Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand
“People have completely forgotten that in 1972 we had over nineteen hundred domestic bombings in the United States.” — Max Noel, FBI (ret.)
Take a little walk to the edge of town
And go across the tracks
Where the viaduct looms
Like a bird of doom
As it shifts and cracks
Where secrets lie in the border fires
In the humming wires
Hey man, you know
You're ain't coming back
Past the square, past the bridge
Past the mills, past the stacks
On a gathering storm comes
A tall handsome man
In a dusty black coat with
A red right hand
He'll wrap you in his arms,
Tell you that you've been a good boy
He'll rekindle all those dreams
It took you a lifetime to destroy
He'll reach deep into the hole
Heal your shrinking soul
Hey, buddy, you know you'll never turn it back.
He's a god, he's a man
He's a ghost, he's a guru
They're whispering his name
Through this disappearing land
But hidden in his coat
Is a red right hand
You ain't have no money?
He'll get you some
You ain't have no car?
He'll get you one
You ain't have no self-respect
You feel like an insect
Well don't you worry buddy
'Cause here he comes
Through the ghettos and the barrio
And the Bowery and the slum
A shadow is cast wherever he stands
Stacks of green paper in his
Red right hand
You'll see him in your nightmares
You'll see him in your dreams
He'll appear out of nowhere but
He ain't what he seems
You'll see him in your head
On the TV screen
Hey buddy, I'm telling
You to turn it off
He's a ghost, he's a god
He's a man, he's a guru
You're one microscopic cog
In his catastrophic plan
Designed and directed by
His red right hand
I can’t imagine why any sane person would think it would be a wonderful idea to cede California geographically to a foreign power. Is there some lunatic reason you think it would be cool to let Communist China or Iran set up across an imaginary line dividing California from the surrounding states?
"We won't and they won't. The United States government can't afford to allow foreign powers to set up in one of our former states, especially not one that has so much infrastructure that can be used as a platform against the U.S..
"It has nothing to do with States Rights or the rights/wrongs legality/illegality of secession: it has to do with the very simple strategic principle of "We can allow no hostile or competitive nation level peers within our hemisphere."
"It's the same reason that while Texas secession is theoretically attractive, it won't and can't happen because the United States can't and won't allow it – it would spark a nearly immediate invasion of Texas by the Fed and a new War of Independence or Civil War. Likewise for California.
"CalExit would be temporary only. It would end as soon as D.C. got serious about saying, "Okay, you've had your fun, now it's over."
"However, while it was temporarily active, a number of things would happen that would be beneficial to the U.S. and America as a whole in the long run:
"California secedes, and almost immediately the new nation of California breaks up into at least four states/areas including the Big Valley, the Interior, Northern California, and Coastal California (probably comprised of SoCal Coastal, SF, and Silicone Valley and *maybe* the Imperial Valley.) The Interior (Mojave etc) and probably the Big Valley elect to stay with the U.S. as part of the Union.
"Northern California could go two ways, stay with the Union and petition to become it's own state, or form it's own State of Jefferson in combination with Southern Oregon (maybe). Most likely, NC stays with the U.S.
"Coastal California suddenly finds several things have happened: SoCal, SF, and Silicon Valley find themselves on their own sans a majority of their actual productive areas and citizens and tax base. Coastal California also finds themselves in possession of several increasingly hostile U.S. military bases that the U.S. cannot afford to allow them to keep, nor afford to lose.
"Coastal California finds itself being charged with violation of the sedition acts and high treason (making war upon the U.S.), with an active enemy within their borders that is specialized in having a monopoly on the organized and disciplined application of force, and a lot of military hardware – and no real military of its own.
"Coastal California finds itself invaded by the U.S.. At some point shortly after, its secession comes to an end.
"At some point immediately after that, the people in charge of, behind the rebellion, and supporting it find themselves charged with treason and sedition, convicted, and then given due process of whatever sort.
"After that, it's a bit up in the air what happens to SoCal… they could find themselves reduced to an occupied U.S. territoial holding, or simply brought back to heel and into the Union as was the South after the Civil War.
Bad for California.
"Not so bad for the U.S. in the long run, although heavily disruptive in the short run.
"Depending how it occurs and what happens, the U.S. gains anywhere from 1 to 3 or 4 new Red States and a Territory where the back of the predominately Blue Bloc has been broken. Alternately, it gets back a defeated state that goes Red, as the back of the California Blue Bloc has been broken.
"An awful lot of California Leftist politicians, industrialists, and Hollywood idiots find themselves charged with sedition and treason, and hanged or imprisoned. (I prefer hanged, but Federal prison works too.)
"The Left loses an awful lot of Electoral Votes, plus an example gets made that is unmistakable to the rest of the U.S. Left.
"No, we aren’t going to let California go just because some conservatives are all butthurt about what asshats lefty Californians (who may not even be a majority of the population) have done or said in the past.
"No, we're not going to let California go, but the process of not letting them go could be extremely beneficial for the U.S. in the long run.
"(And vastly entertaining for people like me, too. I have popcorn.)
"We can also lose a lot of asshats in the process."
The Congress and Homeland Security selected these countries in 2016 and before (Screenshot of visa waiver categories, US Customs and Border Protection)
Where is the “Muslim ban”? It turns out this was a form of fake news, or alternative facts. Trump didn’t select seven “Muslim-majority” countries. US President Barack Obama’s administration selected these seven Muslim-majority countries.
The Department of Homeland Security targeted these seven countries over the last years as countries of concern. In February 2016 “The Department of Homeland Security today announced that it is continuing its implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 with the addition of Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as three countries of concern, limiting Visa Waiver Program travel for certain individuals who have traveled to these countries.” It noted “the three additional countries designated today join Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria as countries subject to restrictions for Visa Waiver Program travel for certain individuals.” It was the US policy under Obama to restrict and target people “who have been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions).” This was text of the US Customs and Border Protection in 2015 relating to “the Visa Waiver Program and Terrorist Travel Protection Act of 2015“. The link even includes the seven nation list in it: “Iraq, Syria, Iran, SUdan, Somalia or Yemen.” And the media knew this back in May 2016 when some civil rights groups complained about it. | Seth J. Frantzman
"The DNC chair candidate wants to shut other white people down.
"The Democrat party is becoming ghettoized. This happens to small towns across the country.
"Ghettoization is a slow motion process which fools the eye and the mind. It allows the Left to place the blame [for decay and decline] on whites and the right. The accusation of “white-flight” as somehow causing the Ghettoization is common from the Left.
"We all remember the forced busing that a district court judge mandated for certain parts of Boston in the 70’s. Do we remember that 100,000 whites moved out of these communities to escape the slow ghettoization that the super-intelligent and super-liberal judge forced onto them? They had to sell or abandon their homes to get away from this terrible government-mandated invasion to their community.
"Eventually the area became an unsafe and unmanageable ghetto . This has happened to many American cities in our lifetime. Think of the irony that Selma, Alabama is a ghetto today; the very predictable result of Dr. Martin Luther King’s efforts. San Bernardino is bankrupt today. Over years of liberal rule it became a predominantly black and Hispanic city and lowering home values, defaults, and general lawlessness (not to mention drugs) destroyed the tax base and the city went bankrupt.
"Perhaps you missed ghettoization when it happened to Detroit or Buffalo because in both towns it seems like it’s always been that way. It wasn't. Once both were bustling middle class cities that were ghettoized and destroyed. It isn’t some accident or ignorance that causes it. There is a segment of our political population who feed on the road kill of the failed cities like vultures. This evil segment of our political system is embodied in the [Congressional] Black Caucus. They are there for one reason: to extract money and favors using race baiting and threats of violence. They use the process of ghettoization to force the political system to their will under the guise of ‘fixing’ the problem. But the problem never gets fixed. Why would it? Why would you kill the golden goose? Race baiting for fun and profit is a perfect scam.
"Ms Brown is a race hustler and based on just this clip alone Al Sharpton should be shaking in his boots. Her plan is to ghettoize the Democrat party which of course will cause white flight.
"It won’t happen overnight. Many liberals will not see it at first and will welcome the race baiters sticking their fingers in the eyes of the less liberal party members. But eventually even these hard core white liberals will have to sell their house in the ghetto and move to the Republican suburbs.
"They won’t be Republicans of course. After all we have seen the Liberal Californians who moved to Colorado, Washington, Nevada, etc. to get away from California’s liberal failings only to try to implement the same failed policies in their new state. So too will the white liberals will be forced out of the ghettoized Democrat party and move over and try to subsequently destroy the Republican party."
Yesterday I heard of a young mother who came downstairs early in the morning to find her fifth-grade son dressed for school but flat on his back in the middle of the living room staring in despair at the ceiling.
MOM: "What on Earth do you think you're doing?"
BOY: "I can't do it. I just can't go to school any more."
We all know how that small strike ended. Management made an offer ("Go to school or else."), and the union of one caved in with a few plaintive "But mom's.... "
I first thought that there was rough justice in that. After all, the thought of actually going on a ten-minute "I-won't-go-to-school" strike never would have entered my ten-year old mind. If it had I would not have heard the dreaded promise, "Wait until your father gets home." No, I would have heard the thermonuclear announcement, "I'm calling your father at work and telling him to come home right now." That one always alerted me that I had only one half-hour to get my affairs in order.
Today, after mulling the lie-down strike a little more, it seems to me there's more than a little to be said on the side of the fifth-grader's strike. After twenty years of schooling and more than thirty on the day shift, those early grades seem -- looked at through society's grubby glasses -- to be an idyllic time. After all, weren't they?
No real worries. No problems with the opposite or the same sex. No goals other than getting to Christmas break, Easter break or the long and endless summer. No money to make. No money, in fact, to speak of at all. All your expenses covered. No taxes. No sense of mortality. In short, the lost and golden land of childhood. We all think of it, once far removed from it, as some distant Edenic idyll.
But if we try and shift our point of view a bit, and if we try to remember all those things the haze of our twice-told childhood fairy-tales hides from us, we might see it -- just a bit and just for an instant -- from the point of view of the fifth-grade boy flat on his back in the living room staring at the ceiling in utter despair.
Here he lays. He's been going to this job of his for as long as he can remember. Unlike my experience which didn't start until kindergarten, today's boy has probably been working in the education industry since age 3.
They started him out on basic blocks and why he shouldn't nail somebody who took his cookie. Those are hard lessons. How to stack something up so it doesn't collapse in a heap at the first shudder in the earth. How to "share" your very limited and very personal resources. Why you don't just whack anyone who irritates you with the nearest blunt object.
These are basic lessons, and we forget how hard they are. Some of us don't learn them at all. Those people are either in prison, assembling bombs, or CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Still, that's your entry level position in the educational-industrial complex at age 3. It's all downhill from there.
For years you get up at an ungodly hour and don't even get a chance to read the paper. Plus, no coffee at all. Not. A. Drop.
You are then pushed out of your home and either driven to your "office-complex" by a cranky chauffeur with complete control over you, or you get to ride with a few dozen of your more-or-less peers with different ideas of hygiene and levels of intelligence in a shaking tin box with no seatbelts, driven by some of the least intelligent members of your community. I'd be a nervous wreck by the time I got to the office, I'll tell you.
Once you do get to the office, your time to just goof off is extremely limited. No leisurely stints by the water cooler for you. No coffee cart with tasty pastries coming by after only an hour. Bladder issue? Raise your hand and get a note. Other than that you are never alone.
You get one break out in the dirt, with, I might add, no coffee. A couple of hours later you get a quick hit of really bad food that is the same this Wednesday as it was last Wednesday. After that, it's back to your office where they don't even have a little cube for you, but slam you together with 15 to 30 other slaves to the clock in a room fit only for 10.
In some huge gesture to your youth, they let your out of this joint at 3 in the afternoon. They tell you it's a "school day," but if you've been up since 7 and out at three, that's a full eight hours in my book.
Oh, and no chatting with your friends. Yes, you, pipe down. If not it's off to the CEO's antechamber for a quick and humiliating performance review. Daily if you don't snap out of it. If you really don't snap out of it, we're calling your father AND your mother to come here from work right now.
Perhaps you get to enjoy the mastery of your skills? Don't make me laugh. Master one thing and boom here comes another.
Comprehend fractions? That was so last week. Now do long division. Made a volcano that blew up on cue last week? Big deal. This week you are going to construct an Algonquin winter lodge diorama from scratch --- and it better have plenty of cotton balls for snow.
One o'clock. Your project for this hour is the basic structure of the cell. Okay, two o'clock, everybody stand up and turn to the person next to them and say, "Hola, como se llama..."
Day in day out, week in week out, year in year out ... you trudge off to this room crammed to the brim with bird's nests, flash cards, trilobites, pilgrim hats, Indian headresses, drawings and paintings in which the proportion of the head to the body is never right, but looks for all the world like an exhibit by demented Fauvists with no drawing skills whatsoever and a very garish color sense. Twice a day, everybody in this room is let out. Is it any wonder they run screaming into the sunshine?
You have no veto whatsoever over your co-workers, your working conditions, your hours, or your choice of when to do what tasks. Everyone does the same tasks at the same time for 55 minutes and then it is on to something new.
Did I mention the fact that you can't quit? If you try to quit they send the Gestapo to your home and track you down and haul you back.
There is, however, judgment. Oh, the judgment. Constantly tested. Constantly graded. Constantly up for criticism with your single allowable plea being, "Guilty. But with an explanation." It's like an annual review every week with no raises, ever.
And nothing, nothing you do, is ever quite good enough, is it? Except for that four-eyes up in the front row who always gets it done perfectly. No mistakes ever. You know, the kid who will be pantsed and then smothered with 30 co-workers backpacks out behind the backstop one rainy afternoon.
By the fifth grade, you've been in this dead end job for about seven years. If you're lucky, your pay has gone from a dollar to ten dollars a week. Get straight A's and you might get a bonus of one day at the local "Magic Kingdom." Then it's, "Okay, break's over. Everybody back on their heads."
I don't know about you, but that sounds like one of the worst jobs in the world. In fact, the more I think about it the more I want to lie down with that kid in the middle of the living room and say, "I just can't do it any more either."
It took me about 30 years to get to that point. I guess I'm not as smart as I was in the fifth grade. In fact, I'm sure of it.
'An incredible milestone for Theodore': Ivanka Trump shares video of her baby crawling on the floors of the White House for the first time. Ivanka Trump's father may have just become the most powerful man on earth - but it was her baby's achievements that she decided to celebrate on Wednesday. Ivanka wrote: 'There were so many incredible milestones this past weekend -- including one for baby Theodore who crawled for the very first time in the White House!'
Coming right up: beatdowns for the traitors. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
A group of protesters set fire to multiple American flags on the Iowa City pedestrian mall on Thursday, setting off a scuffle and heated verbal arguments with bystanders.
A man in a FedEx uniform, Matt Uhrin, rushed out with a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze. Uhrin took one of the flags from protesters, scuffling with a number of protesters in the process.
Uhrin declined to comment except to say his actions were not related to his employer.
One onlooker, Bob Guyer, said the act was disrespectful to military veterans.
"Probably every one of them has a relative at one point or another that died for that," Guyer said, referring to the flag.
"That's not free speech. Too many people have died for it," he said.
Thankfully, police arrested 21-year-old Kelli Ebensberger of Iowa City and 23-year-old Paul Osgerby of Ames for open burning, which is a simple misdemeanor.- - Frontpage Mag
Last week (thanks to an unexpected generosity) I flew to Seattle, to celebrate the birthday of one of my best friends. This man and his wife had been on the Trump Train from the start and actively worked (phone banks, door belling, organizing) to ensure his election. They were indefatigable. With them and with other friends in that over-tattooed and pierced moonbat metropolis we drank champagne, ate good food, scarfed down some fine birthday cake, and watched the events of the Inaugural Day -- and the days after -- and proclaimed it all, "BEST WEEKEND EVER!" Back home I tell my friends ( and my Facebook faux friends,) "I am enjoying this far too much, but I feel your pain." I also find I have developed an addiction to the evening shows on Fox News.
This morning I note the various policy announcements regarding Mexico and the shrinking of the federal government and the other items streaming live from the Oval Office. I note the Enemy Media (for so they have positioned themselves) and various other enemies of America being flabbergasted that Trump is actually DOING what he said he WOULD DO. The Enemy Media loses yet again. They have bet against Trump at every turn and yet here they are. They have lost consistently in these bets and they are losing again.
What we have here is not "a failure to communicate" but a "a failure to believe what was clearly communicated again and again."
Perhaps these dense members of the Enemy Media need things explained in a simpler, more memorable fashion. You know, something a child could memorize. Something along the lines of the ever-popular Seussian Horton Hatches the Egg. Recall that...
The book centers on Horton, a genial elephant, who is convinced by Mayzie, a lazy, irresponsible bird, to sit on her egg while she takes a short "break", which turns into her permanent relocation to Palm Beach.
Naturally, the absurd sight of an elephant sitting atop a tree makes quite a scene - Horton is exposed to the elements, laughed at by his jungle friends, captured by hunters, forced to endure a terrible sea voyage, and finally placed in a traveling circus. However, despite his hardships and Mayzie's clear intent not to return, Horton refuses to leave the nest because he insists on keeping his word, often repeating, "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful, one hundred per cent!"
The traveling circus ends up visiting near Mayzie's new Palm Beach residence. She visits the circus just as the egg is due to hatch (after 51 weeks in Palm Beach) and demands that Horton should return it, without offering him a reward. However, when the egg hatches, the creature that emerges is an "elephant-bird", a cross between Horton and Mayzie, and Horton and the baby are returned happily to the jungle, rewarding Horton for his persistence, while Mayzie is punished for her laziness by ending up with nothing.
"Ending up with nothing" pretty much describes the hole that the Democrats and their Moonbat members have dug for themselves. Now that they're down in it it only remains for us to bring out the backhoes and fill it in.
With this millions more can break the record of the most views of "THE BEST INAUGURATION EVER!"
This is why it has existed in all cultures since the divine allocation of human speech.
Before the paintings were added to the walls of Lascaux, our brutish ancestors were declaiming. And when, at the forefront of technology today, we are deprived of poetry, it reasserts itself, often in monstrous ways. The poet Dana Gioia, whom I admire for dressing in a business suit when he goes to work every morning (or leaving that impression if he don't), stressed this last point in some lecture I was auditing, probably on YouTube. Brilliantly, he mentioned the over-genre of hip hop. Into the vacuum for poetry it exploded, in English and in Urdu, and every other global language, from its abstruse origins in the South Bronx â with an insistence that left all of its detractors (me, for instance) powerless to deny. It answered to a terrible hunger, in the way that false religion fills a void of true. Orpheus descending
"For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth."
"Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;
With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;
In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise."
The Chrisman Sisters, 1886: Lizzie Chrisman filed the first of the sisters' homestead claims in 1887. Lutie Chrisman filed the following year and the other two sisters, Jennie Ruth and Hattie, had to wait until 1892, when they came of age, to file.
One of the most striking features of these photos is the pride the homesteaders show.
Many of those photographed were the first landowners in their family. Homesteaders often lined up their most prized possessions in the photos to show the scope of their ownership.
One woman, reportedly embarrassed by her sod house,
requested that the family be photographed with her pump organ instead. They dragged the organ out into the yard — farm animals and wagons can be seen in the background — then dragged it back into the house after the photo was taken.
Ned Dunlap, known as Kearney, Nebraska's only real cowboy, 1902.
The Shores family, near Westerville, Custer County, Nebraska, 1887. Jerry Shores was one of a number of former slaves to settle in Custer County. He took a claim adjacent his brothers’, Moses Speese and Henry Webb (each had taken the name of his former owner).
Sylvester Rawding brought his family to Nebraska in the 1880s. In 1886, they brought their lunch outside on a muddy day so that photographer Solomon Butcher could capture the family on film. Sylvester was a Union Army Civil War veteran, wounded during a skirmish near Mobile, Alabama.
More images at The Week - America’s pivotal move West
"Oh the hinges are of leather
And the windows have no glass
While the board roof
Lets the howling blizzards in
And I hear the hungry coyote
As he slinks up through the grass
Round the little old sod shanty
On my claim"
"You may be going to Portland, but not on this flight."
Welcome to the No-Fly List, Moonbat.
According to Koteskey:
Just had the craziest experience ever on an airplane:VIDEO: - The American MirrorThe American Mirror
I’m boarding my flight from Baltimore to Seattle and approach my seat. I had an upgraded seat that I paid a little extra for because of the long 6 hour flight. As I approach my row I smile and motion to the husband and wife sitting in the aisle and middle seat that Imy seat was next to the window. I put my backpack in the overhead and the wife with a very stern voice says to me:
“Did you come here to cheer or to protest?”
“I came here to celebrate democracy ma’am”
… I knew this was going to be a long flight at this point. She then proceeded with: (somewhat paraphrased as my memory allows)
Her: “You put a crazed man in charge of the nuclear codes! You should be ashamed!”
Me: ‘Well we’re all entitled to our opinions here ma’am.”
Her: “And I’m entitled to get drunk and puke in your lap! I’m going to throw up right in your lap! You make me sick! Don’t talk to me! Don’t look at me! Don’t you dare even put your arm on that rest. You disgust me! You should be ashamed of yourself! You put a maniac’s finger on the button” (assuming she’s means nukes). You are a bigot. You should get off this plane!”
Me: “ma’am, by definition, bigotry is disparaging someone prior to knowing them simply by their beliefs and opinions. Thank you for being the very thing you preach against.”
Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
"Fear not, the Resurrection is close at hand."
The Obvious Truth
SIGMUND FREUD has established for all time that a cigar can be a penis substitute. At about the same time Rudyard Kipling observed that while a woman was only a woman, "a good cigar was a smoke." Lighting up and reflecting on this, Sigmund Freud agreed that a cigar could, in certain places, be "only a cigar." For nearly three decades now, millions of American men, including even politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, have been unable to make this fundamental distinction.
In any reasonable society this signal failure of perception would be a tragedy shared by both sexes. But fortunately for the future of the country, millions of American women have lately come to prefer cigars to penises. Their decision is not utterly without a sunny side since millions of American men have decided - faced with this doleful feminine reality and subsequent weight gain - to prefer penises to both cigars and women.
Both of these responses are islands of light in an era of increasing darkness, but the central tragedy still remains. If things are not clearly out of hand in America's sexual circus (And indeed the declining birth rate and rising divorce rate demonstrates that things are probably all too often in hand), then they are at least at sixes and nines. In this paper we will study the reasons for the decline of the American Penis, and what can be done to hasten its resurrection.Continued...
Trees in particular were mysterious, and seemed to me direct embodiments of the incomprehensible meaning of life. For that reason, the woods were the place that I felt closest to its deepest meaning and to its awe-inspiring workings. -- C.G.Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
We should not omit to mention the great admiration that the Gauls have for the ancient ones as well. The druids – that is what they call their magicians – hold nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and a tree on which it is growing, provided it is a hard-timbered oak .... Mistletoe is rare and when found it is gathered with great ceremony, and particularly on the sixth day of the moon.... Hailing the moon in a native word that means 'healing all things,' they prepare a ritual sacrifice and banquet beneath a tree and bring up two white bulls, whose horns are bound for the first time on this occasion. A priest arrayed in white vestments climbs the tree and, with a golden sickle, cuts down the mistletoe, which is caught in a white cloak. Then finally they kill the victims, praying to a god to render his gift propitious to those on whom he has bestowed it. They believe that mistletoe given in drink will impart fertility to any animal that is barren and that it is an antidote to all poisons. -- Roman historian Pliny the Elder, written in the 1st century AD
With John Hammond Jr and Bruce Langhorne on electric guitars, jazz musician Bill Lee (father of film-maker Spike) on bass, session man Bobby Gregg on drums, an unidentified pianist and Dylan himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica, the song was cut in a single take. In two minutes and 22 seconds of jangling, rickety-rackety, homemade folk-blues-rock, something new was born – although, like all Dylan’s music, it sprang from firm roots. --The Guardian
"Subterranean Homesick Blues" is an amalgam of Jack Kerouac, the Woody Guthrie–Pete Seeger song "Taking It Easy" ("Mom was in the kitchen preparing to eat / Sis was in the pantry looking for some yeast") and the rock'n'roll poetry of Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business".
In 2004, Dylan said, "It's from Chuck Berry, a bit of 'Too Much Monkey Business' and some of the scat songs of the '40s."
Dylan has also stated that when he attended the University of Minnesota in 1959, he fell under the influence of the Beat scene: "It was Jack Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso and Ferlinghetti." Kerouac's The Subterraneans, a novel published in 1958 about the Beats, has been suggested as a possible inspiration for the song's title.
The song's first line is a reference to codeine distillation and the politics of the time: "Johnny's in the basement mixing up the medicine / I'm on the pavement thinkin' about the government". The song also depicts some of the growing conflicts between "straights" or "squares" and the emerging counterculture of the 1960s. The widespread use of recreational drugs and turmoil surrounding the Vietnam War were both starting to take hold of the nation, and Dylan's hyperkinetic lyrics were dense with up-to-the-minute allusions to important emerging elements in the 1960s youth culture. According to rock journalist Andy Gill, "an entire generation recognized the zeitgeist in the verbal whirlwind of 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'."
The song also references the struggles surrounding the American civil rights movement ("Better stay away from those / That carry 'round a fire hose"). (During the civil rights movement, peaceful protestors were beaten and sprayed with high-pressure fire hoses.) Despite the political nature of the lyrics, the song was the first Top 40 hit for Dylan in the United States. -- La Wik
The original clip was the opening segment of D. A. Pennebaker's film Dont Look Back, a documentary on Dylan's 1965 tour of England. In the film, Dylan, who came up with the idea, holds up cue cards with selected words and phrases from the lyrics. The cue cards were written by Donovan, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Neuwirth and Dylan himself. While staring at the camera, he flips the cards as the song plays. There are intentional misspellings and puns throughout the clip: for instance, when the song's lyrics say "eleven dollar bills", the poster says "20 dollar bills". The clip was shot in an alley close to the Savoy Hotel in London. Ginsberg and Neuwirth are briefly visible in the background.Continued...
June 16, 2015 Donald Trump’s Presidential Announcement Speech way back in the mists of political history. It was all there at the very beginning....
Wow. Whoa. That is some group of people. Thousands.
So nice, thank you very much. That’s really nice. Thank you. It’s great to be at Trump Tower. It’s great to be in a wonderful city, New York. And it’s an honor to have everybody here. This is beyond anybody’s expectations. There’s been no crowd like this.
And, I can tell, some of the candidates, they went in. They didn’t know the air-conditioner didn’t work. They sweated like dogs.
They didn’t know the room was too big, because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS? I don’t think it’s gonna happen.
Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don’t have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time. All the time.
When did we beat Japan at anything? They send their cars over by the millions, and what do we do? When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Tokyo? It doesn’t exist, folks. They beat us all the time.
When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically.
The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.
Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people.
It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably— probably— from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast.
[Read the rest and watch the video if you]Continued...
Love him or hate him, when it comes to Trump you can only say, "This man has really run the table."
We love that you are looking for a #pussyhat and want to get one to you as smoothly as possible.
A group of boojie women gathered at Knitty City in New York lay down their plastic brain-substitute devices long enough to make their pink Pussyhats in preparation for protests, in Washington and New York, for women’s rights following the election of Donald Trump - - 18 January 2017
Short form: Thousands of dickheads are to hit the streets in "protest" by jamming their empty skulls into their hand-made slack and scratchy pussies.
HOW TO GET A HAT IN THE DC AREA [Emphasis Added]
Days before the March
We love that you are looking for a #pussyhat and want to get one to you as smoothly as possible. So, here’s the plan. We are going to have few pickup sites in DC in the days leading up to the March. We will be announcing them on Facebook and Twitter. Please be patient.
Our first distribution scheduled will be at Busboys and Poets at their 5th and K St. Location at 2 pm Wednesday, January 18. We will be there until the hats run out. We will see how that goes and then announce more times as soon as possible.
Day of the March
We are giving out hats at the March. We love that you are a marcher who is already part of Pussyhat Project with your enthusiasm, passion, and commitment to women's rights. We have a spot confirmed and almost ready to announce. Follow us on Twitter: @pussyhatproject for any last minute changes.
Are you still a little concerned about hat distribution? We are doing our best! Hat makers are pouring their hearts into making hats for you and we are all so grateful for your participation. Please sign up on Twitter @pussyhatproject for logistics in DC (yes, we are mentioning it again). We have to be nimble and may have to make some last minute location changes. If so, we want you to know ASAP.
AFTER THE MARCH:
1. We hope you continue to wear your pussyhat loudly and proudly everywhere and anywhere for years to come. Be prepared to don your pussyhat for future marches and protests.
2. If you do not want your pussyhat after the march, please give it to a feminist who will wear it loudly and proudly. We know that there are many who are still in search of pussyhats.
3. The Michigan State University Museum is collecting stories, selfies, pussyhats, and other items related to Michigan women’s participation in the Women’s March in Washington, DC, and in Lansing, Michigan. Please consider donating your stuff and the stuff of your memories to the MSU Museum to document this historic event. Before you send anything, please contact Shirley Wajda, Curator of History, 517.432.4582 or (better) firstname.lastname@example.org. (It is possible that other collections will also be asking for artifacts related to the Women's March and Pussyhat Project)
4. Bring your pussyhat back to your hometown and give it to someone who needs it to keep warm. We have had many participants suggest women's shelters and cancer wards. Become more involved with the organization you are supporting.
Thank you for being part of Pussyhat Project! We are deeply grateful.
Her name is Jean Veloz. Here she is in a previous life.
Mesmerizing. Made by the Shire of Moora here's how they lay this road in the outback of Western Australia.
Finishing touches were recently accomplished on the $443,000 upgrade to Airstrip Road. Funded through Roads to Recovery Funding Program. A great job by our road works crew and Trevor Longman with the Shires drone for the footage. A total of 4.9kms were completed over a two day period.I love work like this. I could watch it for hours.
I turn on the tube and what do I see
A whole lotta people cryin' "Don't blame me"
They point their crooked little fingers at everybody else
Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves
Victim of this, victim of that
Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat
Get over it
Get over it
All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it
You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash
But you might feel better if they gave you some cash
The more I think about it, Old Billy was right
Let's kill all the lawyers, kill 'em tonight
You don't want to work; you want to live like a king
But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing
Get over it
Get over it
If you don't want to play, then you might as well split
Get over it, get over it
It's like going to confession every time I hear you speak
You're makin' the most of your losin' streak
Some call it sick, but I call it weak
You drag it around like a ball and chain
You wallow in the guilt; you wallow in the pain
You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown
Got your mind in the gutter, bringin' everybody down
Complain about the present and blame it on the past
I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass
Get over it
Get over it
All this bitchin' and moanin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it
At precisely 3 am on January 15, 2016, a leopard snapped a selfie.
The fact it did this is not unusual; wild animals take a surprising number of selfies. What’s noteworthy here is the leopard snapped its selfie in Mumbai.
The big cat was prowling Aarey Colony, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, when it tripped Nayan Khanolkar's camera. The cat looks almost as surprised as Khanolkhar was. “When I saw a picture of the leopard with a look of inquiry in the direction of the camera, I realized it was special,” he says.
Khanolkar, a native of Mumbai, began photographing urban leopards after one of the big cats killed a seven-year-old in 2013. He started in Aarey Colony, which sits at the edge of Sanjay Gandhi National Park -- which covers 40 square miles and hosts more than 1,000 species, including leopards. It isn’t unusual for them to explore adjacent neighborhoods.
Still, the animals are sly and surreptitious, and difficult to photograph. Khanolkar started his hunt by identifying several locations where leopards often pass through Aarey Colony. For this photo, he set up an infrared motion sensor in an alley, attached a Nikon D700 to a nearby building, and positioned three strobes at various points throughout the area. Khanolkar visited the spot every few days to check his trap. After four months of waiting, he captured a stunning leopard creeping through the scene.
Khanolkar hopes his photos prove leopards can live alongside humans, even in a thriving metropolis like Mumbai. After all, the leopards were there first.
The leopards come close to human settlements looking for food, says SGNP wildlife researcher and conservationist Krishna Tiwari. Around 90% of their diet consists of dogs, rodents and wild boar, with stray dogs - attracted by the garbage dumped on the edge of the park - accounting for 60%.
Mumbai’s leopards have generally coexisted peacefully with their human neighbours. But a spate of attacks a decade ago reinforced the notion of them as bloodthirsty man-eaters. Of the 176 reported attacks between 1991 to 2013, 84 occurred between 2002 and 2004. Nine people were killed by leopards in the month of June 2004 alone.
During this period, leopards rescued from other parts of Maharashtra state were being released in the SGNP. The authorities thought the park would be a haven for leopards, but instead the relocated cats were forced to fight for territory and food. “What we ended up having in the park was stressed-out predators,” says Athreya. “Highly territorial animals who were displaced and had to find food in an unfamiliar place.”
After the relocations stopped in 2006, the number of attacks decreased dramatically and there were no fatalities or injuries from leopard attacks in the Mumbai suburbs from 2009-11. Yet, since November 2011 there have been six fatalities; the last three deaths were all reported in Aarey Milk Colony, to the south of the SGNP. The most recent was in October 2013, when a seven-year-old boy was killed.
Tiwari, who grew up in a residential building just outside the SGNP, has worked in the park for almost two decades. The encroachment of the city today is unparalleled, he says. Illegal settlements - including nagars (settlements by non-indigenous people), padas (tribal settlements) and high-rise buildings - continue to swell in and around the park. More than 54 illegal settlements and two villages - with a combined population in excess of 250,000 - are inside the park itself.
This repays closer study to appreciate what was done.
Several days ago, a pilot friend sent me an email with a most interesting attachment. It seems that Jeppesen, the universally well-known publisher of aeronautical charts, had produced a special edition approach chart, detailing the Hudson Miracle Approach, as performed by the crew of Cactus 1549, the US Airways A320 that famously and successfully ditched in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. -- Aircrew Buzz
Via with a big HT toTrue North:
It is block of ice containing a drowned fox who broke through the thin ice of the Danube river cold. Fridingen, southern Germany, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017
Hummm, not a bad tune for a forthcoming inauguration.
I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh, we can beat them, forever and ever
Then we could be heroes, just for one day
In what is arguably his greatest vocal performance, Bowie tells a story of determined lovers meeting in the shadow of the Berlin Wall (a scenario inspired, it turned out, by Bowie's glimpse of Tony Visconti and his girlfriend embracing). The narrative is borne by Robert Fripp's otherworldly guitar work. "I went into the large control room with a Les Paul around my neck and a large Marshall stack, and the guitar sound is produced simply by feedback," Fripp recalled. Eno claims he knew "Heroes" would be a great song "from the very first moment those guys started playing it." Recording his vocals after the music had been laid down, Bowie testified that "Fripp's plaintive guitar cry really triggered something emotive in me."
Tony Visconti rigged up a system, a creative misuse of gating that may be termed "multi-latch gating",
of three microphones to capture the vocal, with one microphone nine inches from Bowie, one 20 feet away and one 50 feet away. As the music built, Bowie was forced to sing at increased volumes to overcome the gating effect, leading to an increasingly unhinged vocal performance as the song progresses. Each microphone is muted as the next one is triggered. "Bowie's performance thus grows in intensity precisely as ever more ambience infuses his delivery until, by the final verse, he has to shout just to be heard....The more Bowie shouts just to be heard, in fact, the further back in the mix Visconti's multi-latch system pushes his vocal tracks, creating a stark metaphor for the situation of Bowie's doomed lovers". "Heroes" (David Bowie song) - Wikipedia
With the untimely death of my car last month, I have been forced to shop for a new (used) car. For me shopping for a car is the closest thing I've had to a near-death experience since my real-death experience five years ago.
Buying a car is a skill that I do not have, in a realm I know nothing about, and which requires more money than I can easily spend, in order to get a car that will not collapse, crawl to the side of the road, wheeze, steam, gurgle, gasp, and die.
In short, I have become very weary about everything in the car-buying process. Still, I must persevere and make this all an extended Zen moment.
And in the course of looking about with my Zen"I have to get a car"Mind I stumbled over this ad from Volvo. It didn't sell me on the over-rated and over-priced Volvo, but I think it will amuse you just the same.
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
Once upon a time I was, for many years, senior editor at Penthouse Magazine. Towards the end of my tenure there the owner, Bob Guccione, found himself -- as the direct result of decades of his foolish business decisions -- about to lose the magazine and all he had. Guccione had been a big winner in the game of life but he played the endgame poorly and was about to become a big loser. This was, as so many in his losing situation always think, not the result of his poor decisions but always because of outside forces and "enemies." With Bob there were always enemies. Everywhere.
As he felt his empire slipping away, as he saw his carefully crafted world evaporating around him, Guccione became willing to do anything. Towards the end this included commissioning, buying, laying out and publishing, long photo features of naked Penthouse Pets peeing on themselves and on others as a kind of kinky foreplay in a virtual fornication festival.
The Penthouse staff -- as no doubt many many readers -- were revolted by this turn of the screwings, but Guccione was convinced that he had some sort of insight into the secret sexual desires of Americans so he published these repulsive photo features over and over again. Result? He lost his magazines, his money, his house, and ended sunk deep into penury.
Having lived through that period of Penthouse insanity I thought I had finally seen the last of losers using urination to somehow, someway, claw their way back into the winner's circle.
Alas, just when I thought I was out, the perverted progressive losers among us pull me back in. It seems they are trying to make the world believe in Trump and "Peegate."
Really? This seems to be the way Peegate worked:
1) An international business man who has spent decades in the rough and tumble world of real estate development and skyscraper construction and may be presumed to have some sophistication when it comes to wheeling and dealing with governments of all sorts throughout the world travels to
2) Moscow. Not Moscow, Idaho, but Moscow in Russia. That would be Moscow the capital of one of the most paranoid and intrusive governments in the world (Both now and for the 19th and 20th centuries.). It is a society and a government with a long history of...
3) Secret police and the clandestine surveillance of its own citizens and visitors to the extent that the US was digging bugs out of the walls of its own embassy in Moscow for decades. When he gets to Moscow he stays at...
4) The Moscow Ritz-Carlton in the “Presidential Suite.” Since such accommodations are typically only taken by the filthy rich and/or representatives of foreign governments such as, say, presidents. And then this sophisticated and reasonably intelligent billionaire real estate developer...
5) Assumes that such a suite in such a capitol city of such a government has no surveillance equipment at all installed in its rooms, bathrooms, closets, and -- most importantly -- bedrooms. He then asks the hotel staff to show him...
6) The bed in which Barack Obama and his wife slept in when they were in this same “Presidential Suite.” Upon being show the bed our businessman then...
7) Contacts two high-dollar Russian hookers (who would never, ever, have anything to do with the KGB or other intelligence organs of Russia) and instructs them to.... Wait for it....
8) Urinate on said bed in order to give said businessman some odd sort of thrill and...
9) Said businessman remains utterly positive no agency of the Russian state is running cameras and microphones from every possible angle in the master bedroom in a “Presidential Suite” in a top hotel in the capitol of Russia and...
10) The two damp hookers will never, ever, reveal a word about their golden shower in the Ritz Carleton’s “Presidential Suite.”
While I know that millions of morons are nodding like the drinking bird over the glass in their deep and abiding belief in this overflowing crock, I still find it hard to believe that there are smart people out there that really are this stupid. But of course they are not that stupid, not the smart ones. Instead they know this is a crock and yet they find they must drink from it lest their #NeverTrump fantasy world dissolve.
Sad. Their repetitive manic desperation now has foam flecking their lips and jowls as they dive down deep, and not for the last time, into this fuming septic tank of their own political sewage. Without even a snorkel. If they ever get out of the tank they will need a long, long golden shower.
[From My Back Pages]
It's Easter Sunday and we are two and a half years into the Iraq war. Good Friday evening was one of those nights when, in Southern California, the weather and the combine to create what are rightly called "balmy conditions." Balm, as in a kind of salve to the soul and the skin. The air is warm but not too warm. The skies are clear and the stars seem closer. My wife and I had just seen some current comic book confection at one of the 20 screen multiplexes that are so numerous in this area that you can see the same movies 15 times within a ten mile radius.
We sat by a large sandstone and marble fountain in the stone circle between the vast theater and the vaster parking lot. It was date night and the beginning of Spring Break for the schools of Orange County. All around us kids from 11 to 18 were whooping and laughing and forming clusters of friends. They were dressed according to the upscale Goth-Surfer/Balkan Refugee dress-code common to the kid culture here on the coast. Most were too young to have tattoos or piercing, but you could see some were already planning where those lifestyle statements would go. They were slim, energetic and heedless of the future. In short, they were just reasonably rich kids in America in 2003.
We are two and a half years into the war, but the war is not and will probably never be these kids' concern. It isn't even something they consider outside of, perhaps, a few classroom exercises of dubious intent or merit. There is no reason they should consider war, nor do I wish that upon them. It isn't, in any real sense, their war. War isn't being asked of us or the affluent kids of Orange County, nor does it seem likely to be. Besides, war isn't what they're into.
They're into creating their own layer on top of our culture of cool. Their variation would be, as these things are these days, a kind of slap-dash cultural collage. It would have a bit of the Beatnik, a Hint of the hippy, a shred of the Skateboarder, an ounce of Outlaw, a portion of Punk, a hunk of Hip-Hop, and, because we were on the California coast, more than a soupcon of Surfer. It would be a melange of the old and outdated that would assert it was unique and brand new. When they were done cooking up their "culture of cool" they would all agree among themselves, "Ain't it cool?"
Their parents, as parents now do, would sigh and pour another drink or drop another Ambien, and hope that their children would get through this phase without a drug arrest, a school suspension, a permanent piercing, or a lethal accident on the highways or in the ocean. It was all they asked of them. We were two and a half years into the war and none of the kids of Orange County would fight in it unless they asked for it. All of the parents in Orange County knew their kids were crazy. After all, they were teenagers in high school. Few thought any of their kids were that crazy.
Less than 20 miles south of where we sat last Friday, there was another kind of youth culture. I saw it for a day last January. You don't see it very often around here because it doesn't hang out at the malls. You can't see it from the freeways because its center is far back in the hills. It has its own malls and towns and sporting and educational complexes. It doesn't deal in "the culture of cool." It deals in the culture of carnage. It's the Camp Pendelton Marine Base.
There are many young people here, some the same age as the kids at the malls to the north, but none of these young people are kids. There's something about daily training with tanks, rifles, heavy machine guns and artillery that puts your childhood as far behind you as the kids at the malls have their childhood still in front of them. Instead of worrying if their dad is going to pay for the new mag-chrome rims for their Escalade, this youth culture worries about the state of readiness of their Apache attack helicopters.
The culture of Camp Pendelton isn't cool in the way political fundraisers today feature hip-hop groups and background music from the golden age of Fleetwood Mac. The culture here despises the culture of cool. The culture here is composed of deeper, abiding and more fundamental things: God, Country and The Corps. There are a lot of people in America and elsewhere that would like nothing better than to deconstruct this culture into oblivion, but, as courageous as they might be in proclaiming this elsewhere, they don't seem to be showing up at the gates or on the grounds of Camp Pendleton to press the issue. They wouldn't because, according to their worldview that arises from spending decades as adolescents, the Marines are just so uncool. Aren't they?
The young men and women that come to this culture do not, we are told, come in the main from the affluent suburbs of America. They come from the ghettos and the working class parts of the country. They come to get a leg up and a ticket out of their origins. They come because they see the Marines as either a career or a means to an education that leads to a career. Most have had little given to them because they come from families with little to give. Some come to prove themselves. Some come because members of their family came before. Some come because the only other path open to them led to a cell. Some even come out of a deep faith and a deeper sense of duty. Not all that come will be accepted, but none come because it is cool. Before they came they too were once kids in America. They got the big and repeated message that the military in America these days is uncool. They knew it was uncool and they came anyway. Some because they had no other choice. Many because they didn't care about being cool if being cool meant being a kid forever.
There aren't many rich Orange County mall rats that come to the Marines out of high school. Rich kids no longer have this calling. Instead they wander on in their extended childhood though college. Then they drift into the arena where all they will have will be a six-figure income and a few "great moments at work." They will learn, if they do not already know, how to play golf and how to drive themselves deep into "middle management." In time, they will form one or two or more families in one or two or more cities or suburbs. Their roots will be shallow, but they will take lots of interesting two-week vacations to comfortable enclaves in Europe or pacified third-world countries. Towards the end, they'll spend a lot on cruise ships where they will be treated 'like royalty.' They'll acquire real estate and hope for "a nice appreciation ride." They will have little to show that they existed but that will be all right. They will use the word 'cool' in conversation and evaluation well into their seventh decade. One of the central social anxieties of their lives will be being discovered being or doing something that their peers will say is "uncool."
In short, they will be such cool Americans that, two and a half years into a war, nothing will be asked of them. That would be, you see, very uncool.
Twenty miles south at Camp Pendelton, everything is being asked of the Americans there. It is asked for in Iraq daily and paid there daily. Our very cool media's job is clear. It is to tell us in hundreds of big and little ways daily of how uncool it is to ask everything of someone. Our media is very cool indeed.
Our media is by default not a "liberal media," but a melange of many businesses and institutions that are staffed by generations of the coolest of the cool in our aging culture of cool. Our media, as every MTV-addled mall rat learns by age 5, is where the really cool jobs are. Rock star or record producer, movie star or director, reporter, anchorman, editor, publisher, video-game designer, web-monkey, DJ, photographer, pundit, columnist -- the positions go on and on and everybody knows, EVERYBODY knows, that the media's where the cool people are.
If you have a job in the media you go to the cool parties. You live in the cool towns driving the cool cars. You eat the cool foods in the cool restaurants where everybody knows your name and you get the cool table next to what passes for this week's cool celebrity du jour. You subscribe to the cool magazines and if you haven't had your picture in one yet, your turn is on the way. You have the cool summer place. Your haircut is cool. Your computer is cool. Your friends are cool. Even your dog is cool. You wear the cool clothes, and you are absolutely up-to-the-nanosecond on what is cool now and what will be cooler tomorrow. And you also know that that which is not of the culture of cool is uncool.
What is uncool today, two and a half years into the war, is, of course, the war. War's been uncool to these eternal cool kids and their kids since about 1962 and, except for a brief six month period after September 11, 2001, war is uncool now. War's uncool because, well, it is "unhealthy for children and other living things" goes the party line in the culture of cool. This war is especially uncool because it is being run by uncool people and the uncoolest President ever. But really, war is uncool because it is one of the big things that threatens to undo all the great parties and smooth lifestyles promised and delivered by the media-made culture of cool. And how does war threaten this? War, real war, actually asks something of the people of a nation as a whole people. It asks them to sacrifice their blood and their treasure and their cool attitudes and their endless summers. It asks, in the parlance of the Marine Corps, that "all give some and that some give all."
The American culture of cool has become a nation apart, an alternate-America that looks to the real America as merely some mechanism set up to deliver the many features and benefits of America to the culture of cool without question, by divine right of media. This culture is not into giving back anything they have taken from the culture at large. The culture of cool is not a giving culture, it is an taking culture. Anything it chooses to have is taken in and used to improve the lot of those within the culture of cool. That which is not cool it seeks to either use or destroy depending on whether or not it advances the culture of cool and the lifestyles of those that exist within it. It sees itself as the real soul and real intelligence of America, even as it actually rides on the broad shoulders of America like some strangling old man of the sea that, once taken up, refuses to get down. It sees itself as the engine responsible for making the culture of America continually new, even as it only recycles one empty cultural container after another through the battered green bins of its rigid internal codes and fashions to pop them out as 'new, improved and even more impossibly hip.'
Regardless of the shiny gift wrap of the cool advertising and marketing agencies that have taken to spotwelding vintage rock and roll and the latest pop or sports sensation's face onto their shabby garage sale goods, we seldom see, hear, or read anything today that is not either a remake, a sequel, or an allusion to the cool things of yesteryear. The same holds true for the politics of cool. This is confirmed in a brief review of the lamentable Democratic primaries of this year. During the months of this excruciating ritual, what was once a proud and progressive party offered up nearly a dozen cardboard candidates. When it was all over, the party chose the one candidate that sounded the most like, looked the most like, and sported the haircut and even the initials of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Camelot Redux because JFK was, as the culture of cool constantly reminds us, the coolest President ever.
John F. Kerry is, in many ways, the perfect candidate for today's graying culture of cool. He snowboards at sixty. How cool is that? He goes to great parties with hip-hop stars. Too cool. He's got lots of money that he didn't earn. So cool. He can hold opposite positions on difficult issues and lie about it with a straight face. Very cool way of getting out of middle management into upper management. He can fight in a war and throw another man's medals away. Cool career move. He can promise 10 million jobs to the 8 million unemployed. Super cool to make more jobs than workers. If he can tax those jobs that have no workers, he can probably cool out the deficit. He can talk to and cajole the alienated country of France into amour encore. This is extremely cool since it makes renting summer villas in France and trips to Paris acceptable again. Besides France is the coolest country in Europe as every member of the culture of cool will attest. His Africa-born white wife is so cool she calls herself an "African-American." Most of all, Kerry is cool because he thinks the war is uncool and is saying so in a cool kind of way. Even more than that, the members of the culture of cool know that Kerry will never ask anything of them. And the culture of cool is not a giving culture, but a taking one. If Kerry would only learn to play the saxophone he would be cooler than JFK.
Yesterday I saw a photograph fresh from the war in Iraq. There are many photographs from Iraq these days. It's an uncool country in an uncool part of the world where American soldiers are fighting and dying to cool it out. It's uncool to be a soldier there, but it is very cool to be a photographer, so we have a lot of photographers and a lot of photographs. Some taken by being on call to and hanging out with the people who are killing Americans. How cool is that?
The photograph was taken in a hanger at a military base. It shows a group of young, uncool American Marines kneeling in a tight circle on the ground in prayer. Prayer. How totally uncool.
When you look closer at the photograph you notice that extending out from within the circle of kneeling and praying Marines are the legs of a dying or dead comrade in arms. Probably a very young comrade, not too distant in age from the kids laughing and playing in front of the multiplex on a balmy night in Orange County a world away.
How uncool this man was to die for his country and his comrades. How uncool is the effort to liberate a country mired in the morass of the middle ages, when you could just stay home and play video games. How uncool to take the war to an enemy that has sworn to kill Americans wholesale and has done so. How very, very uncool.
Now this Marine will never have a shot at working in the mail room of a movie studio, a record company, or a publishing house. All this Marine has now as he recedes into death are the prayers of those Marines who trained and fought beside him. That and a military funeral and a folded flag given to his family. Prayers. Funerals. Folded flags. These things are very uncool as the media-made captions on these photographs will seek to remind you. Very uncool.
At the same time that this Marine lay dying in Iraq, the current senior spokesman for the Democratic Party, Senator Ted Kennedy (a man whose cool, credibility and courage are equal in measure) was busy condemning the effort that cost this uncool Marine his life by waving the bloody shirt of Vietnam under the nose of the nation. His words and image were duly broadcast across America by all his life-long compatriots in the culture of cool. It's a shirt faded and frayed by many decades of constant handling, wringing and waving, but the bloody shirt of Vietnam has a lot of buttons, patches, fringe, and embroidered flowers on it. It's vintage clothing. Ain't it cool?
“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.”
― William Shakespeare, Othello
Three days ago nearly anybody in America who was asked, "What do you think of Meryl Streep?" would have responded with either some level of positive admiration or a shrug that said, 'She's okay but I really don't think much about her between movies, and not all that much even then.'
Three days ago Streep had reached peak reputation in her chosen field in America. She was honored by her profession and well thought of by the vast majority of her fellow citizens. Then in five minutes at one of the auto-erotic award shows so beloved by her profession she destroyed her reputation all by herself in a fit of pre-Trump hysteria which was more like a post-menopausal hot flash than a statement of any seriousness. Her eructation of wet blather was lauded by one sarcastic commenter as "Meryl Streep openly expressing a mainstream media-approved political opinion is literally the bravest thing a woman has ever done"
This was an unforced error of major proportions; one that will have a lasting and debilitating effect on what's left of Streep's "career."
In one evening Streep has alienated, for life, much more than half the country. Significantly more. Consider that before the speech Streep's political disease was effectively hidden from most of the nation. This is not to say it was not known and could not be known to anyone who took the time to dig her smarmy notions and Hillary donations out of her back pages, but only to say that to the vast majority of us it really didn't make any difference. Now that she has dragged the fetid corpse of her politics out into the light, it is not only those described by Streep as the racist - knuckle - draggin' - their - lives - away clods right out of the fascist left's book of worn-out cliches that loathe her, but many others who now have a negative impression of her for the first time in her career.
By opening her carefully trained mouth to preen before her peers Streep has poured gasoline over her reputation, flicked her Bic lips, and burnt her reputation to the ground. From this point on most people will have a lingering question mark when it comes to deciding whether or not to see any of her films.
Streep, in her thirst to pump out one more iteration of "I stuck in my thumb and pulled out a Trump plum and said, 'What a good girl am I' ," has 'filched from herself her good name.' Her name, such as it was, will never be the same. Streep's moved herself from the realm of yet another of America's cinema sweethearts into the realm of the America-hating, citizen-despising, over-privileged infected media crones who seek to normalize the perverted.
Since the election there has been a steady stream of America hate spewing out of Hollywood. There will be more as the Trump years roll relentlessly over the PC cultists of the left. The clever will step to the side and continue to enjoy a healthy box office. The politically demented will, like Streep, continue to spew out their hate to a steadily diminishing audience. The rest of us will simply flush Streep and her ilk out of out minds and cares.
Streep's precious "Lifetime Achievement Award" will always carry, like the bad stats in baseball, an asterix next to it.
The Safety Pin came into its own right after the election. Now it is proving, not for the first time, that "There's a [white] sucker born every minute."
It was worn by guilt-ridden white liberals who wanted to show their friends of color that they weren’t just ordinary white people… they were white people who cared. Or something.
But two Black Lives Matter activists decided that it wasn’t enough for white people to just wear a little diaper pin poked through your clothes. They needed to give money.
So Leslie Mac and Marissa Jenae Johnson created a “Safety Pin Box” so white people could give money. To them.
And even better: You can give money to them every month. As little as $25 per month and as much as $100.
“We believe giving Black people your money is essential to being a useful ally,” they proclaim on their FAQ page. They sure do! By “Black people” they mean them. They’re not a charity, they’re a business, they claim.
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!
The true believers keep a comin'
But the train done gone.
This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.
There are men who can't be bought.
The fireborn are at home in fire.
The stars make no noise,
You can't hinder the wind from blowing.
Time is a great teacher.
Who can live without hope?
In the darkness with a great bundle of grief
the people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people
"Where to? what next?"
- - Carl Sandburg: The People Yes (excerpt)
Some say that snow is sleep. I say
That snow is but the rest
Of clouds upon earth's surface laid
To soothe the forest's breast,
To calm the souls that linger there
Beneath an age of leaf
That hides within its brindle flesh
Whole galaxies of seed.
Some say that snow is chill. I say
That snow is but a shawl
Draped over stones of silence,
That such silence shelter all.
And in such silence seal within
The brook beneath the glass,
That when the spring shall set it free
All dreams to sea shall pass.
Some say that snow is death. I say
That snow is but the prayer
Said when soul in winter's glade
Calls the body from its lair,
To stand within the last of light,
Becoming less than air,
To leave behind what came before
In the shadows dawn prepares.
In case you've wondered how much four barrels of gin cost in the U.S. in 1836
I have provided the following list of What Stuff Cost, found tucked away in a book-keeping section of a very well used pocket-sized copy ofRoswell C. Smith's Practical and Mental Arithmetic on a New Plan..., which was published in Hartford in 1836. The answer to the gin question is $75, and if a barrel meant 42 gallons back then as it does now then the gin would cost about 60 cents a gallon. That of course sounds like a tiny price, but compared to what? That 60 cents would be about two-thirds of a day's wages for the average non-farm white male worker (actually between 50 cents and $1.00), while girl/women textile workers in Lowell Mass worked for about $3-4 per six day week. So if you considered working for most of theday in exchange for a bottle of (average, nothing special) gin, then it would seem a little on the expensive side. Or consider the prices of stuff as expensive or not based on a yearly salary of $300 or so and getting by on about a dollar a day.
Many varieties of food and drink in this imaginary store's stock would have come in barrels (abbreviated "bbl"): gin, vinegar, brandy, pork, and beef (probably salted). Rum and molasses were tallied in hogsheads ("hhd"), a standard measure of volume usually used for alcoholic beverages.
This hypothetical clerk also stocked cloth, hats, shoes, axes, kettles, textbooks, and knives—all the items a 19th-century country clientele might have relied upon such a store to provide, in a time before widespread availability of mail-order goods.Via the Venerable JF Ptak Science Books
"One of the best things about 2016 for me was the way it gave the lie to the weaselish and wet aphorism – so often repeated by so many of our impeccably reasonable, sensible and balanced TV and newspaper pundits – that elections are “won in the centre ground.”
"This was the Belial philosophy that gave us, in the U.S., that hideous continuum from the Bushes and the Clintons to Obama; and in Britain, the grotesque and malign Third Way squishery that took us from Tony Blair through to his (self-admitted heir) David Cameron and beyond. (It’s also the mindset which invented the disgraceful, sell-out concept of “soft Brexit”.)
"No wonder so many of us had become so fed up with politics: no matter which party you voted for, whether the notionally left-wing one or the notionally right-wing one you still seemed to end up up with the same old vested interests, the same old liberal Establishment elite.
"Of course we should always despise the liberal-left because their philosophy is morally bankrupt, dangerous and wrong. But I sometimes think that the people we should despise most of all are the squishes who pretend to be on our side of the argument but forever betray our cause. Sometimes they do this by throwing the more outspoken among us to the wolves in order to signal how tolerant and virtuous they are; sometimes they do this by endorsing some fatuous liberal position in order to show their willingness to compromise.
"I call the latter approach the “dogshit yogurt fallacy.”
"If conservatives like fruit or honey in their yogurt and liberals prefer to eat it with dogshit, it is NOT a sensible accommodation – much as our centrist conservative columnists might wish it so – to say: “All right. How about we eat our yogurt with a little bit of both?” We need to understand, very clearly, that there are such things as right and wrong; and that, furthermore, it is always worth fighting to the bitter end for the right thing rather than accepting second best because a bunch of lawyers and politicians and hairdressers from Brazil and squishy newspaper columnists and other members of the liberal elite have told us that second best is the best we can hope for."
With Obama, at first he wanted me to copy a suit. I don't copy other's suits. They copy my suit. So, if he wants me to make something I have to measure. Next day he sends an email, "It will be a pleasure to meet you."
Greenfield was born on August 9, 1928 to a Jewish family in Pavlovo, a small village in what was then Czechoslovakia. At age 14, Greenfield was rounded up along with his father, mother, two sisters, brother and grandparents. All were brought to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Near the end of World War II, Greenfield was moved along with other Auschwitz prisoners to the Buchenwald concentration camp. In April 1945, the American army stormed the camp, and liberated its prisoners. As the troops passed through the camp, Greenfield stopped a young rabbi who was serving as a U.S. Army chaplain and asked him, "where was God?". The rabbi, Hershel Schaecter, later told Greenfield that he had never forgotten the question. Later, General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived to supervise the liberation, and Greenfield shook his hand; coincidentally, standing next to Greenfield at the time was Elie Wiesel, who would later become famous writing about his time in the concentration camps.
Soon after the liberation, Greenfield and another teenage survivor set out to kill the wife of the mayor, who had previously had Greenfield beaten for trying to eat food intended for her pet rabbits. When they found her, she was carrying her newborn baby, and Greenfield relented; he has described that moment as when he "became human again".
Greenfield spent the next two years in Europe, looking for his remaining immediate family, who unbeknownst to him had all been killed. His father was killed one week before his camp was liberated. In 1947, at the age of 19, he boarded a ship to the United States, and stayed with wealthy relatives in Baltimore. Soon afterward, he moved to New York City, where an aunt of his lived.
In 1947, a fellow Czech immigrant guided him to GGG Clothing, a clothing manufacturer in the East Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he was hired as a "floor boy". Over the next decade, his tailoring skills and reputation grew. His first major client, in the early 1950s, was General Eisenhower, then preparing to run for the presidency.In 1977, Greenfield bought GGG Clothing, and renamed it to Martin Greenfield Clothiers. The company would grow from six employees at the time to 117 by 2010.
Among Greenfield's list of clients are U.S. presidents Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford and Barack Obama; General Colin Powell, actor Paul Newman, Cardinal Edward Egan, athlete Patrick Ewing and New York City political figures Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly. -- - - La Wik
If you, like me, have ever wanted to live off the grid, then the up for auction Utah Cliff House near Moab, Utah is the place for you. Lord knows that if I had the money I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
Located just 20 minutes outside Monticello, Utah in Montezuma Canyon, Cliff Haven is rich in Anasazi history with artifacts throughout the property. Watch the video above to get the full details and see how this cliff house is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.
This property includes 12 acres, a garage, room for expansion and more. There’s wifi and phone line on the property so you can stay connected, work from home, keep in touch with family and let Amazon deliver to your front door.
Property Size: 2,100 sq ft
Property Lot Size: 12 acres
Year Built: 1986
Garage Size: 900 sq ft
Communism is alive and well on the streets of Seattle....
Illustration by RapierWitt
THESE DAYS its not often that you see a member of the Despairing Classes being seduced by classic Communism on a city street, but it does happen.
Sidewalk Snapshot: It's a warm Spring evening on Pine Street in Seattle. Lengthening shadows and brightening light brings everything into sharp relief including the random collection of lay-abouts, short-order poets, tattoo artistes, and students a decade between degrees that take up the tables outside the Cafe Laddro on Capitol Hill.
Capitol Hill is one of those neighborhoods in Seattle that compiles a mainstream lifestyle out of alternatives. Even though it is indeed a hill, it has suspended the normal laws of gravity and everything loose in Seattle rolls up to the top of it. That includes, on this evening, me.
I'm stepping out of your "one-every-block" Seattle espresso slop shop with my machiatto when I notice the odd couple at the table just outside the door. That's not too odd since odd couples, like spiked bright blue hair, are pretty much the norm on Capitol Hill. I notice them at first because the youngest is wearing a Motorhead t-shirt with the mantra "Everything Louder Than Everything Else" on it in that faux German Black gothic font that got old when Auschwitz was in flower, and so had to be made new again back when heavy-metal was a fresh idea.
Glancing over Motorhead's shoulder I note that the man across from him is giving him an ideological lap-dance complete with a whole raft of tracts, papers and books being brought out and waved about and placed, with a muffled thwang, one after the other on the thin black metal of the table: Trotsky's "Marxism and Terrorism," (thwang!); the ever-popular Marx and Engels "Communist Manifesto," (thwang!); Lenin's greatest hit "What Is To Be Done?," (thwang!), Gramsci's "Prison Notebooks," (thunk!), Zinn's "People's History of the United States,"(clunk!).
One by one, they come out of the worn back pack and pile up on the table. All in all, a larger pile of ideological dung would be hard to imagine, and harder to handle even with meat hooks and thick rubber gloves.
The man making his pile of "roadmaps to a more perfect world" is quite a bit older than Motorhead with a slim, somewhat furtive look to him. There's the vibe coming off him that you sometimes sense when someone old is trying to pick up somebody far too young for him.
In the intense light of the evening, you can see a faint cloud of dust motes rising from him as he keeps slapping the tracts down. Greying hair in moist ringlets covers his head except for a monk's tonsure on the back of his skull. He's got a mustache and a beard that, with a little care, could be brought to a Van Dyke point. He sports small round rimmed glasses in front of thin blue eyes. His eyes, although they never waver from his prey, carry within them a permanent 1,000 yard stare -- as if he's always looking outside of the present moment at something in the distance that never gets nearer. Overall the face reminds one, as these faces so often do, of a watered down Leon Trotsky, the Christ of Communism, crucified with an ice axe but still twitching in his tomb.
Trotsky is resurrect this evening on Capitol Hill though, and I linger at the table next to them writing down a few notes about their conversation. Except it is not exactly a conversation so much as a monologue as my Trotsky keeps, in smiling and soft tones, returning to the subject at hand which is the inevitable collapse of the evil American Empire ("Long past its expiry date..."), and the inevitable rise of world Socialism ("Everyone will have more than enough, but nobody will have it all.")
Trotsky's sporting, as all good Trotskys must, a collection of slogan buttons and a sheaf of free tracts and newspapers. The button that is the largest is pinned to his faded plaid flannel shirt and proclaims him to be a member in good standing of the ISO (International Socialist Organization, good Latter-Day Trotskyites all. )
He passes the tracts and newspapers over to his intended, "Free, all free," and points out the more salient injustices they outline: eternal racism, eternal slavery of women, eternal repression of the working man by capitalists, eternal imperialism by the United States -- the whole catastrophe. He underscores that the only escape is through the ever-imminent but forever delayed Rapture of the Left, The Revolution.
After several minutes of his soft chants, Motorhead is nodding like the drinking bird over the glass. He's looking a bit dazed. I wonder if Trotsky has slipped a roofy into Motorhead's machiatto and is just waiting for it to kick in.
Trotsky's tales are the sad sotto voce sagas that underscore all the old nightmares of the Gulag, the Killing Fields, and every other massacre done in the name of the Marxist Utopia. It's a litany proving, once again, that some lies lodge so deep in man's hopes they will not die, no matter the murders they require to live.
Today's fresh lie is that if only Motorhead will attend the "event" tomorrow, Trotsky will be pleased to take him to the exclusive "Cadre" meeting that follows so he can meet the "Comrade of Honor," one Ahmed Shawki.
In soft tones salted with a quick twinkling smile that comes and goes like the red queen in three-card monte, Trotsky continues his spiel, his seduction. Motorhead is "obviously a man of no little intelligence" -- even if his five facial piercings (ears, left eyebrow, lip stud and nose-ring) might make one wonder.
Motorhead "needs to live in a system where social justice is the rule for all, not just the rich." Given Motorhead's ripped black jeans, worn black boots and general air of someone not likely to be hired by any business whose work involves meeting the public, this is probably more true than either of them realize. Motorhead nods again to this last proposition, and observes that he yearns for a social order that is more just to his lifestyle than can easily be found outside the subcultural hamlets of Seattle.
Much has been made of Hannah Arendt's phrase, "The banality of evil," and I suppose I'm witnessing a small satori of that kind here on the sidewalks of Seattle. But it seems to me to be a more insidious event than that.
After all, there's nothing evil in speech that argues for ideas that have proven, without exception, to be evil. It is, after all, only speech and the strength of the American system is to protect all forms of speech, especially the idle blather of a coffee house revolutionary. There's nothing, really nothing, in this overheard conversation that threatens the existence of the United States. The mere fact that it can be had, five years into the First Terrorist War, underscores just how strong this nation adherence to its founding principles remains. Here on Capitol Hill dissent of even the most egregious sort, is not only tolerated but celebrated.
The conversation bothers me at the same time it fascinates me. It strikes me that what I am auditing is not so much "the banality of evil," but "the banality of sedition;" a banality we see acted out daily on our television screens and on the op-ed pages of our newspapers.
The banality of sedition is now so well established that it is, well, banal and goes forward without a great deal of remark or trouble. In the last few years, the phrase that has arisen to describe this phenomenon is "The Culture of Treason." I'm not sure who originated the phrase, but its use is proliferating across the Internet for the reason that all such phrases proliferate when the time is ripe; it somehow rings true.
Of late, it iseems that large sections of the better educated and the most privileged among us have decided that the Constitution is, after all, a suicide pact and have determined to preach this death gospel to us all:
"This way to the gas, ladies and gentlemen. Step right up into the van carrying you all away into the perfect freedom of the perfect world. Don't worry about those canisters of gas dropping in through the top. It's just to delouse you of your old, traditional ideas of what being an American is all about.
"In just a few painless minutes you'll all be, as we are now, citizens of the world. And in that world to which we are all going you'll forget the old dream of America. You'll forget, at the last, everything that was good about America. You'll also forget the true and the beautiful. In the end, you'll forget about God himself.
"All those old dreams and visions will fade into a gray sameness. And then you'll all be, at the last, perfect citizens of our brave new world. We've breathed deeply of this gas before you and find it is the perfect blend of platitudes, freshly roasted, for the killing of your soul. After all, you weren't using it much. So step right up. First ride's free."
The long evening light was fading down into a warm dusk outside the coffee shop on Capitol Hill. Motorhead, in a moment of awakening, said, "Well, I should probably get grocery shopping."
Having gotten Motorhead's assent to attend the "event," Trotsky the Comrade becomes Trotsky the Closer and skins twenty bucks out of Motorhead's wallet for Gramsci's "Prison Notebooks" ($14.95 at Amazon). The tracts and, of course, the newspaper are free. Such a deal.
The threadbare backpack is repacked with Trotsky's portable library. He and Motorhead set off up the hill and, turning the corner, move out of sight.
I fold up the scrap of paper on the back of which I've made my notes of their meeting. The front side invites all and sundry to a "Solidarity Gathering" at the 45th Street Overpass: "We Support the Rape Survivor at Duke... and the Countless Others Everywhere. Come and join us in solidarity to bear witness to this terrorism against women." I make a mental note to, somehow, manage to be elsewhere.
Walking back to the Century Ballroom, I notice a large flyer that announces the "event" that Motorhead has agreed to attend. Ahmed Shawki, editor of the International Socialist Review, will speak, it seems, on "Black Liberation and Socialism."
Shaki's image dominates the flyer and looks, for all the world, like a Malcom X returned to life. The look is, of course, a carefully studied one since black socialist saints are hard to come by these days.** The Clenched Fist logo is in the lower left hand corner of the flyer. There are other details but I have a hard time making them out. It is, I discover, hard to read a flyer that is lying in the gutter. Especially when the light has failed.
"I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;"