Archive for June, 2019

a looksee at the nyt — maga knits not allowed

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019


But on Sunday, Ravelry, a popular website for knitters and crocheters, took a political stand when it announced that it was banning content that supports President Trump, in what it said was a resolution against white supremacy.

You can still participate as a Trump supporter if you hide your political affinity for Donald Trump…

who, in his defense… unlike his immediate predecessors, hasn’t started a new war (even against John Bolton’s urging) and has tapped down a few existing ones… even as polling a indicates currently Democrats are more hawkish on foreign policy than Republicans…

Can I hurl a pro-Trump statement like that on the knitting board?

… though, naturally, we throw in a weird factoid the other day from someone on a brief anti-Trump tirade that I intuitively know is probably true — 40 percent of 45’s supporters polled support the bombing of such and such a foreign sounding place…

Of course, none of that has anything to do with knitting, but one can possibly arrive at a sanguine view of our politics in various manners.

“There are people who have been talking down to other people because they can’t afford anything better than craft yarn from Michael’s,” she said. “Knitting has always been political, whether you believe it or not.”

Having looked at a lot of my mom’s quilting correspondence about a year ago, I can suggest that the apolitical way that would work is to pitch in to throw some higher quality materials for them.  But that’s a form of socialism.  Having read the rules of some quilting forums she participated in, they will always just shove politics aside with a nod.  I don’t know where everyone is on “pussycat hat” projects, but I imagine opting in and out won’t accrue horrible retribution.

The problem pokes is round about here:

But she also noted that Ravelry had a monopoly on the market — it has been described as the Facebook of knitting — and was in a position to take a chance.

The dilemma would be that a new participant in the game popping up — nature abhors a vacuum and all– will necessarily be tedious… you don’t necessarily want to hang around the totally like-minded, do you?  My gauge is that on a totally free Trump Republican forum, that’s where things will slide into getting scary.

But I wonder … What if they post their Maga Knits elsewhere, and this is discovered even as they post nothing political on this forum?  I call slippery slope.

Item #2:  U.K. Court Says Mentally Disabled Woman Must Have Abortion

… because the woman has the mentality of a young child, this goes against the wishes of her family though apparently not the state, all very sympathetic to the family struggling with this, but there’s this line that grabs me…

A spokeswoman for the British group Abortion Rights, which she said campaigned “to keep options open for the many women who willingly choose to end their pregnancies,” described the case in a telephone call on Sunday as not unprecedented but “really sad and complex.”
The group’s chairwoman, Kerry Abel, said in an email statement: “As heartbreaking as this case is, it is opportunistic for antichoice organizations to use it to attack a woman’s right to choose. One in three women will have an abortion in the U.K. for many, many individual reasons, and we shouldn’t undermine free, safe, legal abortion based on one difficult case.”

And yet there it is.  A case study for opponents of abortion to oppose and for supporters of abortion rights to… well, have to make a stand somewhere.  It’s somewhat glib to dismiss it totally and cry “The anti-abortionists/ pro lifers are just using this!”, which denies that they have a premise for their position they’re standing on.

Item #3:  In Streaming Age, Classical Music Gets Lost in the Metadata.

Another one of those blind spots for the paragons of computer social media empires.  Or… monetary slices.  Music means pop, it’s what we’re selling.

Item #4:  North Korea Says Kim Jong-un Received ‘Excellent’ Letter From Trump.

Sure, I think it’s ultimately a whole lot of running in place.  Probably.  And it’s predicated on a lot of domestic policy round about Japan and South Korea — who are seeking some kind of rapprochement with that regime.  But I do hope that when Trump’s presidency expires, this is one thing his successor won’t rip up as a matter of course when they deign to rip everything else up.

A statement I guess I can’t make on knitting forums these days.

what taylor swift can learn from smash mouth

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

I see at the Huffington Post that the band Smashmouth is getting accolades for stepping with the commentary via tweeting — complete with apparent allusion to some song or video from their history — to the effect that if you’re supporting the “straight pride parade”, you’re one big loser.  This is thrown out there, commentary on their commentary, as though this is a pleasant surprise.  We see a bundle of tweets that “if you had told me in the 90s that Smash Mouth would be the most woke band from that era–“, a curious anachronism for a word not in circulation at the time.  (And, for the life of me, I don’t know if this word is now in the “being reclaimed from the mocking haters” stage, or if this is an un-constructed original use ignoring that it has become a term used mockingly.  Subtle by significant differences.)

But it really is low hanging fruit.  It’s something you can see the Trump supporter Kid Rock throwing out there.  Not that anyone should want Smash Mouth to be lobbing these social conciousness missiles with anything deeper, more controversial, or preachy — one offs are about all that I want from anyone.  (Unless, I guess, that’s their thing.)  But I’m stuck on the question — is there anything in Smash Mouth’s history and repertoire that implies something specifically “unwoke” (or is “awoke” enough for some people)?  We’re stuck in a Hellfire here.  Since Smash Mouth essentially lay down Party Anthems that could immediately be dropped into sports stadiums, this slices to an implied political meaning.  To “like” or “dislike” Smash Mouth is then to be slotted in the facebook algorithm so you can now see one set or another set of political ads dropped at you.  Even if you placed roughly the same lines into a woman’s mouth behind a somewhat different beat, it would now be queer inclusive bubble gum dance mix with a different set of political ads dropped.

Now we turn to the New York Times symposium on Taylor Swift, who it appears… just… can’t… win.  And, yes, the proper response in this Taylor Swift discussion should be to run the other way, but sometimes a car wreck element pulls you in — as well sorting the “angles dancing on a pin prick” distance driving a sort of political divide.  And, question… Is there an element of sexism here, where it has become required / demanded that Taylor Swift make a political mark where Smash Mouth never had to, or did Smash Mouth get in by having their hits slide in before this rule and requirement was put into place, or has Taylor Swift’s ubiquitous fame risen to a threshold Smash Mouth never had where this is a price of admission for where Taylor Swift would want to be sitting?  (The Cool Kid’s Table, I guess… some spot at the pop charts instead of the country charts?)

Is she atoning for endorsing the long time Obama-care opponent and Kavanaugh supporting Phil Bredesen in the last election?  (Yeah, I know… wise guy am I.  But we see there a basic problem with these celebrity politics.)

So, the LGBTQIA (LGBTQWERTY, if I want to be micro-aggressive… and people wonder why Biden leads in the Democratic primary) affirming video is seen as frivolous and too light (as opposed to her song career of paens to dumped boy friends as from a 16 year old girl?), or too little too late, or an obvious commercial grab in… shallow…

To be sure, commentary that met the sainted Beyonce from contributors The Nation magazine, and implied or extrapolated off of New Yorker article on when a new pr manager directed her — and the same commentary I see now listed in a litany list of “gasp” “outrageous” Paul Joseph Watson quotes on why he was deplatformed from social media…

… (note, regardless of whether he’s ultimately right in his assessment, and regardless of what other outrages are placed in the big litany list of “gasp” “Outrage” list… this is something which always bugs me about the “gasp” “outrage” controversies when shocker figure is brushed off of social media…  No, Beyonce’s message isn’t contrived, but it is stage crafted and well marketed, and worth pointing out even if they are interchangeable in construct.)

We know Taylor Swift’s never going to win that one, so perhaps it’s a matter of weather truly don’t care about what anyone, even supposed supporters, think of your messaging, or stick to the same one off lines that are the province of Smash Mouth these days.  Or, for the big LGBTQIA video — like — just drop it down to one or two queer besties?

presidential candidate polling

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

Biden down, Warren up, Buttigieg sideways.

summertime perplexities

Friday, June 14th, 2019

Hottest most humid day of the year thus far.  I walk by a woman wearing a “conversation t” — (though, doing a quick google search I’m not sure I have the terminology of the apparel industry right).  It’s a tight form fitting shirt, generally short enough to show one’s navel (but I’m not sure if the industry has it down that far), where a sassy and saucy statement sits right on her boobs, sometimes — as is the case here– the punchline to a line that’s right above her boobs.

So I see the phrase “Touch my butt” right above her boobs.  I want to know what the rest of the thing says, but I can’t really look because I just don’t want to be seen staring at her breasts.  I assume it’s something like “And I’ll chop your nuts off” or “And I’ll karate chop you”, as that’s about what may make sense.

Well, maybe I can find someone wearing a dark pair of sunglasses to do the job, or someone not afraid of being called a dirty old man, or dirty old woman.

when the overton window shoves a viewpoint as not wrong, not naive, but beyond the pale…

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

1.  Seinfeld in the 1990s, exaggerating the reality of that moment, predicting the discourse of the future.

2.  As an aside, “alt right” (not that there’s any real clear definition of the term) power house Steve Bannon earns a share of the distribution for Seinfeld, so profits off of Seinfeld earnings.

3.  The anti-abortion (pro life if you will) movement in Ireland suffered a devastating blow at the polls recently.  We now see them retreated (or maybe always with this purview) where they put up inoffensive innocuous facebook ads showing a fetus image and the words “Choose Life”, which whatever else is floating into the “pro choice” rhetorical frame.  Facebook has blocked the ad.

4.  Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse was one of the few politicos who showed themselves well when Zuckerberg was testifying before Congress.  Abortion was the point he brought as censorish solutions come into vogue where the political biases of an average Silicon Tech worker may set their Overton Window where any dispute against Abortion is a demand for a Margaret Atwood Dystopia.

5.  A fashion magazine banishes the linking to a cartoonist from their domain, having discovered tweets that show his wife attending a pro-life rally and him showing her his support.  Mind you, abortion does not figure in any of the cartoons that would be slightly linked to the magazine.  Maybe they’re following the money pit and seeing that any possible pacycheck to him may trickle down to anti-abortion advocacy of some sort  (Be sure to turn off Seinfeld, by the way — Steve Bannon owns a piece of it.)

6.  Jackass politician sees he can make some political hay by brow-beating a protesting nun “praying for the babies“.   And I guess he’s right, for his constituency, who apparently will shove the praying nun with your James Kopp killer and the like.  The phraseology used against here is pretty fascinating — he’s exposing them for their slut shaming and on to some intersectional terminology.

7.  I’ve been hearing this smattering of a putsch from various people along the autism / apsperger spectrum, and downs syndrome advocates, and a few other groupings who pose challenges for parents raising, on what happens when their condition is spot-able in the pregnancy stage — concern that people who are like them may end up summarily removed.  This is usually predicted with a requisite insistence that “don’t get me wrong; I support a woman’s right to choose” and in certain corridors of political advocating, “we can’t allow this to be used a wedge for anti-choicers”.  And all this, maybe.  But, even weakly in terms of nudging and persuading, and even minor, if this is one’s concern you’re landing somewhere shy of a total “pro choice” position — see the “shaming” rhetoric.  But in a spot where that facebook ad on “choose life” is beyond the pale, this “ant-ablist” cohort is going to have to open some space that’s being closed to voice their problem.

8.  The movie Juno — if it were made today, would the anti-abortion advocate bit player be portrayed as sympathetically (if naive), from their pro-choice film-makers?

9.  Curious as Joseph Biden filters about the Democratic Party weather-vane–  Wanting to establish himself as someone who’s not the type who will be slipping into a suggestion that current felons should vote.  There’s a couple ways of looking at his move from support of the Hyde Amendment to opposition.  One: bow down to the realities of his Democratic constituency.  Two:  Listened to their concerns and adopted.  Nay, he won’t receive NARAL’s primary endorsement, but I suppose he won’t receive their fiercest of denunciations now.  Everyone else can proceed accordingly and stay or leave the Italian restaurant in Seinfeld at their leisure.

evolution of the Dead Milkmen’s political song target to the White House…

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

I know that Jello Biafro for The Dead Kennedys has, in concert, has over the years changed the subject of the song “California Uber Alles” from Jerry Brown to Ronald Reagan to Arnold Schwarzenager — though Jerry Brown pretty well remains for what has to be the official song.

I’m trying to understand where The Dead Milkmen go with “Right Wing Pigeon”.  And understand, some central problem with the song starts at the beginning… it’s a little slap dash.

The town in Georgia’s got a law on the books
Says if we all got guns then we won’t have crooks
Now what could make them think that way?
What could make them act that way?

Hm.  In American political parlance, that would make it a left wing pigeon, but never mind…

But the president in office, will be target for changes…

The man in the White House who just don’t care
He starves little kids and he dyes his hair
Now what could make him think that way?
What could make him act that way?

Okay.  Standard rhetoric against Reagan.  In the live album, with a version from somewhere early in the Clinton Administration, what we have is something a bit perfunctory…

“There’s a man in the White House who’s name is Bill
Probably screwed everybody with that Whitewater Deal”…

I’d hope that as the Clinton Administration rolled on, they came up with something better… except the band called it quits in 1995 so there was I guess I’d hope that they would have.

In this concert we see them toss a bone against Palin — something something luge… Palin jumped out of the race, what a f’ing quitter… no, I don’t understand the news reference.
Here, they refer to Obama as the “Best Republican President that we’ve had in years“… good enough, and I guess where they may’ve gone with Clinton had they had the chance… but as the ad goes — good enough isn’t good enough…
But here we’re getting to some better abrasive political commentary — pointing to Obama’s Noble Peace Prize and actions against Syria… it doesn’t quite fit any meter though.
Skip to 43:50 to get to probably the best line against Obama… “And when he gets bored he just sends out some drones“.  I’ll go ahead and consider this the definitive Obama era variant for the song, as it fits the logic of their aim.

The audio for the concert that’s available for the year 2018 is too sour for me to bother with to get to what they are doing for Trump these days.

wash. rinse. repeat.

Saturday, June 1st, 2019

“You never separate children from their parents.  NEVER!”
“Obama did the same thing.  Those photos you see are from…”

And from this I have the gist of an argument being held as I’m walking past a downtown strip club.  And I can’t fill in the details of what the first person would be saying in response to the Trump supporter (the former appears to be an employee of the establishment — maybe a bouncer?  The latter a customer — though it’s argumentative beyond a point I’d imagine is healthy for business unless they have a regular enough and cordial relationship established) —

But I do know what points I’d make.

No, Obama’s record there was not especially progressive (deportations rose from the Bush administration level).  I believe you’re wrong about the photos coming in from Obama, or are sometimes mislabeled (there was a problem of unaccompanied minors at the border, after all).  Also you have a President Obama met with, say, a Governor Jan Brewer and some attending mix of policies.
But more to the point, let’s say it were the case.  Where were the immigrant hawks in support of some such policies?  Cheering on Representative Joseph Wilson shouting “YOU LIE” at the SOTU.