June 25, 2016

The wonderful "street-style" fashion photographer Bill Cunningham has died.

So sad. Sad, even though he was quite old — 87. What a loss.
In 2009, he was named a Living Landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy and profiled in The New Yorker, which described his columns On the Street and Evening Hours as the city’s unofficial yearbook, “an exuberant, sometimes retroactively embarrassing chronicle of the way we looked.”
He was a very unusual man...
He didn’t go to the movies. He didn’t own a television. He ate breakfast nearly every day at the Stage Star Deli on West 55th Street, where a cup of coffee and a sausage, egg and cheese could be had until very recently for under $3. He lived until 2010 in a studio above Carnegie Hall amid rows and rows of file cabinets, where he kept all of his negatives. He slept on a single-size cot, showered in a shared bathroom and, when he was asked why he spent years ripping up checks from magazines like Details (which he helped Annie Flanders launch in 1982), said: “Money’s the cheapest thing. Liberty and freedom is the most expensive.”
I highly recommend the documentary about him, "Bill Cunningham New York."

UPDATE: We re-watched the documentary just now. Very moving. "If you seek beauty, you will find it."

The 15th century mansion where Rupert Murdoch and his wife Jerry Hall had dinner with Donald Trump.

It's the MacLeod House, part of the Trump International Golf Links Scotland. Very nice. I'm also interested to be reminded of the weirdness that is Mick Jagger's ex-wife being married to the 80-year-old media tycoon. The Daily Mail reports and includes details like Trump's driving of Murdock and Hall in a golf cart (with Murdock left sitting alone in the back seat), the fact that Trump would probably order the the king prawn cocktail and a steak, and the reporters faux-fretting about the way Trump was showing off his a golf course instead instead of behaving like a conventional candidate who'd be grinding through a lot of fundraising at this point. Lots of pics at The Daily Mail, where they're sloppy enough to have a caption that reads "Whirlwind romance: Hall married Trump in March, three months after they announced their engagement," and mean enough to dig up an unflattering  2012 photo of Trump teeing off.

"When asked 'Where are you from?' almost no one would answer 'Europe,' because after 50 years of assiduous labor by the eurocrats, Europe remains a continent, not an identity."

Writes Megan McArdle:
As Matthew Yglesias points out, an EU-wide soccer team would be invincible — but who would root for it? These sorts of tribal affiliations cause problems, obviously, which is why elites were so eager to tamp them down. Unfortunately, they are also what glues polities together, and makes people willing to sacrifice for them. Trying to build the state without the nation has led to the mess that is the current EU. And to Thursday's election results. Elites missed this because they're the exception — the one group that has a transnational identity. And in fact the arguments for the EU look a lot like the old arguments for national states: a project that will empower people like us against the scary people who aren’t.
And it makes the argument against xenophobia seem like xenophobia.

SpotMini, the dog robot, is sprightly and agile...

... but don't miss the encounter with banana peels at 1:27.

And here's an article about it: "Boston Dynamics' robot dog is good enough to show how terrible home robots are right now."

"I put no stock in 'portents' and 'vibes,' but I can't help wondering if what's happened already this cycle is just a hint of what's to come."

Tweets Jeff Greenfield, the longtime political analyst and author of 13 books.

I can't remember the last time I laughed so much at something that I found funny precisely because of the seriousness with which it was intended.

If you know the podcast "Topics," by the comedians Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black, you should understand what I mean when I say that "Topics" is hilarious because of people like Jeff Greenfield.




Subject line of new email from Michelle Obama: "Eight more years like these."

Ann --

Tomorrow will be one of the many happy anniversaries that we've been able to celebrate together over the past few years -- one year since the Supreme Court ruled that every American has the right to marry the person they love.

I hope you'll take a minute to think about all the moments like this one, when we've been able to look back and see the fruits of all our hard work. (In fact, go ahead and take a few minutes, because there's so much that we should be proud of.)

And then I want you to think about how much we could accomplish with another eight years like these. ...
Enjoy this moment, Ann.

Take a minute to enjoy all the moments or — with Michelle's permission — take multiple moments to enjoy just so many moments looking backward 8 years and then take some more moments — lots of moments — to think about 8 more years of the same kind of thing. Enjoy!

Who declared "a simple, simple, simple belief that we share, that anything, anything, anything is possible" — and where was he when he said that?

Anything is possible if you say it 3 times.*

It was Joe Biden, in Ireland. 

What?! As Brexit happens, Joe Biden's in Ireland and Donald Trump is in Scotland, and both men are talking about their mothers. (Biden's mother had Irish ancestors, and Trump's mother immigrated from Scotland.)
[Biden] noted how his mother had instilled in him a pride in his Irish heritage, as well as “an absolute certitude that she or any of us were equal to any man or woman on Earth.”
Trump said:
I love the people of Scotland. That's why I built in Aberdeen in one of the great golf courses of the world.... I've gotten to know the people of Scotland so well and you know, through my mother and through everything else. The people of Scotland are amazing people....

"The vote to Leave amounts to an outpouring of fury against the 'establishment.' Everyone from Barack Obama to the heads of NATO and the IMF urged Britons to embrace the EU."

"Their entreaties were spurned by voters who rejected not just their arguments but the value of 'experts' in general. Large chunks of the British electorate that have borne the brunt of public-spending cuts and have failed to share in Britain’s prosperity are now in thrall to an angry populism."

Say the editors of The Economist.

People are stopping taking instruction from the elite. The elite are terrified — at least for themselves and their own power — and they must struggle to find a way to convey that terror to the common people, who seem to be coming to believe that it's all been a big con. The main argument the elite have for the people is: If you don't stick with us, you're doing populism — you're in thrall to angry populism — and populism is bad and wrong.

Judging from the "readers' picks" comments, the NYT article designed to instill empathy for immigrants did not work.

The article, "Low-Priority Immigrants Still Swept Up in Net of Deportation," begins:
Three agents knocked on the door of a modest duplex in a Wisconsin town just after dawn. The Mexican immigrant living on the ground floor stuck his head out.

They asked his name and he gave it. Within minutes José Cervantes Amaral was in handcuffs as his wife, also from Mexico, silently watched. After 18 years working and living quietly in the United States, Mr. Cervantes, who did not have legal papers, rode away in the back seat, heading for deportation.

It is a routine that continues daily.
You can read the whole thing, but you catch the drift. Readers are being instructed to rankle at the new Supreme Court case and to empathize with the good, hard-working, long-suffering immigrants.
After Thursday’s Supreme Court decision, the president’s protections are gone, but the enforcement plan remains in effect. It is part of a particularly edgy moment for immigrants and their supporters framed by the Supreme Court ruling, Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign and Britain’s surprise vote, influenced in part by anti-immigrant sentiments, to leave the European Union.
But look at the highest-rated comments. They're not taking the cue to distinguish themselves from those terrible people who vote for Trump/Brexit and thereby increase the suffering of immigrants. Despite the promptings of the elite opinion-leaders of the NYT, they're agreeing with the Trumpers and Brexiters.

Here's the 2 highest-rated comment, each with 118 recommendations:
Michael H. Alameda, California
These are good, hard-working, wonderful people. Unfortunately, there are two or three billion more, just like them, who would also love to come to the USA.

Meanwhile, US citizens with minimal skills and poor work habits are unemployed. Until we can motivate our own citizens to work, we have no room for anyone else. Part of the motivation would be higher wages, leading to more expensive tomatoes.

I can afford more expensive tomatoes. As a nation we can't afford a completely disenfranchised lower class, with no chance of working their way up. Charity starts at home.

June 24, 2016

Bachelor button, blooming.


Compare yesterday's photo of the bud.

"Restorative justice is not a place for me to use or send a case to sweep things under the rug or to avoid making difficult decisions."

"It is a place for this community to work with its young people to build a more just and peaceful community."


Humor in The New Yorker... which also came up with this "silly walks" new cover by Barry Blitt:

"Britain’s stunning vote to leave the European Union suggests that we’ve been seriously underestimating Donald Trump’s ability to win the presidential election."

Says James Hohmann (in WaPo), who clearly wants Hillary to win:
In the short term, the impending fallout from Brexit will make the presumptive Democratic nominee look good. She advocated for Britain remaining in the union; Trump advocated for leaving. The markets are going to tank today, and this vote will set off a tsunami of repercussions that could meaningfully damage the global economy. People’s 401(k)’s might take a shellacking, and interest rates may spike. Any long-term benefits from breaking away will not be apparent until after the general election....

But the results across the pond spotlight five forces that could allow him to score an upset: 1. RESENTMENT OF ELITES.... 2. XENOPHOBIA... 3. ISOLATIONISM... 4. FLAWED POLLING/The polls showed a neck-and-neck race, and surveys in the past few days showed movement in the direction of “Remain” after Cox’s murder. In the end, though, “Leave” prevailed by 4 points.... 5. COMPLACENCY/The Remain campaign was burdened by complacency. Millennials, who overwhelmingly wanted to remain in the E.U., did not turn out at the same rate as older voters, who wanted to leave...

"No games!"

What's up with the "No games!" line? To me, it seems like something from an old personals ad — something trite and dumb. But I have seen it in the political context. Here — from the Wisconsin protests of 2011:



Musicians in Washington Square Park.

Some new photos by my son John Althouse Cohen (click on the photos for a better, larger view):

Washington Square Park


Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

"And take careful note of the American man’s v-neck sweater. That’s the uniform of a man who is owned by a woman."

That's Scott Adams hating on the v-neck sweater in a blog post titled "The Humiliation of the American Male in 2016." He uses a Cascade TV ad to illustrate his point that "the humiliation of American men is now institutionalized in the media" — and he sees that as a big undercurrent in the rise of Donald Trump. I guess "Make America Great Again" translates, psychically, to Restore My Manhood and consequently — according to Adams — there's going to be a massive turnout of men sweeping thrusting Trump to victory.

But what's so awful about the v-neck sweater? I was struck by Adams's certitude about the unmanliness of the v-neck. How could the shape of the neck matter? Is he reading the letter "V" and thinking of the prominently feminine V words, vagina and vulva? But there are masculine V words: virility, valiant, vigor (JFK's word), vitality, victory.

You may remember that on Christmas eve in 2014, I was puzzled by something a saleslady in Austin, Texas said to me as I was looking for a sweater to give to one of my sons (both are men in their 30s).
She pulls one out that she thinks might be suitable, but then says in a somewhat apologetic tone: "It has a V-neck."

ME: Is there something wrong with V-neck sweaters? People have some kind of problem with V-necks? What's that about?

SHE: Well, my husband doesn't like them. But he's black.

ME (resisting the urge to say "Black people don't like V-neck sweaters?"): V-neck sweaters... are... square?
I blogged that really not knowing what the problem was with V-neck sweaters. Did the commenters help? Well, Jason said "Get back home, Loretta," refers to Loretta Martin, the character in the Beatles' "Get Back" who "thought she was a woman but she was another man." But it wasn't Loretta who was "wearing her high-heel shoes and her low-neck sweater," it was her mother, who was waiting for her back home where she once belonged.

And lemondog said "Uh... oh... V-neck," linking here:

Wow! He's got his hand in the position seen in picture of John Calvin I put up in yesterday's post about the Café Fellatio (where I was hoping you'd read that hand gesture in phallic terms?).

Anyway, I was very interested in getting a solution to this v-neck mystery from Scott Adams. The v-neck, in his view, is aggressively, horrifically emasculating:
How many of the married men reading this blog have received those same sweaters as “gifts” from women? Personally, I’ve received about 25 over the years. None from men. I received three of those sweaters so far this year. I throw them away. Nice try.
Ah! But wait! Wait, Scott Adams: You need to get your mind around this painting of Donald Trump that hangs in his Mar-a-Lago estate:

"The whole world is more peaceful and stable when our two countries – and our two peoples – are united together, as they will be under a Trump Administration."

"The people of the United Kingdom have exercised the sacred right of all free peoples. They have declared their independence from the European Union and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy. A Trump Administration pledges to strengthen our ties with a free and independent Britain, deepening our bonds in commerce, culture and mutual defense. The whole world is more peaceful and stable when our two countries – and our two peoples – are united together, as they will be under a Trump Administration. Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first. They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by and for the people. I hope America is watching, it will soon be time to believe in America again."

Trump leverages Brexit. 

"I found a cicada with the mcdonalds logo on it's back."

I know. It should be "its." But still....

"Will the EU still use English?"

"Yes, says BBC Europe editor Katya Adler. There will still be 27 other EU states in the bloc, and others wanting to join in the future, and the common language tends to be English - 'much to France's chagrin,' she says."