Saturday, March 30, 2019

Stupid Mail

Can't find the place I heard the joke about how in the future Green Book 4 will still be winning the Oscar, only in that one it will be a white guy driving a white guy around.  Anyone know where I heard that a couple of weeks back?   Spike Lee should realize that will always happen. 

I don't care what an old, white, straight, male on the outer fringes of the suburbs of the more degraded part of what gets called "art" thinks about what I said about the possibilities of Women, speakers of small population language communities, LGBTQ, and others who Hollywood will never represent or serve telling their own stories dramatically.   He should go screw off into the industry that, as proven by the numbers, will always service the wishes, desires and dreams*  of his minority group.   Hollywood is an oligarchic lie factory.   Those are the stories it tells.  

Update:  *  I should have included appetites.    Appetites of straight, white, men is mostly what Hollywood services. 

Update 2:  Yeah, like I said, white people.  

Radio Drama Second Feature - Gary Bleasdale - Confessional

In London, a young woman takes a cab at Victoria station with a dark mission. It will alter the course of her marriage and perhaps her entire life. 

Can the cabbie help her avoid disaster? 

Lisa: Catherine McCormacK
Driver: Trevor Cooper
Kate: Lisa Sadovy
Sam: Ben Price

Director: Peter Kavanagh

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Eimear McBride - Mouthpieces

A new radio work by the acclaimed author of A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing  and The Lesser Bohemians. Mouthpieces is performed by Eimear McBride and Aoife Duffin.

Mouthpieces divides into three miniature plays, each depicting a fragment of female experience, all of them in the author's vivid, original and sharp-witted style.

In The Adminicle Exists, we hear the inner voice of a woman who saves her troubled, dangerous partner; 

In An Act of Violence, a woman is quizzed about her reaction to a man’s death; 

In The Eye Machine, the character ‘Eye’ tells of her imprisonment, flickering through a slideshow of female stereotypes.

Mouthpieces was written over the course of McBride’s Creative Fellowship at the Beckett Research Centre, University of Reading. The opening piece, The Adminicle Exists will be published in the Faber Anthology, Being Various: New Irish Short Stories, edited by Lucy Caldwell, in May 2019.Performed by Eimear McBride and Aoife Duffin.Sound Design and Sound Supervision: Gar Duffy; Dramaturg: Jesper BergmannBroadcast Co-ordinator: Jarlath HollandProducer: Kevin BrewSeries Producer: Kevin Reynolds.Group Head of Drama and Comedy, RTÉ: Shane Murphy.

In looking for radio dramas to post I always see what the latest offerings of the RTÉ,  Irish National Radio posts as well as the BBC and the few others who still produce good English-language radio drama for broadcast.  This week it was this series of very short dramas.   It also reminded me of the too-little discussed study,  Celluloid Ceiling that shows that if Women are ever going to achieve anyting like equality in show-business, they'd better not depend on Hollywood to do it. 

Male characters continued to dominate on the big screen in 2018.  While only 35% of films featured 10 or more female characters in speaking roles, 82% had 10 or more male characters in speaking roles.  Females comprised 35% of all speaking characters, an increase of 1 percentage point from 34% in 2017.  Females comprised 36% of major characters.  This represents a decline of 1 percentage point from 37% in 2017.  The percentage of top grossing films featuring female protagonists increased to 31% in 2018, rebounding from 24% in 2017, and slightly besting the 29% achieved in 2016.  Regarding race and ethnicity, the percentage of Black females increased from 16% in 2017 to 21% in 2018.  The percentage of Latinas decreased from 7% in 2017 to 4% in 2018.  The percentage of Asian females increased from 7% in 2017 to 10% in 2018.  However, this increase is due largely to one film, Crazy Rich Asians.  When this film is excluded from the analysis, Asians accounted for 8% of all female characters, only 1 percentage point above the 7% achieved in 2017.

If any of those groups of women are ever going to tell their stories dramatically they are going to have to do it themselves, audio drama is the perfect venue for doing that, all groups that are never going to have their stories told when large money investments, producers, directors, etc. are involved and if they try they'll always have their stories altered to appeal to the lowest common denominator to make money from it.  Hollywood is the exact opposite of what they need to work through.   I've made that same point about any hope for an LGBTQ theater that says something, for small populations, "minority languages" and the such.  If Women, who comprise half of the world's population can't get the movies to tell their stories, to include them, then far smaller groups have little hope of that ever happening.  

Audio drama especially in the age of extremely inexpensive but potentially excellent digital audio production gives people without resources the ability to produce writer-actor centered drama, to say things that Hollywood will never say, to give people Hollywood will never give work to for an audience that wants to or, more importantly, needs to hear.  People need to be able to imagine things they haven't imagined yet, story telling, dramatic presentations can give people ways to think about things that haven't ever been given to them or suggested to them, before. 

I'd tie this in to the excellent book I'm in the process of re-reading, Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (And Yours) by Harold R. Johnson, in which he emphasizes the importance of the stories people tell themselves about themselves and the groups they identify with.  But this is getting long for these three short dramatic plays.  I will be writing about Harold Johnson's book at length because it strikes me as laying out a far from simplistic but extremely insightful way to deal with one of the most damaging and unacknowledged causes of preventable misery and death among us. 

I will post a second-feature later today, I've got to go sit with a family member. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Joe Biden, Indeed, Isn't The Answer For President

I was called out on a family matter so I haven't had a chance to write more today.  

Rebecca Traister has written an excellent article outlining many of the reasons Joe Biden doesn't belong in the presidential race of 2020, many of them the same reasons he didn't belong in the ones he used to enter or float rumors he was going to enter, starting in the 1980s.  

I hope that Joe reads it or hears about it and decides to stay out of it.   He should retire.  

Betsy DeVos Is A Stinking Lying Crook And Gangster

Hate Mail - No, I Don't Have Any Reservations About Citing Andrea Dworkin

What that idiot knows about Andrea Dworkin can be summed up in two things, her name and that she's supposed to have cooties because she wanted to suppress snuff porn and the such and demanded that Women's autonomy and rights AND LIVES mattered.  I doubt that idiot could even articulate the reasons why he's supposed to disdain Andrea Dworkin,  I would bet you that easily 99% of the people who have been, likewise, convinced that she is unmentionable except as an object of derision know no more than that about her, that she is to be mentioned only as an object of derision.

I have actually read some of what she wrote and listened to some of what she said and, while I don't agree with everything she said and have reservations as to how she said some of the good things she said,  I have a great deal of respect for her and think much of what she did say is not only extremely important, it's far more important, today, in the age of Trump and Incels and Jordan Peterson's boy possee and the Republican-fascist attacks on Womens' right to own their own lives, bodies and persons than it was when she said it.

There is virtually no one that an intelligent person would agree with on every point, the more that someone else says, the higher the chance that you will disagree with some of what is said.   I'm even surprised to find out that obvious fact of life even applies to what I say.  Someone who is  intelligent, faced with disagreements with someone they respect will listen to find out if they might change their own minds.   Really intelligent people will even listen to those they don't respect in that regard, from time to time.

Stupid people will discount what someone like Andrea Dworkin says on the basis of the disparagment of her they read or hear from third parties, who, in her case NEVER IN MY EXPERIENCE have had pure motives in attacking or trying to discredit her.  I would say that is true from everyone from the snuff porn merchants up to the level of Barry Lynn who I have some respect for, though less than I used to back when I was a knee jerk lefty.

I went farther left than that largely on the basis of listening to people I had been told not to listen to because they had cooties, especially "First Amendment" cooties and "Separation of Church and State" cooties and other, similar crumbly pillars of the post-war left.  My current position is far farther to the left because, among other things, I took Andrea Dworkin's demand that Womens' lives be taken with total seriousness, their rights, their welfare, THEIR THINKING ABOUT WOMEN AND MEN AND LIFE.   My absolute bottom line in judging anything, up to and including the artificial, secular sanctity for the friggin' First Amendment is that where those lead to the deaths, oppression, discrimination against and destruction of other people and entire groups of people, that is where those sacred holdings and objects give way to the vital rights of those people.

I pay Andrea Dworkin the respect of not reflexively agreeing with everything she says as I would anyone else.   I regret that she died fourteen years ago, she would have had a lot of insight into this period of angry-online-boy violence and hate mongering and bullshit artists like Jordan Peterson and fascist scum like Donald Trump.

Here is a speech she gave in 1987, consider it in light of the treatment of Anita Hill by the, then, establishment liberalism of Joe Biden in the Senate, as well as other such things.  I am not advocating every idea she set out and am not endorsing how she said things I agreed with, I'm advocating listening to what she said, considering it in the time she said it and how her ideas have stood in the following 32 years.

Update:  I wouldn't put much credence in FACT, it was mostly useful for showing how utterly wrong they were.   Here's an interesting analysis of what they actually did and the results of it.  What I say above taken into account,  I am not inclined to take much of anything Wendy McElroy says seriously, she's a right-wing zealot.  I say that on the basis of having some familiarity with her junk.  She's a right wing faux-feminist of the kind who inevitably end up supporting male supremacy and capitalist oligarchy.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Adam Schiff's Statement Should Go Down In History As One Of The Best Speeches Made In The House

If Canada Were Smart They'd Profit From America's Racist Shitheads Like Stephanie Pilcher Miller And Other Republicans

Canada, you should snap these guys up, the United States is in the hands of total racist, bigot, idiots and someone should profit from it.

The video clarifies that the skank who started this idiocy isn't exactly Stephen Miller (Mitler) but she's kind of a Ms. Mitler.

Stacey Abrams Is The Future Of The Democratic Party Joe Biden Is Its Failed Past

I do not want Joe Biden to run for the Democratic nomination, he has a record which might have made him a good vice-president for Obama, I'd give him a B or a B- on that, he has a record that would make him a terrible Democratic candidate for president, especially as it becomes ever clearer that old-white-straight-men are not the winning demographic for the Democratic Party, even taking into account that a very large percentage of old-white-straight-men do and have voted for Democrats, just not a majority of that artificial entity. 

The Biden record in regard to his awful running of the Clarence Thomas hearings should be enough to disqualify him from getting the 2020 Democratic nomination, I've reviewed the tapes, he was clearly afraid to cross his Republican colleagues whose behavior to Anita Hill was an abomination that, if what happens in the afterlife is based in justice, sees the likes of Arlen Specter in hell, soon to be joined by the sanctimonious Orin Hatch and so many others.  Biden's questioning of her was, clearly, more calculated to be acceptable to Republicans on the committee and in the right wing media than it was to find out the truth.  It wasn't an attempt to uncover the truth about Clarence Thomas's sexual harassment, something which sheds light on his behavior in office, it was to cover Biden's white, straight, male ass.   His refusal to call the other corroborating witnesses who would have supported what Anita Hill said is proof that he cared more about the idiocy of Senate comity among his fellow white-men than doing justice for women.  His failure to have owned up to his failure in that up to and including today, to apologize sincerely to Anita Hill and the other witnesses he failed to call even as he's clearly preparing to run for president, AGAIN, proves he did not get it, he has not gotten it and he still doesn't get it. 

The last thing Democrats need in the last weeks of October and the first in November 2020 is a presidential candidate who did to women what Joe Biden did as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee then.  If Hillary Clinton was defeated by a narrow margin of votes in a few states due to the phony baggage she was loaded with by James Comey, the New York City office of the FBI and the New York Times, Joe Biden's real baggage is preserved on video tape. 

That's only one of the reasons that Joe Biden should be talked out of running and, failing that, retired early in the primaries and caucuses. 

His record of running bad presidential campaigns is certainly relevant as is that also recorded instance when he idiotically plagarized a well known speech by the British Labour Party Leader of the time,  Neil Kinnock.  If you want to see how that will be a problem for Biden, google "Neil Kinnock Speech" and see what comes up.

Biden should do what Hillary Clinton seems to have done and realize that the window on the possibility of his presidency closed a long time ago, it's time for younger Democrats to get their chances.   From what I read his attempt to patch the gaping hole in his credibility that he put into it with his treatment of Anita Hill by using the young, dynamic politician Stacey Abrams to plug it up with has failed.   If she refuses to do that for him, she has more sense than he ever exhibited. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Denise Levertov - Five Poems - Read by James Carew

Everything about her was better than AG and the beats.  She even wrote better poems about sex, transcendental as opposed to a roll in the sewer.   Why isn't she the one who gets read in classes? 

Confidential Message to L

I might post your comments if you could refrain from smearing third parties and I would answer your angry rants as I have when you have refrained from that.  You are able to do that, you have in the past.

I didn't talk about Jussie Smollett for the reasons I stated, I DIDN'T NOW WHO THE HELL HE WAS AND I WASN'T PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN WHAT HE DID.  It was a penny-ante publicity stunt which no one was injured in or had their heads bashed in over.   I didn't comment about the original incident before people started talking about it turning out to be a hoax, this is the entire mention of Jussie Smollett in my archive, look, three pieces before this one.  Then, once I found out who the hell he was, what he was accused of and what he had claimed, I haven't said a single thing about him that was any kinder than saying he was a hardly rare guy in show-biz who was narcissistic and irresponsible.  What the hell more do you want me to do?  Call for his assassination?   Incite a race war?  Well, I can't even get you to stop smearing people who don't get to decide what I post and what I don't so . . .

As some have pointed out it's extremely rich for Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Union to be in a swivet over this considering their far more than mere irresponsibility and negligence in the police murder of Laquan McDonald, the obvious destruction and suppression of dash-cam tapes, in the possession of the Chicago Police Department, which showed the murdered 17-year-old guy was WALKING away from the cops when  Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke murdered him and broke a number of other laws, FOR WHICH HE WAS CONVICTED in the process.  As I recall the medical report said some of the bullets were shot into him as he lay on the ground.   Emanuel's political use of the case was far more disgusting than Jussie Smollett's disgusting publicity stunt and even more than his idiotic claims of total innocence after he came to the agreement that got him off.

No Medicare For Them Without Medicare For All

It is time to start pushing health-care equality against those who are trying to take it from the American People, who have kept it from tens of millions of Americans.  We should strip the "socialized medicine" that Republicans and other opponents of universal coverage have enjoyed, including that held by judges and "justices,"  the worst of the worst being the last group, Trump's last hope of throwing tens of millions of people off of health insurance, who are doing it as I'm writing this. 

I really meant it last night when I said that if the courts take away the ACA, they should lose their health insurance, as should the Congress and, especially the Executive.  They should all, with all of the healthcare problems of their advanced ages and all of their preexisting conditions have to pay for it themselves, out of their own pockets.

No Medicare For Them Without Medicare For All 

Here's a Vertical Form Of That New Line Of Political Identity, From Those Who Attempt Justice Down To Hell On Earth

Egalitarian democracy, the only legitimate form
of government, that of, by and for, The People,
economic justice and equality.

Gangster Governance of decreasing equality,
decreasing democracy and decreasing legitimacy
into ever lowering depths of hell, the differences are
legitimate to note as the hellishness they produce
does really matter.

Totally Depraved Gangster regimes,
fascist, Nazi, Stalinist, Maoist, Kim regime,
Pol-Pot, the French Reign of Terror, etc.


The old line with Nazism on one end, going through "right wing" governments, pivoting on a "center-moderate" position, and going through "liberalism" to socialism then Soviet and Maoist styles of Marxism is nonsense based, as I pointed out Saturday, on what the worst of the gangsters said they intended to do with money.  As if you should rationally take the word of genocidal mass murderers that they'll do what they claim they will with the money they steal.

That still ubiquitously used line completely ignored the most glaring commonality of those on either end of their line, that they "left" and "right" all piled up tens of millions of murders and slavery and oppression.   That the moderny, scientifically posing field of political science could have totally ignored that commonality of Nazis, fascists, and various Communist governments in favor of what they said they were going to do with the money only shows how morally depraved that pseudo-scientific junk is.

I remember, back when I had a subscription to The Nation and I'd read that dear old Brit commie Alexander Cockburn's every column that he once named some Soviet Jewish Communist who told him the difference between Hitler and Stalin was that under Stalin, instead of being murdered, he got to join the Red Army and not get killed by Stalin, which struck me as an insufficient distinction, especially since, by that time, I knew of the Night of the Murdered (Yiddish) Poets and Stalin's last, aborted mass slaughter, aborted only by him suddenly dying in his own filth, The Jewish Doctors "Conspiracy".   I'd already noticed the mountains of bodies that those two mid-century mass murderers and others had in common.  There were plenty of Jews among those murdered by Stalin before WWII started.  I can't name the date but I will never forget where I was and what I was doing the moment I realized that those murdered under Marxism were just as murdered and just as dead as anyone Hitler murdered.  I would bet The Nation would still publish such a distinction without a difference, today.

Anarchism promotes a fast track to the lowest forms of gangster governance as can be seen in the slums of major cities where the police don't police and the gangsters in their warring factions rule.  Anarchists are the stupidest of all political adolescents.  Libertarians aren't better.

What Democrats Need To Learn From Pete Buttigieg Right Now

The more I hear him the more I like Pete Buttigieg, I think he's a lot more like what people hoped Barack Obama would be than Beto O'Rourke, is. Than Cory Booker is.  In fact, I think he's more like the Barack Obama that people thought they were voting for than the one they got turned out to be.  Charles Pierce's piece about him the other day contained two long quotes from him that remind me of how good he's been in impromptu interviews I've heard on radio and online.
To the folks on the other side, freedom means 'freedom from.' Usually, freedom from government, as if government were the only thing that could make you unfree. That's just not true. Your neighbor can make you unfree. Your cable company can make you unfree. If they get into the business of telling you who you can marry, your county clerk can make you unfree. Let's talk about what freedom really means. Freedom means being able to start a small business because you know that when you leave your old job, that doesn't mean you have to lose your healthcare. Freedom means that your reproductive health is up to you. Freedom means that when you have paid your debt to society, you get to re-enter society and become a productive, tax-paying, voting citizen. Freedom means you can organize for fair day's work, a fair day's pay, and a fair day's conditions.

I can understand Pierce being a bit skeptical of the things that make Buttigieg fairly compared to an O'Rourke or Booker - though I think, honestly, Buttigieg is more in line with traditional American style liberalism than them or Obama or Bill Clinton.  The last two Democratic presidents pissed away the hopes of Democrats and progressive independents who voted for them by proving they were, in fact, corporate Democrats who made a lot more common-cause with Republicans who would always oppose them, which destroyed the coalition that elected them.  I am not saying that Buttigieg is my candidate for 2020,  Elizabeth Warren is the one I think is the best candidate.   I think Buttigieg needs some time to learn Washington DC from either holding a House seat (maybe wrong but I don't think he's likely to get one in Indiana) or an appointed position.  If he could be there long enough to get to know it while remaining uncorrupted in the seductive way of DC insiders, he might make a perfect candidate. 

I am an uncompromising, traditional American-style liberal who has always lived about 20 to 40 miles inland from the Atlantic coast, someone who believes that all people are equal, the possessor of equal rights, that freedom is only legitimately exercised in so far as it doesn't impinge on those rights and the equal rights of others, that healthcare, adequate food, housing, education, police and fire protection, emergency health services etc. are a right, the provision of which is a test of the legitimacy of any government.  That government of The People, by The People and FOR The People is the only legitimate form of government.   Long ago I realized that the highest value in human experience is not necessarily intelligence, as useful as that is, but goodness.  Hearing, for the millionth time, how smart Henry Kissinger was, I realized I'd known of hundreds, maybe thousands of smart people the world would have been a better place without but I'd never known one good person I'd say that of.

I am not an English-European style liberal,  I am neither an economic or life-style libertarian.  I am an economic leveler - especially seeing how the existence of billionaires and multi-millionaires is a fatal danger to equality, democracy and decency and that their existence guarantees poverty of millions and billions - I don't think the equal rights and legitimate freedoms of us all are safe as long as there is the obscene level of inequality which is common here and elsewhere.  Libertarianism in the guise of "liberalism" or "classical-liberalism" is a road to one or another level of gangster governance that I set out in my new graph of political identity last Saturday. 

Pete Buttigieg, would agree, perhaps,  with my political analysis but I think he has a similar understanding of these things, I could probably learn a lot from him, though he's quite a bit younger than I am.  I don't get that impression from anything Beto has so-far said. 

Some things I think a lot of us need to consider, especially those of us who live on the coasts, is said in the other quote Pierce gave.

It’s time for some of the more visible national voices of our Democratic Party to come from the red states. It's time for a little more of a regional mix in the faces that our party puts forward in the highest level. We love our friends in the big cities, but it is time for us to confront the idea that any state, any county, or any community has to be conservative because it's been voting Republican for the last few years. Where is is written that this has to be a Republican state? Where is it written that Indiana has to be a Republican state? So would it not make more sense for more people to come from red states [to] the Democratic party and change the way some people think of our part of the country?

Pete Buttigieg, clearly, has understood one of the things that will need to be changed if a stable Democratic coalition is to be formed.  A bi-coastal  Democratic Party can only occasionally win elections for President, unless we can attract winning majorities in many other places, we will always be fighting up-hill.  In doing that, the traditional American style liberalism I advocate has more in common with the better angels of the kind of people Buttigieg proposes appealing to than the Hollywood-NYC-DC-Cambridge MA style of liberalism, the kind of "liberalism" that Bill and, frankly, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama practiced and which has proven is unsustainable.   I think one of the reasons that Clinton and Obama were such pathetically weak presidents is because they didn't understand the nature of their support among VOTERS as opposed to funders of their campaigns.  Obama, especially, let people down by choosing to be a weak Democrat, hankering after the votes of Senate Republicans, weakening some of his greatest chances for appealing to voters in the industrial mid-west to try, ineffectively, to get Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to vote for funding bills.  Clinton, of course, indulged his appetites, giving Republicans weapons against him, as well. 

I think one of the biggest problems for Democrats to deal with is, frankly, the snobbery of many of us who live in East coast states who indulge themselves and whose self-indulgence is most useful to Republican-fascists, not to liberals winning.  As long as that is the face of the Democratic party, you can forget the kind or politics that Pete Buttigieg is talking about, you can forget having the kind of stable Democratic governance that produced the high-point of American liberalism in the years in and around 1964-66, the thing which Republican-fascists are trying to destroy.   Either serious American liberals can get the snobs to drop their regional snobbery, or they can get shut of them.  And, as it turns out, not all of those snobs come from the coasts, this mornings news mentions one of those I would hope to never hear from again,  Rahm Emanuel from Chicago, one of the architects of Obama's fatal self-weakening. 

Colbert Did It So I Don't Have To

I am harassed about why I haven't addressed the terrible wrong of Jussie Smollett being let off the hook for mounting a publicity stunt in the form of a fake hate-crime against him.   Yeah, apparently in some worlds there's nothing else going on and the inhabitants of those worlds are demanding that those of us who live in reality comment on TV personalities who I have never seen and couldn't pick out of a line-up of two suspects because, for one thing, I'd never heard of him and if they had asked me, cold, to pick out "Jussie Smollett" I wouldn't even know what gender to picture in my mind.   

However, Stephen Colbert did handle the issue on his show probably about as well as it can be covered, tying it in with other news stories. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Take It Away From Them Too

If the courts take away the ACA, take away the judges' and "justices'" healthcare (I'd love to see how much it would cost those geezers to pay for it themselves, not to mention the pre-existing conditions they have) and from the politicians who are trying to sandbag it.  Take it away from the DOJ.  

What Rob Reiner Said

 “The GOP cult is lining up behind a Criminal Autocrat. We keep fighting the lies and corruption battles, but the war of saving 242 years of self rule will be won by destroying him overwhelmingly at the ballot box. FIGHT!”

That said,  the more they resist a. releasing the entire Mueller Report to the Congress with supporting evidence, b. releasing as much of Mueller Report to the public as can be done according to rational needs to keep some of it confidential, c. allowing Congressional committees to hear and question Mueller, Barr, Rosenstein, etc. . . is the extent to which nothing said about the Mueller Report and his conclusions needs to or should be accepted.  The Republican-fascists threatening to use everything to attack Democrats and civil servants who did their job are the same ones who leaked all over the place, who pressured the Department of Justice and FBI to give them hundreds of thousands of pages of documents they had no business seeing, who issued the Ken Starr political porn report.   

Unless I see that such people as Jerold Nadler, Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters, etc. saying that Mueller conducted an adequate and conclusive investigation on Trump campaign-regime criminal engagement with the Putin regime and its associated oligarchic crime bosses,  I won't conclude Mueller did his job.   I certainly don't trust Barr at all.  He's the current poster for conflict of interest and criminal enabling of powerful Republicans.  

Hate Mail About Stupid Mail

Ginsberg, Vidal, Allen, Burroughs, who knows how many rock idols and figures in the movies.   He seems to have a real thing for child rapists,  excusing them and their crimes, defending them from criticism from people like me.  I don't think it's a sex thing with him, I think it's his worship of celebrity, especially 1960s icons, the time of his youth.  His head's stuck up the ass end of the 1960s.   

It's a stupid thing.  People who don't progress become stupid even if they didn't start out that way.   The play left is controlled by such people which is why it never goes anywhere and hampers the real left.   

Someday I'll go over more of the idiots and scummy jerks who were supporters of pedophilia, presenting it as a civil liberties issue, until they realized they'd gone one groovy groove too far and that it was going to cost them.  

I was rather proud of my fellow LGBTs who rejected that bullshit even as a small minority wanted to make supporting the "right" of men to rape children the next big thing c. the 70s and 80s.  A lot of the pedo promoters were involved with "skepticism" and "humanism". 

Unfortunately, it flourishes as a "free speech" thing in porn and online.  The attempt of Tumblr to get shut of that kind of thing and the fury of the porn "free speechers" for shutting it off was quite something.  They've gone to other platforms to spread it, much of it alleged to be illegal but which doesn't seem to get shut down by law enforcement.   

Update:  Oh, and about the slam against Andrea Dworkin.  The biggest problem with Andrea Dworkin wasn't the general content of what she said, it was that when she went off the deep end her excesses were useful to those who wanted to discredit the really legitimate and valuable things she said.  I respect a lot of what she said and wrote even as I admit that some of what she said was not only wrong but useful to the enemies of equality and child protection.   She started out a good friend of Allen Ginsberg before she realized he was a pedophile child abuser and promoter.   To her credit, that was a deal breaker in a way it wasn't to so many others. 

Update 2:   Apparently he's in a swivet that I've dissed porn as well as pedos.   Maybe there's more to his reaction to this than I thought.  He's sounding a bit like Dworkin said Ginsberg was when he told her he was worried about getting arrested for the pictures he was taking of underage boys and sharing with his pedo-pals.  Apparently there were witnesses to some of the exchange, much of which happened at a dinner party after the Bar Mitzvah in which she and Ginsberg were the "godparents,"  kind of odd as I believe both of them were atheists.   Apparently Ginsberg told her it would be all right for an old goat like him to have sex with a 13 year old boy because "he was a man," using his "godson" and his friends as an example.  Maybe he's got something like that that's got him shook. 

A Good Explanations of Why Ranked-Choice Voting Prevents The Most Depraved Right From Gaining Power

Yesterday I recommended the Youtube channel A Different Bias as a guide to the spectacular chaos that the Brexit shit-show has turned into  - Lord Buckethead got that right.   

In a post Phil put up last night he explained what happened as the Commons voted to take the issue, temporarily, out of the incompetent hands of Teresa May and her cabinet.   

But in pointing out how that could turn into a problem, Phil gave one of the better explanations of the reason that ranked choice voting is a way of preventing the worst choices by letting people vote for what's acceptable to them that I've heard.  As a huge fan of ranked-choice voting, I thought I'd point that out.   There's a reason that Republican-fascists here in Maine are trying to keep ranked-choice voting from being the rule that governs all our elections, it's because they know that they are most peoples' last choice.  In an earlier post Phil also pointed out one of the greatest aids to the far right in Britain is the fragmentation of parties on the left, something that seems as irresistible as it is irrational to lefties all over the place.  In multi-party situations ranked-choice is probably the only way to prevent that from turning into an ever descending spiral into the sewer of U.S. style Republican-fascism.   

Imagining Impossible Things Before Breakfast

- Imagine Hillary Clinton had been the clear favorite candidate of Vladimir Putin, Imagine she had extensive business interests in the country Putin dictates over

- Imagine during the campaign that she had infamously asked Putin to break U.S. law to help her campaign

- Imagine she had repeated her requests for Putin's help to win the election.

- Imagine Chelsea Clinton and her husband and senior members of Hillary Clinton's campaigns had met with surrogates for Putin and his cronies who had offered to give them dirt on Trump.

- Imagine some of all of those things were known to the FBI before the election and they didn't leak that information out of the New York office of the FBI, before the election.

- Imagine that other senior members of Hillary Clinton's campaign had had known and extensive and shady dealings with members of Putin's mafia during the campaign AND AFTER THE ELECTION WHICH HILLARY CLINTON WON.

- Imagine the Acting Attorney General went to senior members of the new Hillary Clinton administration warning that her new National Security Adviser was compromised by the Putin regime and, or figures around it and she and her top advisers didn't remove him immediately.

- Imagine Hillary Clinton arranged to meet with the director of the FBI and asked him to swear his loyalty to her, Mafia don style and to suppress any investigation into her compromised National Security Adviser.

- Imagine Hillary Clinton's new Attorney General, an active supporter and quasi-member of her administration found it ethically required that he recuse himself from overseeing an investigation into possible Putin regime interference into the election and possible Hillary Clinton campaign collusion with his effort.

- Imagine Hillary Clinton firing the Director of the FBI and shortly after giving an interview to Lester Holt in which she admits that she fired him over the investigation into Putin interference and collusion by her campaign and related matters. 

- Imagine Hillary Clinton's newly named second in the Department of Justice finding it necessary to appoint an independent prosecutor to look into all of these things, IMAGINE THAT AN OLD AND RESPECTED DEMOCRATIC HAND WAS APPOINTED TO HEAD THAT INVESTIGATION.

- Oh, and while we'r imagining all of this, imagine the media which hasn't uniformly started howling for Hillary Clinton's impeachment doesn't start undermining the old Democratic hand and calling on his replacement on the basis of him being from the same party Hillary Clinton is.  Not to mention that the second in the Justice Department, who she had just appointed being the one overseeing him.

-  Let's skip over all of those intervening things we're going to have to imagine in which Hillary Clinton is president and the media isn't acting like they have when the most absurd and outlandish and false things have been thrown at her for a quarter of a century.


- Imagine the reaction to all of that being like what has happened in the last several days, the media almost uniformly saying Hillary Clinton has been vindicated and members of her party are using it the way Republicans are using them.  

Have you imagined enough impossible things for one morning?  

Monday, March 25, 2019

Stupid Mail Is Stupid

There's nothing funnier than a geezer of about my age making a kew-el reference to a 61 year old B-movie, one of those silly post-war Hollywood sagas about youth falling under the influence of jazz and reefer and being saved by the noble police and figuring it's kew-el.  

It reminds me of the recent joke on Colbert,  AOC, with absolutely perfect timing, telling Molly Ringwald about copying the dance she did in that college dance video from this "pretty old" movie, one so old she was surprised it was in color.  A movie made about thirty years after the one the geezer pulled off of his rapidly dimming memory lane to try to tease me with.  

I'd Rather Talk About Denise Levertov A Much Better Poet Who Was Almost His Exact Contemporary But Who No One Seems To Remember

I'm done with that tedious, boring, lazy-assed guy, here's someone better:

Denise Levertov:  1923-1997

Hate Mail - You Get No More Today

I've given you two posts and an update,  I'll let her speak for me. 

When One Of Your Last Beat Poet Heroes Turns Out To Be A Pedo

Only he and the beats were never my heroes.  Gwendolyn Brooks was. 

A Guide For The Perplexed: Recommended Youtube Channel From Britain

Trying to follow the disaster of Brexit and the irresponsibility and idiocy of the Tories and the leadership of Labour, I've come across this Youtube channel, A Different Bias, in which a guy named Phil simply gives his commentary on current events.  He is very good and deserves to be heard more. 

Here are two of his recent commentaries, one on Brexit and Teresa May's motives in destroying her country in favor of her stinking Tory party and another with similar insights into Trumpian fascism, here. 

I know some people think I'm too hard on Brits but really it's the British elite and establishment I can't stand, for the most part.   I can say that one of the things I like about Phil is that his non-posh accent.  He's got the kind of Brit accent you can believe you'll have a chance of hearing the truth in and his commentary is very good. 

"Freedom's" Just Another Word, Just Something Else To Use - Letter In Response To A Callow Poet

I have every reason to believe I've read more of Allen Ginsberg's later poetry and more of his prose than you have.   His later poetry is the most ridiculous crap all about his one and only theme after his stupid and useless "America"  Allen and his fellow boy friends.  I don't mean just the many who he screwed around with - including the one from who he probably caught the Hep-C that eventually killed him and which he, irresponsibly, exposed others to.  I mean his fellow "Beats" including the ones he was not fuck-buddies with. 

The "beat [huh] school" is a bunch of post-war guys who figured out that they could act like 12-year-old boys whose goal is to get kicks from shocking their elders who mostly skivved off of putting any effort into learning and who got old enough to be able to drive and screw around and latched onto the post-war phenomeon of getting critics and, so, lazy university profs who wanted to be kewel too to praise any old crap they'd put down on paper and get into print.  It was really a triumph of marketing and PR, not thought or art.  It certainly wasn't a triumph of superior moral values.

Lots of Ginsberg's poetry is trivial, just about every line of it.  I wish I could call it "navel gazing" but he preferred to meditate on other body parts, functions and products.

His involvement with the sleaziest Western corruption of what is generally here called "Buddhism" as can be fairly personified in the alcoholic, sex pervert, crook,  "holy man" Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche* and in dozens of other such cult leaders (Sogyal Rinpoche), in that field of degeneracy could certainly be gone into in regard to celebrity.  I think there is a little bit of rethinking that on the part of real Buddhists who have come to regret their involvement with Western celebrities and Western methods of marketing, wealth accumulation and fame.  They're learing the lessons that Western religion is always having to learn and relearn about how those very things that sustain wealth and fame and celebrity inevitably corrupt everything.  Ginsberg and his like was part of what they need to recover from.  Maybe if they'd read the Bible more closely they might have seen that most of the Old Testament after Exodus deals with such matters in incredible detail and with incredible insight.  But being Jewish wasn't fashionable and all those commandments cramped their style.  Not to mention Christianity. 

The triviality and stupidity of so much of post-war art and lit was the most obvious pitch into amoral decadence in the history of Western art, it was the flowering of early 20th century "modernism" of the kind which was purposefully amoral and which created around the sensations of violence and sex and, unsurprisngly, really, always seemed to be playing footsie with such things as fascism and Nazism and various Marxisms, based on one mass murdering gangster strongman despot or another.   

In its post-war manifestation, it is intimately tied to modern mass media  and its basis, commercial advertising that promotes celebrity and sensation instead of truth.  It is intimately tied to the very systems that Allen Ginsberg pretended to rail against in America and in Howl.  As I pointed out, Ginsberg and the rest of the Beats are every much a part of what they were allegedly opposed to, they are thoroughly middle-class icons of ersatz respectability even by those who never, ever read anything they wrote but who might watch a movie that uses them as a reference. 

*  Ginsberg's guru, just one aspect of his celebrity shtick, no doubt someone who was as eager to use Ginsberg's celebrity as Ginsberg was his, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, was widely known for sexually assaulting and sexually and otherwise manipulating members of his cult, something which was publicly known and excused as a legitimate tactic in achieving "elightenment" shows how dangerous the more sensational schools like Zen and Tantric Buddhism can be. 

If you want to see what the nature of his "spiritual" leadership is you should check out the antics of his hand chosen successor, Ösel Tendzin, a western merchant of such "Buddhism" who CTR chose as his successor and who, even after he learned he'd been infected with HIV through his screwing around with "students" and others knowingly had un-safe sex with "students" one of whom he's known to have infected and who died of AIDS.  Apparently CTR was about as discerning as the ones who decided he had what it took to spread the message of this ersatz form of Buddhism.  Oh, and CTR's son, Ösel Tendzin's successor,  Mipham Rinpoche is currently on leave after being investigated for sexual assault and abuse. Oddly, I don't hear calls for the Shambala corporation to be shut down. 

Oddly, you hardly ever hear such matters discussed and made into major Hollywood movies of the kind that get Oscars.  Odd because so many Hollywood types go in for just such schools of "Buddhism".  I'll give some, and I have to emphisize that it is only SOME Buddhists this, they're talking about it among themselves and, unsurprisingly, they're finding a lot of the same bases of the problem that are behind the Catholic sexusal abuse crisis, patriarchal rule, concentration of power, insufficient preventative and punitive inhibitions to this happening.   One of the things in this Tricycle article that jumped out at me was how the Zen claims of "freedom" for the "enlightened" masters was used as a means of the perverts to manipulate people into letting them have sex with them and letting them get away with it.  "Freedom" it turns out can be turned from a noble aspiration into an idol, it certainly is a substitute for God in American secular culture.  Look at how Ginzberg used it as his excuse for supporting the child-rape advocacy group NAMBLA.   

Update: Oh, there are even people who are, at times, classified as being in the Zen school of Buddhism who I respect, who I have never read anything against - though . . .  I have a lot of respect for Titch Nhat Hanh, the renowned Vietnamese teacher, "Thay".   I was deeply influenced by one of his followers who taught me walking meditation though the "mindfulness" aspect of it, just meditating on the sensation of walking, gave way to me using it to reflect on The Law and The Gospel.  I found the combination of Buddhist meditation technology and the Hebrew tradition was ever so much more than mere mindfulness.  

That "though", one of his Western lay followers who had started a publishing company and another corporate entity around TNH wrote an article complaining when TNH took control of those and folded them into an entity more in control of ordained persons living the religious life.  I don't know enough about it to get all of it but I wonder if, seeing the many dangers in commercial Buddhist clap-trap TNH wasn't trying to prevent that in his Plum Village community.   I don't know a lot about such interactions of religious publishing and commerce but I wonder what a study of that in regard to other religious publishing companies might show.   I don't think that "scandal" as some presented it as being in any way is like what I wrote about above. Anything, though, can be subject to corruption, that's certainly not a shock to a serious student of Buddhism.  Especially when there isn't transparency and accountability - look at the Mueller Report and the surrounding use of it. 

I'm Not Connected To Power And I've Got Lots Of Unanswered Questions

Ari Mulbers interview with Ken Starr's successor in the prosecution of Bill Clinton, Robert Ray, expressed hope that the American People would come to trust the results of the Mueller investigation, that they would trust the integrity of it, which is odd because I doubt there are many honest people who thought the Starr-Ray investigation met the most basic of requirements of trust and integrity.  Ray's antics on Mulber's special coverage of the Muller Report were sheer hackery. 

Today we don't know much more about Robert Mueller's report, we know what William Barr, a political hack whose previous statements about the investigation should have required him to recuse himself from having anything to do with the investigation, whose holding the position of Attorney General was a product of Trump shopping for his "Roy Cohn" is claiming about the results.  

While I don't fully trust any Republican in 2019, we don't have any basis of judging Robert Mueller's investigation and report unless the full report is made public and all of the evidence that he developed his conclusions on are made available to the Congressional committees who should have been the ones conducting an honest investigation worthy trust due to its integrity from the start. 

If there's one thing I don't trust it is the tendency of long time members of the legal establishment, the members of both parties who are what gets called "institutionalists" who all went to the same kinds of schools and who have a relationship to power that is too willing to give each other and those who are powerful a level of courtesy they don't give to the powerless.  

If I were on a congressional committee that had, say, Robert Mueller answering questions on his investigation, I would ask him if he had ever sought an indictment and prosecuted some relatively or totally powerless person on the same level of evidence or less evidence than there is that Trump was asking Russia to interfer with our elections to his benefit - who made that request before an audience of millions - whose children and son-in-law and those running his campaign met with Russian government agents who were offering to interfer in our election - who, after he fired the head of the FBI (hardly someone who had clean hands in rigging the election FOR Trump) because he wouldn't stop an investigation into his campaign and at least one person, Mike Flynn, who was known to be compromised, etc. etc. etc.  I would like to know if he had ever chosen to not prosecute someone who had given people so much obvious reason to believe he was guilty of criminal activities.  And I would want to know what the basis of him deciding whether or not to prosecute the powerless was made on. 

The rich and powerful are allowed to get away with things that those without money or power would never get away with.  That's not news.  It's also not news that Republicans get a far different treatment and similarly deferential treatment in the media and in politics, and sometimes by the law.  I remind you that I began with Ken Starr's successor.   William Barr participated in a particularly infamous incidence of that when he wrote up the Bush I pardons that shielded George H. W. Bush from his likely criminality.  I'd like to know if Robert Mueller gave Trump that kind of deferential treatment or if he can show that he deserves our trust due to his past and current practice of equal treatment before the law.  

I don't trust any of it without full enough transparency, without knowing enough to know if its worthy of trust. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Wow. Hate Mail On A Really Old Post

Alan Ginsberg.  Easily almost every single person who got upset when I said I didn't like his poetry have never read anything he wrote but "Howl" back when they were in their teens or during their college years and never read a single thing of his since then,  including "Howl" of which they might recognize the first few words when someone on the radio is commemorating the day of the court case or his birth day or some anniversary of an event ending in a 0 or a 5 and not much more.   

That's it, that and they know they're supposed to think he's a great poet even though they prove how much they don't love his junk by never having read any more of it than I just said.  Of course, you can say that about most of the other "great writers" they get upset with you about dissing.  

Oh, they might look up his excuse for joining NAMBLA, which I also mentioned, the all purpose excuse of "supporting free-speech" as if anyone with a brain in their head would believe you join a group that wants to make it legal for adult men to rape very young children out of a devotion to freedom of speech and not what the group's stated purpose and unstated purpose is.  If you believe that you'll believe anything.  

And you do because you know you're supposed to pretend to believe it because Alan Ginsberg was a great poet, though you haven't looked at a thing he wrote since you got out of the last English class you got assigned to look at Howl for, and you couldn't finish the tedious thing because what was so racy then is made tedious by the ubiquity of porn now.   Admit it, you like almost everyone else that this would piss off because I dissed the great poet never read poetry because you'd rather watch TV and they don't do poetry on American TV. 

Alan Ginsberg is now an official part of the mid-brow, upper middle-class, college-credentialed, white-collar classes degraded idea of kulcha.  Probably the irony of that is the only thing of value he contributed to culture.  

A Bit Of Fun

This is fun.  It's, I believe, a French film of what I have to believe are actual singers miming the famous - some would say infamous - Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti,  a piece which has suffered at the hands of some pretty stupid use. 

The singers are from the 1908 recording with Enrico Caruso, Marcella Sembrich Francesco Daddi, Gina Severina,  Marcel Journet, and Antonio Scotti. 

The notes on the video say the movie was made by a Georges Mendel, also in 1908, though I've never heard of him before.  I have to assume that the actors who mimed the singing of the recording had to have been trained singers because it matches too well for that not to have been the case. 

The recording, itself, made by the acoustic recording method is spectacular for the period.   And it's only the starting point for producing what we hear, now.  The art of replaying and transferring those old recordings to get the most out of them has reached levels that I never would have believed possible fifty years ago.  I'd love to know who it was who produced the transfer in the video but it doesn't say. 

One Thing I Hope Doesn't End

Since the Trump investigation started I've come to really look forward to hearing what Jill Wine-Banks has to say about things.  I've become a real fan. 

. . . Everyone Has One, And They Usually Stink, Too

Looking back over what I've written about it, I don't think I've ever expressed great hopes that Robert Mueller's investigation would get rid of Trump.  I've written in support of allowing the investigation to continue and condemning the clear and constant attacks on it from Trump and Republican-fascists who support him.  I've never expressed the kind of absolute faith in Mueller because I don't tend to have a lot of faith in people who were and remained Republicans through till today and I remember all too well the romantic fantasies that so many on the left had in regard to Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the political outting of Valerie Plame.  Fantasies that were based on the un-firm foundation of absolutely no information about what Fitzgerald was finding and what he would say, in most cases based on having absolutely no idea at all about what the legal basis of such an investigation and what it was finding and based in something that not even Fitzgerald knew, what was there that he may not have managed to uncover.  Basing anything like hopes on these kinds of investigations - especially substituting the opinions and speculations that have come to replace reporting of fact in the United States and elsewhere in the English speaking world - is foolish.

That said, as of now we don't really know what Mueller said in his report because it's in the hands of the corrupt political hack William Barr, the man who wrote Bush I's massive cover-up pardons so that criminal could go into retirement from which he engineered his son's stealing of the presidency and so much more.  Those hope-dashing aspects of this are what we can have more reliable ideas about, the system is rigged as Bush I escaping consequences for his crimes and his son after him should teach us.  While Mueller has had some success in prosecuting and getting guilty pleas from those around Trump, the record of even the most stalwart of responsible investigators have proven themselves rather reticent in going after a Republican president.  I'd even point out that it was the worst man to have held such a prosecutorial post in modern history, Ken Starr did it to Bill Clinton by totally throwing out any ideas of ethics or rules or even a regard for possible consequences.  He has suffered nothing for his own corruption in that regard, the Republican establishment and media have made sure that won't happen, which gets us back to the question of why someone of Mueller's reputation for integrity and respect for the rule of law remains a member of part of such a party, and enjoys the rewards given out, so notably, to such Republicans in his profession.

I am writing this because looking online at news I'm finding news organizations asking man on the street type of people what they think about the Mueller Report WHICH NONE OF THEM, "REPORTER" OR "MAN ON THE STREET" HAVE SEEN OR HAD ANY REAL REPORTING ON BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE SEEN IT.   They have no idea what Mueller put in the report,they have no idea what he may have left out of it as the passed on information to other investigators, federal and state, they have no idea whatsoever to have a thought or, far worse, base any opinion on.   And this is given the name journalism in the United States.   And as I write this I don't have any idea what the results of the Mueller investigation will be.  For all I know it will flower into a growing field of indictments and convictions, it might fulfill the wildest dreams of my fellow opponents of Trumpism and Republican fascism.   As of this Sunday morning, not 48 hours after the report was sent to Barr,  I have no idea how it will turn out.  None.