July 30, 2014

"My blog is so serious today!"


"Yeah. I'm dabbling in profundity."

UPDATE: The next thing I thought of saying out loud was: "I need to throw it to some wild zoo animals and have them tear it up, as if it was spiked with catnip, and see if I can get it to look more distressed."

The next thing I actually did say out loud was: "Okay, once you go meta, you've got to step away."

UPDATE 2: There. I've had 1000s of steps away, and I am back, renormalized, and searching once again for the basically bloggable.

"I probably wouldn't have been a poet if I hadn't lost my left eye when I was a boy."

"A neighbor girl shoved a broken bottle in my face during a quarrel. Afterward, I retreated to the natural world and never really came back, you know."

From a list of "What I've learned," by Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall (which he wrote in 9 days, "like taking dictation," but only after he'd been thinking "about the story for 5 years").

"She was embarrassed and I think a little scared that something she intended to be a good-will gesture turned into something that was terrifying the community for a short time."

"In her mind, her motivation was purely kindness. It was meant as a good-will gesture. In retrospect, I think she wishes she would have left a note."

"As someone who grew up with a much stronger sense of my black American roots, and an understanding of African culture distilled primarily through an American sensibility..."

"... I feel as though the term African-American doesn’t quite suit my identity."
That didn’t stop my father from (sort of) jokingly asking, upon my return from Kenya last month, “Did you feel different when you landed in the motherland?” What he meant, of course, was whether I felt as if I’d returned “home” to a place I’d never before been. People have spent their whole lives hoping to find the equivalent of their own personal Zion. Had I?

"The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions."

"It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour."
It fell to Neville Chamberlain in one of the supreme crises of the world to be contradicted by events, to be disappointed in his hopes, and to be deceived and cheated by a wicked man. But what were these hopes in which he was disappointed? What were these wishes in which he was frustrated? What was that faith that was abused? They were surely among the most noble and benevolent instincts of the human heart-the love of peace, the toil for peace, the strife for peace, the pursuit of peace, even at great peril, and certainly to the utter disdain of popularity or clamour. Whatever else history may or may not say about these terrible, tremendous years, we can be sure that Neville Chamberlain acted with perfect sincerity according to his lights and strove to the utmost of his capacity and authority, which were powerful, to save the world from the awful, devastating struggle in which we are now engaged. This alone will stand him in good stead as far as what is called the verdict of history is concerned.
Winston Churchill gave a great speech on November 12, 1940. 

Repeated word: "sincerity."

"It now appears... that jeans savaged by wild animals are a trend in designer sportswear."

"A Japanese denim brand had the bright idea, at least for raising its profile, of sewing indigo-dyed cotton fabric around rimless tires, sausage-shaped bolsters, and fat rubber balls, and throwing the objects to the inmates of the Kamine Zoo, in Hitachi City. In an accompanying video, the beasts bound from their cages and fall upon their novel chew toys with such relish that you have to wonder if there isn’t a little catnip involved.... When the fabric has been properly “distressed”—i.e., mauled—it is retrieved from the enclosures and made into trousers that are sold under the label Zoo Jeans. (The Japanese are avid consumers of premium denim, the funkier the better. The national obsession with jeans started during the postwar occupation, when teen-agers became smitten with the dungarees worn by their conquerors.) But, 'rather than simply being a marketing gimmick, there is actually value in this from an animal welfare perspective,' the article explains. 'Involving lions and the zoo’s other large carnivores'—tigers and bears—'in the activity is part of what’s called environmental enrichment....'"

From "The Global Business of Sartorial Slumming" by Judith Thurman in The New Yorker.

July 29, 2014

What a wild expression on the face of the chocolate Lab...


... in the presence of a Shiba Inu.

"What is Bob Dylan? Why is Bob Dylan?"

"After listening to him since I was a kid and seeing him live for—gulp—nearly 40 years, I think I’m beginning to figure it out."

I'm not sure if Bill Wyman (the music critic) figures it out or if there's an "it" that needs figuring out, and the article is kind of tl;dr but there's a picture a Bob Dylan riding a bike.

Bob Dylan riding a bike.

Has Bob Dylan ever mentioned a bicycle in a song? Yes. He rhymed "bike" with "like." I ain't no monkey but I know what I like. 

Anti-Scott Walker ad.

From his challenger Mary Burke:

Via Madison.com, where there are a lot of comments, for example, anti-Walker:
Walker's record and words speak for himself. He set up the standard. He failed because he refused train money, the Medicaid money, and the high speed internet money....
And pro-Walker:
Wisconsin has a choice. Walker has created 106,000 jobs in 3.5 years. Mary [Burke] destroyed 134,000 when she controlled commerce in this state. Walker has my vote. Wisconsin first - China last.

"Chastity is so important. It is not only a name. It is an ornament for both women and men."

"[She] will have chasteness. Man will have it, too. He will not be a womanizer. He will be bound to his wife. He will love his children. [The woman] will know what is haram and not haram. She will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness.... Where are our girls, who slightly blush, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their face, becoming the symbol of chastity?... Women give each other meal recipes while speaking on the mobile phone. ‘What else is going on?’ ‘What happened to Ayşe’s daughter?’ ‘When is the wedding?’ Talk about this face to face...."

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç lectures the people of Turkey about moral corruption.

The part about women not laughing in public is getting all the attention here in the West, where it's easy to laugh at him, loudly and publicly.

"Kidnapping Europeans for ransom has become a global business for Al Qaeda, bankrolling its operations across the globe."

"While European governments deny paying ransoms, an investigation by The New York Times found that Al Qaeda and its direct affiliates have taken in at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008, of which $66 million was paid just in the past year."


... swimming pools.

Drink water and wear socks.

David Lynch makes a nail polish ad.

Via Wired, which explains it, in case you have trouble understanding the color red.

I didn't know when I started watching that the brand of the polish was Christian Louboutin, so I was a bit distracted thinking this better be Christian Louboutin nail polish or there's going to be a lawsuit. (Remember this lawsuit?)

Jesse Ventura wins a big defamation verdict against the former Navy SEAL who wrote “American Sniper."

The estate of Chris Kyle now owes Ventura $1.8 million.
[J]urors heard a videotaped deposition from Mr. Kyle, who defended his writings as accurate. The jurors were presented an array of statements Mr. Ventura made on topics like religion and war over many years, and defense lawyers suggested that his reputation was already deeply complicated... Mr. Ventura vehemently denied claims in the book that he had made derogatory statements about fellow members of the military while in [a California bar in 2006], or had said at one point during the evening that the SEALs deserved “to lose a few.”

Where's that pen? Meade has lost a pen that was very special to him.

It was that cheap little pen with the hotel name on it that he liked so much because he wouldn't care if he lost it.

"Even knowing Charles was juggling multiple partners, I never doubted how important I was to him..."

"... because he never left an information gap for me to fill in. He told me all the time how special I was; he’d message me to let me know how much he was looking forward to seeing me again. Lack of appreciation makes your partner needy and insecure, not sharing your time and attention with work, friends or family."

From an inanely glib Salon list of lessons about marriage that one woman purports to have extracted from the experience of "dating" one man who was — with permission — having sex with women other than his wife.

ADDED: In the comments, MRG tells me: "No, they were lessons about relationships, not marriage." I look back to the (inane) article to check my reading. Inane things must be read correctly too. The lessons from the married man apply, the author says, to her "new, monogamous relationship."

I see that I read "monogamous" to mean: married to only one person

I check the (unlinkable) Oxford English Dictionary, and of course, my meaning is the correct original and literal meaning. But: "Now also (in extended use): remaining faithful to one person during the course of a sexual relationship other than marriage."

The historical quote signaling the arrival of the extended-use meaning is from 1987: "Throughout my twenties, I had superromantic, monogamous love affairs with passionate orgasms from intercourse."

The quote is from Betty Dodson (b. 1929) in "Sex for One: The Joy of Self-Loving."

Here's a very recent article about Dodson in The Guardian, and the picture of her at the age of 81 made me wonder whether whether one of the joys of self-loving was the preservation of a startlingly youthful appearance. Oh, I see the article addresses this: Dodson attributes her looks to "masturbation, pot and raw garlic." Also:
Although she was described as one of the "early feminists" by Gloria Steinem, she felt out of place in the consciousness-raising groups of the time. "I always thought sex was a top-priority issue," she says, pouring herself a whisky. "Feminists like Gloria Steinem thought it was private." (She chuckles, "I love Gloria. I used to call her 'the general'.")...

"They're afraid of sex because they say it's too controversial. But I feel it's because they're personally too conflicted. They don't want to masturbate, they want Prince Charming. It's Walt Disney. Puke. Barfarama."...
Dodson conducts workshops:
"In the workshop we share our orgasm with the group while being in control of our own clitoris," she says, explaining that the class consists of a "genital show-and-tell" followed by masturbation in a circle. Betty has been known to help out with her vibrator. "No wonder I keep doing it. Are you kidding? The sounds, the sights, the smells. Fat, skinny, one tit gone. Women are so beautiful."
"She doesn't believe in monogamy."
[W]omen are "so addicted to romantic love. It's the heaviest drug in the world and we make long-lasting bad decisions because of it. You get married, you give up sex. Pretty much count on it."...

Her message – keep up a sexual relationship with yourself, you can have first-rate orgasms by yourself; stop doing what you think your partner wants to see in bed – seems more necessary than ever in an age when increasing pornification of our culture is making these ideals harder for women.
My message — keep up your own stream of consciousness, you can have first-rate conversations inside your own head; stop writing what you think your reader wants to see in a blog – seems more necessary than ever in an age when increasing social mediafication of our culture is making these ideals harder for bloggers.

That is to say: I digress.

"Obama Mulls Massive Move on Immigration."


"We have established the brigade to raise awareness of our religion among women, and to punish women who do not abide by the law."

It's the al-Khansaa Brigade, the ISIS all-female moral police...,

ADDED: I gave this post my "gender politics" tag, even though it's very different from what usually gets the tag. But if anything is gender politics, this is. What's all that other stuff?

"How a bipartisan group that hoped to make Washington more functional became yet another cog in the D.C. moneymaking machine — and infuriated Democrats."

Finally, an answer to the question that's been bugging me for years: Whatever happened to "No Labels"?

Now, I wonder if anyone can tell me: What's brewing in The Coffee Party?