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September 3, 2013

12:04
P.M.

Tuesdays with Moron: Chatological Humor Update (September 3, 2013)

Total Responses: 6

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Gene Weingarten

Gene Weingarten

Gene Weingarten is the humor writer for The Washington Post. His column, Below the Beltway, has appeared weekly in the Post's Sunday magazine since July 2000 and has been distributed nationwide on The Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service. He was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.

Gene's latest columns, chats and more.

About the topic

Gene's next monthly chat is next Tuesday, September 24 at noon. You may submit questions here.

- Want to find out what you're missing? Check out Gene's August live chat to get an idea of how the monthly chat works.

On one Tuesday each month, Gene is online to take your questions and abuse. He will chat about anything. Although this chat is sometimes updated between live shows, it is not and never will be a "blog," even though many persons keep making that mistake. One reason for the confusion is the Underpants Paradox: Blogs, like underpants, contain "threads," whereas this chat contains no "threads" but, like underpants, does sometimes get funky and inexcusable.
Q.

Gene Weingarten :

Greetings, update readers.

On Sunday, the Rib and I found a sick and/or injured baby squirrel in the back yard.    Seemed near death, in that he couldn't or wouldn't move when we got close.   We gave him a plate of water, and some dog kibble and nuts, and watched over hours as he crawled to the food, nibbled, and drank.

By early evening he was much better; it was clear he would survive.    And that's also when it became clear he wasn't a squirrel.

We had nursed to health a baby rat.

He was actually kind of cute.  

Dammit.

Q.

Comics Reader

In light of the recent comics censorship discussion, I was wondering if you noticed that Judge Parker has not run as intended in the Post twice in the past week (don't ask why I read Judge Parker--can't even justify it to myself). I think the initial non-run decision was based on bathing suit cleavage, but the second also involved justification of NSA surveillance (bathing suit babe is secret agent who supports total govt intrusion in fight against terrorism), so wonder if that was a factor also . . .. .) Cheers,
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Yes, I asked about this, and it's interesting.  The two pulled strips are  here  and  here, and both were pulled because the editors overseeing the comics at The Post felt they were, basically, prurient.    That they existed only to feature a shapely woman in a bikini.   (Interestingly, in between these two strips -- unedited by the Post -- is this one, which to me MIGHT be considered more problematic, because of its unusually blunt political message.    Usually when The Post exercises its judgment over comics, it's because of something sexual that they consider inappropriate.  

According to my person at The Post, the second day that was pulled seemed doubly problematic, because of a vague figure in the background in one of the panels who looked like she might be a woman in a burqa.  (I see the figure, but don't think it's suggesting that.)

The biggest problem faced by everyone here is that neither strip could really be effectively re-drawn, since the woman's bikini is part and parcel of both strips.     So the paper just shrugged and interrupted a storyline with two replacement days from ANOTHER storyline.   Bizarre and inelegant.

Do I think the Post was oversensitive here?  Newspapers have always had underwear ads more revealing than a drawing of a pretty lady in a bikini.    I do think that in this case the editors were trying to deliver a message to the cartoonists:  We don't want pin-up, cheesecake art in the comics pages.

 

– September 03, 2013 12:04 PM
Q.

Twerk SF

I had no idea what it was until a few weeks ago, when this happened (NSFW).

A.
Gene Weingarten :

It looks safe for work to me. 

It's kind of funny: aggressive public twerking, like from Jackass 1.     My son, Dan, just walked by and said, "hm, that's a good workout.   Someone's going to market a twerkout exercise video -- the ten-minute twerkout."  Good idea, but Google's on it already.

– September 03, 2013 12:04 PM
Q.

Workaround to the paywall

It is pretty darn easy -and I am no whiz at things computer-related . I am really surprised they have not fixed it. Not sure if the Post is the same way, since I am a sunday subscriber. BTW - I use it occasionally to read more than my free share of articles on that other east coast newspaper. I feel no guilt.
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Okay, revisiting this interesting issue from the chat, where a reader claims to have found a clear, easy way around the pay wall, and asked if that was unethical, and I said it was, mildly.   After the chat, Tom the Butcher told me what he thought the guy's solution was, and if he's right, I change my opinion.   I change it because The Post has acknowledged it exists, and is not asking people NOT to do it.    It's a factor of the newspaper's hunger for horizontal eyeballs from web searches / social media. 

But you know what?  I think a case can be made that the moral citizen -- knowing this is a problem for a news source that supplies them its work product for free, is in financial trouble, and is a valuable resource -- pays anyway.    

 

– September 03, 2013 12:04 PM
Q.

Confusing Lyrics

The Elvis version of "Hound Dog" never made sense to me either. And not just because he sounds like he's saying "crockin' all the time." And I always assumed that the protagonist in "House of the Rising Sun" had come to ruin through alcohol, gambling and prostitutes.
A.
Gene Weingarten :

He's saying "crying" all the time.   And that makes no sense either.    The entire song, as sung by Elvis, makes no sense. 

– September 03, 2013 12:04 PM
Q.

Rising Sun

Gene, So what's your view of Bob Dylan's version, who signs it from a woman's POV?
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Yay!   I had forgotten about this!   And that Dylan recorded it before the Animals.    And I think singing it as though by a woman is the right way to do it.  It doesn't pulverize the meaning. 

– September 03, 2013 12:04 PM
Q.

A request regarding "date rape"

Gene, may I enlist your service in the fight against sexual assault by asking you to nix the term "date rape?" It was once helpful to raise awareness to the fact that most rapes are committed by accquaintances, but at this point in our evolution, it comes off as more of a qualifier. Rape is rape, no additional words needed. Thanks Mr. Awesomestache!
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Hm.  Good point!  It does subtly suggests some sort of lesser violation, doesn't it? 

Okay, done.  No more "date rape."

– September 03, 2013 12:04 PM
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