23 January 2023

Cocktail Weenies

Just an appetizer platter today…

  • The first Supreme Court decision of the term issued today — the latest first argued opinion date this century, and according to my incomplete records last century too. And Arellano v. McDonough continues to reflect the contempt and ignorance of the post-Vietnam government for veterans… albeit this time it's much more Congress's fault than the Court's. This case was about "equitable tolling" concerning not when a claim must be filed, but the effective date of benefits for an otherwise-validated claim. And because allowing equitable tolling implicates the Spending Power, the Court is boxed in on what should be an obvious, procedural, equitable issue — boxed in by a Congress that (all too similar to the current problems with the debt limit) wants/has wanted something for nothing.
  • Maybe the next generation will do better than mine on things like this; it would be hard to do worse. Consider other aspects of equity, like gender-based pricing. I'd query whether some things like haircuts/styling should nonetheless remain gender-based (from my lofty perspective as continuing to have a military haircut for my diminishing hair), but that's equally something that can be objectively measured. "Hair cut, no curling, under 12cm finished: $14" doesn't discriminate by gender… and if you've seen this generation's (indeed, my generation's!) diversity of hair styles… And the less sympathy for dry-cleaners charging more for the more-shoddily-constructed, pocketless garments, the better.
  • Or, since it's Monday morning, I can just stick literary prizes where they belong. In particular, I will stick those literary prizes with their history of bigoted screening for eligibility on multiple dimensions where they belong, and snidely note that most literary prizes not tied to the white upper-middle-class within-120km-of-Times-Square subculture don't offer monetary prizes (let alone over $10k), and thus were outside of this study's consideration. And that removes an awful lot of works that are objectively superior to those under consideration from the data set, because whether they've got rocket ships or deerstalker hats or other category markers on the cover or not, if one can't imagine Philip Roth pontificating on it at a guest lecture in some stuffy 3d-floor seminar room off the Quad, it's outside the purview of the literati. (That I always thought Rabbit Angstrom was better suited for haasenpfeffer than novels, and that I thought Roth's take on alternate history would greatly have benefited from actually reading some, is rather the point.)

    This was an interesting study, and interesting analysis… that goes not nearly far enough to actually draw conclusions. In a sense, this study concerned the effectiveness of advertising memes when only Madison Avenue-based advertising executives were in the study group; it at most opens the door for further study.

  • Karens' Bruncherie and its clientele continue to make things about them. I got blocked coming out of my driveway on Saturday by a frequent customer (it's just not that hard to recognize distinctive vehicles with distinctive license plates that show up every first and third Saturday at the same time, especially when those in the vehicle walk in and out of one of the Karens' establishments) who really, really insisted on grabbing the right-of-way on a narrow street when I had had to halt for a moment for a pedestrian. Just because you're driving a more-expensive vehicle does not give you the right of way.