You can whack off a part of every paragraph and still make enough sense of these to understand how unreliable the explanations are.
A linguist might well ask (probably study) the minimum proportion of message that you must reveal in order to assess the value of it. Of course paragraphs of Shakespeare will return different values than a treatise on sore throats.
The lesson I draw here is that plenty of twaddle is freely fed, with a satisfying sense of authority (or mischief), into the internet. Look something up at your own peril.
I am again profoundly admiring, jealous, changed by the incisive writing of Rebecca Solnit. From the one essay (above) I quote only a few of her everting-of-the-mind observations.
…white Protestant men, some of whom are apparently dismayed to find out that there is going to be, as your mom might have put it, sharing.
In New York City, the immigrant population alone exceeds the total population of Kansas (or Nebraska or Idaho or West Virginia, where all those coal miners are).
The Onion nailed it years ago: “College Basketball Star Heroically Overcomes Tragic Rape He Committed.”
And then when the bomber who had been terrorizing Austin, TX, last month was finally caught, journalists at the newspaper interviewed his family and friends and let their positive descriptions stand as though they were more valid than the fact he was an extremist and a terrorist who set out to kill and terrorize black people in a particularly vicious and cowardly way.
We are as a culture moving on to a future with more people and more voices and more possibilities. Some people are being left behind, not because the future is intolerant of them but because they are intolerant of this future.
…the follow-up story to the #MeToo upheaval has too often been: how do the consequences of men hideously mistreating women affect men’s comfort?
Rebecca Solnit is a hawk-eyed master living in our time.
Do you ever notice how few intellectuals visit gun mayhem on churches? Funny isn’t it? Even though their members score unusually high for atheism. Or how few scholars train assault rifles on strangers who have done them no bit of harm? Shooters — in their confused little dinosaur brains they may even believe themselves religious. As if you could pour a vial of ink on yourself to certify your rectitude. Red ink, Hey I’m holy! Gotta go kill someone!
What are these men attempting to prove to themselves? First, think up the very baddest act I could do. Then buy the gun and ammunition. I’m the baddest male in this whole damned world. So I’ll kill me after I’ve killed enough of not-me. Which proves — what?
The Faux Holies are out in droves nowadays. Not only Christians — Buddhists killing people?But in America it’s the Christians who are the fauxiest.They defend pedophilia like that was their God-given right. A god who condones child abuse ain’t worth spitting on. One Faux Holy got so worked up he declared his pedophile was truer than Christ.
They will have ways of justifying that for you.
Hence their name, Faux.
Their Fairy Queen is Kim Davis of marriage license fame. She’s kind of like Queen Mab but she wears her hair strictly skinned back. (She suspects it of pubic tendencies.) And she likesthe wimple effect, purity of intent. She rides around on a lighted Sparkler like a broom, because it calls attention to the ever-shining face of her holiness.
And the Sparkler is perpetually lighted — she is a fairy after all.
She’s a scourge on homosexuals. Even took her fight to Romania. Yes, Romania. She loves to get mad like bubbly sugar stuff, How dare they? Bubbly sugar stuff is dangerous — it can leap out and scald you.
Queen Kim likes to scatter candy kisses wherever she goes. They look like chocolate but taste like vinegar and toothpaste.
If God was a hater He’d hate Queen Kim. She gets fired up like a backwoods preacher, damning folks left and right.She has Righteousness!God grants her the right to damn in His name. Just ask her followers.
A child is sure monsters are under her bed. Or in the closet. She’s young, the frights of the adult world are disconcerting. Makes perfect sense, monsters. How many ears they have is up to you. How many tentacles. Green?
To counteract, to serve as amulet may be a cat, a blankie, a fuzzy toy. Something to dispel the spells hiding in her room. God works for some people, a special saint. And you must understand the fear is real. The threat, the entity. Facing these dreads may be part of your childhood.
Will it work when you’re adult?
Grown men parading with tiki-torches through the public night. You’d think they’d see the comedy. But no, they know they are conveying menace, self-consciously mimicking the KKK’s burning crosses, solely to make other peoples fear. They exude buckets of man-smell in the hot night, which emboldens them. Righteous men demanding their rights from their oppressors — women, Jews, blacks, people of all colors not milk white.
How different is the child in Bambi-themed pajamas from these grownups who’ve convinced themselves they are oppressed by women, races, Democrats? The child is still innocent but the grownups know right from wrong, sense from nonsense. These men, the torch lights, the fervor building in their throats. They know but also they do not.
When will fMRIs [functional MRIs for exact neural pathways] show us what this behavior looks like in the brain? The eyes take in one-of-them and there’s a direct (I think) shunt to emotions such as hate. Trained into them because they’re never born this way. It’s a shunt to powerful emotions that you are agreeing to be taken over by.
Think of it as a car-jacking. You look at flowers, chairs, breakfast, you’re you. But when your eyes light on a Someone you have no more control than a schizophrenic hearing voices. You can’t stop the perception being highjacked by hideous emotions that you don’t normally feel. You become horrible.
America is poised between just another sunny day and living forever with radioactive fallout. Blame it on the Confederacy that hadn’t the decency to admit defeat — tho their generals did. Their heroes. If we’d squashed out racism long ago it would be hard to stir up hate today. Without hate, no Trump. Well, with Putin’s help. And the gormless Electoral Collage. So America is in a pickle steeped in its own piss and vinegar. Out-maneuvered by our most poisonous enemy. And in possession of our most scandalous President, whom no-one can be sure is sane.
Someone likened him to Nero. Destructively mad, remembered through all of history. Maybe that is who Trump fancies himself tilting at like Quixote. That memory, that spectacularly mad.
One needn’t be genius caliber to know Trump has been in the White House X amount of days and done away with Y amount of science to know Kim Jong Un needn’t fear Trump’s saber-rattling. Our Nero is a self-deluded fool who imagines he can rattle swords he hasn’t yet made. He’s a doofus.A comic pet who assumes poses to make the humans pay attention for a while.
Why bluff a madman? Why bluff an enraged bull? Don’t you have any sense?
Dear Trolls of the Trumpforce, don’t you know radiation blows? You think our Nero will stand with upraised fist to save your children, to turn nuclear radiation back from our shores?
Are you that nuts? That sure that you must hang on to your hate, even now? You’d rather someone got blown to smithereens? Even you?
Than you would let a black man walk down the street without fear?
We’ve all heard about the little man who wasn’t there but now we have the fatsy man who couldn’t mean.
What do you mean he couldn’t mean?
He would say ‘high’ and he’d mean ‘pink.’ He would mean ‘dog’ but he would say ‘star.’ When he kinda sorta saw a ‘bear cub’ in his color-changing thoughts he’d wrap his mouth around ‘cockadoodle.’ Because he didn’t mean anything he said. And he didn’t mean everything he said. And whatsoever his whim was, was. And if you wondered about it one whipstitch later he’d be miles ahead of you. ‘Creamy ranch.’
What do you mean he couldn’t mean?
I mean if he felt ‘yes’ it would be about something you’d think wide of the subject. And if he said ‘damed no!’ it would be about something you and he had yet to consider. Like plum pies. Like mud pies. Like gingham aprons.
Do you mean he couldn’t signify?
Yes but only if you understand that words were whatever came out of his mighty mouth, words were the blather stream, words were sounds going through him – his impulse, his blah, his vocal chords — which were Presidential vocal chords — his sounds which were like the sounds of frightened deer when gunshots rang out, were like the sound of industrial effluvia chuffing into the sky, were like the screeching of brakes when its too too late.
Do you mean he couldn’t give a damn whatever he might say aloud?
I mean he couldn’t even remember whatever he had said.
Landmarks aroud the world light up green in protest over Donald Trump pulling out of Paris accord. via the Telegraph.
Buildings around the world lighted in green. What does the ego that stomped the US out of the Paris Accords make of all the greening-up? Or Mr-Heartbeat-from-Being-President who says lefties are making a ruckus out of a molehill. There is such a vast territory of knowledge that this man has not a clue about, to traverse it you’d need camels, dogsleds and an Oz-bound balloon.
Pope Francis stated firmly that “God does not have a magic wand.” Nor do the backward peoples of the Republican Party. They anoint themselves in damn-fool proclamations writ by people waving sparklers as if Gandalf’s staff. When facts disprove them they attack the facts and leave their opinions walled into the cellars of their self-servingness like fine wines.
I’m enjoying the pleasures of writing with pointed words — as if this administration was Saint Sebastian and my arrows would sink in.
He positioned himself behind the famed desk and signed with a broad black ‘You won’t forget ME’ felt pen whatever impressive document they handed him. Handpicked, they knew what he wanted. Thing is to delegate. He imagined himself that little boy on pajama flannels, straddling a rocketship like a bronco, lassoingcomets as they threatened his mom, his dad, his elementary school. Hero, saves ‘em all. He adds his own flatulence to power the rocket, because (snicker) who’ll ever know?
He’s a very smart person.
Without his money — and it’s a lot, believe me — has he ever had a friend? Someone who could trust him? Without his lots of money — and he’s a known -ionaire — but no peeking! — would his family stay around?If he was just a schmuck?
But hey, he’s a very smart person.
Obama showed him how to be a man but he didn’t get it. He never looked relaxed or easy in his flesh or debonair like the Obamas kept doing. They do it on purpose. Mean. So what if his rear end’s a laughingstock? It looks Presidential, see? Presidential, because he’s the President. End of it.
He’s a very smart person.
Ellis Island immigrant, Public Domain Review.
Immigrants With Pets
Immigrants with pets. What could you do but desert them when facing a risky rubber boat across the Mediterranean? Leave them behind to scavenge and beg. Missing you while you miss them but don’t dare, your kids need you strong. The kids miss the pet, how can they not? But all the acts of dislocation pour salt water over memories writ in bleedy ink.Or do you put the pet out of its misery-to-come? Do you? Or pay a distant cousin handy with a knife?So many choices tomake as you leave behind your property deeds and mementos, your books, grandparents and lifetime friends.
Remember Leona Helmsley, “Only the little people pay taxes”? Remind you of Donald Trump about to barge into the White House in flamboyant disregard of laws and ethics? It’s not only mobsters who believe the US Constitution and IRS code are irrelevant to them.
Soon one of the most despicable men in American history will be sworn in as President. His cabinet choices are sharpening their pick-axes for the departments they are to dismember. None of these people show a thimbleful of awe for their fellow Americans. Helmsleys who live above common morality and disdain the huddled masses — those in crowded housing projects and those functionaries living in small apartments. Or big apartments. But not big enough to make them players.
Meanwhile members of the Senate and House of Representatives are beavering away to invalidate ethical checks and balances on their own behavior. Why?
Vladimir Putin is a known evil-ist. The KGB formed him — you think he can hang that on a shoe rack and march on without it? We grownups in our 50s, 60s, 70s — we have been made by circumstances and by our choices. By our practices.
People practice piano, baseball, juggling. At the same time they practice values and feelings. Use it or lose it, right? Respect is a complex feeling you must learn to feel. Then remind yourself to validate again in your actions. And again — as surely as your hand must learn to feel a C chord spread, your self must learn to feel compassion.
Putin’s shoe rack again. Look at the figures hoping to be Mr Trump’s Cabinet members. In their decades have they learned to practice empathy, compassion. fairness? Because they can no more learn the habits of compassion than Putin at his age.
I fear that these men and women are well-practiced in greed and contempt for me and you.