AS204: Tommentary Thursday

In today’s episode I talk about a number of things I found interesting. Among them are gun control, Obama’s tearful speech, the sexual assault crisis in Germany, and free speech.

10 thoughts on “AS204: Tommentary Thursday”

  1. Yeah I’m like you, and I agree about Obama. That being said he might just be a wuss, he cried when Aretha Franklin sung at the Kennedy Center honors just a few days ago. And what’s with this crying when you’re mad? That’s how women get angry. Men punch things or kick someone’s ass.
    Also as much as I support the idea that men can be emotional, you don’t do it when you’re president. All I imagine is someone who wishes our country ill seeing that and thinking we have a weekling for a president. I’ll be happy when Hillary gets elected, and we have a president with some balls.

  2. I don’t know the context there, but it makes sense that concealed carry users would commit fewer “gun crimes” than cops. In the same sense that professional skydivers would have more skydiving accidents than people who don’t skydive. I mean it’s more likely you’re going to do something illegal with your gun if you are using it on a daily basis. I bet people who don’t have guns at all commit orders of magnitude fewer gun crimes.

  3. Dude. That was kind of a regressive leftish, mind-reader, motive discerner. bullshit kind of move. I get it. You don’t get emotional when it concerns Sandy Hook. But you were quick to acknowledge the fact that you do cry sometimes. Most of us cry when we see Old Yeller. We may have seen that movie a hundred times and we KNOW when that sad scene is coming. But we still shed a tear. Are those calculated? Are they not-so-genuine? I also get that you are cynical. It’s easy for us to raise an eyebrow at a public official getting emotional. But you bookended your support for the content of his speech with the “not genuine” implication of the emotion behind them. That portion of your Tommentary can be summed up as “Not genuine … blah, blah, blah support, good point, blah, not genuine.” So I’m supposed to believe that the president’s ideas are genuine when he’s being disingenuous? How does that work?
    I’m not sure about this, but I don’t think that Obama has shed as many tears as, say, the last Speaker of the House. And I’m pretty sure that the two issues — his tears and his ideas — are criticized as separate issues. To paraphrase, that guy is full of shit and boy, does he cry a lot.

    Love the podcast by the way. It’s in my rotation of must listens.

    1. I believe he very much wanted to show emotion at a particular part of a speech. Maybe I didn’t say this right, but I think the sentiment is genuine. I didn’t at all suggest he doesn’t care about Sandy Hook or something. Not at all. I think he cares and I support everything he said, but I simply do not buy that he was unintentionally overcome with emotion. I also don’t think it matters that much.

      1. I don’t have a reason to doubt the genuine-ness of Obama’s tears are so why are we so cynical about it? The evidence you presented is cynicism and personal incredulity. At at least 3 points in your narrative, you argued against yourself as well. I understand this represents your intuition, but understand that your intuition is likely borne of a lot of preconceptions, and social/cultural programming. Men cry. I cry at things like this. As a parent of young children, I get angrier at the Sandy Hook massacre every time I think about it. You mentioned that he had “already processed it.” Ok – consider this. My father died in 1998 of cancer. I processed that. But there are times when I still get misty eyed when I look at pictures of him. Is that “calculated?”

        If you find it so implausible that Pres. Obama was being ‘calculated,’ fine. You should understand your own biases that might’ve led you to that conclusion.

        1. I fully understand that. I hope I made it clear that this was just 100% me speculating based on my own personal intuitions. I’m just genuinely curious to hear if anyone shares them. Thanks for the comment.

  4. I think a well-adjusted, empathetic human being would potentially shed a tear given the facts of the circumstances of the speech – politics aside.

    1. Obama was referring to a specific shooting involving the death of first graders.

    …First graders…

    2. Some of the parents of the children in the Newtown massacre were present, standing behind him.

    3. Mr. Obama has children himself. Empathy would likely lead him to imagine if his/her children were victims of such a massacre.

    4. The very thought that the death of first graders due to gun violence STILL results in apathy from a large segment of “pro-gun advocates” and a large section of congress who refuses to act.

    I know the temptation is to be jaded about politics. But the factors are there where I could imagine myself reacting with a tear…with or without a political agenda.

    Five and six-year-olds being gunned down? I don’t even have kids and the thought of that is pretty horrific.



  5. I totally agree with your analysis of the speech. I had a though about your Tommentary title. What about calling it Thommentary Thursday emphasizing the TH? Just a thought, keep up the good work.

  6. Hey Thomas,
    Love the podcast, have been listening since the beginning, always look forward to new episodes, etc., etc.. I very much agree with you that it is ok to disagree with someone on some things and ‘still like each other and be friends’, which is why I don’t generally comment, but I did want to point out that your personal experience of crying and getting emotional does not seem to match at least my experience, and I’m sure other people have different ways they express emotions as well.
    I am an Emergency Room physician, so I see a lot ’emotional’ things every day. I do not cry every time (almost never, actually) I pronounce someone’s loved one dead or tell them they have cancer after they came in for ‘a cold’. That’s not because I don’t care, it is because I need to move on to my next patient and I could not do my job if I got emotional at the moment ‘sad things’ are happening. But then I find myself in tears at the most random inconvenient times and the most benign thing can trigger it – a sad commercial (and not even the one with the abandoned puppies), a random, not particularly sad part of the movie, etc.. And usually if I feel I am about to start crying I can’t ‘get distracted from it by a camera flash’, or anything else – trying to stop just makes of worse.
    So my point is that if you have a job there you deal with sad shit all day (I’d say being a president qualifies), you learn to deal with your emotions differently. Constantly ‘absorbing all the sadness’ has a tendency to make your emotions ‘spill out’ occasionally at the times you least expect.
    My husband does not get it either, because I can get through any crisis with a cool head and seemingly no emotions, but on occasion I turn into a bumbling mess over a stupid TV commercial.
    (yes – I do have two X-chromosomes and all that estrogen, do what you will that that information, I don’t think it changes the premise)

    Btw, on an unrelated subject – quite a few episodes ago you were talking about doctors and wondering what exactly it is we even do in the age of Google (I am exaggerating of course). I didn’t get around to commenting at the time. I am obviously biased and I am not going to elaborate on the obvious observation that very few people seem to think watching a youtube video of how to change their oil makes them a mechanic, yet this seems to be a thing for medicine.
    My larger point that in any field there is more to being ‘an expert’ in the field than just having the textbook knowledge of the subject matter. That’s why we value experience so much. With experience comes the ability (on the somewhat subconscious level) to solve problems without even knowing how you are doing it. While you are doing your job, whatever it happens to be, your brain puts together thousands of pieces of information without your awareness every day and over the years it becomes that intangible thing we call ‘expertise’. Maybe one day we can have AI that can do that, but we are nowhere near that at the moment, especially for something as complex and not at all straightforward as medicine (something that requires years of very intense learning to get and to maintain even the basic pre-requisite, but entirely insufficient ‘text-book knowledge’). Anyhow – sorry for wearing so far off tangent!

    XOXOXO 🙂

  7. New listener. Referred here by the Cognitive Dissonance guys.

    Late to the game on your thoughts re: Obama’s tearful speech, but thought I’d comment nonetheless.

    My impression of the man over the last seven years is that he has a great affinity for children. If you watch videos/look at pics of him with them in any context, IMO you see genuine enjoyment and delight. Full disclosure: This may be MY bias, as I feel this kind of affinity too and I know how I felt – still feel – at the news of Sandy Hook. The grief, the wrongness of the act, cannot be expressed in words.

    I saw this grief in him in December 2012 and I wasn’t surprised to see it again this year when the memory was brought to the fore. IMO, it happens to hit him in a place not everyone shares. (I’m not suggesting this is a reflection good or bad. It’s just the reality of how he happens to be wired.)

    Another possible consideration (thinking of his reaction to Aretha Franklin in particular), now in the last year of his term he can be a lot more spontaneous than maybe he felt he could in the past.

    Am enjoying getting acquainted with your world, thanks.

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