ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Mar 19, 2019

This is the chat you're looking for! Join us every Tuesday to talk about everything else!

Live chat with Alexandra Petri at 11 a.m. ET. Submit questions and comments for her to respond to now.

Past ComPost Live Chats

Connect on Twitter: @petridishes And catch up with the blog here!

Happy Tuesday, everybody!!! Let's go!

my daughter texted me from school yesterday "Im bored" My response: draw a giraffe, think about raisins, count your hairs, make a hat, pretend you're a lobster. The maturity level of both of us is in serious question.....

"Think about raisins" is my favorite of these. I could think about raisins for hours, probably!

Facebook tells me that on March 18, 2014, I posted the following, attributed to you: "There are few joys in life like the misspellings of your enemies." I can't seem to find proof online that you said this, but it sounds like something you would say. If only 2014-us had known what lay ahead...

I agree that that has a me-ish ring! This is just more support for the Someone Made A Wish But It Wasn't Specific Enough And The Wish-Granter Was Holding A Grudge. 

It was on TNT. I have an issue that I need to discuss with you. Ewoks. So, they evidently have a mythology that includes a god that is closer in shape to a human than an ewok. And has metal skin - not sure if the gold was essential. Not sure why the metal skin, their spears were all tipped with flint or something similar. Not using metal themselves. Leia has been adopted after a fashion, emphasis on the fashion. They seem to have made her clothes to fit. Entirely unlike the clothes she had been wearing or any clothes they wore themselves. So, WHY the heck are they planning to EAT Han, Luke, and Chewy? They recognize at least one humanoid form as a deity. They made friends with another despite not being able to communicate with her. But the other ones are just food? This seems unlikely. Also, how did they end up so effective at taking out Imperial forest walkers? If they had done any of that before (log smash thing, lassoing, tripping), the Imperial troops would have actually hunted them down and killed them, right? I get being arrogant enough to ignore sentient, stone age, teddy bears that even the protocol droids can barely understand. But if they had actually been a problem at other times, they would have been eliminated. Wouldn't they? So this is their very first confrontation with Imperial troops and they are super effective and pretty much everything they try works the first time they attempt it? My skeptical is showing. Also, BB8's transportation mechanism (total body roll with the head hovering above) looks like a total disaster on sand, Discuss.

To address your last point first, I think in the Actual World every droid would confidently roll or stride like... six feet, then collapse in a heap, no matter the terrain, but especially on sand (coarse, rough, gets EVERYWHERE). To the ewoks, I imagine they have some talented and fast-acting seamstresses to account for Leia's outfit? That or their most recent friend (eaten after she ceased to find their antics disarming) shared her size! But the friends/food distinction does seem arbitrary. I also wonder what is the source of their mythology. Maybe they were originally moved to the moon generations ago by a robot-like figure who attained iconic status? 

So a bad person can make a good robot?

Yes! Uh, Death of the... assembler?

Here I thought the Shark Family was out for a fun day, but no, the story is told from the point of view of the prey.......can't unsee it. Or unhear it.

That is deeply alarming! I have sung it more times than I can shake a stick at, if you can shake a stick at a number, and why couldn't you? and I still somehow failed to register that. It's a song of warning!

Pi Day and the Ides of March are always special ...

Thank you!!! Happy belated ides and pi day to you! 

Never seek deep meaning in cynical merchandising maneuvers.

If we can't seek deep meaning in cynical merchandising maneuvers, where can we seek it? 

Relatedly, after six-ish months, I got a tweet from Febreeze to let me know that If I Enjoyed Having Their "No More Odors In My Ride Now (Let's Go)" Song Stuck In My Head, I Would Love Their Entire Album Of Febreeze-Inspired Songs. Reader, I made an actual effort to listen to it. I don't know what this sad referendum on my listening habits says, exactly, but I doubt it's good news. 

And everyone in the immediate radius.

Ha! To all those in the circle of trust. 

You can hold a grudge, carry a grudge, and drop a grudge, but can't lift a grudge, throw a grudge, or catch a grudge.

Did you at least tell them their concept stinks?

Listen, the sad thing is that I do believe that Febreeze is a quality brand! I worked on a theater show in college with a lot of heavy, foam-padded costumes that didn't breathe superbly AT ALL and were almost impossible to wash, and so for weeks Febreeze was the only thing standing between me and asphyxiation in a noxious cloud of days-old sweat. I can vouch for their effectiveness! But somehow this brand is going out of its way to bother me! 

I caught a bit of that one prequel with the horrible stereotypical librarian, and I don't remember what the name of that movie is, or if it's "Attack of the Clones," I don't remember what the other, other prequel is. And I didn't look it up at the time because I was on a plane, but I guess I could look it up now... Ugh, that librarian.

Ah, Jocasta Nu! (Just think what I could be doing with the part of my brain that is still enthusiastically storing that information in case it is ever required!) She is in "Attack of the Clones," and she is... in "Attack of the Clones"!

Streisand should sue Nunes for causing so many people to read about the Streisand effect and its origin.

Ha! Or maybe he could just take over the name of the effect. It could be one of those curses...

Oh boy your car smells nice...........



I caught a lot of that marathon, too. I was struck how the original trilogy looks better over time and the second set just gets worse.

I missed it, but I keep having the free-floating desire to watch the prequels again (I watch the originals every year!) and I assume that the same feeling is going to kick in as soon as the opening credits of The Phantom Menace roll. 

I don't question their existence as a marketing ploy. Heck, I owned a stuffed Ewok. Might still have it in a box somewhere. Though I'm pretty sure the teddy with the wind up music box in its behind is long gone. I'm just questioning the details of their backstory and the idea that they were that effective at anti-Empire tactics and had never been seen as a threat before. Leia is a pretty good politician. I can see her making friends even without a way to communicate. New dress and hairstyle aside, it is plausible. But the contrast between seeing her as a friend and Han and Luke as food is a little much. Enemies? OK, maybe. They look a lot more like the people who are under the storm trooper armor than she does. Also, I see Chewie as much more likely to be a god figure to them than 3PO. Until he opens his mouth, because assuming that your god can understand you and talk to you seems reasonable, but they reacted to him well before he started talking to them.

I like your Chewbacca theory. He is a taller, more godlike version of your basic concept. Why wouldn't you worship him instantly? C3PO is shinier, but -- all is not gold that glitters. 

It reminded me of Game of Thrones condensed into 3 hours.

It's funny how differently all the History Plays read after Game of Thrones being a major thing in the public consciousness! All the manipulation and courtly smiling backstabbing feels much more mainstream and legible. 

You can have one held against you, which now sounds a lot more uncomfortable than it did before I typed that.

"If I said your body was a grudge, would you hold it against me? No, wait, hang on."

I found half a sausage in the fridge, still in a consumable state. In actuality, though, I used all the of the sausage (along with some mushrooms) to make some tasty scrambled eggs a couple of evenings ago. WHAT DO THIS MEAN?


What prequels?

Touche, touche! 

Would you get ratioed?

Then again if you talked about two quantities, the ratio of which to each other is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities, that ratio would be both golden and mean. 

I'm hearing about this for the first time, as far as I can recall. I am also seeing that it's celebrated around the world. Then... why... "national"?

Perhaps each nation wants the freedom to laugh at other nations without being asked to tell jokes that everyone can appreciate? Whenever people do international best joke contests, you always wind up with something like the story of the hiker on the phone with a medical professional after his companion has suffered a heart attack, and the dispatcher says, "Well, first, make sure he's dead!" and then there's a gunshot and the guy says, "Okay, now what?" 

so maybe they wanted to give us other options! 

But not having seen Richard or Richard II it was a bit hard to follow the plot

2 Richard 2 Furious was the best of the trilogy, in my opinion. 

let's talk about the trailer for Toy Story 4! Here's hoping Forky is better than Jar Jar Binks.

Hang on, I'm going to watch it now! 


Like many Millennials online, I am excited for the plastic spork full of shame and self-loathing! 

I'm currently reading a (non-fiction) memoir in a foreign language, in which the author referred to "Richard VI." Wonder what she knows that I don't.

The Shadow Government Of Richards goes all the way to the top, and has for centuries! Do not speak too loudly; they will hear us, and their will has never been stronger. 

And it is definitely worthwhile to revisit (or view for the first time) the wonderful 1999 film "Dick" starring Kirsten Dunst and Michele Phillips as two high school girls who meet Richard "Dick" Nixon while on a tour of the White House and become the official dog walkers for Nixon's dog Checkers, and his secret advisors during the Watergate scandal.

I agree! I wonder if there's a screening coming up. It feels very relevant. 

Do anything special for Thelma "Pat" Nixon's 107 last Saturday?

I stood pat. 

Hey, let's wait until Episode IX before we reach any conclusions about 3P0.

Those are ominous words, given that the only conclusion I have reached is that C3PO is the best character and I would defend him with my life. 

Pretty sure Checkers was by then long-deceased, having been a talking point in Nixon's famous 1952 speech.

Ah, but they were in the black after he died, because he became exchequers. 

would put you in quite a pickle.

Knife one! 

C3PO is golden, of that I'm sure, but mean ratios and ratio means confuse me...mean, mean, mean...Camino, Camino...if it's not in the chart it doesn't exist! There! I solved it! (I don't exist either!)

CAMINO... REAL? I too am starting to doubt my own existence, if that helps! 

And on that note, I am going to start the wrap-up! Lightning round, go!

Blue penguin

That was quite a jump.


insofar as it works at all, which is not far


"Bide-A-Wee Pet Cemetery" 
well, nothing we say can improve on that, and I hope everyone has a great week! See you on Tuesday and on the blog ( and twitter in the interim (@petridishes)!
In This Chat
Alexandra Petri
Recent Chats
  • Next: