Most folks who resolved to cut down on coffee this year are driven by the simple desire for self-improvement.
But for coffee drinkers in 17th-century Turkey, there was a much more concrete motivating force: a big guy with a sword.
Sultan Murad IV, a ruler of the Ottoman Empire, would not have been a fan of Starbucks. Under his rule, the consumption of coffee was a capital offense.
The sultan was so intent on eradicating coffee that he would disguise himself as a commoner and stalk the streets of Istanbul with a hundred-pound broadsword. Unfortunate coffee drinkers were decapitated as they sipped.
Murad IV’s successor was more lenient. The punishment for a first offense was a light cudgeling. Caught with coffee a second time, the perpetrator was sewn into a leather bag and tossed in the river.
But people still drank coffee. Even with the sultan at the front door with a sword and the executioner at the back door with a sewing kit, they still wanted their daily cup of joe. And that’s the history of coffee in a bean skin: Old habits die hard. —Adam Cole
Shotgun’s loaded. It’s pointing toward a hunter’s backside. Fido gets excited and steps on the weapon. And … you can imagine the rest. Fortunately, the man’s going to be OK.
There is nothing I can add to this.
Garrison Keillor, infamous hipster.
(via City Pages)
I should probably reblog this.
…Mr. Keillor? Is that you?
REALLY NOW? SUSPENDERS? I mean, you’re an insult to Lake Wobegon’s fashion choices. Really! And what is that hat-thing?
I had the cucumber chile. Feel the burn!
Carl Kasell is an auto-reblog. Carl plus popsicle? GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m a huge fan of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, the NPR news quiz which Carl co-hosts with Peter Sagal.
Just as Republicans again clamor for the elimination of government funding and public broadcasting once more fights for life, it steps on its own oxygen line. The details are well-known: how NPR’s development chief, Ron Schiller, stupidly fell into a sting perpetrated by an organization run by the young conservative hit man James O’Keefe, a product of that grimy underworld of ideologically-based harassment which feeds the right’s slime machine. Posing as members of a phony Muslim group, O’Keefe’s agents provocateurs offered NPR a check for $5 million — an offer that was rejected.
But Ron Schiller couldn’t leave it there. Unaware that he was speaking into a hidden camera and microphone, and violating everything we’re told from childhood about not talking to strangers, he allowed the two co-conspirators to goad him into a loquacious display of personal opinions, including his belief that Tea Partiers are racist and cult-like. As the record shows, more than once he said he had taken off his “NPR hat” and was representing himself as no one other than who he is. His convictions, their expression so grossly ill-advised in this instance, are his own.
Ron Schiller’s a fundraiser, not a news director. NPR keeps a high, thick firewall between its successful development office and its superb news division. The “separation of church and state” — the classic division of editorial and finance — has been one of the glories of public radio as it has won a large and respectful audience as the place on the radio spectrum that is free of commercials and commercial values.
If you would see how this integrity is upheld, go to the NPR website and pull up any of its reporting since 2009 on the Tea Party movement… Further, examine how over the past few days NPR has covered the O’Keefe/Schiller contretemps and made no attempt to cover up or ignore its own failings and responsibilities.
Then reverse the situation and contemplate how, say, Fox News would handle a similar incident if they were the target of a sting. Would their coverage be as “fair and balanced” as NPR’s? Would they apologize or punish their outspoken employee if he or she demeaned liberals? Don’t kid yourself. A raise and promotion would be more likely.
[…] for all its flaws, consider an America without public media. Consider a society where the distortions and dissembling would go unchallenged, where fact-based reporting is eliminated, and where the field is abandoned to the likes of James O’Keefe, whose “journalism” relies on lying and deceit.
We agree with Joel Meares who, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, expressed the wish that NPR had stood up for themselves and released a statement close to the following:
“Ron Schiller was a fundraiser who no longer works for us. He had nothing to do with our editorial decision making process. And frankly, our editorial integrity speaks for itself. We’ve got reporters stationed all over the world, we’ve won all sorts of prizes, we’ve got an ombudsman who is committed to examining our editorial operations. If you think our reporting is tainted, or unreliable, that’s your opinion, and you’re free to express it. And to look for the evidence. But we will not be intimidated by the elaborate undercover hackwork of vindictive political point-scorers who are determined to see NPR fail.”
That’s our cue. Come on, people: Speak up!
NPR is one of the best things that ever happened to me. It has made me a more literate, thoughtful person, one who is interested in the important social and political issues of our day. It ensures that when I do speak, it is in an articulate, factual way, with real knowledge and forethought.
Please let NPR change other lives the way it has changed mine.
Jesse Eisenberg on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, the NPR radio news quiz. Oh listen to it, please.
SAGAL: Here is your first question, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG: Yeah.
SAGAL: One of America’s most famous hermits was Robert Harrill. He achieved what distinction?
A: he became the only person excused from the military draft because of quote, “a noxious bodily odor”?
B: he became the second most popular tourist attraction in North Carolina.
C: he inspired a brief 1920s dance craze called the Hermit Rag?
Mr. EISENBERG: Okay, as a hermit, I know it’s not C. I would say it’s probably A, the noxious odor.
SAGAL: So he was called up for military service but they said you smell so badly, we will excuse you?
Mr. EISENBERG: Yeah.
He is a hilariously awkward, adorable hermit. I think I’m in love.
I have absolutely no artistic skills whatsoever, but I think it’d be really hilarious to make some public radio-themed old school Valentine’s Day cards. I’ve come up with these slogans but I’m sure there are better ones:
- Valentine…you’re like a breath of Fresh Air
- If I told you how much I loved you, I’d violate Rule 47 CFR Part 73 of the FCC Radio Broadcast Rules
You make me Tavis Smiley
I get all Ira Glassy-eyed around you.
The Takeaway is… I like you.
Here and Now, you’re the one for me.
I’ll stay with you as long as I’m Living on Earth.
All Things Considered…I still love you.
“Tell me more…about how much you love me.”
This is the sort of thing that makes me lust-stare—like when Sandy gets the Cream of Broccoli Soup of the Day from the Brookdale cafeteria on the one day that I decide not to order it (having been totally gypped by three straight days of watery barley-thing).
WANT—very badly, I might add. And as a veteran NPR listener, I recognize all of these references.