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October 1, 2013

11:11
A.M.

ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Total Responses: 45

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 She is the author of two books (unpublished, but contact her!), two screenplays, three plays, one musical, and one memoir (Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.)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 :

How goes it? If you want actual correct information about the shutdown, you're in the wrong chat, but if you want commiseration and vague prophecies of doom, look no further!

Q.

fillibuster, shmilibuster

what do you say about the difference between Ted Cruz and someone like Wendy Davis? Is the filibuster only admirable if you agree with the goal? (I say this as someone who loathes the Tea Party.)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Well the difference is that Wendy Davis's filibuster was actually a filibuster -- under the rules of order, if she spoke long enough, the session would end without a vote. Filibustering wasn't a grandstanding exercise -- it was the only option for the minority to stop the legislation. With Cruz, it was just a long speech -- when he stopped talking, the vote proceeded, as it would have had he not talked at all. The filibuster is only admirable if it's actually a filibuster.

– October 01, 2013 11:11 AM
Q.

Trying to figure this out

Do women greet each other by hugging so much because they're trying to analyze one another's scent, like dogs do?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I don't think so?

Oscar Wilde compared it to "prizefighters shaking hands," if that helps.

– October 01, 2013 11:11 AM
Q.

Dan Zevin won the Thurber Prize for American Humor

How come women never win? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2013/09/30/dan-zevin-wins-thurber-prize-for-american-humor/
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Women keep winning the Twain! Not sure what's going on with the Thurber. Patricia Marx was a finalist last year!

– October 01, 2013 11:13 AM
Q.

Are there any non-essential super-heroes?

In case Congress shuts them down ...
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I stand by Hawkeye, my original answer to this question.

Although we could probably stand to lose a green lantern or two.

 

– October 01, 2013 11:15 AM
Q.

panda cam

Alexandra, do you think the National Zoo pandas pressured Boehner to do the shutdown just for turning off the panda cams? I can see the need for SOME occasional privacy and peace / quiet. Or perhaps, as your awesome colleague Karen Tumulty tweeted, it might give the red panda another chance to escape.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

My theory on the pandas is that, deprived of human attention even for a few minutes, they will forget how to breathe, keel over, and die.

– October 01, 2013 11:17 AM
Q.

If Breaking Bad happened during the government shutdown...

...parts of the DEA would be nonessential and Hank would wind up at home spending all day arguing with Marie about rocks vs. minerals. Of course, this benefits Walt and Jesse as it buys them time, or at least gives Walt the chance to get his copy of Leaves of Grass out of the bathroom. Then again, at least Skyler could visit the Four Corners since it's run by the Navaho Nation. If Marie would allow Hank to brew beer all day, he'd wind up Breaking Beer a lot and would probably have to sell it through Gus' distributors.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

(whispers) I haven't watched Breaking Bad! Is this accurate?

– October 01, 2013 11:18 AM
Q.

Internet Commenters

Are we really all that bad? Couldn't you do some sort of Old Testament deal where if you find ten decent internet commenters you won't destroy them all?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Nose game for who gets turned into a pillar of salt!

(You great folks and the actual community of commenters isn't the problem! You are the residents and homeowners whose turf gets periodically destroyed by giant floods of sewage. I was complaining about the giant floods of sewage!)

– October 01, 2013 11:19 AM
Q.

Nonessential Superheros

Why furlough Hawkeye and let Aquaman stay on the payroll?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

HE CONTROLS ALL THE SEA CREATURES, OKAY?

– October 01, 2013 11:20 AM
Q.

Now that the government is closed

Who will protect us from zombies? Or asteroids?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Did we really think the government was capable of protecting us from zombies and asteroids?

– October 01, 2013 11:20 AM
Q.

national parks closed

Now that parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone are closed and current visitors have 48 hours to leave, do the bears have to leave too?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Last one to leave, turn off the geyser.

– October 01, 2013 11:21 AM
Q.

The Bill Cartoon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyeJ55o3El0 I missed the point in this song where it says if you hold your breath and kick and scream enough, a bill stops being law.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Huh, yeah, I can't spot it either. Maybe it's in "Amendment to Be"? No, I think not.

– October 01, 2013 11:25 AM
Q.

area 51

Thanks for tweeting your earlier concerns about Area 51 (and moon landing). You make a valid point: furloughed workers = unhappy workers = likely to talk. I'd also be worried about who will take care of the aliens during the shutdown.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

A hungry alien is an unruly alien!

– October 01, 2013 11:25 AM
Q.

Far reaching effects

Just so you folks don't think DC is the only one suffering from the shutdown. I work at a large state university with a number of federal labs that are now closed. Especially disturbing is the vet med one where they have to freeze or destroy lab specimens since they don't know when they will be able to work on them. Though it's good for those pigs who were going to be "sacrificed" today and now have been granted a reprieve!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

There's almost always a silver lining for the pigs.

– October 01, 2013 11:27 AM
Q.

Non-Essential Superheroes

Spiderman, at least the version in the newspaper strip. He usually doesn't do anything other than stand around until someone else solves the problem for him.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I was going to suggest that!

What is going on with him and the Tarantula?

Also, weren't the strips where he sat on a plane, took a nap, and stopped a kid from unmasking him among the GREATEST of all time?

– October 01, 2013 11:27 AM
Q.

Although we could probably stand to lose a green lantern or two.

Nah, let's lose the Flash.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

We probably could get by without Bruce Banner as long as we furlough him with utmost delicacy.

– October 01, 2013 11:29 AM
Q.

My theory on the pandas is that, deprived of human attention even for a few minutes, they will forget how to breathe, keel over, and die.

But the constant scrutiny has made them forget how to reproduce. Or maybe China only sends us the ones who don't want to reproduce.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

If they purposely sent us the only two pandas lacking any real impulse to continue the species, and back at home surrounded by bamboo the pandas are proverbial for their lustiness and competence, why I'll - -well -- I don't know what I'll do, actually. Let me think on it.

– October 01, 2013 11:30 AM
Q.

Lysistrata

Now she knew how to run a shutdown.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

+10, you!

– October 01, 2013 11:30 AM
Q.

Shutdown discussions outside the Beltway

I have seen a bunch of posts on Facebook basically saying "if the government is shut down and they aren't paying salaries, when do they start sending rebates to taxpayers for the money they are saving?" I've thought about trying to explain how tax revenues and budgets work (and that, oh, by the way, currently tax revenues are less than expenditures) and letting these people know they shouldn't hold their breath waiting for the rebate check. Instead, I've just clicked "like". Is that just as effective?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I generally find it so. "Like" is another way of saying "this is wrong but I don't have time to explain," "your life milestone makes a little something in me die" or "Please continue self-destructing in this public forum; I don't have a tv."

– October 01, 2013 11:32 AM
Q.

Wait a minute, I'm confused

are we talking DC or Marvel superheroes? And which is Hawkeye, DC or Marvel?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Hawkeye's Marvel.

I was sort of flopping between the two, although we could just ditch all the DC superheroes on the ground that everyone in DC is out of work these days (and also they've been pretty lousy to their ladies lately.)

– October 01, 2013 11:33 AM
Q.

Panda here

Now that I'm off for the day, do you know where I can get a bamboo latte?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Try the Starbucks across from the zoo! It might be on the secret menu!

– October 01, 2013 11:33 AM
Q.

Panda?

Baked, broiled or fried? We can make panda jerky.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Run, Panda, run!

– October 01, 2013 11:33 AM
Q.

During the last shutdown, I didn't bathe till it was over

Day 1 and counting ...
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I'm going to try to grow a mustache! I won't succeed, but this way I'll have the dual benefits of Taking A Facial-Hair-Based Stand and Not Having Facial Hair.

– October 01, 2013 11:34 AM
Q.

What can the Metro do with the empty Metro cars?

Convert them into underground food trucks?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Not sure I'd patronize an underground food truck, unless of course they had mac & cheese, but I know some quadrupeds who would.

– October 01, 2013 11:35 AM
Q.

Also, weren't the strips where he sat on a plane, took a nap, and stopped a kid from unmasking him among the GREATEST of all time?

Especially since he would never really get past TSA to get on the plane. Comics are our greatest escape from life's depressing realities. Wait...if the gov't is shut down, who's doing patdowns at the airports?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

No, no, as a rule of thumb, all the things that the government does that you actively dislike continue unabated during sequesters and shutdowns. It's the visa processing and NASA that get slowed.

– October 01, 2013 11:36 AM
Q.

Panda cam withdrawal

Even though you can't watch Mei Lan and the baby now, you can go to the Atlanta Zoo website and see Lun Lun and her twin cubs on their cam. Or the San Diego Zoo where they don't have a baby, but do have a toddler cub who wrestles with his mom Bai Yun.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

"You see, the states and the private sector have already stepped up to fill the void!" --someone somewhere, probably

– October 01, 2013 11:37 AM
Q.

Filibuster

It would have been better (well, less ironic) if he hadn't read a story where the moral is "don't knock it until you try it" when talking about the Affordable Care Act. Maybe Cruz should try it before saying it is bad.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

What I also don't understand is: if you're absolutely convinced that it will be terrible and the American people will hate it, why not... let yourself be proven right? Don't push it. Just sit there with your arms folded waiting for everyone to crawl back to you at the midterms. As long as you're sure...

– October 01, 2013 11:39 AM
Q.

Furlough one of the Wonder Twins

The one who turns into water was pretty much useless. Also, too many Smurfs.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Do they really count as superheroes? I thought superheroes had to be at least people.

– October 01, 2013 11:39 AM
Q.

Closing Grand Tetons & Yellowstone

At least now the elk can have some privacy while rutting, instead of having all those voyeurs with binoculars and telephotos lenses ogling them.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

...is... is this a problem we've been having? Elk voyeurs?

– October 01, 2013 11:40 AM
Q.

A bunch of empty Red Line trains running around empty with a lonely girl standing in the rain.

Maybe we could finally make a decent French film. Can you look forlorn and stare off into space? "This is your Red Line train to Silver Spring. Next stop, Nowhere."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

"Following stop, The Existential Void. End of the line, Crippling Ennui."

*Godot boards the train and just stands there silently, reading a newspaper*

– October 01, 2013 11:42 AM
Q.

Women sniffing each other

And why do they walk around in a circle before they lie down?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

And what's up with airplane food?

– October 01, 2013 11:44 AM
Q.

If only Jeff Bezos was running the government

Save us Jeff, you're our only hope!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

FIX EVERYTHING, JEFF!

– October 01, 2013 11:47 AM
Q.

don't fly the friendly skies

I just read (at WaPo, of course) that air traffic controllers will be forced to work without pay. Oh, THAT makes me feel comfy and peachy about flying, you betcha. Think Breaking Bad. (oh, sorry, Alexandra, forgot you hadn't seen it - the reference (for real) is when Jesse's girlfriend Jane died, her father was an air traffic controller whose mourning led to distraction that caused a mid-air collision over Albuquerque. Imagine ATC's distracted over lack of pay and bills piling up.)
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh gosh, I think I'll be traveling by train from now on...

– October 01, 2013 11:48 AM
Q.

Are the Jedi essential?

They took away the Ewok cam and look what happened
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I still haven't been able to load this, but I think it's relevant! http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/target-redwood-city?select=JM4w6L3frbhmKQXVjq3NaA#JM4w6L3frbhm

– October 01, 2013 11:49 AM
Q.

Ted Cruz

It wasn't a filibuster, it was a fili-bluster!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Or, depending on whom on the Internet you ask, a fauxlibuster, foolibuster, filthibuster, and Kilibuster from one guy who was confused what we were punning on and thought Hobbit jokes were a safe bet.

– October 01, 2013 11:52 AM
Q.

I'm not allowed to access my government e-mail

Can I send you some PowerPoint?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think the NSA is still in full force.

– October 01, 2013 11:53 AM
Q.

Are we really all that bad?

No, but enough of you are that the few good ones have been buried. The few sensible ones need to start composing Letters to the Editor.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's what I should have said! (re:comments)

– October 01, 2013 11:54 AM
Q.

Boring

Eat, drink and be merry. And die brave! http://www.76house.com/profile.html To save on resources during the shutdown we can use the taverns as jails.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Let's save even more resources and just use the taverns as everything! I think it'd be a great improvement on most workplaces!

– October 01, 2013 11:55 AM
Q.

Essential service

Is Jonh Boehner's tanning spa open during a government shutdown?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Shhhh, he'll hear you, and then he might retaliate by doing something unthinkable like shutting the -- never mind. Say what you will!

– October 01, 2013 11:56 AM
Q.

Ted Cruz the blowhard

And not only was it NOT a filibuster, but when they did the vote right after his blowing smoke, the bill passed 100-0. Which means that even the numbskull Ted Cruz voted for it. Sheesh.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

It's Mr. Smith goes to Washington all over again, really.

– October 01, 2013 11:59 AM
Q.

Elk voyeurs

Once they put up that pole at Yellowstone, they've been attracting the wrong crowd.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

What?

Is there actually an elk voyeur epidemic that I've been missing out on?

– October 01, 2013 12:00 PM
Q.

RE: Shutdown

Today is the 123rd anniversary of Yosemite National Park! Happy Birthday! What, you are closed? Bummer!!!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Hey, when 123 years old you reach, you deserve to spend a day or two without strangers wandering all over you ogling your elk.

– October 01, 2013 12:02 PM
Q.

Federal workers protest

Let's all throw tea bags into the fountain in front of the Capitol!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I was going to say "but that doesn't make any sense" but -- it didn't even make sense in the 1770s, really.

– October 01, 2013 12:03 PM
Q.

In my day we settled things with a Civil War

Nobody has the gumption to secede anymore.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

If at first you don't secede...

– October 01, 2013 12:04 PM
Q.

elk voyeurs

Think the shutdown will result in many more people visiting Yellowstone to see the elk bugle next year, the piece on NBC news last night sure made visiting the park seem like a cool fall ritual, not as good as a PSL but still.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Is "bugle" a euphemism?

– October 01, 2013 12:06 PM
Q.

Lysistrata

I don't think withholding sex is the right solution. That plays right into the hands of the rightwingers. I think the opposite response is more appropriate, to treat this as a blizzard or power outage. Government Slutdown, that'll show those prudes what we do when we have no money but lots of free time!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This is definitely a bad comment to use as a transition to, "Well, on that note, I should skedaddle," but I really do have to skedaddle. Got to see an elk about a panda.

Keep reading the Compost and feel free to follow me on Twitter, where I go silent for days at a time and then barrage you with things that occcurred to me on the train.

– October 01, 2013 12:07 PM
Q.

 

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