[Applicants] must include any e-mail that might embarrass the president-elect, along with any blog posts and links to their Facebook pages. The application also asks applicants to "please list all aliases or 'handles' you have used to communicate on the Internet."MEGAN: Yeah, usually the line is whether anything you've said could be used to blackmail you. President Elect Obama: I am an embarrassment, but you could hire me anyway if you want. SPENCER: This is kind of inexplicable and against the spirit of transmuted social conventions that the internet was supposed to guarantee. Everyone under the age of 35 has humiliated themselves through text or IM or FB or Twitter or other such platform. That's supposed to make none of it humiliating, on the same principle that when girls want ice cream they demand that I eat ice cream too because they believe that weight is socially cumulative so if I gain weight too then their weight-gain is immaterial. I mean, I thought Obama was supposed to be a Mac user. What does he write on the internet, if not something humiliating? MEGAN: I have never demanded that you eat dessert just because I wanted to eat dessert! Mostly because I never eat dessert, but still. Not all girls do that! I mean the problem is not whether you've humiliated yourself, but whether it might humiliate him. It's more like the friend who tries to talk you out of eating the ice cream because she's so hyper about her weight that she's decided to be hypercritical of yours. SPENCER: Speaking of erratic behavior, this WaPo piece about how Iran is pussying out of Obama's proposed no-conditions talks is the greatest thing of all time. So basically, the fanatics who run Iran have demagoged the U.S.'s hostile posture for 30 years as a mechanism for social repression, all the while insisting baroquely to any & all international audiences that the U.S. won't take reasonable steps for discussion on issues of mutual concern. Along comes Barack Obama, who's like, Let's cut the bullshit and act like adults for a change and talk this out. And the Iranian reaction?
"People who put on a mask of friendship, but with the objective of betrayal, and who enter from the angle of negotiations without preconditions, are more dangerous," Hossein Taeb, deputy commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Wednesday, according to the semiofficial Mehr News Agency.MEGAN: "You're trying to trick us by talking!" SPENCER: AND HE'S RIGHT. It is more dangerous from his perspective, because Obama is denying the Iranian regime a crucial excuse for its failures. The absence of American bellicosity creates massive social and political cognitive dissonance. MEGAN: "We know you're just talking to us again to undermine us!" Iran's like the ex who built his reputation around how you're the bad one who dumped him and won't speak to him and then you're like, wtf, dude, I don't care, we can chill, and he doesn't want to. SPENCER: Now, if you go through the piece, you can come up with an explanation of Iranian behavior that basically cashes out to demanding comprehensive talks for a grand bargain. Which, from the perspective of smart Iran-watchers who had to quit the Bush administration in disgust, wouldn't even be a bad thing! Google ads have made an ad pop up on the Windy that features a big-titted Iranian girl with suggestively-parted lips. MEGAN: Does the grand bargain mean they stop building nukes? Also, I think you need to screen cap that. SPENCER: SAnd yeah, the plan put forward by husband-and-wife national-security team Flynt and Hilary Mann Leverett calls for security guarantees to Iran in exchange for a verifiable end to the nuclear program and Iranian cooperation on Iraq and Israel/Palestine Not bad, eh? Kind of the sort of shit we should test out, no? MEGAN: Can Iran cooperate on Israel? But, yes, that would be Change I Could Believe In. It's at least Change I Would Like To Try Out. SPENCER: It would depend on what "cooperation" would mean, and how long it takes to get there. Basically, for the next couple years, I'd think "cooperation" means Iran drops its position that Israel has no right to exist and stops its military aid to Hamas & Hezbollah. Will they? Maybe, maybe not, but you've got to test it, and no policy has failed as comprehensively as the 30-year bipartisan consensus on isolating Iran, since Iran is the strongest it's ever been. Anyway we should end this shit and you should post the picture you sent me of Justin Long. MEGAN: Yeah, I've decided to be a bad person and do it. I will preface that it's entirely possible that I stepped on his feet and that's why he's looking down. S