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Guest Post - Something positive

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.25.16

Lw writes: I really liked this portrait of Alison Bechdel by Rita Lehrer, now in the National Portrait Gallery. Looking around at her other work I see a lot to like. Portraits, the depiction of a person's likeness, are a comfort to me. Portrait thread ? Not sure if this works or is interesting to others, maybe worth a try...

Heebie's take: It is nicely done, although not subtle.


 

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Measure twice

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.24.16

So, is the voter recount movement gaining credibility with any of you guys? In the sense that you're starting to believe that key parts of key states might have been hacked or fudged in Trump's favor? Or is it wishful thinking?


 

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Thanksfornothinggiving.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.24.16

Ugh, I don't have much of the spirit, especially given the violence at DAPL and the world in general. But just think how much worse we'll all feel in 20 years, and perhaps in 2036 we'll take some small dark comfort in the fact that this is an unbroken streak since 2008.


 

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A More Amusing Troll, For A More Civilized Age

Posted by Ogged
on 11.23.16

Anyone remember Al, the conservative troll who always left the first comment on a bunch of liberal blogs? I wonder what he's up to these days. Probably enjoying his dacha in Nizhniy Novgorod.


 

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Guest Post - Le Guin

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.23.16

Mossy Character writes: Ursula Le Guin on the election. I'm not sure I agree with everything, but stuff to think about (I'm totally cherry-picking, these don't fully represent her views):

I'm looking for a place to stand, or a way to go, where the behavior of those I oppose will not control my behavior.
[...]
The election of 2016 was one of the battles of the American Civil War. The Trump voters knew it, if we didn't, and they won it. Their victory helps me see where my own thinking has been at fault.
[...]
Refusing to engage an aggressor on his terms, standing ground, holding firm, is not aggression -- though the aggressive opponent will always declare that it is.
[...]
The position of the reactionary is not that of the agent, but that of the victim. The reactionary tends always toward paranoia, seeing himself as the obsessive object of vast malevolent forces and entities, fearing enemies everywhere, in anyone he doesn't understand and can't control, in every foreigner, in his own government.
Many contemporary Republicans have permanently assumed the position of victim, which is why their party has no positive agenda, and why they whine so much.
[...]
The flow of a river is a model for me of courage that can keep me going [...] A courage that is compliant by choice and uses force only when compelled, always seeking the best way, the easiest way, but if not finding any easy way still, always, going on.
[...]
Water goes, as Lao Tzu says, to the lowest places, vile places, accepts contamination, accepts foulness, and yet comes through again always as itself, pure, cleansed, and cleansing.
My unoriginal spin:
    1. 1. The defensive crouch from Reagan onward is negative policy, allowing Republicans to control behavior.
      2. I suggest Trump does have a positive agenda, however incoherent, and this is why he crushed the establishment.
      3a. Democrats need a simple, positive story. Tritely, I suggest Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, focusing on freedom from want and fear.
      3b. One can say, correctly, that the Democrats do have a positive story; but it isn't simple, and it isn't working.
      4. Force at this point is compelled. I'm taking 'force' here as relentless ugly partisanship, not violence.
      5. Humans aren't water, and I doubt anyone will come out of this clean or cleansing.
  • Heebie's take: I feel like I need to read up on some organizational psychology.


     

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    Bed of Nails Syndrome

    Posted by Heebie-Geebie
    on 11.22.16

    Imagine going back even one year in the past and showing this article to people.

    - Ffej, on the white nationalism article yesterday.

    I've been struggling to put my finger on something, about fatigue from the barrage of fucked-upped-Trumpness. That if you were talking to someone who was not feeling the crisis, you would never be able to convince them that there is a crisis, because it sounds too far-fetched. The mere fact that you're claiming 30 insane things happened in seven days sounds like you're insulting the other person for not paying attention - it's just not credible.

    I think Dan Rather articulated it well:

    Many supporters of Hillary Clinton wonder why Donald Trump wasn't undone by the sheer number of different outbursts and scandals during the campaign - any one of which, we often heard, would have sunk a normal presidential candidate. And now many of those fears have seemingly metastasized since the election.
    Let me call it the "bed of nails" syndrome. The reason why someone can lie on a bed of nails without getting hurt is because if the nails are close and numerous enough than the pressure is dispersed and the skin is not punctured. (For the opposite of that effect see Clinton and her emails).

    It's the sheer number of scandals that makes it impossible to focus a society's attention.

    The rest of Rather's post from FB is under the jump:

    The lesson has tremendous implications for Democrats as they seek to resist the worst of Trump's ideas, tendencies and instincts, to prevent the country from being swept away in a tidal wave of Trumpism. Already on the front pages there is a menu of possible targets - the extreme cabinet picks, the intemperate Tweets, the attacks on a free press, the ties to Russia, the potential gutting of Medicare, and on and on. It is a replay in many ways of the campaign - with similar strategic pitfalls.
    When I covered Martin Luther King, Jr. during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, there was also a smorgasbord of targets - bigotry, institutional and often violent racism, denial of Constitutional rights such as the vote-- that were widespread, nearly everywhere. I first met Dr. King in Albany, Georgia where he was frustrated because the local police chief mostly avoided direct confrontation and thwarted efforts to have vivid, informative scenes brought to front-pages and television screens (getting any media coverage was still extremely difficult.) Albany wasn't a good battle field. But Dr. King was learning, an improving field marshall with able lieutenants like Andrew Young. He couldn't fight every battle on every front but he refused to be discouraged--his eyes were fixed on the long term and winning the war against public indifference. They strategized and searched and settled on Birmingham. The rest is history.
    I would be curious if you buy this premise that the Democrats are in a similar strategic position today. If you were a Democratic leader, which line of attack would you chose? I think that the entanglement of Trump's business interests and the specter of corruption could be quite potent. It isn't political, per se, and it is a simple story that goes right at Trump's self image. It suggests he may not be a master businessman but rather may be more of a con man. And we have already seen Trump over-react when pushed.
    This is not to say that the press, Democrats and the citizenry at large should not support Trump's efforts as President when they believe him and/or his policies are right. Nor that he shouldn't sometimes be given the benefit of doubt. It is not to say that his entanglement of business interests and the specter of corruption should be the only areas of intense scrutiny. It is just to suggest that sometimes campaigns of opposition often have to funnel their energies.

    As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.


     

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    You know what?

    Posted by Ben
    on 11.21.16

    I miss Gawker.


     

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    Dumbing it too far down.

    Posted by Heebie-Geebie
    on 11.21.16

    This explanation of white nationalism is pathologically even-handed. It's not rocket science that needs a gentle untangling for the lay person.

    I am truly despairing over the media over the next four years.


     

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    24K Magic

    Posted by Heebie-Geebie
    on 11.21.16

    At some point Bruno Mars really came into his own and became one of the most fun, creative pop stars around:

    If the above video strikes you as dull and derivative, then you're missing tons of little winks and references. And I say that as a super basic, white soccer-mom from Texas.


     

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    SEK

    Posted by Heebie-Geebie
    on 11.20.16

    Fuck. It seems that SEK has passed away. I am so very sorry to hear this.

    Update: The situation is at least as grave as it gets. I shouldn't have phrased things quite so definitively?


     

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