Auto Load Responses: 
Font Size: 

August 27, 2013

11:13
A.M.

ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Total Responses: 52

About the hosts

About the host

Alexandra Petri

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost, a lighter take on the news and issues of the day, and she contributes to the Post editorial page. Her work has appeared in venues such as The Huffington Post, The Week, Newsweek.com, Businessweek.com, Collegehumor, and The Harvard Crimson. She has appeared on Jeopardy!, Showbiz Tonight and Canadian radio, and she has performed at Boston's Comedy Studio and Comedy Connection. She would love to be on your TV show, radio show, Daily Show, HBO special, or to be an honored guest (or regular guest) at your Bar Mitzvah. She is the author of two books (unpublished, but contact her!), two screenplays, three plays, one musical, and one memoir (Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.)

About the topic

Join us next Tuesday to laugh, cry, and dish about the moments that amused you, shocked you, or caused you to yell things that frightened the other people on the subway.

Past ComPost Live Chats

Connect on Twitter: @PostLive | @petridishes
Q.

Alexandra Petri :

DC is bidding for the 2024 Olympics?

This is certainly an idea! Let's converse! 

Happy Tuesday, too! Good to be back!

Q.

Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear is Miley's choreographer

That's my only explanation.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

HA!

– August 27, 2013 11:04 AM
Q.

I got trumped

I learned everything there is to know about real estate in three days. Although I am worried that they don't give you at least an associate degree after completing Trump University. And where is the school's football team?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Really, where is the football? This is the true question. 

– August 27, 2013 11:04 AM
Q.

Should children watch movie musicals?

When I was a 9-year-old kid in the 1980s, the movie version of "Grease" was really popular among children, and a couple of us who had black fake leather jackets tried sticking letters to the backs of ours spelling out "T BIRDS". However, the "B" fell off of mine at some point in the day, and some kids from another clique (who didn't like me much) pointed out that I was proclaiming via my jacket that I was one of the TIRDS. As you can imagine, these other kids were quite decorous and tactful when they informed me that my TIRDS membership was plain for all to see. I'm not sure I have a question.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

TIRDS fly together!

I'm not sure that was an answer, but I love any story with TIRDS in it. 

– August 27, 2013 11:05 AM
Q.

Sharing the blame

Well, I have discovered new uses for a foam finger I have never seen in any sports event. My question: While we blame the entertainers, how much of the blame belongs to the choreographers that created these dances? These things are rehearsed: It is not like Miley Cyrus spontaneously did those dance moves.She was playing some character in some TV dance skit. Granted, I presume she had veto power so she gets some blame/credit for her performance. Yet, who decided to have her do what she did?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

As someone whose idea of choreography is repeating the same movement eight times while turning slowly leftwards, I cannot really speak to this, but it didn't look as though there was an overwhelming amount of choreography, at least for Miley? More of a general directive to make the audience uncomfortable through movement? 

– August 27, 2013 11:07 AM
Q.

Why are commenters to the Post so insanely Stupid?

That is a question I would like to see you tackle. I just don't understand. There are so many completely moronic comments that follow your fantastic columns, it's really perplexing. It really is like an army of deranged lunatics just emerges out of the ether and attacks all sense and reason. I know someone will say, "if you think that's bad just go to youtube comments," which I understand, but seriously what gives with the Posts' most active commenting "community?"
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I don't want to bite the hand that leaves CAPITALIZED AND GENERALLY OKAY-LY SPELLED COMMENTS on me, so I will defer to Weingarten, who once described getting comments along with your article as "like ordering a steak and getting a side of maggots." Why this is the case I could not say. Generally my thesis is that the more broad and generic the topic, the meaner the comments -- the Panda Furries Forum is uniformly polite and well-policed, while the Post is angry and yelly and full of ad hominem arguments, but I was reading Chesterton recently and he argued the exact opposite, saying that the most bitter flame wars were to be found in the obscure scholarly journals, where Professor So And So quivered with rage to think of what Professor Z had said about the Hittites. So I don't know. 

– August 27, 2013 11:12 AM
Q.

DC olympics

Do you think the effort to bring Olympics to DC will succeed? I noticed you and Karen Tumulty have posted tweets on this, including DC Olympic events like watergat polo. I think filibustering can count as a marathon event.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I've been trying to think of a debt ceiling joke for a while but I've been able to come to a satisfactory resolution. 

– August 27, 2013 11:13 AM
Q.

Late again?

Are you late again? Is it there thousands of demonstrators in front of the Post that delayed you, or the streets closed because the President wants the local Starbucks, or have you forgotten about us loyal fans who believe there has to be a good reason why you are late?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Nuts, I was here minutes ago, I just didn't hit the button! Phooey!

– August 27, 2013 11:14 AM
Q.

dc olympic event

Is sequestration a horse-related event? Perhaps one where riders don't wear the fancy outfits and just ride in jeans and t-shirts, and the fences aren't surrounded by trimmed shrubs and nice flowers?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That sounds idyllic! 

– August 27, 2013 11:19 AM
Q.

Myley Cyrus

Your line about MC being a sim whose creator deleted the toilet made me laugh out loud. At work. (I blame you for the looks I got.) I watched the video - without sound (because, you know, at work), which would be my preference anyway since her voice, um, doesn't really do it for me - and was torn between being super embarrassed for her and snickering at the audience's expressions. But I also read an article speculating that the snide remarks are coming from a place of slutshaming. I'm trying to tell myself it's not so, and that she was just really bad, but...what do you think? (For the record, I liked Christina when she went through her trashy phase, but I was 10 years younger then. Maybe I'm just that much closer now to being my parents.)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

The thing about Miley, with the caveat that I am not any closer to Miley than she'll let anyone be on Twitter and that I see everything through that cloud of speculation through which you see anything celebrity, is that through this whole reinvention phase, it has seemed that she's the one driving the (at time alarming) bus. I have had more than one conversation with people who feel this way. 

I don't know what to say about the slutshaming. If we're going with the thesis that Miley is running Miley, and the further thesis that this dance was just Miley being Miley and expressing herself, I still don't think it's slutshaming to say, "Please, express yourself elsewhere." To say "That's in poor taste" isn't slutshaming. 

Then again, Rachel Shukert wrote on Twitter "Utterly baffled by what the big deal re: Miley Cyrus thing was. She danced around in her underpants, like every other lady at the VMAs ever." She added, "Is the problem that she was once a child? Bc every lady that dances in her undies for 1000's of people was also once a child. I promise."

This did make me think a little.

– August 27, 2013 11:29 AM
Q.

Comments

I believe in free speech, yet I believe people should use their real names when publishing comments online. I believe it is the anonymity of comments that allows people to develop alternate personas where they do not restrain their comments to what should appropriate. If people are allowed to just rant and rave at will, those dirt bag jerks will take what we pretend to be a democracy and will turn into in a fascist socialist state where zombies rule.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

True, using your real name does mean that there's a greater incentive for people to behave themselves, because it can all be traced. Then again, there's always that one sliver of people who won't behave themselves, the same people who always rant at you on Facebook, and I have a sneaking suspicion that those are the type of people who tend to comment in the first place. I think it was CmdrTaco who noted that the line where the piece stops and the comments begin might well be labeled "Here Be Monsters" -- only a certain type ventures beyond.

– August 27, 2013 11:32 AM
Q.

Wondering

Isn't running for higher office already a DC Olympic event?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Truth.

– August 27, 2013 11:32 AM
Q.

DC Olympic Event - 100 Meter Sprint

Can you sprint 100 meters, and feed a parking meter at the end before you get a ticket? Contestants must bring own quarter.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Truth there. 

– August 27, 2013 11:33 AM
Q.

debt ceiling olympics

If DC was bidding for the Winter Olympics, debt ceiling drama would be like ice dancing - great to watch the drama on TV, lots of shiny outfits, but it's not a real event - it's all rigged tv drama. At least serious figure skating has a list of specific events to do / rating system (no more mystery 6.0 judging). And speed skating at least races a clock.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Aw, but I like ice dancing because What's It Doing There? It's Crazy!

– August 27, 2013 11:34 AM
Q.

I enjoyed Cyrus's performance with Alexander the Great.

It was an effective criticism of the sexual exploitation of preteen girls, but it would have been more effective if she had been wearing stiletto heels.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I knew something was missing!

– August 27, 2013 11:34 AM
Q.

Will Rand Paul go for the gold?

If the Olympics comes to DC. will filibustering become an Olympic event?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I'd like to see him go at it with Wendy Davis!

– August 27, 2013 11:35 AM
Q.

Academic Arguments

Someone way more clever then me said "Academic arguments are so bitter because the stakes are so small."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

tiny stakes! always the key!

– August 27, 2013 11:35 AM
Q.

"Why are commenters to the Post so insanely Stupid?"

Sniff... sniff... WAHHHHHHHHH. (signed, a very said Polly Ticks)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

AW NOT YOU POLLY TICKS! 

– August 27, 2013 11:35 AM
Q.

DC Olympics

It's been done by Monty Python. Look for "Upper Class Twit of the Year"
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I love that skit, but I think there's more DC-specific meat to mine! If mining is something you can do to meat, which I doubt.

– August 27, 2013 11:38 AM
Q.

comments

I know anonymity doesn't work in cleaning up blog comments, and Alexandra explained why. Her teammate Karen Tumulty knows firsthand - she used to work at rival TIME, and their swampland blog always has had a few trolls who use their real names or their names were known, and it didn't stop their bad behaviors at all. Those few bad apples always ruin it for everyone unless they're kicked out for good.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Some people are always jerks who won't let you have nice things!

– August 27, 2013 11:39 AM
Q.

comments

I'm one who enjoys a good online conversation with other commenters, but it rarely happens these days as I think the ravers bring down the level of conversation to the sewer level. Best web community I was part of was on Roger Ebert's site, he somehow managed to attract only thoughtful people, and he reviewed and published all comments. Many disagreed with him, but no one was nasty. Don't know how he did it.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I often wonder that about Ebert. Man, I miss reading his reviews. His site still hosts excellent content, though. I think the thoughtful community has persisted. 

Ta-Nehisi Coates is also often cited as an example of someone who's created a vibrant commenter community. But it does seem to be something you really have to work to cultivate; it doesn't just happen on its own, and it takes serious time and investment that most writers prefer to lavish on, say, making limp puns on Twitter.  

– August 27, 2013 11:42 AM
Q.

DC Olympics.

The endless hurdles. Just when it looks as if you have a clear path to the finish line, they throw up a whole new set of hurdles, increasing in height until the runners just give up.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ha!

– August 27, 2013 11:42 AM
Q.

"Is the problem that she was once a child? "

Maybe it's that Miley was a child in the public eye so we still think of her as a child. I have cousins that I remember as being 12 years old even though they're in college, and I have the same reaction when Miley or Selena Gomez appear on the covers of Glamour and Cosmopolitan instead of Teen Beat. Do you think there's a double standard here, or do you think many people had the same reaction when the Justins (Timberlake and Bieber) came of age? One can reject the double standard of slut-shaming and still be repulsed by people who lust after underage celebs - years ago, one attention-seeking fan at a Capitals game held up a sign reading "### Days Until Mary-Kate and Ashley are Legal."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I remember those signs! 

Maybe it's a sign of age -- not hers, ours. 

– August 27, 2013 11:43 AM
Q.

Real names on comments

Do that if you want, I guess, but I have a hunch that I'm not the only one who behaves himself as a matter of course and would still never comment again. Maybe I'm just unusually fussy about keeping my online life separate from my real life, and I admit that I don't have a real reason for doing so other than this nebulous sense of protecting my privacy that I can be fairly sure no one wants to invade in the first place. I hate the awful comments as much as anyone, but this solution would drive away a bunch of the good people along with the bad.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I am a fan of Internet anonymity! Even if it's an illusion, which I realize that it often is, given how traceable most of our lives are if anyone cared to look. But under the illusion that no one cares to look you can still enjoy yourself a good deal. 

In fact, I think one of the big fun things of the early Internet was so few people went by their real names that you felt it was a crazy playground where Nobody Knows You're A Dog and, to take one random example, you could offer homework help to a Canadian ninth grader for months without his realizing you were in ninth grade yourself. 

– August 27, 2013 11:47 AM
Q.

Comments?

Wait.... You don't have to use your real name? Nobody tells me anything. I've been writing a book on "world's weirdest names," all culled from the comments here. Ah well. It's a good thing books are obsolete.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

wait, books are obsolete?

DAGNABBIT!

*flings manuscript out window*

– August 27, 2013 11:47 AM
Q.

re: Do you think there's a double standard here, or do you think many people had the same reaction when the Justins (Timberlake and Bieber) came of age?

Don't know that I'd want to go down that road. Timberlake seems to have avoided the worst behaviors, but my indifference to Ms. Cyrus is exceeded only by my revulsion to the saliva-flinging Beiber.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh lord, Bieber. Allow me to quote from his memoir. "I want everything to go right. I don't want to let anyone down."

I hope that was helpful. 

– August 27, 2013 11:49 AM
Q.

Just checking

So, Miley Cyrus has grown up. At least Justin Bieber remains a kid and isn't doing any foolish. Right?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

*overturns small table, walks out*

– August 27, 2013 11:49 AM
Q.

Your fans are all here.

That's why I'm the only commenter on your "what I learned" post. :D
A.
Alexandra Petri :

HI POLLY!

– August 27, 2013 11:49 AM
Q.

"Why are commenters to the Post so insanely Stupid?"

The Boodlers over on the Achenblog are a pretty astute and civil lot.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Yes, should have mentioned them! I can also attest that they're pleasant in person!

– August 27, 2013 11:50 AM
Q.

Nobody Knows You're A Dog and

Nobody Knows You're A Dog and
A.
Alexandra Petri :

oh no, now my conversational habit of trailing off mid-sentence has found its way into the chat!

actually I just consulted the transcript and that was just an ill-constructed sentence!

– August 27, 2013 11:55 AM
Q.

Choler Commentary.

There ought to be a special section for them. Like a visit to Bedlam, one could go there to be entertained.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Choler Commentary is great!

– August 27, 2013 11:55 AM
Q.

Books

We are Barnes and Noble wish to insist that books are not obsolete. Also, is anyone here a good bankruptcy lawyer?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

NO BARNES AND NOBLE STAY WITH ME DON'T GO TOWARDS THE LIGHT

– August 27, 2013 11:55 AM
Q.

Is Polly Ticks a pseudonym?

Or a tiny arachnid?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

if misspelled, multiple arachnids!

– August 27, 2013 11:57 AM
Q.

Just wondering

I have a Twitter account that I gave up one year and five months ago. I have tweeted nothing in that time. I am amazed I am still getting followers. I received two new followers just today. Seriously, who follows a dead Twitter account?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Twitter vultures?

– August 27, 2013 11:57 AM
Q.

Insanely stupid

I think of a George Carlin line that a good friend of mine uses: "Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of all people are stupider than that." (When I say he's a good friend, I mean that we both post in a sports-related forum and his comments are pretty smart.)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Does he post anonymously?

– August 27, 2013 11:57 AM
Q.

Upper Class Twit of the Year

The D.C. variants would be the K Street Lawyer Dash, the Lobbyist Lasso and Bureaucrat Baseball.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Don't forget Softball Question Fielding and Can-Down-The-Road Kicking

– August 27, 2013 11:58 AM
Q.

RE: using your real name in online comments

See, the thing is that I'm really, really smart (almost genius level IQ) and the comments I generate in online environments are well thought out, comlex, and sometimes even nuanced. Most are not. Forgive me if I don't want the neanderthals who, when they can't understand my arguments, threaten to do nasty things to various orafices in my body to know my actual name. That is all.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This has to be a joke comment.

This reminds me of what I think is an Auden quotation-- Anyone who tells you that he is an intellectual is automatically committing a social blunder and, usually, an error.

– August 27, 2013 12:04 PM
Q.

Beloit list

Was saddened to hear that such a large percentage of college freshmen don't own a radio, get all their music online. There's something about going up and down the dial checking out the variety of stations and settling on the one that fits your (my) mood.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

But I'm sure they'd counter that there's something to doing the same online, and that dials are unwieldy.

– August 27, 2013 12:05 PM
Q.

Polly Ticks is not my real name.

Polly is actually short for "Mary." And, I shouldn't admit this, but I'm also known (?) here as "squirrel bopper."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

These relevations are rocking my world. 

– August 27, 2013 12:05 PM
Q.

DC Olympics

Maybe commenting should be a sport (excuse me, an "event"). There can be decorous commenting, vile commenting, and punditry.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

But all the spectators would be competing!

– August 27, 2013 12:07 PM
Q.

deep throat

I'm bummed to find out parking garage where Deep Throat and Bob Woodward hung out to chat Watergate is slated for demolition. Is there no sense of history anymore in Washington?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I saw that! 

Then again, we don't want to turn into Hoarder City ("NO DON'T TEAR DOWN THAT OVERPASS BOB WOODWARD ONCE BREATHED ON IT"). Maybe the memory can suffice. 

– August 27, 2013 12:08 PM
Q.

DC olympics

A few more events: * Line-Standing *Cocktail-Party-Impressing *Credential-Inflating
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I like line-standing! Or line-toeing (the party)!

– August 27, 2013 12:09 PM
Q.

Re: Comments

Charge money for them. PLEASE. Cut down on the crazies, the long arguments, and make some money off it.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Penny for your thoughts!

Ooh, I kind of like this idea!

– August 27, 2013 12:13 PM
Q.

Polly want a squirrel cracker?

The revelation that Polly Ticks is the Squirrel Bopper has stunned me. This is like when I realized Clark Kent is Superman.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I KNOW! 

– August 27, 2013 12:13 PM
Q.

"dials are unwieldy"

I suspect today's youngsters don't even know what a dial is.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Or a dial tone.

– August 27, 2013 12:13 PM
Q.

Olympic field competitions

Since the real Olympics already have javelin, discus and hammer throwing, why not have the DC Olympics offer a contest in bovine-effluvium throwing?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Or shooting the same!

– August 27, 2013 12:14 PM
Q.

Shading our past

I have been trying to come up with this week's obligatory "50 Shades" reference, and I am not doing well. When did it become a board game? Or is it a border game?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Speaking of weekly references, whatever happened to Soylent Green Is People?

Oh, there it is, I guess. 

– August 27, 2013 12:18 PM
Q.

Slut shaming

Is it slut shaming to say I just wish she'd keep her [darn] tongue in her mouth for 30 seconds straight? I really think it's just 'cuz, Ewww! But maybe I'm secretly a woman hater? Can a feminist think something another woman does is just bad taste? or does that get me booted from the club?
A.
Alexandra Petri :
– August 27, 2013 12:24 PM
Q.

Soylent Green is People

Does that mean that corporations are Soylent Green, my friends?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Whoaah 

– August 27, 2013 12:26 PM
Q.

Miley

My husband is in the music industry here in LA, and we know people at Miley's label. Let's just say everyone there has been expecting this for, oh, the last five years or so. Really, it's a miracle she's gone this long.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Huh. 

– August 27, 2013 12:29 PM
Q.

Theory of Miley

She performed as she did at the VMAs so no one would remember her so-called singing.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Am I the only one who didn't mind the singing?

– August 27, 2013 12:29 PM
Q.

so, what did you actually learn in college

Thanks for your post. I left the second reply after Polly Ticks. I'd avoid going to dinner with a group of people (and just stick to dates or dine solo) if there's going to be a hassle over the check. Go dutch or sneak off to the bathroom, then escape out the kitchen back door or climb out the window. People need to learn to pay their fair share at meals. However, the bathroom is the best place to discuss politics. I think most of Congress's current ideas come from there.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

They always say, when you have to look to the bathroom for your ideas, the writing is on the wall!

– August 27, 2013 12:31 PM
Q.

Charging for comments

Finally, a solution worthy of the name Donald Trump.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ack, my comment vanished!

What I meant to say was, "and on that note, time to skedaddle!" Keep reading the Compost, and feel free but Olympic (yes this makes no sense) to join the small huddled masses following me on Twitter!

– August 27, 2013 12:32 PM
Q.

 

A.
Host: