Archive for April, 2019

a theory for a Joseph Biden run

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

1.  Polls show Joseph Biden strengthened in position despite — or, maybe in a way because of, the streaming of his tendency to touch down on women over the years.  (Notable in that some of those photographed brush away the controversy and are irked that they become part of the issue — “it’s just Joe”.

2.  There’s this weird bit of either situational political correctness for partisan reasons on the part of the conservative media or of attempted calls of hypocrisy for partisan lines with Alexandria O. Cortez and her slipping into a black vernacular.  No, it’s not “verbal black-face” — it’s the nature of American slang: adoptions from black culture.  (Self described nerds, and close your eyes and envision the parody, cling  to the Standard King’s English.  Or the parody of the “white kid trying too hard.”)  But I’m stuck on the question: what are the opponents trying to get at here?

3.  New York Times has a story today reiterating the dynamics we’ve seen: white progressives are more “woke” or “liberal” than some of the allies they’re trying to rally around — case in point: the governor of Virginia shouldn’t resign, says more black Virginians than white Democrats.  I largely would agree, though the governor’s particular offense stretches one’s tolerance toward tossing aside the misdeeds of the past.  (If it were down to an impersonation of Michael Jackson, the one thing he’s gone ahead to admit to, I would have less of a problem.)  This translates further to an abrupt difference between the “liberal twittersphere” / social media land and the Democratic polity at large — which we have seen reverberated in the past generation and more — just ask President Howard Dean.

4.  Oddly, Biden’s transgressions may just play right up against Trump’s transgressions in this way of “Look.  If this were what Trump had done, we wouldn’t have a problem”.  All too human, you see, and an understanding of changing norms and what different things mean off camera.  (Such that Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” statement ended up trumping Trump’s Hollywood Minute.)

5.  For a presidential campaign against Donald Trump, perhaps Joseph Biden should calculatingly slip in small controversies and “gaffes” of a kind — just to innoculate criticism of the political correct nature, and for that matter prove a weird sort of “Sister Souljah Moment” vibe against any of a particular harsh breed of “Social Justice Warriors”.  I know an Indian (the sub-continent) who mocks any controversy on Biden’s once statement about how they came in and conquered the convenience store market and good on them — shocking in the age of Apu bashing, but… no one cares for the Apu bashers.  (The person in question made the mistake of remembering the candidate who made the “macaca” reference where everyone just rolled their eyes.  I had to correct him, and in his odd stated political incorrect identity and Democratic allegiance had to sigh “well, the Democrats are the party of that, so…”)

why do you hate romance?

Friday, April 5th, 2019

A few weeks ago, I tripped over a stray comment in a theater review in the Willamette Week, telling of… something pernicous in our liberal / left.  That puritanism which sits there.

The genre, known for its dramatic, hyperbolic flair, is often steeped in the travails of love and romance—and typically only between a man and a woman. That antiquated idea of finding oneself in the “true love” of another is slow to get a rewrite.

A declaration of fiat, I suppose, to declare common experiences — and perhaps fantasy experiences — ‘out-dated’.  Unhappy not much so that the trans-gendered experience as a transgendered isn’t represented in the arts and media and fiction and is swamped over by the cis experience, but that her experience of non romantic love is swamped over that old chestnut which has always fluttered about Top 40 radio.
Or do trans-gendered not have infatuations?

It may be that the sequel to some “true lover” fantasy gets buried in reality.  Merill Markoe did a hilarious put down of “Pretty Woman”.  For that matter, Robert Crumb had a funny comic about the Mo-Town hit “My Guy”.  (Contentious-wise on purpose — Crumb is enjoying a bit of a kerfaufau right now in the new generation of comic artists’ denunciation of some of his material).

I get trapped in a kind of Hell with some of the analysis.  A worthwhile book, this book of essays on “promblematic” songs… Skipping about the “problem” of Fall Out Boys’ stage gay kissing (not allowable, or allowable, or not welcome, or welcome, or from a point of privilege and straights even if it’s letting the air out of any homophobes in the audience, or… I don’t know) and around the flutterings we have Weezer.  And I’ve seen this before… an amusing song, “Pink Triangle”.

I’m dumb, she’s a lesbian
I thought I had found the one

An expression of unrequited love and then onto sexual frustration (two cousins which in our post sexual revolution world will be conflated) slides effortlessly into that “incel” zone of deplorable attitudes.  Or, maybe we’re just wanting to string the thread back and fiat it out of existence somehow.

This week’s Willamette Week presents the somewhat controversial oped writer for The New York Times — had a tweet history that I’ve never bothered to parse because I don’t much care about the controversy and am not swearing by her and against her.  But there’s a strange whisp right about here

What’s useful about this other philosophy is that it reorients First Amendment rights around the listener instead of the speaker. There’s a difference between what you want to see and what you don’t want to see. That’s the animating idea behind spam filters, and I think we have to move toward that.

The gate-keepers will have their own ideology, and set the terms of service to their perceived “Overton Window”.   The problem with her comes in her designation of the “far right” as the source of criticism against her — I saw some criticism on her from “far right” sources.  But I also saw criticism from — which was about the same — from “right” sources.  I didn’t peer too closely, but I also never saw the use of the phrase “reverse racism” specifically, which at this point is the loaded term that will get assigned to people even if they don’t use it.
The search engines can make the designation.  The Onion parody falls off the mark, lest we entangle the old Iraq War protesters and see how closely they were sitting next to fellow 9/11 truthers rambling on about “globalists”, with a good deal of overlap of rhetoric that wasn’t necessarily parsed out.
Or, “re-orients from speaker to listener” grounds back to, firstly — recommunicating whatever the listener would want to hear, or — as seems to be more the case, as they are trying to get some people out of the “fox news echo chamber” or the “anti-vax search engine resultings” — what someone thinks the listener should be hearing as opposed to what they are hearing, but only for them and not us the enlightened.  Or, maybe we’re in “safe space” land — “I read dangerous books”, or no you don’t.

Pete Buttigieg versus Mike Gravel

Monday, April 1st, 2019

Why is Pete Buttigieg enjoying a “moment”?  Well, he’s 0ut of Washington.  Theoretically, as mayor of a middle sized city, is “doing” some “things” “productive”-wise.

It’s a bit of what Howard Dean enjoyed against a bunch of Senators going into 2004, except there’s no central animating issue of the Iraq War.  Unless it’s a Maybe ambivalence toward the “me-too” movement and the weary castigations of the likes of “touchy feeley” Biden and a bit of a “sure, the new Supreme Court Justice is likely guilty, but I don’t want an investigation into my high school yearbook” for some of the female Justice Committee Senators in the race?

You may take the gender issue into a different direction, if you wish.

Also a good lunge against the bi-coastal — the horrors of the 2010 and 2014 mid-terms were that it affected a Democratic Party talking amongst itself in those enclaves, and so losing a grip on MIPAWI.  Does Buggigieg represent a geographic center of electoral gravity?

Is Mike Gravel enjoying a “moment” right now — or is the fact that a couple of youths set up a twitter account after hearing him on a podcast just argue that there’s a couple of youths who set up a twitter account after hearing him on a podcast?  (Ah, youth and their aversion to a full scale war against Russia, as suggested by post Trump elected liberal cable news outlet policy of MSNBC)…  He declaims any chance of winning, which… is a pre-requisite for winning.