It is pretty surreal that this is actually coming to pass. That fucking asscrack is going to get the official title. He sure has risen past the level of his incompetence.
Tentative schedule for reading Thinking Fast & Slow here. Starts Monday, with Walt Someguy summarizing the introduction and first three chapters of Part 1.
Keir, I don't have your email address. Can you email me at heebie.geebie at gmail? You're tentatively signed up but we can shuffle things.
What are your favorite features in a cheaper-ish-maybe oven? Is convection that much better? Include the basic facts of your baking habits so that I can tell how much you map onto my life.
For what it's worth, I use the oven maybe twice a week, for casseroles and easy dinners mostly. I have a vague interest in starting to bake more often. Once I made some delicious crusty bread in a dutch oven.
In our current oven, I have used the programmable features. I can't decide how much I care about that. Sometimes it's nice.
Now this is a neat way to present the news. I was wildly wrong on the national debt, nailed violent crime, vaguely ballpark on most of the others.
When I think about Devos and her husband, rich people who wouldn't dream of building something in an inner city that would actually help the people there, but who are committed to gutting one more liberal union power center and taking away one of the last remaining paths to the middle-class for African-Americans, all in the name of bullshit, epiphenomenal "educational outcomes," I start to understand the Spanish Inquisition. Burn it with fire. This is the deep, scary reaction to genuine evil, and as I watch the hearings I think, Jesus Christ, so this is why those guys were burning people at the stake. When even people's humanity seems like a ruse to distract you from their evil, you burn it with fire.
Don't burn anything! Just thought I'd share!
LW writes: Mark Fisher recently passed away, sad loss. Here's an extract from one of his books, taking up a tangent on a topic popular here. He claims that a futuristic music is a thing of the past, and that imagining a future different from the present is no longer part of our culture. To me there's a tenuous but potentially worthwhile connection between these ideas and past discussions here about whether clothes have changed in living memory.
Excerpt-- hard to choose just one, he is both a joy to read and an interesting thinker.
The slow cancellation of the future has been accompanied by a deflation of expectations. There can be few who believe that in the coming year a record as great as, say, the Stooges' Funhouse or Sly Stone's There's A Riot Goin' On will be released. Still less do we expect the kind of ruptures brought about by The Beatles or disco. The feeling of belatedness, of living after the gold rush, is as omnipresent as it is disavowed.
I don't think I agree about music. There's not exactly a recognizable contemporary futuristic style, but there is absolutely plenty of music that looks ahead.
A lot of music I really liked came out during the Arab Spring-- Emel Mathlouthi, Arabian Knightz are two I like a lot; I see in translation or from the English snippets they are explicitly political. But there are also plenty of Arab/Maghrebi musicians who aren't explicitly political who make music that's definitely not nostalgic-- Ibrahim Maalouf, Anouar Brahem, or for lighter tastes Bachar Mar-Khalife or Soapkills
Latin electronic music also avoids nostalgia. It's light music, so I guess arguable whether or not it's much different than big-city electronic music he describes as basically unchanging, singling out Adele and Amy Winehouse. But say Mas Papaya from Sidestepper, or Nortena del Sur from Mexican Institute of Sound, or anything from Sonido Gallo Negro among others, not the same approach to reworking the past to my ear. There's no implicit manifesto and less ambition than Kraftwerk had, but still, not Amy Winehouse.
More arguably, he's maybe harsh on music from our civilization-- Aesop Rock's OK, MIA made some interesting music and got rich from it, shit is Portishead really twenty years old. Probably someone younger and hipper should chime in. Mogwai?
Heebie's take: I have two thoughts:
1. There really isn't an "envisioning the future" marketing mode that takes us way in the future, at the moment, like a TomorrowLand. Rather, it's now that actual Disney Tomorrowland seems to be fully implementable by 2020, and so there's lots of commercials about talking to your house and having your refrigerator order more milk for you. There's the self-driving cars thing, but that's a topic unto itself.
Instead of The Sparkly Future! narrative, there is a whole lot of is the general apocalypse narrative - homesteading, zombies, the whole far-side-of-the-circle where the hippies meet the libertarians has just exploded in a mess of home-schooling and anti-vaxxing. I think the dystopian future has really taken concrete root. The Darkly Future, if I may.
2. Art is counter-cyclical, and the one silver lining of a Trump presidency is to see what the artists and comedians make of these dreadful times. So we are definitely on the brink of a new amazing thing.
She makes the following points:
- About 80 boycotted Nixon's second inauguration and they were on the right side of history.
- There is a bipartisan consensus by the ethics experts who served the last two presidents that when trump takes the oath he will violate the constitution.
- The peaceful transfer of power is an important value, but not the only value at stake in this moment.
- And for Californians, try calling Harris' San Diego office, it's the only one with someone picking up the phone in my exp.
Trump was a hot comic, a classic Howard Stern guest. He was the insult comic, the stadium act, the ratings-obsessed headliner who shouted down hecklers. His rallies boiled with rage and laughter, which were hard to tell apart. You didn't have to think that Trump himself was funny to see this effect: I found him repulsive, and yet I could hear those comedy rhythms everywhere, from the Rodney Dangerfield "I don't get no respect" routine to the gleeful insult-comic slams of Don Rickles (for "hockey puck," substitute "Pocahontas") to Andrew Dice Clay, whose lighten-up-it's-a-joke, it's-not-him-it's-a-persona brand of misogyny dominated the late nineteen-eighties. The eighties were Trump's era, where he still seemed to live. But he was also reminiscent of the older comics who once roamed the Catskills, those dark and angry men who provided a cathartic outlet for harsh ideas that both broke and reinforced taboos, about the war between men and women, especially. Trump was that hostile-jaunty guy in the big flappy suit, with the vaudeville hair, the pursed lips, and the glare. There's always been an audience for that guy.
Lurid said: I fucking hate Trump-ology, but I love being humorless (so very much!), so my feelings are mixed.
Heebie's take: I basically don't agree? Trump may have a good instinct for a soundbite, but he's not self-aware the way comedians tend to be. Comedians may not be well-adjusted, but they tend to be incredibly perceptive of reality. Howard Stern is a comedian who can milk a guest like Trump for all he's worth, but Trump himself is not.
On a different note, is Christopher Steele the most perfect spy name, or what? Is kompromat my new favorite word? Yes and yes.