revealing. Ukraine is a middle power living next to a giant bear, and Vietnam is a middle power living next to a giant tiger. […] And in my jet-lagged torpor, all I’ve been trying to do is make sure I don’t order Chicken Kiev in Hanoi and Chicken Spring Rolls in Kiev.
The only thing worse than Thomas Friedman writing with smug sincerity is Thomas Friedman trying to funny. He’s the guy at the party that tells you a lengthy story about his Jaguar that ends with a thighslapper about how the parking attendant brought him someone else’s Mercedes instead because the attendant didn’t know the difference because he hasn’t monetized his potential and isn’t that just the hilarious way of the world?? Meanwhile, you edge away quickly, but you then turn around and bump into Ross Douthat, which is far worse.
Ross backs you into a corner and leans in, his stale angry breath in your face, explaining how the real problem with rape on college campuses is caused by how we just let teens be libertines all over the place and colleges just want to make money and that’s what makes dudes all rape-y, duh.
And when something goes badly wrong, or predators run loose — as tends to happen in a world where teens and early-twentysomethings are barely supervised and held to no standard higher than consent — the mask of kindness and community slips, and the face revealed beneath is often bloodless, corporate and intent on self-protection.
We have no idea what the fuck that means, except that it is Ross Douthat, so we can make a decent guess: if you just stop teens from being such slutty slut sluts in general, then no one will be a predator. We’re not sure how the problem of colleges as corporate machines gets solved, but let’s face it: Ross doesn’t care one bit about that part of the equation. Slut-shaming is his bag, baby.
Oh, Ross would also like you to meet some of his cool friends that also think the same way as he does about how rape is really because culture is just too sexxxxy and also too rape isn’t really that big a problem.
So conservative and libertarian observers — a mostly female group, it should be said, including Reason’s Cathy Young, Bloomberg View’s Megan McArdle, the American Enterprise Institute’s Caroline Kitchens and others — have stepped into the breach.
These writers have cast doubt on some of the statistics invoked by campus activists (particularly the White House’s claim that one in five collegiate women will be sexually assaulted).
Christ. Now we have to talk to Megan McArdle? This is the worst cocktail party ever. We’re out.