Saturday, July 30, 2016

Trump Dares His Opponents

At this point, Trump is daring all his opponents. Taunting them. Basic schoolyard shit: nyah nyah na nya ya. I stole your ball, that cheap pink ball, threw it under that bus. Whatcha gonna do about it?

I can do anything say anything I want. I can punch somebody, step out and shoot somebody, anybody, they'd still love me. Why? because I'm me. Who I am.

Rich. A winner. A leader.

Daring His Opponents.

At this point, Trump is daring all his opponents. Taunting them. Basic schoolyard shit: nyah nyah na nya ya. I stole your ball, that cheap pink ball, threw it under that bus. Whatcha gonna do about it?

I can do anything say anything I want. I can punch somebody, step out and shoot somebody, anybody, they'd still love me. Why? because I'm me. Who I am.

Rich. A winner. A leader.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Revolution Has Come. . . though not the one you expected . . .

As Einstein said (in his Aphorisms for Leo Baeck):

The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny, however, is alleviated by their lack of consistency.

I am forced back to this elegant summary again and again. I know there are people who object to calling ignorance and stupidity by their real names. Though they'd nod yes that a rose by any other name is a rose, they think it unwise to switch from flowers to ignorance and stupidity.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Had Lenin Lived

Someone wrote a piece on Facebook quoting  V.I. Lenin, favorably if snarkily, vis a vis Sandernistaism being a version of "Leftwing Communism: An Infantile Disorder" (see the collected works of V.I. Lenin for details.).

To which I was prompted to write the following:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hillary Clinton and the 99 Percent

Interesting piece in the NY Times Magazine,  by Gideon Lewis-Kraus, "Could Hillary Clinton Become the Champion of the 99 Percent?" NY Times Magazine 7/24/16

It's a profile of Felicia Joy Wong, head of the Roosevelt coalition, founded by Joseph Stiglitz among others. It's what might be termed a left think-tank, though Wong dislikes that term. In any case, you'd expect her to be a diehard Sandernista, but it's not so. One relevant paragraph:

The Roosevelt coalition agreed by and large with the direction of Sanders’s economic program, but they regretted the crudeness of his exposition. They understood, for example, the appeal of a call to break up the banks but found greater sophistication in Clinton’s proposals to regulate “shadow banking.” They wished his advisers had been more careful with the numbers. And the personal iconoclasm and moral purity of the Sanders campaign didn’t lend themselves to governance.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Laura Ingraham's salute and the Quenelle

  The Laura Ingraham salute near end of the RNC: 

Reminds me of the quenelle, the salute popularized by French comedian cum noxious anti-Semite Dieudonné.

The quenelle depicts an arm delayed or arrested as it a about to rise, into what would be a full fascist salute. In itself the quenelle is only an awkward gesture, neither a Nazi or fascist salute. Its power comes from what it would signify if it went all the way, from what it references.

A lot of the new anti-Semitism references anti-Semitism, without necessarily coming out openly, though some does.

There's neo-anti-Semitism and paleo-anti-Semitism. Throw in various sorts of anti-Zionism and naturally it gets confusing.

Until someone can show me otherwise, I think Ingraham innocent of both paleo- and neo-Semitism. 

I prefer to think she was just showing of her triceps.






Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hollow Man: Trump

There's less to the mind of Donald Trump than you might imagine, which makes him even scarier than you thought.

Jane Mayer, author of "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right", has written a piece for the current New Yorker, a profile of Tony Schwartz, who was ghostwriter for Trump's best-selling "The Art of the Deal."

To call Schwartz ghostwriter understates it. He wrote every word, based on minimal input from Trump. Trump was bored, couldn't stand questions, couldn't be bothered, couldn't sit still. Trump couldn't concentrate, not for longer than a few seconds on any given topic.

This alarmed Schwartz, who regrets his involvement. It should alarm us.

In the case of Trump, less is not more. Less in the case of Trump refers to an  emptiness out of which anything is possible. There's no telling what a President Trump would do.

We've had some bad, some soul-suckingly empty people running for power, sometimes achieving it. We've never until now had the likes of Trump.


http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-threatens-the-ghostwriter-of-the-art-of-the-deal


Ozick, Heller . . . Kafka

http://artsfuse.org/147989/fuse-book-review-cynthia-ozick-the-value-of-exa=ggerated-contempt/

Cynthia Ozick, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, And Other Literary Essays

For reasons that elude me, I have never been a particular fan of Cynthia Ozick's work, neither her fiction nor her criticism, but something in Zoe Heller's put-down of Ozick's new collection of essays, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, And Other Literary Essays, in the NY Times Book Review (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/17/books/review/cynthia-ozick-critics-monsters-fanatics-and-other-literary-essays.html)
made me bristle. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Nice & Newt: Should Muslims wear the Yellow Star?

It need hardly be stated that what happened in Nice was horrible. Beyond that, it feels like part of a game-changer. I don't know how the game will change, and am not even sure how it should. But it already has, what with Gingrich's fascistic — yes, utterly fascistic — call to test Muslims to see if they believe in Sharia law.

Should they hesitate, submit them to lie defectors. If they fail to pass, waterboard them until they confess. Rebuild Abu Ghraib right here, on American soil. (Disregard the fact that many of us will refer to it as Mordor.)

Maybe Muslims should all wear the yellow star. Great idea! Wrong ethnic group. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Donald's Deranged

Donald's deranged. Alas, that for many, is the source of his appeal.

I'm aware of the numerous differences and the number of tiresome comparisons but the last truly and fully deranged leader I can think of in the Western world happens to be Hitler.

He was a man of many fantasies and delusions. And believed them strongly. His utter madness was his strength. His ability to propound it made converts.

A certain sort of craziness makes crazy seems sane, and everything else otherwise.

Please don't remind me that the United States circa 2016 is very different than Weimer Germany circa 1933, when Hitler came to power.

I get that.

But I'll say if Trump is elected in November the gap between Weimar 1933 and the United States 2016 will narrow more rapidly than you dare to think.




Friday, July 8, 2016

Dallas


Cops killing/murdering blacks (and not only blacks)? We've seen too much of that, and video cameras help fill in the blanks.

But Dallas was just a bit different. 

Dallas

Cops killing/murdering blacks? We've seen too much of that, and video cameras help fill in the blanks.

But Dallas was just a bit different.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Viet Thanh Nguyen, BDS

I have reviewed and praised Viet Thanh Nguyen's novel "The Sympathizer."

http://artsfuse.org/131825/fuse-book-review-the-sympathizer-the-vietnam-war-split-in-two/

It seems the author now supports the BDS approach to the issue of Israel and Palestinians.