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The Most Active Threads Since Friday

by Jeff Steele — last modified Feb 12, 2024 12:05 PM

The topics with the most engagement over the weekend included the non-football aspects of the Super Bowl, helicopter parents being proven right, the Super Bowl halftime show, and a poster angry about Arlington's Missing Middle project.

The most active thread over the weekend was the one that I previously discussed about the special counsel investigation in to President Joe Biden. Skipping that one, the next most active thread was titled, "Non-football Super Bowl 2024 talk" and posted in the "Entertainment and Pop Culture" forum. The Super Bowl is one of those rare sporting events in which the sport itself almost secondary, attracting many viewers who are not football fans and may not even know much about the sport. Hence, as this 24-page thread demonstrates, the pregame and halftime entertainment, commercials, and even audience members can attract as much, if not more, attention as what happens on the field. This thread was created exclusively to discuss the non-football aspects of the event. One off-field drama that has been dominating headlines for weeks involves the relationship between Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and singer Taylor Swift. The couple, who even have their own dedicated DCUM thread, have been the subject of considerable discussion concerning everything from Swift's travel from Japan to Las Vegas for the game to hopes (among some) that the game might be the venue for a marriage proposal. The other major topic was the halftime show that one posters dubbed the "Usher Concert". Headlined by Usher, a number of other entertainers also were schedued to participate and much of the early discussion involved speculation about who might make an appearance. Opinions about Usher were definitely split with some posters proclaiming Usher to be the only thing of interest in the event and others saying that they were not familiar with any of his songs. Just about everyone's fashion choices were either criticized or praised but Kelce's sparkling black suit was the subject of an especially high number of posts. Reading this thread I am inspired to paraphrase Winston Churchill and summarize the thread by saying, never have so many said so much that amounted to so little. Despite the over 370 posts in the thread, there is not a lot of juice that can be squeezed. But, since the fairytale like marriage proposal didn't materialize, we can assume that the Travis and Taylor show will go on.

The next most active thread was posted in the "General Parenting Discussion" forum. Titled, "The helicopter parents won - a look back", the original poster will be sending her youngest child to college next year and is taking this opportunity to look back on her parenting experience. She concludes that the parents that pushed their kids from an earlier age — parents to whom the original poster gave a side eye at the time — have been proven correct. According to the original poster, the children of such parents have been accepted by more prestigious universities and played at a higher level of sports. The original poster concludes by saying that while she is not unhappy with how her kids turned out, she feels that if she had pushed them harder they might have achieved more. Most of those responding question the original poster's metrics for success. They don't see college acceptances or participation on a college sports team as indications of ultimate achievement. Those are not the "end game" as one poster put it. These two factors are seen as too limiting and many posters ask about other factors that might contribute to a child being happy and well-rounded. Other posters argued that not every kid can be pushed to higher levels of achievement. Children must have the capability and, in many cases, their own motivation. The main argument of the thread centers around a child's potential and how a parent can best contribute to that potential being fulfilled. For instance, no amount of pushing will create a star athlete out of a non-athletic child. The same is true where academic accomplishment is concerned. In this regard, several posters expressed concern for students who were pushed too hard and ended up in situations in which they were overwhelmed and, as a result, were unhappy. On the other hand, for those with considerable athletic or academic abilities, providing support such as access to travel sports or academic tutoring or specialized classes can make an important difference. The biggest problem posters report is finding the right balance. There is no perfect formula and often the best course of action can only be recognized in hindsight. Moreover, there are many other factors that impact a child's success that are outside a parent's control. For instance, admission to top colleges is, in most cases, basically a crapshoot. As a result, all the pushing in the world still might end up with a high-achieving student still failing to be accepted by a top university.

The next two most active threads over the weekend were ones that I've already discussed and will therefore skip. That leads to a thread titled, "SB halftime show" and posted in the "Entertainment and Pop Culture" forum. The original poster complains that the Super Bowl halftime show is "TERRIBLE", and criticizes the acoustics, lighting, and lack of dancing. Properly speaking, the original poster should have just joined the first thread that I discussed today which was already discussing the halftime show. But, apparently she believed that her irritation with the entertainment was worthy of its own thread. Discussion immediately focused on the entertainers who joined Usher for the show. While many posters joyfully posted shout-outs to celebrities they recognized, others posted about their inability to recognize anyone. Like the original poster, many found the show to be disappointing. One poster summarized things this way:

This show was so bad. He was so slow. His dancing was uninspired. The stage and settings were so mediocre. Bad lighting and sound.

Others had the opposite opinion with one writing: "I can't even imagine singing, holding a tune AND roller skating. Mass respect to Usher!"

One thing that bothered me about this thread was that an honest disagreement about the show didn't seem possible. Those who didn't like Usher and the show were accused of being old, out of touch, having bad taste, lacking rhythm, and even racist. Those that appreciated the show were said to represent too narrow of a market and, ironically, also being old. Usher seems to fit in a spot among the DCUM demographics in which his popularity came after many of the older posters had established their musical tastes and before some of the younger posters had done so. This created a situation in which Usher fans were sort of getting it from both ends.

The final thread that I will discuss today was posted in the "Real Estate" forum and titled, "F&*) this (a MM rant)". Just to be clear, the first string of random characters is supposed to represent a curse word and suggests that the original poster is angry. "MM" stands for "Missing Middle", an initiative in Arlington to create "a type of housing that falls between detached single-family homes and mid-rise apartments." The original poster lives in a single-family house and has just discovered that a "six-plex" — a development consisting of six units — will be built next door. The original posters assumes that these will be one-bedroom rentals and that the development will dwarf his house and cause strains on resources in the community. He is extremely upset about this and fears that it will hurt his property's value. This post highlights the contradiction between the desire for lower housing prices and the reality of trying to create lower-cost housing. Those who currently own homes want to see the value of their houses increase rather than being lowered. So, while they may support lower housing costs in theory, in reality they frequently have trouble with the steps necessary to lower prices. This is especially true when it comes to building lower cost housing in their vicinity. The Missing Middle initiative attempts to overcome some of the resistance to lower cost housing by building it in a style that is compatible with existing homes. But, as the original poster demonstrates, there is, again, often a gap between theory and reality. The division over attitudes towards lower-cost housing is evident in this thread. Many posters have little sympathy for the original poster and are happy to see more affordable housing options being created. But other posters side with the original poster and have their own fears of multi-unit housing being built next door to them. Another division in this thread is between posters familiar with the Missing Middle initiative and those who are not. The uninitiated seem to believe that the new housing is coming about through a process in which the original poster could have been involved and neglected to do anything about. They consider this his own fault. But, the Missing Middle project is county-wide in Arlington and, once it was approved, there is nothing those in the original poster's situation can do about it. This results in several posts by frustrated Arlingtonians complaining about those who know nothing about Arlington or the Missing Middle initiative and are offering unhelpful advice and opinions. A third division involved the question of who really benefits from projects such as the Missing Middle. Many users see multi-unit housing as primarily benefiting developers and, secondarily, the government. They argue that it attracts residents who don't share the neighborhood's values and overburdens neighborhood resources.

Anon says:
Feb 12, 2024 01:46 PM
My neighborhood in Boston is getting these multiplexes. They are pretty good neighbors so far. They don't withdraw into their own thing like apartment buildings do. Only thing is, they need to be capped at 6.
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