Jan. 29th, 2017


Jan. 29th, 2017 02:29 pm
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Sabrina Tavernise: 'Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University, calls it the clash between globalists and nationalists. The globalists, who tend to be urban and college educated, want a world like the one described in John Lennon’s song “Imagine” — no religion, walls or borders dividing people. The nationalists see that as a vision of hell. They want to defend their culture and emphasize the bonds of nationhood — flag, Constitution, patriotism. They also want to limit immigration, an instinct that globalists are often quick to condemn as racist.' [NYT] ... ... After failing to get back into the "Breaking Bad" groove, I have happily found a little TV happiness with HBO's "The Leftovers" - not a show about food, but what happens when a significant percentage of the world's population has suddenly disappeared, or possibly even raptured. I watched the first season, but did not care to follow on into the second season. I think I was upset that it was yet another show circumscribed by contemporary feminism. Recently, there has been some buzz about the upcoming third season, and being desperate for entertainment, I took advantage of HBO Go and started streaming the second season, and it has been very diverting. The story has the quality of a haunting dream, full of mysteries and enigmas, which you never expect to be fully answered, but for which you feel that there are real answers if only you had the wit to fathom them. ... ... Abraham Lincoln: “Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. ... If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” [New Yorker] ... ... It feels as though Pop has suddenly opened his eyes to my condition. This morning he asked me what was wrong. I had no idea what he was talking about. If anything I have been feeling even better about everything, that is, at peace with myself and my lot. And he has taken to looking at me inquisitively. Maybe I am projecting too much onto this, but I wonder if he has finally come around to appreciating the wretchedly lonely life I live, and on a deeper level than the fact that I don't have a job and am not contributing to the financial demands of our life. I wonder if he is actually feeling some compassion for me, whether than enjoying some perverse sense of manly dominance over his own unfortunate son, his only true flesh & blood. Nevertheless, even if I am right, it's not like he can do anything to really help me. But it would be nice if he maintains a softer stance toward me and my pitiable condition. If he'd like to bump my allowance up to, say, 30 dollars, that would be nice too, but I know his little retirement checks are already stretched too thin, and he has all those charities to police organizations that he feels he has to support. ... ... Michiko Kakutani: 'The dystopia described in George Orwell’s nearly 70-year-old novel “1984” suddenly feels all too familiar. A world in which Big Brother (or maybe the National Security Agency) is always listening in, and high-tech devices can eavesdrop in people’s homes. (Hey, Alexa, what’s up?) A world of endless war, where fear and hate are drummed up against foreigners, and movies show boatloads of refugees dying at sea. A world in which the government insists that reality is not “something objective, external, existing in its own right” — but rather, “whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.”' [NYT] ... ... Richard Pryor: "Be clean! They always say 'be clean'. They want you to be something that really doesn't exist at all." [Becoming Richard Pryor]


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