Monday, June 24, 2013
Monday, June 17, 2013
Does Anyone Know Where Larry Nelson is
Wizard of Id: The peasants are revolting.
King: They certainly are. - Johnny Hart
When Cheney was told that the citizens of US opposed the war according to polls, he said "So?" Rove refuses to appear before Congress. The total disdain the government regards us with is pretty evident.
Found while Browsing
You know, it's quite a strange thing. The single most common adjective applied to Mister Rogers in this and other thread is the word 'creepy'?posted by Pastabagel at 2:00 PM on June 1, 2007 [484 favorites]
I think I know why he strikes people as creepy. It's because his isn't at all 'cool'. There is no cynicism, no irony, no condescension in him at all. He is not simply unhip, he is ahip. And this is what people calling him creepy are picking up on.
We are conditioned to traffic in cool. You have to look cool, not look nice or distinguished or presentable, but cool. But it's all so generic. Everyone seems to have the same new haircut that no one 5 years ago had. We all have the same cynical politics.
Something about the counterculture from the 60's is still with us but it has been co-opted into a form of synchronized periodic obsolescence and mockery of that which came before. There is something fundamentally anti-intellectual about this, but I can't quite articulate it. There some element of arrogance there. Like everyone is perpetually 18.
Cool is America's code, and I really do think this is an American problem, because cool is propagated mainly though mass media, and there is no greater media saturated culture on earth than America's. Will I look cool wearing this? Will I sound cool saying this, or reading this or doing this. We're committing mass murder in other parts of the world because somebody figured out how to make violence cool and tough-talk politics cool, and then they combined the too. Swagger is cool. Cowboys and fighter jets and JDAMs and war porn are cool. So that's what we have. We are the Kingdom of Whatever.
Of course he hated ad-libbing on camera, because ad-libbing on camera is inexcusably lazy. It's what you do so you don't have to write or rehearse. Actors and comedians and musicians improvise as a way of living within a moment that is in some way artificial. A method actor may improvise because he is trying to become the character, but he isn't the character to begin with. A Jazz musician improvises because while the structure and the changes are the same, and the audience is familiar with them, the particular moment of performance is not, and that has it's own emotional context.
Mister Rogers was the same guy, so why improvise? The show wasn't about his character, it was about the kids, os you have to work out ahead of time how best to communicate with the child viewers. Everything was planned.
He talks slowly not because kids are dumb but because as studies have shown, children's brains are considerably more active than adults', and they need time to return to the original thought communicated to them after branching off in multitudinous directions.
The puppets? Puppets are good because they are considerably smaller than the human actors around them, and thus kids perceive them as safe. They look like toys. Contrast this with a giant seven foot all yellow bird, and ask yourself which inspired more nightmares.
The show is glacially paced and had the same structure with the same things happening in the same order because children respond to structure and routine is a source of comfort, particularly in children whose lives were anything but predictable.
Maybe that's what cool is - withdrawing from the context of one's life into an artificial one, in which the cool perceives itself to be somehow outside of reality, looking in and commenting on it. But this isn't insight, it's not reflecting on the world. It's standing at the edge of the world sniping into it.
Mister Rogers isn't creepy. CSI with is gruesome bloody corpses every Thursday at promptly 9:14 EST is creepy. Thirty million people looking at that and snaking on chips while they watch is creepy.
Listening to some rapper sing about his genitals and sexual conquests is creepy. Approach crowds of people and talk to them about the aroused state of your genitals, and watch how quickly you end up in a squad car. But somehow it's ok on TV because...why exactly?
Watching a war unfold on television in near real time is beyond creepy. It is obscene. You watch people screaming over their dead loved ones, and then you turn it off and go have dinner, or go to bed? No empathy, no revulsion. What the hell kind of civilization is this?
You know, I watched some 9-11 footage on youtube the other day (because I'm a masochist, apparently), and it occured to me that in the 6 years since it happened, I've never once heard anyone say "I'm sorry for those people who are so consumed by hate for people they've never met and places they've never been. What can we do to lift that burden from them?"
Because that isn't cool. That's being a pussy (or a fag if you are on FreeRepublic). There's no posture to be struck there, no pose. It's something that has to be done in earnest, and that's what's been lacking in the American culture.
Think about the Pope, entering the cell to confront his assassin. He forgave him, we all know that. But can you imagine the conversation? Can you imagine either someone being so perceptive that they can reach into a perfect stranger and expose their soul, or someone whose personality is so shallow that their emotions or ideologies are so shallow that any attempt to probe their depth displaces them entirely?
Mr. Rogers may have been the last earnest man.
1. Our voters are pretty smart.
According to an August 2006 Zogby poll, only two in five Americans know that we have three branches of government and can name them. A 2006 National Geographic poll showed that six in ten young people (aged 18 to 24) could not find Iraq on the map. They found that just 49 percent of Americans know that the only country ever to use a nuclear weapon in a war is their own.
2. Bill O'Reilly's viewers are dumber than Jon Stewart's.
Liberals wish. Democrats like to think that voters who sympathize with their views are smarter than those who vote Republican. But a 2007 Pew survey found that the knowledge level of viewers of the right-wing, blustery "The O'Reilly Factor" and the left-wing, snarky "The Daily Show" is comparable, with about 54 percent of the shows' politicized viewers scoring in the "high knowledge" category. So what about conservative talk-radio titan Rush Limbaugh's audience? Surely the ditto-heads are dumb, right? Actually, according to a survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, Rush's listeners are better educated and "more knowledgeable about politics and social issues" than the average voter
3. If you just give Americans the facts, they'll be able to draw the right conclusions.
Just before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, after months of unsubtle hinting from Bush administration officials, some 60 percent of Americans had come to believe that Iraq was behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, despite the absence of evidence for the claim, according to a series of surveys taken by the PIPA/Knowledge Networks poll. A year later, after the bipartisan, independent 9/11 Commission reported that Saddam Hussein had had nothing to do with al-Qaeda's assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 50 percent of Americans still insisted that he did. In other words, the public was bluntly given the data by a group of officials generally believed to be credible -- and it still didn't absorb the most basic facts about the most important event of their time.
4. Voters today are smarter than they used to be.
Actually, by most measures, voters today possess the same level of political knowledge as their parents and grandparents, and in some categories, they score lower. Here's what makes these numbers deplorable -- and, in fact, almost incomprehensible: Education levels are far higher today than they were half a century ago, when social scientists first began surveying voter knowledge about politics
5. Young voters are paying a lot of attention to the news.
Again, no. Despite all the hoopla about young voters -- the great hope of the future! -- only one news story in 2001 drew the attention of a majority of them: 9/11. Some 60 percent of young voters told Pew researchers that they were following news about the attack closely. (Er -- 40 percent weren't?)
Within this sex/gender division of labor, women's work is systematically valued less, which reinforces women's lower economic status in both developed and less-developed countries. In the United States, on average women earn 70% or less of what men earn at most educational levels. This gender pay gap has closed since the 1960s, when it was closer to 60%; however, the closing of the gap is due to a decrease in men's average wages since the 1970s due to deindustrialization, corporate, downsizing, and fluctuating patterns of economic growth. A staggering 80 percent of the 53.7 million women in the American workforce continue to make $25,000 or less a year. That is a cold $10,000 less than the average man makes. Worldwide women perform an estimated 60 percent of the work, yet earn only 10 percent of the income and own only 10 percent of the land. When we talk about sweatshop labor, we're talking predominantly about the labor of young adolescent women.
There have been numerous experiments in which two groups of people rate things such as a set of articles, pictures of works of art, a set of resumes. The names of the authors are changed for each group. Those items for the first group which have men’s names, have women’s names for the second group, and those items with women’s names for the first group have men’s names for the second group. In other words, the gender of the author is reversed for each group. The results of these studies are remarkably consistent: articles that have a male name attached to them get higher ratings than when the same article has a woman’s name. Both men and women do this: they devalue those items ascribed to females. Studies of how women’s success is perceived show a similar pattern: men’s success is attributed to talent; women’s success is attributed to luck or affirmative action.
It has been my experience that women work harder for their money.
Open the Debates
Who Among Them Will Challenge Capitalism? |
The message from all this is clear: any alternative to growth remains
unthinkable, even 40 years after the American ecologists Paul Ehrlich
and John Holdren made some blindingly obvious points about the
arithmetic of relentless consumption.
The Ehrlich equation, I = PAT, says simply that the impact (I) of
human activity on the planet is the product of three factors: the size
of the population (P), its level of affluence (A) expressed as income
per person, and a technology factor (T), which is a measure of the
impact on the planet associated with each dollar we spend.
With today’s global income, achieving the necessary carbon footprint
would mean getting the T factor for CO2 down to 0.1 tonnes of CO2 per
thousand US dollars — a fivefold improvement. While that is no walk
in the park, it is probably doable with state-of-the-art technology
and a robust policy commitment. There is one big thing missing from
this picture, however: economic growth. Factor it in, and the idea
that technological ingenuity can save us from climate disaster looks
an awful lot more challenging.
Instead, they bombard us with adverts [advertisements] cajoling us to
insulate our homes, turn down our thermostats, drive a little less,
walk a little more. The one piece of advice you will not see on a
government list is “buy less stuff”. Buying an energy-efficient TV is
to be applauded; not buying one at all is a crime against society.
Agreeing reluctantly to advertising standards is the sign of a mature
society; banning advertising altogether (even to children) is
condemned as “culture jamming”. Consuming less may be the single
biggest thing you can do to save carbon emissions, and yet no one
dares to mention it. Because if we did, it would threaten economic
growth, the very thing that is causing the problem in the first place.
Visceral fear is not without foundation. If we do not go out shopping,
then factories stop producing, and if factories stop producing then
people get laid off. If people get laid off, then they do not have any
money. And if they don’t have any money they cannot go shopping. A
falling economy has no money in the public purse and no way to service
public debt. It struggles to maintain competitiveness and it puts
people’s jobs at risk. A government that fails to respond
appropriately will soon find itself out of office.
This is the logic of free-market capitalism: the economy must grow
continuously or face an unpalatable collapse. With the environmental
situation reaching crisis point, however, it is time to stop
pretending that mindlessly chasing economic growth is compatible with
sustainability. We need something more robust than a comfort blanket
to protect us from the damage we are wreaking on the planet. Figuring
out an alternative to this doomed model is now a priority before a
global recession, an unstable climate, or a combination of the two
forces itself upon us.
The Associated Press: Informant says he talked up NJ plot to gain trust
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,444667,00.html Calif. Newlywed Killed by Police in Case of Mistaken Identity
http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/11/8/0229/39667 As early as 1965, FBI agents in Boston were protecting serious criminals from prosecution -- effectively enabling them to continue victimizing the innocent -- in exchange for the information they provided about other criminals. the FBI is in the business of law enforcement, not crime assistance. It really isn't possible to lie down with dogs and not share their fleas.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
If You Had All the Money in the World
I Hate Bosses
Ann Eichinger ran the film library at the State Library in Pierre, S.D. She refused bribes from the film salesmen (this was when they came in reels and were sent to schools throughout the state), kept the films scheduled and repaired and was exceedingly kind and just with her staff. I worked in a different department but I admired her skill and always wished I had her for a sister.
The other two were small business owners who hired because they could not complete the work themselves. They were interested in any ideas you might have that might make the work go smoother. They were Jake and Alan Haider in my home town of Belfield, N.D. and Cliff Thomas in Cottonwood, California who could make a rock laugh.
The ideal job, it goes without saying, is to work for yourself where time flies and money doesn't matter.
Garden Zones according to Nature
Plant perennial seeds when maples put out first leaves.
Plant potatoes when dandelions bloom
Plant cold sensitive crops when lilacs are in full bloom e.g. corn, tomatoes, eggplant, etc.
Monday, March 04, 2013
"The fact is that only the military regimes make a fetish of getting up at dawn, and everyone knows that military regimes exist to destroy, not build" - Max Lerner
"Our father was born without a filter, a brain-mouth filter, as as a result, anything that comes in his brain, any disturbing or anxious or mean thought, goes directly into his mouth exactly as it's been delivered to him from his circuits. He doesn't have the cognitive wherewithal to be diplomatic or euphemize" - Sari Rose
Sunday, February 03, 2013
Monday, March 12, 2012
In 1979 as Georgia dairyman named Andy McElmurray started applying locally produced sludge fertilizer to his fields. Over the next several years, nearly hyalf his 700 cows died from severe diarrhea. The EPA didn't test his soil, but McElmurray hired his own experts, who concluded that his sludge contained high levels of thallium. A toxic metal that is the active ingredient in rat poison, thallium rarely turns up in sewage, but it was used as a catalyst by a nearly Nutra Sweet factory. When Elmurray's experts sampled a local milk brand, they detected thallium at levels more than 11 times above the legal limit for d4rinking water. McElmurry sued the federal government for disaster relief, claiming sludge had destroyed his farm He finally won the case last year.
This disaster relief took 28 years while many areas of Texas were immediately declared disaster areas where the pieces of the Challenger fell to earth. As Linda Ellerbee used to say "so it goes."