Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

taking stock

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

100 down…

Somewhere between a few and an eternity to go.  Depends on if he’s impeached or suffers an unfortunate death in the next day or two, or the other way declares himself Dictator for Life and finds seemingly sci fi solutions to limitations on human longevity through hidden “Infrastructure” funding.

More likely, I suppose, 1361 to go, or 2822.

Hans Solo, Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi, Darth Vader, “Them”

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Jon Ossoff, Democrat of Georgia, attempts to get to 50 percent plus one in tomorrow’s special election for a Congressional seat once held by Newt Gingrich.

It’s worthwhile looking at the ad that the group supporting the Republican Party, in their drive to keep Ossoff to 50 percent minus one, has running.

All right.  A attack on this young turk’s lack of experience.  Perhaps the credence, or suggestion, of resume enhancement.  Fair enough.  Beyond that, though…

Embarrassing footage from his very recent college experience where he goofed about with friends and pretended to be Hans Solo.

The slam on the Billy Joel “Georgetown Girls” routine — “Here’s Jon Ossoff and his friends making fun of Georgetown’s female students” (“female” said with a striking inflection) is striking in that you’d have to be pretty darned politically correct to object to this one.

And we end with a shirtless Jon Ossoff in a Darth Vader helmet dancing and prancing and…

All I can say is that if George W Bush went to Yale in an era of social media video…

Skip to this attack ad — most of which is fair enough for attack ad fodder– but/ and I’m struck by one thing:  what’s with the evil looking security footage of Jon Ossoff entering the building at second 7?  (The hand shuffling 100 dollars bills at second 23 is also pretty hilarious — like, surely the perfect way to dramatize “his campaign is funded by out of state donors” — if also a good way to dramatize if his campaign were funded by in state donors.)

And this is a pretty subtle ad… the black blocks running wild and then “Jon Ossoff is one of them”.  (Michael Moore puts in an appearance at second 22.)

making up new words

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

From the end of a largely uninteresting and banal New Yorker article on the evolution of Stephen Colbert at his CBS gig, and broader and narrower pitfalls and implications therein.

(Emily Nussbaum, “Authority Always Wins: Stephen Colbert’s New Role)…

Colbert bantered, gamely but tamely, with Sarandon, who had suggested to him, in an appearance a year ago, that Trump might trigger a “revolution.” He asked what she’d meant. Bricks through the windows, perhaps? But when she dismissed this—“You’re watching the wrong movie,” she star-splained—Colbert didn’t dig deeper, let alone express his opinion or show any emotion.

STAR-SPLAINED?
STAR-SPLAINED?!!!?

All right.  I know, appreciate, and understand the premises of “man-splain” and “white-splain”,

… and appreciate any number of attitudes thereof depending on situation…  (Sooner or later, there comes an immediate rebuff — “Talk to the Hand”…)

but…

Can we please, for the love of Gawd have a moratorium on creating new words out of the corrupted suffix “splain” with adjective / subject as prefix?

Is this writer trying to become the originator of a new terminology?

There is no “star-splain”.  I don’t think there’s even a hetero-splain, as of yet.

Or, maybe can go the other way and start throwing the term every which way.

Creep-splain.
Damned-splain.
Narc-splain.
Nerd-splain.

All very annoying and aggravating to be on the receiving end.

But… Hitler loved the Arts.

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Hm.

When I think of the Nationalist Socialist regime of Adolf Hitler, I do not think of a drastic cut-back on federal funding of the “Arts”.  Granted, maybe we do at some points in the sphere land on the age old question “Yes.  But is it Art?”

— I’m sure Leni Riefenstahl was pretty well funded, and if you go ahead and charge “That’s Propaganda, not Art” — well… I find it difficult to imagine that the Arts being funded by Winston Churchill during that famed World War 2 mis-quote being bandied about included much questioning military operations —

At least there’s a whole mass of beautific structures being thrown out there.  A Wagner opera here and there.  (Or, as so happens, as things got defined as decadent and destructive to the moral fibre of Germany… Italian figures such as Verdi… apparently.)

Speaking of which, Mussolini’s Fasci was quite good at paying Ezra Pound for new writings.  And, sure, this would be by definition the worst output of Ezra Pound…

Totalitarian Russia liked its artists… those that advanced the state cause, of course, uplift the proletariat.

It is amusing to consider, in the argument against Trump’s cutting of federal funding of the Arts — the very notion of “The Arts” as a bullwark to stop Trump…

The federal government is giving arts grants for things like that? Wait, tell me again why you want to cut the NEA out, Mr. President? There was a great New Yorker cartoon years ago showing an artist painting a portrait of a businessman, with the words “FUC YOU” written on the bottom. All it lacked was the K. The artist turned to the businessman with his hand out, and asked for a donation to help him finish the painting.

It is that idea from one thing that considers itself “The Arts” that the very presence of the man in the White House shows a failure of “The Arts” to permeate the culture, and what is needed is to get more…

… er… “Piss Christ” out there, to make the people think.

fortress America and the big defense…

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Well.  As some major newspaper op ed writer out there had it, as interpreted by the liberal anti-war op ed writer Normon Solomon, “The way Donald Trump needs to prove / assert his independence from Russian is by bombing everything.”

Regardless of one’s opinions on air-strikes on Syria, and on to a “very disappointed” Vladimir Putin —

The sidebar in the newspaper features the “split” Republican Party — with Senator John McCain, Arizona praising the thing and Senator Rand Paul, Kentucky damning the thing.
And the Democratic reaction is a quote, favorable, from Chuck Schumer, New York.  2 responses from various Republicans, one Democratic response.  The “Leader”, such as he is.  But then again, Bernie’s not a Democrat.

Meaning, the balance of forces that allowed guys like this to be taken somewhat seriously in some semi-bi- or non – partisan fashion through the past two administrations, but pulled ashunder at the dawning of Trump, is slightly re-balanced.

the battle of civility wages…

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Protest and counter-protest.  The 4 chan revolt to stop Shia LaBeouf*’s anti-Trump video streaming website.  Imagine if they would tack their intelligence into pursuits more… intelligent.

When they had a good idea of the flag’s coördinates, a /pol/ poster who lives in the Greeneville area drove around and honked, hoping that the noise would be audible on the live stream. It was. Night fell, and the trolls used astronomy to further pinpoint the flag: “The faint star visible next to the flag is Polaris—it has to be since the other star is rotating around it in a perfect circle.”

On scuffles taking place at Greg Walden’s office, fending off old liberal activists with a new security detail made up of retired activists.

But the confrontation, which played out like an AARP-age spinoff of Portland scuffles between right-wing groups and anarchists …

Hm.  Or whatever the heck is going on in the Georgia special election?

……………….
* How’s his name movie-project, the adaptation of his graphic novel, Wilson?  Any good?

why they call it the “elite media”

Friday, March 31st, 2017

I’m been stuck ona couple unexamined class assumptions in the New York Times as of late.
First a reasonably cognizant article examining some middle class or even lower middle class entries into university, but told in a quasi-anthropology way — the line that throws me for a loop is that there is no applying for the elite colleges here — they want to go where they feel they belong.  Or, you know, given that they’re not at the very tip top of “genius” level — the uber 13 year old chess masters and on — and thus wouldn’t get full scholarship, somewhere where they might half afford.
And then there’s this odd line in a Nicholas Kristoff op-ed defending arts funding.

Singer has a terrific recent book, “Ethics in the Real World,” that wrestles with how much we should donate to charity, and whether wearing a $10,000 watch is a sign of good taste, or of shallow narcissism.

Raise your head if you, out there in the real world, have had this real world concern in looking at your wrist and having guilt pains that this  $10,000 watch you are wearing might comes across as too ostentatious.

alt art criticism

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Something in this op-ed from Ross Douthat, on the trouble with any political entity latching onto the culture of the past — in this case the “alt right” and Jane Austen and the obvious attempts at reclaiming standardized gender norms — caught my eye.

This is an idea with a powerful hold on the liberal mind — that great literature and art inoculate against illiberalism, that high culture properly interpreted offers a natural rebuke to all that is cruel, hierarchical and unwoke. The idea that if Mike Pence really listened to “Hamilton” he would stand up to Donald Trump … that Barack Obama’s humanistic reading list was somehow in deep tension with his drone strikes … that had George W. Bush only discovered his talent for painting earlier he might not have invaded Iraq … these are conceits that can be rebutted (with Wagner or Céline or Nazis-at-the-symphony references) but always seem to rise again.
In part they endure because contemporary liberalism has substituted aestheticism for religion, dreaming of a universal empathy sealed through reading rather than revelation.

In one of the liberal magazine symposiums of reactions after the Trump victory (I leafed through the issue of Harpers, didn’t find it there), there was a college Literature professor who reports having this nightmare that s/he’ll assign Kafka’s Metamorphosis, and get back student responses of “Can’t relate”, in consideration of current political results, s/he’s taking care to emphasize “empathy” in choice of class readings — which struck me as a little wearisome in its totality of repercussions.

And maybe you don’t much like this guy, but here’s your bait for you wild eyed liberals.

So now that everyone seems to be coming around to Trump as Jimmy Carter [?], it’s time to ponder … Bernie Sanders as Ronald Reagan.

With his run against Hillary as his Reagan-in-’76, his age as a supposed impediment, his wild-eyed socialism as a supposed liability …