LW writes: One of the ways infrastructure gets built in the US is through local bond issues, whose interest payments are then basically exempt from federal tax for individual bond buyers. Places like Flint have much more serious problems than shifty bond issues, of course. But muni bonds are a way to keep the bridges from falling down here. Of course, scams are possible. For instance, Chicago's schools just issued 30-year bonds to pay for ongoing operating expenses.
Heebie's take: As long as we're talking state budgets, how about that clusterfuck in Louisiana?
Nick S. writes: I'm curious to hear about other people's reactions to Beyoncé's new single. When I first watched the video my response was, "there's a lot going on here, and I'm not the target audience, and not really capable of trying to unpack it." So I've been reading some of the extensive commentary on it with interest.
[Beyoncé] wants us to know -- more than ever -- that she's still grounded, she's paying attention and still a little hood. I think she wants us to know that even though she's headlining a mainstream event like the Super Bowl, she has opinions and isn't afraid to share them, nor is she afraid to do it on a national and global scale.
It's easy to think that releasing a video is a soft way to make such a strong statement, but Bey has always been about using striking visuals, clever lyrics and high-impact narratives to express her point of view.Beyoncé's capitalism, masquerading as radical change:
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I can't buy into the hype. I am openly anti-Bey. I don't find her music to be particularly transcendent, nor do I view her as representation of my black femininity. For me, her brand of feminism (and the brand of feminism assigned to her identity as a pop icon) is severely limited, and her latest activism via "Formation" feels more like strategic consumerist dramatism rather than empowerment. Essentially, aside from its forthright celebration of blackness, "Formation," much like the star behind it, is a construction tailored for the masses. It is a message catering to a demographic willing to not only invest their dollars but also their political ethos in a celebrity.On 'Jackson Five Nostrils,' Creole vs. 'Negro' and Beefing Over Beyoncé's 'Formation':
In one of those conversations, a girlfriend said something to me that forced me to check myself. We were talking about all of the issues and angles that folks were engaging online--from capitalism to appropriation to resistance to the triggering of Hurricane Katrina survivors. I noted that no one was engaging Beyoncé's spoken and unspoken statements about identity and skin-color politics. My friend said, "We are so two-faced when it comes to colorism."
I've quoted a couple of negative reactions because I think they're important. But, overall, they make me think that the video is worth talking about and taking seriously as an interesting bit of pop culture.
Heebie's take: I love the song and the video! Perhaps I'm not the closest reader of the intricacies of black New Orleans culture, though.
There's probably significant truth in the second quote. The third author is probably right, too, but it's a stretch to hold Beyonce accountable for that high-resolution nuance.
We should probably be talking about Mt. St. Mary's again. I mean, what the utter fuck - they surveyed students to find out who has emotional distress/depression/etc and learning disabilities, with the express (cackingly-evil) purpose of getting those students dismissed (drowning the bunnies) and thus improve their retention rates?! And then tenured professors are fired for protesting?
h/t J, Robot
I'm out! Time to catch up on the internet!
1. The one-witness rule is a weird, weird thing. I agreed to it (implicitly) with the internal reasoning that mostly it was vacuously true, and second that I could conceivably imagine an 11 year old girl accusing an adult of rape, and finding her convincing beyond a reasonable doubt.
2. The charge was 3 counts of aggravated assault (threatening with a machete) and we found the defendant not guilty on all charges. I personally would have found him guilty, but I'm okay erring on the side of not guilty. The fact that so many of my fellow jurors had a reasonable doubt was convincing to me. The weakest point to me was whether the state had proved that the defendant had a duty to retreat. I thought they proved it, though.
E. Messily passes along this utter mess.
Remember, this is a good week to submit guest posts! My electronic devices keep being taken away.
E. Messily writes: Good thing the cops showed up! Otherwise he might have killed himself. Also the media is having pronoun trouble. Also this Chicago cop is suing the estate of the person he killed, for emotional distress.
Heebie's take: The judge is bringing us all strudel this morning. Isn't that nice of him?
Nick S writes: Sort of trivial but something other people might enjoy, Wil Wheaton compiling the most interesting parts of an, "I was a child star in the 80s. AMA." that he did.
Last year I read his memoir Just A Geek, and enjoyed it. The quality of the writing wasn't exceptional, but the story he told of himself, in his 30s, gradually realizing that he had to give up his dream of being a full-time professional actor, was interesting and felt very honest (and he does seem like a genuine geek). The linked post covers some of that.
I spent over a decade after I quit Star Trek regretting it and wondering what could have been. I created a demon called Prove To Everyone That Quitting Star Trek Wasn't A Mistake who controlled my life. It was really tough. A large part of the narrative spine of my autobiography Just A Geek is about that.
But getting to put on Wesley's face and hair and sideburns and uniform, and getting to go back to the set, surrounded by people I loved, but felt ashamed to be around, and actually appreciate it, was a huge huge huge thing for me.
I haven't seen the thing Mac did where he plays an adult Kevin, but I wonder if he experienced a similar catharsis, being able to own that character and let it go on his own terms, the way I did with Wesley.
Heebie's take: This is a good week for guest posts!