Monday, August 31, 2020

Have A Nice Day!

And there's another thing calculated to drive a man out of the agora: it's the practice, that has somehow come into our lives, of greeting people by saying "have a happy day." I don't for the life of me see the advantage in this. Nobody in a painful situation is any the better for being told to "have a happy day."

Libanius (4th century AD), Declamations 26.7 (tr. D.A. Russell)

Saturday, August 29, 2020

And speaking of truth...

This will be quick.

Ya know those 180,000+ who died from the Chinese Floozy?

Well, they didn't.  According to the CDC, the "updated" figure who were killed is (grab something nailed down) 9210.

5%. And that will probably go lower. Estimates of the real total are between 1/2 and 1/5 of 1%.

So all the pain and bankruptcies and fear and dislocation were all lies.

Heads must roll.

Whose that Allegory?

You're never going to guess, so I'll tell you. It's:

Truth Coming Out of the Well Armed With Her Whip to Chastise Mankind
by Jean-Leon Gerome, 1896

Why was she in a well? Probably a reference to a line from Democritus, the Laughing Philosopher: "We know nothing certainly, for truth lies in a deep place;" often translated as "lies at the bottom of a well."

She's clearly yelling, "Hey! My eyes are up here, buddy!"

Donald J Trump 8/27/20

In the Left’s backward view, they do not see America as the most free, just and exceptional nation on Earth. Instead, they see a wicked nation that must be punished for its sins. Our opponents say that redemption for you can only come from giving power to them. This is a tired anthem spoken by every repressive movement throughout history, but in this country, we don’t look to career politicians for salvation. In America, we do not turn to government to restore ourselves. We put our faith in almighty God.

Funny how a simple paragraph can sum up the last half century.  It's all been leading up to this.

Much as Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech, given 8/28/63, summed up the century before.

Sometimes somebody says something and it just hits you. Or you see an actor in a small part and you know he/she's going places (had that reaction first time I saw Robert Duvall, also Eddie Murphy).

Also funny how dates can resonate. Did you know June 4 is a very important date in WWII? In 1940, the Dunkirk evacuation was completed. In '42, we won at Midway. In '44, we took Rome.

Not sure if I've said this here before, but I think Donald Trump may well turn out to be the most significant, consequential President since Andrew Jackson and for a similar reason

Not saying this because I'm a Trump fan, and you know I am.

I'm saying this because there seems to be one of those coming together moments that hits the country when it needs it. All the lies, all the puffery, are bringing the country into focus. The aristocracy is about to fall and said aristocracy has been pushed for better than 80 years.

Yes, the Left will still hate him, but the vainglory of this year has had an effect.

Friday, August 28, 2020

You oughta get to know Polly O

Simple Spaghetti Sauce with veal

One pound of veal spiedini
six cloves of garlic
two large sweet onions
two cartons Pomi chopped tomatoes.
three table spoons of olive oil
three teaspoons of oregano

Mince the garlic and fry it in the oil. Thinly slice the onions and fry until translucent. Then add the veal. Now you can fry it up in strips as shown above or you can dice it. I like to fry it in the shape of a sliver dollar so I can put it in a sandwich. Brown it.

Then add the Pomi tomatoes and the oregeno. Siimmer on a low flame with a cover. Long time low flame that you check to see it doesn't dry out. Add a little water by sloshing it around the tomato carton to get the rest of good stuff.

After about 40 minutes it's ready to serve over a good spaghetti. Not Ronzoni. Add a little pecorino romanno.


RIP there Spaghetti in Heaven?

Anthony the kid in the Prince Spaghetti commercial is dead at 61. Just a couple of years younger than me so we are almost exact contemporaries. I lived that life in Brooklyn.

The clothes and the food and the decor in the commercial are what I grew up with in the 1960's. My Mom had the same haircut as his Mom. I used to be outside with my friends playing all day and at dinner time the Moms would open the window and shout at us to come home. It was never all the Moms. Just the one closest to where we were hanging out The rest of us got the message and hurried home. If we didn't want a smack.

Back in those days everyone bought the same stuff. Not Prince or Barilla or some other brand. Everyone bought Ronzoni macaroni and Red Pack tomatoes and Polly O mozzarella and ricotta. It was a given. They were always on sale at G&G on Henry Street and my Grandmother would send me out to buy it. A simple supper was often just spaghetti and sauce with nothing much on it other than grated cheese. Sometimes as a special treat she might cook up some veal spiedini in the sauce. But usually it was just a basic puree. Of course that wasn't the Sunday sauce with the meatballs and sausage and the pork skin. That was what made Sunday Special.

You can't buy Ronzoni anymore. It is way too starchy. The macaroni just falls apart. Some big company bought it from the family that ran it and ruined everything. Red Pack is still around but I use Pomi tomatoes exclusively that are imported from Italy in cartons not cans. Much less salt and much better tasting. Still only use Polly O since they are the best by far and are what we are used too.

Kids don't play out in the street anymore either. It's was all play dates or video games on the phone. Nobody plays stick ball or stoop ball or skelly.

Anthony wouldn't recognize the North End. Just like I don't recognize South Brooklyn.

I hope they have spaghetti in Heaven.

I know Hell has Indian food.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Kamala for Vice President!

"This morning all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in our communities, but today, today just maybe they're seeing themselves, for the first time, in a new way — as the stuff of presidents and vice presidents."

Whose that Legal Aid bitch who likes PDA?

She only had one role where she was a star and played a ball breaker of a feminist who really embodied the times.

She was Lawyer who tortured everyone as a public defender who helped criminals and would be in the forefront of both BLM and the MeToo bullshit. I don''t understand why an Italian guy would ever go out with her. He must have been a masochist of the first water.

Oh and she like pizza.

Whose that lawyer bitch.

WKRLEM: Wait maybe this video from Kenosha is worse!

He Pearl Harbored him again!

WKRLEM- The most politically incorrect match I could find

Chief Jay Strongbow put a choke hold on a big black man.

"He Pearl Harbored him!'

I miss the 1970's

Buy My Friend's Book

. . . or I'll kill this dog. (No I won't. Please don't cancel me, PETA.)

The book is Huckleberry Finn In Love And War: The Lost Journals. (You have to admit, that's a lot of title for the money.) The author is an old friend of mine.

If you happen to have Kindle Unlimited, you can download the e-book for free; if not, the download will cost $9.95 (which strikes me as steep, but blame the publisher, not the author). The dead-tree paperback is $14.95, which is closer to reasonable.

If you're into Mark Twain and/or the Civil War, I think there's a good chance you'll like it. If not, probably not. It took some chutzpah for the author to get in the ring with Sam Clemens. If you want to judge whether he's got the chops, there are a couple of excerpts below the "Read more." Also, you can read the first seven chapters at the Amazon link; they mostly take place during the Mexican-American War.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Picture This


A few weeks ago, in order to do a post about a local street sign, I dug out my old, cheap digital camera that I hadn't used in years. This weekend I took it for a spin in the gardens at a nearby regional park. The results were pretty sad. I took ten pictures, and eight of them were blurred and unusable; including, unfortunately, a zoomed-in picture of a goldfinch in some flowers. The other two you see above.

It was a cloudy day, and I guess the problem was the shutter had to stay open too long, and I couldn't hold the camera steady enough. I don't know why the two that worked, worked. I'll try again on a sunny day and see what happens. I suppose a tripod would fix the problem, but I'm damned if I'm going to be seen using a tripod with a Nikon CoolPix.

For those of you who are interested in the botanical details: the top picture is some kind of dogwood, and the bottom one is some purple flowers and orange-leaved plants in a big concrete pot.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Political Discourse

                    The Ogre does what ogres can,
                    Deeds quite impossible for Man,
                    But one prize is beyond his reach,
                    The Ogre cannot master Speech:
                    About a subjugated plain,
                    Among its desperate and slain,
                    The Ogre stalks with hands on hips,
                    While drivel gushes from his lips.

                         --WH Auden, August 1968

When I saw the remarkable picture above, and in particular the mostly-peaceful young gentleman in the silvery mask, I thought of Auden's ogre. Auden wrote his poem in response to the Soviets' crushing of the Prague Spring in 1968. Our ogres, like his, are very good at causing chaos and destruction, but utterly incapable of, and uninterested in, speaking clearly and understandably.

Friday, August 21, 2020

My All-Time Favorite Insult

          Walking home I tried to think what he reminded me
          of and there were various things. They were all medical
          except toe-jam and that was a slang word.
          --Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast, writing about Wyndham Lewis

Hemingway, despite his Macho Man persona, really knew how to be bitchy.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Whose Lives Matter

I've been thinking about this for a while. The trolls on all the comment boards talk about BLM and how white Trumplicans care naught about black people.

Well, I concede it's sometimes hard to work up a lot of sympathy about our darker brethren, but some things, as a great man once observed, crowd a man.

Everyone's heard about Cannon Hinnant and how he was casually (and that's the right description) murdered in front of his sisters and left to die. Fake News said little, if anything, but it's been much more a cause celebre on the Interwebz. Likewise, the death toll in Chiraq, home of Mayor Beetlejuice, gets little press. 38 black kids killed so far this year, 7 in the last 2 weeks.

Mayor Tippytoes was renowned for not caring about the deaths of his constituents, particularly the black ones. One might well ask where are the Os on this? Or The Ozarks? We know what Gropin' Joe thinks. More to the point, where is black America? They can't be happy about it. Do they figure this is the price for a place at the table?

Some place. More kids are aborted than brought to term. The leading cause of death for young black males is young black males. You think there has to be a point where the EBT card just isn't worth it. Maybe it is a black thing and we don't understand (if you recall the sweatshirts, etc.), but at what point does your own flesh and blood become unimportant?

There is something of the Einsatzgruppen in this kind of mentality. For those who missed the lecture, Einsatzgruppen were SS units about the size of a Ranger battalion, trained in mass killing techniques. Their job was to go into a Russian village, root out all the Jews, and execute them in as expeditious a manner possible. They made great use of locals who saw the Krauts as liberators in this.

The Einsatzgruppen were, like all SS men, indoctrinated to see Jews as Untermenschen and their job was to be the local Orkin men. Most shrugged it off as part of the job of winning the war, some just gave into a thousand years of blaming the Jews for everything, some compensated by making light of it. Many couldn't get past the fact that, eventually, they'd see someone in their sights who looked like Grossmutter, the girl next door, baby sis, Dad. These groups had the highest substance abuse rates, mental crackup rates, suicides, and "malingering" (avoidance of duty) of anybody's army.

It was the big reason the Krauts had to transition to the gas chambers at places like Auschwitz.

But we don't see the ones who can't deal with it. The people who should care don't. On any level.

Is this one of those Joe Stalin things where “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic”? Are all these deaths just necessary to swing public opinion in the glorious world socialist revolution, but are meaningless in and of themselves to the people who make a living crying about the oppression of blacks?

The issue seems to me that nobody's life matters to the Dr Evils of the world, or this country. The only thing that counts is the power To be sure, some deaths are sensationalized to create public outrage in some quarters, but those are only for the purpose of moving the Overton Window in a certain direction.

The real tragedy is that all the enablers are numb to it. I know to be a Lefty, you have to go with the program without exception, without question; you have to hate as hard as they tell you to hate.

But where are the ones who see Grossmutter?

Where are the ones who realize if All Lives Do Not Matter, No Lives Matter?

Or will we see them on Election Day?

Not sure I said this right, but I hope I got the point across.

WKRLEM: Putting Out The Fire with Gasoline

It seems what we have been doing these days.

I seem to be obsessed with Cat People these days.

"Is That Supposed to be a bad thing

The God Emperor of the Cherry Blossom Throne put the lying media in it's place when it questioned him about the support of the followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Basically these people believe that the Deep State is undermining his administration and protecting pedophiles and abusers like Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein  and the scumbags in Hollywood.

What like that is not believable? Did you hear about the Netflicks child porn movie that celebrates 11 year old girls dancing like whores?

We know the Democratic response to this:

A photo of Bill Clinton getting a massage by an underage girl who was sex trafficked while he flew on Epstein's plane. That dropped yesterday. The Democrats had him making a speech at their convention.

We know where the Democrats and the Media stand.

It''s sick out there and getting sicker.

Like the turning of the earth...we never think we will get old

In 1985 I bought season tickets for the New York Knicks when they drafted Patrick Ewing in the first pick of the draft. I got two tickets for $12 a seat for 40 home games plus two exhibitions. All in all it cost about a grand. I kept buying the tickets for 17 seasons as they got more expensive and the Knicks failed to win over and over again.

On that early team they had a good little player named Gerald Wilkins. He played shooting guard or small forward. Not much of an outside shot but he was very athletic and could go to the hole. Nowhere as good as his brother Dominique but still he was a very serviceable player and a fan favorite. The reason he was a favorite was because he was a happy guy. Always smiling and happy on the court he was great when he met the fans. I met him a couple of times at team functions that I got invited  to as a season ticket holder. All  in all I liked him a lot.

Now basketball has abandoned me. Filled as the game is with hatred towards white people and our country the league is not for me and I have haven't seen a game in five years. I don't know one player on the Knicks roster. Gerald Wilkins has fallen even more than my regard for the game.

"Former New York Knicks guard Gerald Wilkins was reportedly arrested on assault charges Tuesday after a string of arrests over separate incidents earlier this spring.
Wilkins, the younger brother of NBA legend Dominique Wilkins, faces two counts of battery after he was arrested in Cobb County, Georgia, TMZ reported Wednesday.
The second-round pick has had numerous run-ins with the law lately and was cuffed three times in 10 days over late May and early June."
The Gerald Wilkens I knew is long gone. The game of basketball as well. I never thought I would despise the game and its players so much. But it is par for the course. I never thought I would despise Brooklyn the way I do. I can't even bring myself to talk about the Yankees I am so distraught.
You can only go on and try to carry on and drop the things that have changed beyond redemption. Nothing ever gets resolved. Nothing ever gets better. The dystopian horror that I read about in so many science fiction stories seems to be upon us. Nothing anyone is doing seems to make it betterr.
It's like putting out fires with gasoline.

Enlarge Image

Wednesday, August 19, 2020


Natasha in her primal state!

Pussy Power!

Fore-edge Paintings

Sometimes a video is worth a couple of hundred words. Click the YouTube above to see what a fore-edge painting is. It's only 33 seconds.

Neat, huh? Here's a longer video (4:19), showing ten very nice examples, including one with both the fore- and bottom-edge painted:

These books are not common, of course, but they're not as rare as you might think. Artists are still creating them today. Prices at ebay and Abebooks are typically in the hundreds of dollars.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Who Goes Karen?

I've mentioned the essay, Who Goes Nazi?, here and elsewhere on several occasions.

Doxxing, the knockout game, various ambushes and assassination attempts have become part of the tolerant peaceful Left's stock in trade, much like the SA was to the Nazis.

What we have now is an escalation in violence, particularly assaults, arson, looting, and murder. And it's very hard to buy the idea it's all random; there is no plan to it.

One thing most people have never heard is that the Gestapo was a very small agency, not a lot of guys in black leather trench coats skulking in the shadows. What the Gestapo had was informers, by the thousand; people who would turn their own mother in if they thought it would do them some good.

And that's where we seem to be going, at least in the Blue Zone, nowadays. The people (there are, sort of, men who do this, too) are known as Karens and you get the feeling they would send you to Dachau-on-the-Brazos without turning a hair.

Because they are right. They used to call themselves right-thinking people back in the 60s when they lived in places like Scarsdale. They are doing the work the government can't and know they are right because their intentions are right.

The Karens will drop a dime on anybody not wearing a mask or wearing  a bikini they think is inappropes. Sometimes they will throw hot coffee in your face for it. Sometimes they will harangue you like the harridans they are in front of God and everybody because you did something that traumatized their designer child.

The cost of this is considerable, as this vid which is making the rounds shows. Lost jobs, lost businesses, suicides because the governor or the mayor wants to impose his will on the serfs. The Karens don't care. They are right. But the people on the other side are getting fed up.

This is not a new issue. It goes back to the early days of the Vietnam War. They set themselves up as the arbiters of Right and only they could be in the right. So the grandchildren of the hippies who called Vietnam vets baby killers and told themselves they had the right to break what they considered unjust laws are just following what they learned around the Festivus tree.

The people who get hurt, of course, the no-collar, white-collar, blue-collar working stiffs who make the country go. They're the ones losing money, jobs, businesses, homes, even lives. The Left loves to whine about the working classes, a flexible definition if there ever was one, but everything they've done in the last 4 years has been against them. It's been a long time since anyone was on their side, he's the one fighting back.

Donald Trump may end up being the most consequential President since Andrew Jackson. He has inaugurated a second Era of the Common Man. It's why the Left hates him with such a murderous anger. It's why no overreaching of moral boundaries is too low to persecute his adherents.

The era of Karen means that some Americans have had to learn der Deutsch Blick, the German look, before speaking to ensure prying ears hear that All Lives Matter or social distancing is a crock. Others don't care. They aren't going to follow arbitrary rules made up simply to feed some politician's megalomania. America is still out there, standing tall. They refused to be forbidden from church or to go to their job. Some have been forced out. They are finding ways around it. When they can't, that's when the trouble really starts.

We know sports rating are terrible. People have found they can live without overpaid jerks telling them they're racist. Same with the movie business. There will be a big reckoning in the end.

Some of these issues are being fought in  the courts.

Some, I think. will be fought in the streets The Left asked for it.

Whose that Merkel?

She was the only kraut who was worth a shit for the past thirty years. One sexy piece of work back in the day she starred in several great movies back in the 1980's. Mostly know for being a movie where she starred as a pussy person she is also known for her crazy Dad who was very wrathful all the time.

Whose that Merkel?

St Lucy with her eyeballs on a plate

Carroll Gardens is lousy with statues. One of the more famous one is of St Lucy with her eyeballs on the plate at the corner of my old block on Third Place. It is a memorial to Tuddi who was an old time resident who died many years ago.

What is interestting is you can see the bar in the background. Back in the day it used to be the Three Fours as the address is 444 Court St. Now it is a hipster bar called Abeline with a Western motif. It is run and patronized by hipsters. They had outside seating before the virus and the typical hipster drinker was a mom with a stroller and a dog attached getting their drink on in the middle of the day. The bar is always full of kids as these hipster parents don't want to lose out on their drinking so they bring their brats everywhere.

The other thing that is interesting is that the statue gets a lot of offerings. Not candles or cards or other tokens of respect. No cigarette butts  the the hipster scumbags toss on the floor. The owner of the building has to come clean it every day.

It is sick out there and getting sicker.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Holy Moses

A Catholic church in my neighborhood used to have a big statue of the Virgin Mary on a pedestal at the entrance to its main driveway, with a smaller statue of the church's patron saint kneeling in prayer in front of it. For the last few years the pedestal has been empty, I don't know why. Recently the little statue pictured above (it's no more than two feet high) appeared there.

It's obviously Moses -- note the tablets. But I've never seen a statue of an Old Testament figure in front of a Catholic church before; and it seems kind of wrong to have the saint praying to him. I guess it's a mystery, as the nuns in the movies say.

And anyway, to me that statue looks more like a fantasy-game wizard . . .

. . . than one of the Hebrew prophets.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Election Anagrams

I Shred Brain

The Wordplays site has an anagram generator that does all the work for you.

Biden-Harris: I Shred Brain

Trump-Pence: Men Crept Up

Joe Biden: I Need Job

Donald Trump: Old Damp Turn

Mike Pence: Pink Emcee

Kamala Harris: Malaria Shark

Thursday, August 13, 2020


We see where the Demos are contemplating relegating Chlamydia to the basement also. I can't blame them. Yesterday, in her first big speech, she described the riots as a moral reckoning with racism and historic injustice that has brought a new coalition of conscience to the streets of our country demanding change.

Coalition of conscience? Now you know why.

They can't win.

Word has also come down Ubersturmbannfuhrer Gretchen of MI was Gropin' Joe's real choice, but the Demos are just as desperate now as he was 5 months ago. Understandable why he'd like her. She's his kind of girl.

Great rack, nice curves, good built, probably the best the Demos have to offer. Add to that she's a person of pallor, a good Kraut, has that Because I'm The Mommy, THAT'S Why dominatrix vibe (wonder where she keeps the whip), and probably grew up in a house with restrictive covenants on it.

Ah, well, if Gropin' Joe doesn't make it to Labor Day, they'll need someone to take Chlamydia's place so we can have that historic all womyn ticket.

Codex and Scroll

"A few other trends actually seem to be moving backward in the new millennium. For instance, audiobooks are a return to the oral tradition, and podcasts—talks, interviews, radio series—dispense with the written record completely. The codex—the book with turnable pages sewn between covers—was a great improvement over the scroll, but now, with publication online, we are back to scrolling again, which makes it hard to refer back to things."
--Mary Norris, Greek to Me (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2019)
via Laudator Temporis Acti
The above is excerpted from this article, which is excerpted from this book. The article is fun and worth a read, if you're interested in language.

One of my pet grumps is links that look like they might be interesting, but go to podcasts or talking-head videos (which I ignore). Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams used to have a blog I enjoyed; now it's no longer a blog, just links to podcasts. There are plenty of reasons why I prefer text, whether on scroll, codex or monitor, to audio files.
  • Most important, I can read much faster than I can listen to someone talk.
  • I can skim over or skip material that I'm not interested in, or that I already know.
  • I can easily re-read something, or check it against something elsewhere in the piece.
  • I can easily reference footnotes, maps, indices etc.
But, you say, what about the personal intangibles -- emotion, expression, tone of voice, nuance? Well, you've got a point. But I don't think it outweighs all the disadvantages.

And anyway, good writing can supply some of that tone and nuance, he said with a winning smile.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

archy on Shakespeare

Archy was a cockroach and poet who lived in a newspaper office in the 1910s and 1920s, and came out at night to use columnist Don Marquis' typewriter. Because he typed by jumping onto the keys, he couldn't use capital letters. (ee cummings did not have that excuse.)

Archy's friend Pete the Parrot had lived at the Mermaid Tavern in a previous life, and knew Shakespeare and his crowd. Here is Archy quoting Pete quoting Shakespeare:

. . . any mutt can write
plays for this london public
says bill if he puts enough
murder in them what they want
is kings talking like kings
never had sense enough to talk
and stabbings and stranglings
and fat men making love
and clowns basting each
other with clubs and cheap puns
and off color allusions to all
the smut of the day oh i know
what the low brows want
and i give it to them

And here's Archy's take:

catches the crowd
and i
are often
low browed 
the fish wife
and the laugh
of the horse
and i
are frequently

The poems excerpted above can both be read here.

The archy & mehitabel books have seldom been out of print since the first was published in 1927. They can be found, new and used, hardback and paperback, at all the usual places.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Henri Le Sidaner

Maison Blanche, Gerberoy

I had never even heard of Henri Le Sidaner until a couple of days ago, when I peeked in at Andrew Rickard's Charon's Barque and saw some pictures from a book his Obolus Press had just published -- a translation of Le Sidaner's biography, with illustrations. I checked around elsewhere and found I really like his work.

Le Sidaner's dates are 1862-1939. He called himself an "Intimist." His paintings look pretty Impressionist-y to me, with maybe a dash of Pointillism. Well, as the saying goes, I don't know much about art, but I know what I like. Unlike the guy in the Thurber cartoon:

Le Sidaner must have done pretty well for himself -- he had some really nice gardens. They're still maintained and open to the public.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

So Chlamydia got all the bad plastic surgery for nothing?

Interesting stuff coming out as we head down the home stretch.

Gun sales to women and blacks have shot through the roof. In Minnesnowta, they've doubled over last year.

As the Eminent Mr Surber notes, Trump lost MN by half the number of votes as there were gun purchase this years. Would you believe 40% of new gun owners are women?

Even the WSJ has noticed, so this is a big deal.

And it's why the God Emperor of the Cherry Blossom Throne made a point of accusing Shotgun Joe of being against guns.

Especially since, when seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.

If they're coming at all, of course.

Truth in advertising. I've tried to lay off the Flu Manchu stuff and politics so as not to be repetitive .I'd do a few more show biz posts (I know Troop is better; I also know I kind of blew the one on Olivia, chalk it up to the learning curve) when something interesting comes along. Like did you hear Ghislaine tried to recruit Paris Hilton? Talk about Entertainment Tonight.

PS Is this new editor as slow for everybody else as me ? Trying to link anything is ridiculous.
No offense to anybody.

Friday, August 7, 2020

On Thinking Out Loud and Monkeying with the Switches

This, published seven years ago, in Painting Your Way Out of a Corner, the Art of Getting Unstuck, by Barbara Berry, spoke to me today:

"One of the techniques I use to guide students through a block is to ask them to name two or three things they could easily add to the picture.  A lot of times they will nod their heads as they think of ideas but don’t tell me what they are. 

It isn’t that I have to know everything; rather, the possibilities need to be said aloud.  Keeping the thoughts inside the head does not engage the imagining brain in the same way as when we put the words out there.  

I believe this is like turning a paint blob into a definite image.  As long as the stroke remains nebulous, there is only so much we can interact with it. Once we make it into something, we can have a reaction to it and then go deeper.  So it is with ideas--once we say our ideas out loud, they have substance.  The words themselves become bridges to the next thought and the one after that.  

Just as important, once we say something out loud, it can’t be taken back.  That may be why my invitations to play what-if games are often met with resistance.  I think it stems from shyness or fear that what’s said off the cuff could be a mistake or sound foolish, bad, ugly,mean--any number of unwanted possibilities.  

My take on this is that we expend a lot of energy in the everyday trying to say the right thing, on being politic and trying to please and take care of others.  There needs to be a safe space to lift the filter and let the imagination go, even if the results aren’t out of Miss Manner’s playbook. 

The truth is, letting yourself spout whatever comes to mind is just playful and funny, not usually taboo.  There might be more we can do with an image and we can spark those ideas by asking certain questions, such as:
What could it be holding?
What could be standing behind it?
If it had a hole in the top of its head, what could we see inside, coming out, or going in?

I want students to just let their minds go with as little monitoring as possible.  The answers don’t have to make sense, and it also doesn’t matter whether they are simple or extreme.  As words first spill out, they may feel too prescribed or forced, but then something else may emerge.  Suddenly an idea you hadn’t any clue existed pops up, and it has energy or it’s very funny or you feel excited about it.
And that’s the thing you paint. 
This takes practice.  Just as there is training involved for the eye to see images in a blob, brainstorming possible ideas out loud takes discipline as well."

Premature Schadenfreude

There's been a lot of chuckling on the right side of the blogosphere since Governor Cuomo begged wealthy New Yorkers to come back to the city, and bring their tax money with them. "Ha! After a few months of lower taxes, no crime, and friendly neighbors, they'll never come back. Blue New York will die on the vine."

That won't happen. The day after the Pandemic is officially over and the lockdowns are ended -- November 4 if the Dems win the election, later if they don't -- the one-percenters will come flocking back. Yes, it's true: there's nothing an investment banker or an ad agency exec can do from his Manhattan office that he can't do from an office in Rensselaer, Indiana. But that's been true for a couple of decades now.

The thing is, they will want to be around people who know how important they are. Yes, they'd be noticed in Rensselaer: "Sure, that's the rich couple that bought the old Ledeen place and fixed it up; isn't it nice they're sponsoring the Food Drive?" But they wouldn't be as important as the football coach or the minister.

Human Nature for the win, once again.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

WKRLEM: Looking for some Tush


Oy and Aloha!

I was told there wold be no Dylan

I can't understand

She let go of my hand
An' left me here facing the wall
I'd sure like to know
Why she did go
But I can't get close to her at all
Though we kissed through the wild blazing nighttime
She said she would never forget
But now mornin's clear
It's like ain't here
She acts like we never have met.

It's all new to me
Like some mystery
It could even be like a myth
But it's hard to think on
That she's the same one
That last night I was with
From darkness, dreams're deserted
Am I still dreamin' yet ?
I wish she'd unlock
Her voice once and talk
'Stead of acting like we never have met.

I don't know how any TV series will be able to be produced this season

I don't know how any TV series will be able to be produced this season. At least the hour long dramas. These shows are almost exclusively police or medical shows. Cops or doctors. How can they possibly be produced in the current climate that has been polluted by the twin disasters of Covid and Black Lives Matter.
Almost every cop show on TV today specializes in police misconduct as par for the course. It is always white officers who are at fault and only heroic black or women characters who set them right. Most of the criminals are the imaginary white supremacists that dominate the dreams of the ultra woke writers but still the corrupt white cop is at the base of it. Take Chicago PD which is all about a corrupt unit of the police force that kills suspects and covers up evidence. How can they proceed? Who is going to watch it? They will have to kowtow to Black Lives Matter and make the shows even more unbelievable and one sided. You will never see a black gang banger killing people. They will be forced to only have anti-white kabuki theater. I don't think that most people will watch that. Certainly not the older demographic that is at the heart of ratings for regular broadcast TV.

Cop shows can not survive unless the cops are the heroes. That has been true since the beginning of television. The dominant culture of political correctness will not allow that so it is unlikely that these shows can survive.
Then there are the medical shows. How are they going to proceed if everyone is wearing a mask all the time. Without seeing their facial expressions you are counting on their acting ability to carry the ball. Good luck with that.

Take that pedestrian medical drama with the half a retard guy  "The Good Doctor." He halts and stammers and shakes all the time. Half of the drama is seeing if he spits out what he is talking about. All of that is gone if everybody is wearing a mask all the time. If they don't wear a mask they will be called out by all the Karen's. It is just not going to work.

The only shows that will work are historical dramas, science fiction and game shows. Even competition shows like the Voice will require masks. The only other ones that will flout the rules are reality shows.

Imagine "Real Housewives" twenty four hours a day.

Spinelli will be trilled.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A true Man of God

You know normally I don't have much use for the blow dried preachers in those Mega-churches with thousands of congregants. They always remind me of Reverend Ike who was a processed hair pimp who had late night commercials when I was a kid. He would have the dirt poor church ladies in Bed Stuy send him nickels and dimes so he could drive a Cadillac. 

Pastor John MacArthur has proven to be a real man of God. He is opening his church and having services even though the Communist government of Los Angles California is fining him $1000 a day and threatening to arrest him. In his own words:

“It has never been the prerogative of civil government to order, modify, forbid, or mandate worship,” said MacArthur and the church’s elder board in their statement. “Freedom of worship is a command of God, not a privilege granted by the state.”

Where is the Catholic Church in this battle to secure our rights to worship freely in the face of government oppression? Nowhere to be found.

I am ashamed of my Church. When this guy can go to jail and the Bishops count their money and diddle altar boys you know that we need a massive cleansing of the temple.

Digging Up Human Nature

These two artifacts are among my all-time favorite archaeological finds.

The first, pictured above, is a jeweler's mold from the Viking era. I think it was found at Hedeby. Using this mold, the enterprising silversmith could cast Thor's-hammer pendants for believers in the old religion, and Christian crosses for believers in the new, at the same time. Nothing like free enterprise, and the profit motive, to promote tolerance.

The second is this . . .

. . . a pair of loaded dice from Pompeii. Loaded dice have also been found at various Legionary forts and garrison towns.

A neat thing about studying the past is that it makes you marvel, simultaneously, at how much we have changed over the centuries, and how little.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Oi, Mate!

Queue Jumping? Seriously, Mister County Government Bureaucrat? This is the Great American Suburbs here, not Wanking-on-Thames, Surrey. You'll notice we're driving on the right.

Used to be, the Brits would whine, or maybe whinge, about Americanisms creeping into the Queen's English and polluting the noble language of Shakespeare. Now that seems to be going the other direction, and we have a cabal of PBS-watchers out to poncify our street signs.

Just sod off.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Rules for Readers: The Steel Bonnets

To recap: Rule #1 is
If you like what an author writes for money, seek out what he writes for love.

George MacDonald Fraser was well-known for his Flashman series of historical adventure novels. I read a couple, and enjoyed them, but didn't feel compelled to binge them all. Then a friend recommended his McAuslan stories, which I liked a lot, and I started picking up more of his non-Flashman books, like his WW2 memoir Quartered Safe Out Here. (More on these, maybe, in a later post.)

Most Americans, even history buffs, know little about The Borders and their wars, except as the source of some fine ballads. Fraser addresses the history with easy, colorful narrative, with obvious love for the land and its people, and with love, too, of telling a good story.