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This darkness scares me
Because it might be the end:
Go ahead, fall asleep,
Like you, I'll be covering my head.
That's me in the corner,
I'm asleep like you:
But I can see what he's doing
He's everything you most dread.
When they wake, they will, they have to,
What will you do, it's your purpose,
Will you see what they're doing,
Or will you wind up dead?
Issue # 10 of our little magazine is now out and about, go to politicsslashletters.org and have a good time. Among the amusements there are weirdly wonderful essays by Molly Gilbin, Victoria Wiet, and Paige Vaccaro, detailing the meanings of Europe, queer Britain, and Calvert Street (Baltimore). There's also my four-act play, set in Rome, 399 AD, where Augustine, Jerome, and Pelagius duke it out in the home of Marcellinus Ammianus. What was I thinking?
I never liked The New Inquiry because everyone over there seemed to be auditioning for the most beautiful soul award, given annually by the Spiritual Daylight section of The Hegel Society (I'm in charge). Skeptics, stoics all, people determined not to get fooled again: meet the new boss, same as the old boss, blah, blah. Nothing ever changes, so why even try to change anything? Their debunking mode wore me out.
Now here comes Carmen Petaccio to rail against a Universal Basic Income, on the grounds that, well, its provenance is suspect: some billionaires are for it, so it must be bad for the rest of us, especially the poor and the felons among us.
There is not one convincing sentence in this slough of big words, except the merely descriptive passages. Outside description, no argument, just outrage, heavy sighs, and hunched shoulders. A beautiful soul indeed.
We could do it, he or she says, but we'd fuck it up. We ought to do it, he or she says, but we won't. Because we're simpleminded pawns of the ruling class, see? We think that what would be good for us is not, and vice versa. Our false consciousness runs so deep that we don't recognize bullshit, not even when we've smeared ourselves with it.
This angry author--I do not say writer--enlists Harry Frankfurt's famous On Bullshit to state the case. I don't know why. Because Frankfurt's argument was that the difference between the liar and the bullshitter is real simple: the liar knows what the truth is and disregards it for typically venal purposes, while the bullshitter doesn't even know what the truth might be, and is, accordingly, untethered to reality.
The billionaires know the bottom line: jobs are disappearing, the relation between work and income, effort and reward, is illegible at best. The labor market is broken, and it can't be fixed. That's the reality. So when they say we need a UBI, they're neither lying nor bullshitting.
Me, I dont care where the idea comes from. All I know is we'd better be discussing it.
I forgot to mention that on AA 352, ORD to LGA, a guy behind me in row 15 grabs my head as if it's the furniture when he gets up to rummage in his back pack, stowed at row 10. He's wearing a hoodie and fucking sunglasses after sundown, probably 30 years old, most definitely stoned out of his mind.
When he returns from his mission--what was he looking for?--I stop him and say, "Do not touch my head the next time you get up." He says, "Oh, sorry, man, will do." He has no idea of what I'm talking about.
It's Sunday, time for a sermon. I'll do real work later. Ha.
Been swimming upstream for so long,
I don't know where the current stops,
Nor when the river becomes an eddy,
Where the others ask, what's next?
Maybe I could float for a while, just sing a song,
But I fear where that would lead me,
Especially when the sound becomes a siren,
Before Calypso says, just rest.
I think I'm bound for other places,
I'll make a map, I'll see where you can go:
Look, there's the island where my soul was emptied,
Where he composed an infinite jest.
Making sense of the Russian Connection is hard, for three reasons. First, we tend to discount the effect of a foreign power on our fellow citizens and voters. Second, we don't want to believe that anyone would sell his soul just to make a buck or win an election. Third, the verifiable details of collusion are too profuse and untidy for us to track. So herewith a way through this thicket of moral, epistemological, and empirical questions.
Searched again at O'Hare by TSA, but this time the guy is curious, wondering why the detonators don't match with the metals in my body as I've explained their location (right elbow, right hip, both knees)--so now it's my word against the machine's. Hello, John Henry, hope this story lets you sleep.
The man politely explained every step of his thorough search, and even apologized when he got into the lower topography of this body (groin, buttocks, no metal there just yet). I can't say it was a pleasure, but I can say it wasn't a horror show.
But then they had to search my suitcase, too. That means a different guy handled all the contents and removed the suspicious stuff for scanning. As he puts things in the scanner, I'm thinking, ah, of course, the king's two bodies, but then I realize that most of what goes into that device is fake floral decoration on the commemorative candle my Thanksgiving host had given me.
I can't help myself, I say, "What's the deal, you seem pretty worried about that candle."
He turns to me and says, "We have to be."
"Yes," he says, with the solemnity of a judge about to deliver a death sentence. He turns back to his inspection. "A candle reads as organic material. We have to treat that as potential explosive. These could be fuses"--he holds up a branch of tiny ornaments, shiny flourishes on the three pound candle--"and so we gotta put 'em through the scanner."
"I'll be goddamned."
"You're good to go. Have a nice weekend."
Just back from a raucous, near riotous Thanksgiving in Chicago, courtesy of my girlfriend, where mentions of Trump don't make anyone ask themselves, "Now, how do I dodge this bullet and make nice?" Nah, you just say, "Fuck that miserable motherfucker."
This holiday is like therapy, we do it because we have to, not because we want to. I believe it's good for us, because, well, because I believe "family" is so formative--not as a given but as an interrogative device.
What am I doing here? That is the question your family, or anybody else's, makes you ask, whether you're on the run or stuck at home.
That at least is the question I asked myself over the last few days. Your answer can be, and my answer will always be: I'll stay as long as you like, but I'm ready to run.
Last Friday we had a dinner party, just chili, cornbread, and a big salad. Also spitzspuben for dessert. Here are the guests crowded on the elevator on their way home. We had a great time, but you gotta ask, why did they leave en masse? Photo courtesy of Bruce Robbins. On the eve of Thanksgiving, in Chicago, chili redux!
"After a Black Friday surge in Amazon’s stock value, CEO Jeff Bezos’ wealth surpassed the $100 billion mark, making him over $10 billion dollars richer than the world’s second wealthiest man, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.
The rise of the $100 billion man is a further milestone in the unprecedented growth of social inequality worldwide. Bezos’ wealth would make the robber barons of the 19th century green with envy.
In November, the Institute for Policy Studies found the three wealthiest billionaires owned as much as the poorest half of the United States. Thanks to Bezos, this study is already out of date, because the billionaire increased his wealth by roughly $20 billion since its publication. Worldwide, the five richest billionaires own as much wealth as half the world’s population, some 3.5 billion people."- READ MORE:
"Thomas Friedman, the chief foreign affairs commentator of the New York Times, can safely be relied upon to produce hypocritical and cringe-inducing pieces of state propaganda journalism on offer from an American corporate media that specializes in this field.
In the past quarter century of Washington’s unending wars, Friedman has offered himself as the unflagging cheerleader for every act of US imperialist aggression.
Most infamously, on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq, Friedman justified the impending war in the name of everything from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction to US control of oil. The Times columnist readily acknowledged that it would be a “war of choice,” or, in legal terms, a criminal war of aggression. He insisted, however, that “removing Saddam Hussein and helping Iraq replace his regime with a decent accountable government that can serve as a model in the Middle East is worth doing.”
Nearly a decade and a half later, over a million Iraqi lives have been lost, and much of the Middle East has been plunged into bloodshed and destruction that trace their origin to the 2003 invasion. Friedman, who used his position as the lead columnist for the most influential newspaper in the US to promote the war, bears no small degree of moral responsibility for this carnage.
None of this stops him, however, from continuing in the same vein, unfailingly promoting the policies of American imperialism from the standpoint of the thin layer of multi-millionaires and billionaires who constitute its beneficiaries.
Now he has discovered a new and even more wildly improbable font of democracy in the Middle East and “model” for the region, the monarchical dictatorship of Saudi Arabia.
Friedman’s latest column in the Times, titled “Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring,” is based on a whirlwind VIP tour of the House of Saud, where, as he smugly recounts, he was a guest at Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “ornate adobe-walled castle,” fêted there by “senior ministers” with “different lamb dishes.”
“I never thought I’d live long enough to write this sentence: The most significant reform process underway anywhere in the Middle East today is in Saudi Arabia,” Friedman begins. This, as most everything else in the column, is a lie. By this point, there is virtually nothing new in Friedman’s columns, merely a recycling of yesterday’s platitudes."- READ MORE:
"Last week, the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit in order to block a merger between the two giant telecommunication companies Time Warner and AT&T. According to the Financial Times, the Trump administration is blocking the merger to pressure the sale of CNN.
One person told the Times, “It’s all about CNN.” Should Time Warner sell off CNN, Trump would reportedly allow the deal to go through.
The Time Warner-AT&T merger has been in the works for over a year. The deal would see AT&T, whose total assets exceed $400 billion, buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion. This would result in the largest vertically integrated content and distribution company in the world.
The proposed merger would follow several years of record-breaking mergers and acquisitions, with 2015 being the largest year on record for such deals. These huge combinations of giant corporations reflect the strained character of the real economy. While the stock market has soared, actual economic growth outside of the tech disrupters, such as Amazon and Google, is negligible. Unable to achieve substantive growth, companies scale into enormous conglomerations to weather low profits.
The merger would exacerbate the concentration of power within the telecommunications and media industry. Currently, both Time Warner and AT&T are pushing to overrule net neutrality regulations, a move which would pave the way for widespread government and corporate censorship of oppositional news and analysis.
The Trump administration’s opposition to the merger, however, is not based on these concerns. While Trump has previously stated he would reject the proposed merger, because of the large monopoly it would create, the article from the Financial Times exposes his real reason: Trump seeks to retaliate against CNN."- READ MORE:
"A complete US Media Blackout continues on this breaking information... Monsanto weed killer found in alarming amounts in Cheerios, Stacy's Pita Chips and more. It's made the front page in Europe but what about here? If you really want to stop the corruption perpetuated by Monsanto and the large chemical companies – Share this post and spread the word to shut them down! http://foodbabe.com/2016/11/15/monsanto/
Thank you to Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project for your incredible investigation!"
Located about 380km from Hanoi, Sapa is an exciting tourist destination for those who love nature and mountains and want to admire the wild beauty of the Northwest Mountains. Many people like Sapa as "Da Lat in the North" because the weather is cold and the landscape is wild, majestic but no less poetic. Arrive in Sapa on the Sapa tour. Depart daily of Viet Fun Travel, visitors will feel why Sapa is famous and loved by so many.
The terraced fields create the beauty of Sapa Mountain.
Sapa has many attractions and attractions but the most impressive is the terraced fields. "Traveling to Sapa to see terraced fields", which is the reason for many visitors. Sapa terraces are considered as unique tourist products, which make up the "name", the brand for Sapa tourism. And thanks to these plots, the Travel and Leisure Magazine (USA) has voted as one of the seven wonders of Asia and the world. Visitors to Sapa more and more thanks to the attraction of these wonderful fields.
If you have the opportunity to join Vietnam Sapa tours
, you will see firsthand the floor of the small plot of land, lying around, intercrossed hills and mountains. You will have to "wonder" for the picturesque beauty of these terraced fields. They are like the steps up to the sky, between forests, mountains and hills northwest. Especially, these ladders change color very delicate and beautiful in each period of development of rice. At times, it is the green ladder rung of the girls, sometimes turning to pale yellow green when the rice is about to flow and also when it turns yellow, was harvested. These "terraced rice terraces" have created so many emotions for tourists, photographers, painters and writers, poets ... Beautiful paintings in the Northwest highlands are sharp morphs, shapes and emotions of the viewer in each work. A lot of visitors stay in their beautiful moments in these colorful, winding terraced fields.
I swear this boy of mine amazes me every single day. But his building skills when it comes to his Legos blows me away. This police department, which has a main office, a booking jail cells, cubicle office's for his police officers, a bathroom, AND even a ATM.. This boy built this ALL by his self!!! This didn't come with directions, this didn't even come in a box, other than what he envisioned in his mind.. All I can say is WOW!! Enjoy asos 20 off
Oh, my heart breaks for this poor photographer. I guess I'm weird in that I don't find this funny at all. If I was him (I think it's a him from his voice), I would go get drunk after tearing down my equipment.
I think this is an excellent point:
The difference matters. Moore’s alleged crime was not a sexual orientation toward children. It was his willingness to exploit the unequal power structures of gender and age to victimize young girls who couldn’t stand up to him. To understand Moore as a monster outside medical or societal norms is to ignore the ways that his position enabled him to take advantage of his alleged victims.
I'm waiting ro a meeting to start, so I thought I would share some info about Zimbabwe.
I continue to hope that true democracy will come to Zimbabwe and that it will recover into the multicultural thriving economy it once was in the 80s and 90s.
I hesitate to post this here, since I am a man. But if I don't I'm sure that some of you won't see this. It is very very much worth a read by all genders.