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January 15, 2018

Comments

Thanks for this Russell. Amazing how timely it is today.

Have we woken up?

There has been some awakening. Even without Trump, we had more fighting to do, and now we have to fight the backlash. We are the majority though.

Those who diminish the phenomenon and effect of Obama are wrong. Just completely wrong.

I thought Judge Roy Moore physically resembled James Earle Ray. Such a relief he only received 48.5% of the vote in 2017 Alabama.

Maybe Joe Arpaio can make up the difference by voting precisely in line with mp/stalin (and yet mp/stalin mp racist judge lover) Flake.

I hope the FBI gives mp the same ultimatum J. Edgar Hoover's FBI gave King:

https://www.vox.com/xpress/2014/11/12/7204453/martin-luther-king-fbi-letter

My grandpappy, God love him, told me King was a Commie nigger. Yet, he'd a voted to put the Russian dupes in the White House in 2016.

This is a pretty good, and pertinent article:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/01/08/lessons-from-the-election-of-1968

Those who diminish the phenomenon and effect of Obama are wrong. Just completely wrong.

It's easy to get focused on what still needs to change. And get frustrated because it hasn't yet. But it's a mistake to lose track of how much change has already happened.

In MLK's day, a black President was simply inconceivable. A black man try to run in a Democratic or Republican primary? Maybe in some states, but nobody would think he would get the nomination. Let alone win. Less than half a century later, Obama did. That's enormous change, lest we forget.

Yep, wj. But, also, many of us (many white people, like I am), consider Obama the pinnacle of presidents in our lifetime - maybe much longer. He wasn't a glass ceiling moment. He was the best President ever, and he was black.

I was raised to work to overcome any racism I harbored, having been raised in a racist South by parents who wanted to do better. I occasionally had the opportunity to have African-American friends, and the opportunity to feel close to people on a personal level was most welcome. But I moved to a town where there was little interaction between races. After Obama was elected, I looked at African-Americans that I saw (strangers, in a store) differently. I was less of a racist, even though I've spent my life conscious of the problem.

People are imprinted with role models. Obama did that for us. It helped a lot that he was so, well, good.

Liberals didn’t care much for King the antiwar left wing radical in his final years.

https://theintercept.com/2018/01/15/martin-luther-king-jr-mlk-day-2018/

That link is to the Intercept, but I think this is fairly common knowledge.

I guess I was around a different set of liberals in the late 1960s. Because they were very much fans of King's anti-war stand.

I'm not precisely sure what year it is from, but I have memory from either a Mad or its poor cousin Cracked of paired cartoon panels with 'You think, but...' and 'You hope' and one of them was
Malcolm X is right followed by Martin Luther King is right. Now, I don't know how much Mad or Cracked represents what liberals thought, but seeing the recent whitewashing inherent in Ken Burns Vietnam, it's not that they were against an anti-war stand (or were pro-war) but more like they didn't feel so invested in the issue to really complain a lot.

Of course, MLK was starting to move towards Malcolm X, who had already been painted as evil, so there were liberals who felt any step towards what Malcolm X was arguing for meant that MLK was no longer someone to be trusted.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/01/14/martin-luther-king-jr-met-malcolm-x-just-once-the-photo-still-haunts-us-with-what-was-lost/?utm_term=.011f9fd8df77

The article has this interesting recollection by King
“He spoke at length to my wife, Coretta, about his personal struggles and expressed an interest in working more closely with the nonviolent movement. He thought he could help me more by attacking me than praising me. He thought it would make it easier for me in the long run. He said, ‘If the white people realize what the alternative is, perhaps they will be more willing to hear Dr. King.’ ”

One wonders if they had email, or could have face timed.

I've been more interested in Malcolm X's writings and puzzling out his stances and evolution, in part because of knowing his relationship with Yuri Kochiyama, who passed away in 2014.

https://www.democracynow.org/2006/2/21/civil_rights_activist_yuri_kochiyama_remembers

Obama, I think, represents the continuation of MLK's rhetoric and approach. I wonder if we will see someone who would be the continuation of Malcolm X's.

it's a mistake to lose track of how much change has already happened.

i hear you. but I also listen to King's words and recognize how far we have not come.

obama was great. now we have trump. and we have trump because a hell of lot of people dug what he was selling.

racism is a part of it, but not the whole of it. some of the things king called out - national hubris, economic inequality - are arguably worse.

it's been fifty years, man. where are we now?

WJ— the liberal press didn’t like his antiwar stance at the time.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-martin-luther-king-vietnam-20170113-story.html

You can google and find a number of articles like that. King was politically far to the left. His antiwar comments sound like things Chomsky would say and I think he was also a socialist. He is beloved because he is dead. That’s another truism.

it's been fifty years, man. where are we now?

In some respects worse off.
Reading the New Yorker article, it seems that we now have a president closer to Wallace than Nixon.

(One of the several striking things in the article was the comment on the relative youth of Wallace's supporters back then - they were not a reactionary older generation, but a whole new generation learning racial animus.)

the liberal press didn’t like his antiwar stance at the time.

As it is now, so it was then.

The so-called "liberal press" mostly ain't. Significantly liberal that is. Unless, of course, one starts from a very (not just mildly) conservative view.

i hear you. but I also listen to King's words and recognize how far we have not come.

obama was great. now we have trump. and we have trump because a hell of lot of people dug what he was selling.

Yeah, but consider. Trump got a minority of the votes. Subtract the Obama/Trump voters -- no idea what they were thinking, but racism clearly not their prime motivator. Whereas in the 1960s, even a lot of serious liberals wouldn't have even considered voting for a black man for much of anything, let alone President. (Or stood still for their sister marrying one!)

Yes, a depressingly large number of people love Trump because he empowers them to spout racism in public once again. But if you step back and look at it, their enthusiasm has a serious component of whistling past the graveyard. They've lost that part of the culture war, and on some level they know it. It's nasty, but it's also the dying gasp of a failing worldview.

the liberal press didn’t like his antiwar stance at the time.

As it is now, so it was then.

The so-called "liberal press" mostly ain't. Significantly liberal that is.

I don't know in what world liberalism, while often anti-racist and anti-sexist, was ever seriously anti-war. Is this the liberalism of JS Mill, Max Weber, FDR, Truman, JFK and LBJ, Humphrey, Clinton, Obama (liar), Clinton? Or aren't they real true liberals?

it's also the dying gasp of a failing worldview

I've got John Kerry's line "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" running thru my head when I read this.

Well (not!), if the idea of societal mindset evolution is true and the US is where Germany was about 1910, the Weimar and 3rd Reich phase are still ahead (there are hints of the Weimar disease already and the big financial crash is just around the corner). And after that restauration for a few decades.
Seriously, I doubt that US racism etc. will go silently into the night (but imo it will be The Donald's successor not he himself that will go full Nuremberg 1935 and likely get away with it, if he does not go for blacks first). The nazis were in decline (losing seats in parliament) when they took over and never had a majority in the first place.
In other words, there will be blood and lots of it.

You can google and find a number of articles like that. King was politically far to the left. His antiwar comments sound like things Chomsky would say and I think he was also a socialist. He is beloved because he is dead. That’s another truism.

You can do - but consider the likely Democratic nominee in 1968, before he was assassinated, ran as an anti-war candidate, along with a platform of racial and economic justice, decentralization of power, and social change.

And might well have won.

I don't know in what world liberalism, while often anti-racist and anti-sexist, was ever seriously anti-war.

That's an interesting point. I'm liberal japonicus cause leftist japonicus doesn't parse very well, along with the fact that revolutionary movements are, well, revolutionary, so I'm wondering if they specify the 'anti-war left' for some reason. However, you don't hear people say 'I'm an anti-war liberal'.

Of course, there is the further problem is that US conservatism is not 'conservative' in actively maintaining societal programs bur are more reactionary, which is why European and US definitions of conservatism diverged and are still not in synch and the rise of Drumph makes conservatism into some bizarre collection of tics.

Atlantic writers on their 'least racist" interviewees:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/01/the-least-racist-people-weve-ever-interviewed/550550/

Perhaps surprisingly, no one picks Trump.

I don't know in what world liberalism, while often anti-racist and anti-sexist, was ever seriously anti-war.

The UK, occasionally.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/liberaldemocrats/11646520/Opposing-the-Iraq-War-was-Charles-Kennedys-finest-hour.html

Is this the liberalism of JS Mill, Max Weber, FDR, Truman, JFK and LBJ, Humphrey, Clinton, Obama (liar), Clinton? Or aren't they real true liberals?

You may be mixing your liberals. John Stewart Mill is generally described as a classical liberal. I'm not sure how Max Weber should be described. The rest are progressives except for maybe JFK who was a classical liberal in many ways.

"they were not a reactionary older generation, but a whole new generation learning racial animus."

We, talkin bout my generation, could be the generation with the most profound sense of failure of any American generation. We haven't stopped war, cancer, nuclear proliferation, class warfare, racism, misogyny, (the list is long) and we are passing on an America with less opportunity for most of our children.

That we would be the generation to rid our world of all of these has been central to our view of ourselves, if unspoken.

The anger, depression and blame shifting for these failures we experience is the cause for our fractured societal compact. Sides are mostly taken on which of these failures is the worst.

The most hopeful generation experiencing the greatest regret for those things we failed to accomplish as time runs down.

All my most humble opinion of course.

I guess I was around a different set of liberals in the late 1960s. Because they were very much fans of King's anti-war stand.

I was around in 1968 and my recollection matches yours, lj. There were plenty of "liberals" against the war. Even some who were not anti-war (like Humphrey) really were working to end it. It was a serious mistake for people to have allowed Nixon to win - the first of so many truly ill-advised "lefty" moves.

Sorry - meant wj at 9:42, not lj.

I agree with Marty: we boomers screwed the pooch.

Some of us actively tried to; some of us tried to resist, but not hard enough. So we are all equally to blame, right?

And who could object to the notion that "Sides are mostly taken on which of these failures is the worst"? There are boomers who are happy to be racist (so long as nobody calls them racist) and there are boomers who are saddened to discover vestigial racism in their own souls. Clearly, opinions differ on whether racism is worse than, say, cancer.

--TP

“The so-called "liberal press" mostly ain't. Significantly liberal that is. Unless, of course, one starts from a very (not just mildly) conservative view.”

I am not being dismissive when I say that is semantics. It is important. The word “ liberal” even just used as we do in the US to mean “ left of center” covers a very wide range of views. On foreign policy it goes from very pro war to very antiwar. The NYT then and now occupies a wobbly place in- between, often prowar at the beginning or only opposed for tactical reasons.

The articles I have seen say that MLK was unpopular with the majority of Americans in the final years of his life, because he was very antiwar, using language comparable to or harsher than Chomsky’s, and he was also a socialist. If he hadn’t been murdered and had lived to an old age moving along the track he was on, he would have been remembered for the dream speech and otherwise treated as a crank. I am not criticizing him, of course.

“You can do - but consider the likely Democratic nominee in 1968, before he was assassinated, ran as an anti-war candidate, along with a platform of racial and economic justice, decentralization of power, and social change.”

That was a Kennedy. McGovern ran on that platform and was slaughtered four years later. Democrats spent decades running from the left as a result.

Actually, I think I let the Democrats off too easy by saying it was McGovern’s loss that drove them to the center, but it was that which the centrists used to justify, yes, here it comes, neoliberalism.

Here in the UK we haven't failed completely. The country has moved to the left on social issues, to the right on economic issues, and stayed about where it was on going to war.

For example, David Cameron went from being an active supporter of Thatcher's anti-gay "Clause 28" to apologising for it and legislating for same-sex marriage.

I think the UK populace are a great deal more skeptical about going to war than they were even before Libya.
(As the vote regarding intervention in Syria proved.)

And also our armed forces' capability is severely degraded compared to what it was even a few years ago.

I don't know in what world liberalism, while often anti-racist and anti-sexist, was ever seriously anti-war.

Berkeley: 1967 (or so) to 1973.

As I said, that's the liberals that I was around.

I've got John Kerry's line "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" running thru my head when I read this.

The problem, of course, is to convince those asking (e.g. Trump, although certainly not exclusively him) that is IS a mistake. It is, perhaps, also relevant that these folks aren't being asked to embrace a mistake; they are all volunteers.

...the rise of Drumph makes conservatism into some bizarre collection of tics.

I like this.

...the rise of Drumph makes conservatism into some bizarre collection of tics.

I like it, too. Although precision would have put "conservatism" is quotes. Since Trumpism is nothing like conservatism, except for the label.

Trumpism is nothing like conservatism, except for the label.

the cult of Trump isn't conservative. but functionally, Trump is as conservative as can be.

Fair enough. Although I still think I would go with "reactionary" for Trump personally.

I suppose everyone is entitled to their own definitions, but to a large degree based on history, I define liberalism as a "democratic war machine in the age of national mobilizations." Starts around Napoleon, encoded rights and processes, some economic liberalization, growth and wider opportunity ala Bismarck. It is not just about imperialism, it is also about creating Fordist labour as willing slaves of capital. Racial division and patriarchal labour roles (factory and home) are part of the package.

And it's a totality. Oppose one part and if any coherency is desired, you must oppose them all. Anything else is opportunism.

Oppose one part and you are on the Left, left of liberalism. Then you should study and resist the rest, as equally as possible.

I should extract the key words

liberalism, constitutionalism, capitalism, imperialism, racism, sexism

Plus empiricism, objectivity, Idealism as guiding ontologies. Mathematics, statistics.

modernism

So Bob, how do you differentiate between liberalism, conservatism (and even reactionaries)? What does one do, or advocate, that the other does not? And is that difference (if one exists in your mind) a good thing or a bad thing?

Not that I'm speaking for bob, but I do seem to recall that, at least as Democrats (liberals, more or less) and Republicans (conservatives, more or less) in the US are concerned, Democrats want a more diverse set of oligarchs than do the Republicans.

"I still think I would go with "reactionary" for Trump personally."

I would go with "like Archie Bunker, but without the keen intellect, profound integrity, and gentle, loving personality."

YMMV.

So Bob, how do you differentiate between liberalism, conservatism (and even reactionaries

The modes of internal justifications of hierarchies and power, mostly. Ideologies. Traditionalism, meritocracy, nationalism, stuff like that. "X deserves Y" is bull in all cases.

And is that difference (if one exists in your mind) a good thing or a bad thing?

Transitions and hegemonies are mostly materially and historically determined, with combined and uneven development, and there is no place outside for moral judgements or self-approbation. Monarchists or revolutionary socialists or pacifists are all fairly ridiculous right now.

Putting it as politely as I can, I'm afraid I have no idea what you are talking about, bob.

"We haven't stopped war, cancer, nuclear proliferation, class warfare, racism, misogyny, (the list is long) and we are passing on an America with less opportunity for most of our children."

We gave it a shot though.

What we didn't suss is that conservatives throughout the world, but especially in the United States, like, and in fact profit from war, nuclear proliferation, class warfare, racism, misogyny, and all of those things being passed on as less opportunity for most of our children, except for theirs, though we have a surprise up our sleeves for those entitled little fuckers.

We valued concensus. We should have valued civil war and violence. The old MalcolmX/MLK/Woody Allen false dichotomy.

No kumbaya. None.

And it's a totality. Oppose one part and if any coherency is desired, you must oppose them all.

There is much to this. A system founded on taking (i.e., private property) and the encouragement of private greed as a social good cannot long endure. (aside: It makes no sense if the state of material scarcity is essentially overcome).

For example, try as I might, I cannot foresee a really effective response to climate change under a free market system. Existing private and institutional relationships built on acquisition are too powerful to allow all the social costs of carbon poisoning to be captured by the price mechanism.

Anything else is opportunism.

Trotsky lives! But you left the word "pure" out (insert after "is").

Transitions and hegemonies are mostly materially and historically determined

So when will the transition start, and what to do under the hegemony?

Wish I knew.

bob mcmanus, I feel like liberalism is _potentially_ a way of reducing the problems that arise from your list and by identifying liberalism as the problem, it is like blaming the classroom teacher for the way the overall curriculum is set up. In other words, liberalism is at a different level of granularity.

I think there is an impulse for utopian solutions in the left, which leads to a lot of trampling of individuals and groups that don't necessarily agree. Not trying to teach you any history, but the ideas of the Holocaust were prefigured by the Noyades des galiotes of the French Revolution (Carrier said that Nantes was the 'national bathtub' and I've always marvelled at how that mirrored/prefigured Grover Norquist's comment about 'drowning the government in a bathtub'.) The ferment of and to that gives rise to Napoleon and the sense of universal rights, which, as I noted with Haiti being forced to pay slave reparations to France up until 1947, are often honored more in the breech than the observance.

While I'm a fan of internationalism, I recognize it is not an alloyed good. It is not surprising that the last units to fall in the Battle of Berlin were not the Germans, but the SS divisions composed of foreign recruits. (some info on them here) There's another story, I think from Beevor, of some captured prisoners from that division, were confronted by a French general who asked them why they were wearing the uniforms of Germans. One of the prisoners said that there wasn't much difference as the general was wearing a US issued uniform, to which the French general pulled out his pistol and killed them. Yes, you can take Gallic insouciance too far...

Anyway, liberalism, which asserts the primacy of individual human rights, is the only thing I see, short of the armed rebellion that you seem to call for, that can prevent us all from becoming, as the Count pithily put it, a point of sale. Yeah, it's not doing as well as I would like it, but I'm not sure what else is going to stand there.

Is liberalism hypocritical? In so far as everything humans do, sure, it is. But what else does one propose?

lj: I think there is an impulse for utopian solutions in the left ...

"Utopian" is an interesting word. From its own POV, The Right advocates for a utopia. So does the Libertarian contingent.

Am I wrong? I might be. For sure The Right's utopia would be hell from my POV.

But is it possible that The Right hopes for and works toward a dystopia wherein the rich, the white, and the godly suffer along with the rest of us? I kinda doubt it.

--TP

we are passing on an America with less opportunity for most of our children.

when i was a kid, rivers caught fire and tv weathermen reported smog levels alongside the temperature and likelihood of precipitation.

on a bad day, old folks and folks with asthma or respiratory illness were advised to stay inside.

when i was a kid, we practiced hiding under our desks in case the nukes fell.

racism and misogyny are still with us, but at least they were out of fashion for a while.

i'm not sure cancer is ever going away. eliminating mortality is kind of a big lift, i think it might be above our pay grade.

you got me on class warfare, although i think i probably give that a different meaning than yours.

opportunity never goes away, it just wears a different costume.

in a few years all of us boomers will be gone and whichever generation it is that's next up will rend their garments and throw ashes on their heads.

tony p, good point. I think it has been noted that the particular strain of American political thinking is that there are really no "conservatives", everyone is into utopian thinking. But we are so used to thinking in terms of time, we can only imagine politics as moving forward or stopping that motion.

shorter bob: they're all crooks, they just tell themselves different lies to justify their crookedness.

short me: welcome to humanity

Yes, you can take Gallic insouciance too far...

I'm not sure why I'm so amused by this concept, like it's something one might do on weekends.

lj: Is liberalism hypocritical?

Let us be clear, there are two ways to approach issues:
1) everything will get done my way. Or else (meaning use of force, as much force as necessary, if you don't go along).
2) we will try and find a solution that all (or at least most) of us can live with. Which will mean compromise and imperfection.

If you define any compromise as hypocrisy, then sure, liberalism is hypocritical. As is any but the most radical conservatism. Or libertarianism. Or any other political philosophy, for that matter.

Accusations of hypocrisy are basically flags for a refusal to accept anything less than utopian perfection. Which means, if you are honest, a willingness to kill anybody who disagrees. Not pretty.

unless everyone involved is of the same opinion, about everything, politics is compromise.

therefore, politics is compromise, always.

the reason for that is that pretty much all interactions between humans involves compromise. the only way to avoid that is to disengage.

i thought this was an interesting comment:

I think it has been noted that the particular strain of American political thinking is that there are really no "conservatives", everyone is into utopian thinking.

Most places in the world and most national histories include some chastening experiences. Like being conquered, or occupied, or utterly defeated by some rival, or being profoundly damaged by some natural disaster, or having to step down from a pre-eminent role on the world stage.

I think it's stuff like that that changes utopian thinking into pragmatic realism. Which is, really, a form of modesty.

So far we've avoided that. Two oceans helps, and we just haven't been around that long yet.

Most likely, at some point, our turn will come, in one form or other. I worry about how we will handle it.

I am an anti-war liberal.

Fantastic comment, Marty.

I am an anti-war liberal.

Thanks Yama.

Accusations of hypocrisy are basically flags for a refusal to accept anything less than utopian perfection. Which means, if you are honest, a willingness to kill anybody who disagrees. Not pretty.

That seems a bit much to suggest that someone who refuses to compromise is harboring a willingness to kill anybody who disagrees. There is also the fact that the give and take of compromise can easily be undermined by someone for ulterior motives in order to have the opposite side cast as non-compromisers and therefore are people who are going to kill.

I was recently involved in a situation where, at the end game, I had to put myself a lot further than where I wanted because every preliminary attempt to even discuss the problem was delayed, denied, and obfuscated. And one of the arguments pulled out at the end was that I was unable to compromise and so was wrong. If you think about it, this sort of behavior gets you the High Broderism of the media, where they have to ask one person from each side and then intone that opinions on the shape of the earth may differ.

unless everyone involved is of the same opinion, about everything, politics is compromise.

therefore, politics is compromise, always.

So if someone says (and people do)"gas the Jews", "euthanise the poor" and "drop a nuke on the ME" you're going to try and find a compromise with them?

Sure. Of course the compromise is likely to be something like "denounce the folks you dislike, and leave it at that." ;-)

Hilzoy becomes a good investment:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-wall-street-legends-bet-on-philosophy-majors-is-a-good-investment-2018-01-18?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

America is remarkable in its ability to veer off into ridiculous stupidity (that the humanities are a waste of money and time), and then rediscover what we knew all along and shout "Eureka!" yet again.

That's what happens when following the money becomes the sole occupation in point-of-sale America.

you're going to try and find a compromise with them?

Not regarding the things you name.

It should (and apparently must) be noted that there is a lot of room between "compromise is necessary and appropriate sometimes" and "compromise is necessary on everything."

mp wants a border war, al a Berlin, fully funded.

kelly says mp doesn't want the full border wall

mp says this morning he wants the full border wall funded.

Negotiate with that horseshit.

mp says he wants a good government shutdown

mp says he doesn't want a shutdown

Negotiate with that horseshit.

mp says one day he will nuke North Korea

next day he says he wants negotiations

very next day, he says he will nuke North Korea, despite negotiations

Negotiate with that, dupes.

mp says one day he wants a DACA deal first and move on from there

mp says the next day he wants no DACA deal without every string and the kitchen sink attached.

Negotiate with a fuck like that, go ahead.

mp says one extreme thing about any old topic

next day, mp says the exactly opposite extreme thing about same topic

Negotiate with that horseshit

mp grabs pussy one day

next day, he values women

mp is most racist person you've ever met on Tuesday

By sunup Wednesday he is the least racist person you've ever run across.

Negotiate with that subhuman horseshit.

I contend this is precisely how he has run his criminal business empire his entire life. The person on the other side of the table has no steady ground to stand on in order to reach a deal. He or she just wants to throw up and get the fuck away from this kuck thug filth.

My negotiating tactic with mp and all republicans.

Tip over the table and and throw my chair against the wall. As I leave the room, I role a portable nuclear warhead into the room.

Fuck off and die!

That's the deal. Take it or leave it, which in my mind, are precisely the same, because either way, you will fuck off and you will die.

ipso fatso

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-supports-chip-funding-government-funding-bill

My position remains fuck off and die.

The CHIP kids can perish.

My position on guns is not total abolition of gun ownership. My position on guns is that I and an army of motherfuckers, including 800,000 Dreamers, the CHIP kids, and the tens of millions of human beings republicans want to kill own so many automatic weapons and so much ammo, one hundred times more than any fucking republican owns, and then we demand that traitorous Russian fellow travelers running the NRA, republicans, and the entire mp Administration drop ALL of their weapons and do what the FBI suggested MLK should do back in the 1960s ... kill themselves.

Then maybe I will allow negotiations on the desired good faith middle ground on all issues, after right-wing anti-American purity is dead and buried.

mp and his bought off rear (from whence mp's medical evaluation issued) admiral doctor say he's 6'3".

Jeb Bush sez HE'S 6'3", while mp is 6'1", mebbe 6'2" if he stands on Ben Carson's back and the foot stool Kirk Douglas used in all of his movies while he was smooching his 5'9" leading ladies.

I say mp is 5'4" in heels.

I would "roll" that warhead.

I'm done with "role" playing.

maybe read "politics is compromise" as "nobody gets everything they want all the time". if that makes the intent clearer.

i don't get a pony, nazis don't get to gas jews.

and the count doesn't get to assassinate republicans.

Seriously, russell, do you even want a pony?

Politics by the Stones - You can't always get what you want.

Although assassination is likely more fun, less unsavoury methods may be enough to the count's liking to compromising on using them instead.
Of course THEM taking each other out in a safe (for everyone else) environment would be most appropriate.

On compromise, novakant’s point would be strengthened if we use actual disgraceful policies. So under Obama and Trump so far, because of the war in Yemen roughly 140 children die of malnutrition each day. Many would die even without the war, but the war has made it worse. But I saw a piece which said in the next few months the death rate could reach thousands per day, due to the severity of the blockade. I tentatively assume that won’t be tolerated, but who knows? At any rate, the lower death rate could be seen as a compromise between not enabling Saudi mass murder as one utopian extreme and going for full fledged genocide as the other extreme.

Seriously, russell, do you even want a pony?

OK, a 1974 alfa 2000 gtv veloce. with "a man and a woman" era anouk aimee riding shotgun. in the vaucluse. in early september.

and a baguette.

This comment is about ponies, in my way.

Susan Napier on her anime career. Napier is foundational, I think Anne Allison is a little better. She starts by remembering a friend who burst out laughing at the death scene in Grave of the Fireflies. But still talks too much about content, themes, plot, character and not enough about form.

So connecting, via Fredric Jameson. 1) Jameson posits the dialectical necessity for Utopias in politics, considered ironically, as both absurd and necessary. 2) Jameson on Adorno about the crisis of representation.

Cultural Marxism 303:money/price does not indicate value. Value is socially determined, facts are not objective.

A photograph, a real-life movie, live action tv is the culture of late capitalism. It enforces an ideology of positivism, objectivity, facts, reification in the pretense of indexical representation. A live-action "Grave of Fireflies" or most of what people watch still points directs attention at a "real live girl" even if an actress.

It works to make invisible the mediation between the image and the concept reception that makes agency conscious. This is how capitalism is sustained. Markets and capitalism are natural (and patriarchy, etc), there is no rational alternative.

Animation, like painting, foregrounds the mediation. You have to choose to feel empathy for the cartoon little girl.

Oh, just for morning mania, as to why I don't read fiction, which has to do with representation. People, actually women fiction readers, say I lack imagination. Not true, and the gendering of fiction reading is to me an indicator.

Made-up opening sentence of a Wharton story:

"The young gentleman walked into the foyer and removed his hat. The butler announced..."

Wait. What kind of hat? Cowboy hat, stovepipe hat, beret, fireman's cap, military helmet, turban, what?

It doesn't matter what kind of hat.

So these words are meaningless and completely abstract, and are not intended to generate mental images?

No, they are intended to generate mental images.

So how is that supposed to work, if I am to imagine my own kind of hat, but within certain limits not specified by the author.

"The young gentleman walked into the foyer, dripping great torrents of frothy water. He used the wrench in his hand to quickly unscrew the helmet of his deep sea diving suit, and lobsters, crabs and small fish jumped onto the floor. The butler announced..."

It is not imagination I lack. It is obedience and passivity I seem to lack. Or something else. So, see paragraph one, last.

Prose fiction and novels are the art form of dominant patriarchal capitalism, internalized.

Actually, maybe the way fiction works

you should generate a blurry mental image of a generic young man in a vague foyer with a fuzzy blurry hat...this is a repression, a suspension, a suppression of imagination

or

You see, for the moment Daniel Day Lewis dressed to the t's

Both are conventional socially determined and obedient processes.

So how is that supposed to work, if I am to imagine my own kind of hat, but within certain limits not specified by the author.

when you tell a story, you leave off details that aren't important. that's an requirement imposed by the simple fact that you'll never get to the point of your story if you spend time describing irrelevant details.

there isn't enough ink in the universe to describe the entire universe. time is finite. human attention spans are much shorter still.

patriarchy has nothing to do with it. you'll find the same thing in any society. it's just how time works.

OK, a 1974 alfa 2000 gtv veloce. with "a man and a woman" era anouk aimee riding shotgun. in the vaucluse. in early september.

That sounds cool, mostly because I don't know what most of it means.

1974 alfa GTV 2000 veloce

Anouk Aimee

the vaucluse, looking north into the valley from Bonnieux.

baguette

Was actually there in 2014. No Alfa, just a funky little Lancia. No Anouk Aimee, was there with my wife, which was even better.

The baguette was great!

time is finite.

this is, our time is finite.

...when you tell a story, you leave off details that aren't important.

That is about the author, I am talking about the reader and the reception. Prose fiction is about creating mental images, as opposed to poetry which is often about words in themselves. How does fiction work?

That details are left out, the denied abstraction of fiction, is my point. But this style was called naturalism or realism. Cultural Marxism says that the repression of imagination in film and fiction are symptomatic and functional for capitalism.

Another way to approach it is that Wharton had an image in mind when she wrote, and that famous empathy that fiction is supposed to generate provides a partial shared image or shared feelings. Supposedly. I claim that the abstractions of fiction create not empathy but enforced conventionalism and sentimentality via denied narcissism. We follow internal scripts with authorial cues.

Lassie died. Cry Cry.

Quintessential baguette...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbTVfdhJR3Y

That details are left out, the denied abstraction of fiction, is my point.

but details have to be left out, regardless of medium, genre, style or intent is. poetry, especially: economy of words requires illustrating only the highlights of the story. non-fiction as well: i can't tell you i went to the store without leaving out the details of every molecule in every desiccated cell in every brown leaf clinging to every dormant beech tree i pass - to say nothing of the pines.

the simple act of looking out the window tells you a story with an infinity of details left out.

it's not a conspiracy or a suppression, it's simply the only way to get through life.

as Byrne asserts in his 1980 treatise, Crosseyed And Painless, "facts all come with points of view."

of course if i'm somehow missing your point, perhaps that you've left something out.

Cultural Marxism says that the repression of imagination in film and fiction are symptomatic and functional for capitalism.

Cultural Marxism has too much time on its hands.

We follow internal scripts with authorial cues.

in all things. always.

“that's an requirement imposed by the simple fact that you'll never get to the point of your story if you spend time describing irrelevant details.”

Or you let HBO finish it for you. Maybe it is all about capitalism.

leaving story-telling aside, the basic act of human attention involves significant editing.

look at anything you care to. you will not see everything. same for listen, taste, touch, smell. there may be some element of choice there, but mostly it's automatic.

undoubtedly, our "inner scripts with authorial cues" contribute to the decisions about what to notice, and what to elide or simply ignore.

not a few of those authorial cues are the result of 100,000 years (or more) of evolutionary triage.

Also, FWIW, I've known a generous handful of Marxists over the course of my life, and I've found them to be as prone to authorial cues as anyone else. I'm not seeing a path to an uninflected view of the world there.

Everybody's got their own thing.

to put it another way:

deciding to describe the kind of hat is a choice, subject to authorial cues, not all of which are conscious or deliberate on your part.

"Lassie died"

All of the dogs who "played" Lassie were males.

It was a nightmare for the young, impressionable Rick Santorum.

The sheer amount of eyeliner alone they had to use on the dogs would have sent Rod Dreher into paroxysms of eggs benedict options.

If Weinstein had been producing, the patriarchal casting couch would have been more inclusive, yessiree.

Don't forget epics in verse!!!
A certain standard element is overly detailed description of objects (ekphrasis) often giving more details than the object could reasonably have/contain.

Re cleek, 9:29 AM

Very well put.

look at anything you care to. you will not see everything

Decades ago, in my youth, we had a family friend who was an FBI agent. He used to say that the biggest impact that his training made on his life was that he started seeing -- seeing all kinds of things in his environment that he had simply never been noticing before.

So, after his training, he had a far better eye...

"The young gentleman walked into the foyer and removed his hat. The butler announced..."

Wait. What kind of hat? Cowboy hat, stovepipe hat, beret, fireman's cap, military helmet, turban, what?

It doesn't matter what kind of hat.

So these words are meaningless and completely abstract, and are not intended to generate mental images?

No, it does matter what kind of hat. Because the author says nothing specific about it, it's the sort of hat it's unremarkable for a young gentleman to be wearing. But since that changes with time and place, it's better for you to imagine an unremarkable hat than for the author to specify what sort of a hat it is, and you to have to guess whether or not it's supposed to be remarkable.

Has anyone read Nicholson Baker?

If telling details of the hat had been described in the novel, I would expect the hat to figure later in the narrative, like Chekhov's observation regarding the rifle displayed above the fireplace:

"Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."

For Baker, every mote in the scene is described in excruciating detail, including in one novel, the name of which escapes me at the moment, his wife's bowel movements.

In Goldfinger, henchman Oddjob wears a bowler hat rimmed with razor edges. Duly noted by the author early on and you figure that hat will be frisbeed at our hero before the end of the story.

Wharton had other fish to fry.

Oliver Sacks wrote in his clinical notes about the the man who mistook his wife for a hat:

https://www.litcharts.com/lit/the-man-who-mistook-his-wife-for-a-hat/part-1-chapter-1-the-man-who-mistook-his-wife-for-a-hat

When he wanted to put his hat on, he would grab his wife's head, mistaking it for an object.

Who hasn't done that?

Have fun with that one

Re. the successes and failures of the left. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/42781967

Ah yes, we Social Justice Warriors have accomplished something, if not enough....

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