Monday, November 28, 2016

The Newest News Cycle

The eight steps of the newest news cycle:

1. - There is an attack, using a gun, knife, car, etc., against multiple people in a public space.
2 - I think to myself, "Crap. The Mohammedans are at it again."
3 - Officials warn me not to jump to conclusions about the nature of the attacker.
4 - The media speculates it may be the work of a right-wing gun nut.
5 - It turns out that the attackers name is Mohamed, Abdul, Faisal, etc.
6 - They are reported to have yelled, "Allahu Akbar" while attacking.
7 - The news media puzzles over what their motives could have been.
8 - My cynicism, disgust and frustration deepen.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Miss Ridgid

Click any image to enlarge

Back in the day, in spaces where men stored tools -- workshops, garages, etc. -- they also hung cheesecake calendars provided by vendors. One of the most classic of those calendars was the Ridgid Tools calendar, featuring the Miss Rigid of the month.

When I was old enough to notice cheesecake, the Miss Ridgids were models (Raquel Welch was a Miss Rigid), but before that they were illustrated. On this page, and below the fold, are some of those older illustrated cheesecake girls. Enjoy.

By the way, as for their current calendar Rigid Tools states, "The 2017 Calendar is not a pin-up style calendar. Instead you’ll find mantras chosen by tradespeople like you and unique artwork designed by tattoo artists and illustrators." Bleh.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Angry Thanksgiving

For those unlucky enough to have political zealots on both sides of the aisle, well ... enjoy them screaming at each other while you munch on your turkey this year. Remember -- patience is a virtue. For those with civil relatives, count that as another thing to be thankful for.

At any rate -- Happy Thanksgiving all.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

I don't think that's going to work

Below are a couple of quotes pulled from the Washington Post article Keith Ellison, Howard Dean offered as possible DNC chairs as Democrats seek to regroup.

Sanders said the reasons for Clinton’s loss were “fairly obvious” and cited two factors: lower turnout by the Democratic base and the Republican nominee’s far greater appeal to white, working-class voters, which Sanders dubbed “a humiliation for the Democratic Party.”

“White working-class people are deserting the party in droves,” Sanders said.


In an interview, Sanders said he is lobbying for (Keith) Ellison (for the position of DNC Party Chairman) and argued that the DNC needs to be reoriented so that it becomes less of an insiders' club “preoccupied” with raising money and more of an advocate for the concerns of the working class.

Really, the Democrats think the working class whites in fly-over country are craving the likes of Keith Ellison to return them to the fold?
There is a Scene at the end of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure where the two time-traveling high schoolers have brought back historical figures for the final project of their history class. They are on a stage giving a presentation, part of which is Napoleon standing in front of a table with a map of Europe on it. On the map Napoleon has little toy soldiers arrayed in preparation for the invasion of Russia.

Bill (or was it Ted?) wanders over, looks at it and says, "no offense dude, but I don't think that's going to work."
Seems like an appropriate response to Keith Ellison as the Great White Hope.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Lopsided Democracy

Below is an old post of mine, originally put up on July 4th of 2010. In light of the election it seems relevant. Indeed, "People will come together and cry: enough! ". Only it wasn't in fond nostalgia of the wise old elite, instead it was a lot of people who resented being called simpletons for their opinions. Anyway, the election brought this song and post to mind...

Above is the song Dimonkransa sung by Myra Andrade of the Cape Verde Islands. Cape Verde received their independence from Portugal on July 5th, 1975. The liberation movement was led by the socialist African Party of Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV). Andrade's father was a member of it, and in fact she was born in Cuba.

Upon independence Cape Verde was a single party government, but in 1990 at a party congress the PAICV approved the introduction of multiparty democracy. In the election that followed the opposition fared well, and Cape Verde has evolved into a stable multi-party democracy.

However, this is not a post about her politics, nor the sort of third world socialism that bubbles through the undeveloped world. It seems to me there is a deeper strata, a bedrock so to speak, which lies under the languid melancholy of her lyrics.

It was said that democracy,
Lopsided democracy,
It was said that democracy
Was like a hidden treasure,
But now that it has been found.
We have all opened our eyes
And each one, relying on his judgment,
Confidently declared that what was round was in fact square,
And went to work, with a great many theories,
To prove that he was right.

(lyrics from the version she sung on her first album Navega)

Andrade is ill at ease with democracy, but for social rather than political reasons. Early in the song she calls it 'lopsided democracy' and as its lyrics unfold her complaint is that each person, not matter how foolish they are (and she clearly thinks many if not most of them are fools), now express a cacophony of opinions and arguments that bury the truth. 

She ends the song singing of English businessman and listing names from Cape Verde's past, some who have been elevated and some who she fears are being forgotten, and expresses distress at this reordering of authority. 

Stripped to its bone, the song is about a lost elite. Andrade is expressing nostalgia for a short-lived one party rule and for an escape from European domination. Of course it is her party that should rule and she now makes her home in Paris. Perhaps it is she that is lopsided, rather than all of the happy fools she mocks?

The time will come when old Náxu’s opinions
Will not be held in higher esteem than those of a babe in arms.
People will come together and cry: enough!

Americans forget how revolutionary we are. Jefferson's "all men are created equal..." is both intoxicating and destructive. It is a hell of a thing not to have to step into the gutter to clear the side walk for a swaggering aristocrat. Andrade is intimidated by and dismissive of people who have opened their eyes, and each one, relied on their own judgment, but a free man knows better.

As for coming together and crying "enough"? That is exactly what our 4th of July celebrates and we'll have our Gadsden flags mingled with the Stars and Stripes. Happy 4th of July to you all.