March 26, 2017




In Capitol Reef National Park, photographed on March 10th.

"Petroglyph panels throughout the park depict ancient art and stories of [Fremont and ancestral Puebloan] people who lived in the area from approximately 600-1300 common era (CE)."

Feel free to talk about any subject in the comments.

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Why did the NYT crossword clue "WASP" as "Martin Van Buren was the first president who wasn't one"?

It's so absurd! Rex Parker freaks out:
What a no-good, terrible, confusing, stupid clue for a perfectly good insect. Does WASP mean "white Anglo-Saxon Protestant" here? If so ... WTF? No one used that term in the 19th century, so ... I mean, "inapt" doesn't even begin to cut it. I can only guess that this is the information at play in the non-WASP designation here:
Martin Van Buren was born on December 5, 1782, in the village of Kinderhook, New York about 20 miles (32 km) south of Albany on the Hudson River. Van Buren was the first President not born a British subject, or even of British ancestry. He was a descendant of Cornelis Maessen of the village of Buurmalsen, near the town of Buren in the Netherlands, who had come to North America in 1631 and purchased a plot of land on Manhattan Island; his son Martin Cornelisen took the surname Van Buren. (wikipedia)
No, wait, forget who knows or cares—even if you knew and cared, in what universe do you take your knowing and caring and turn it into a clue for, of all things, WASP, which is a pretty generic, and in my experience, at least mildly pejorative, term? Baffling. That was at 1-Across ... and the sourness never went away....
In the comments — this cracked me up — evil doug remembers the old "Seinfeld" dialogue:
KRAMER: Alright, so there I am at Lorenzo's - loading up my slice at the fixin's bar.. garlic and what-not... mmmm - and I see this guy over at the pizza boxes giving me the stink-eye. So I give him the crook-eye back, you know...Then, I notice that he's not alone! I'm taking on the entire Van Buren Boys!

JERRY: The Van Buren Boys? There's a street gang named after President Martin Van Buren?

KRAMER: Oh yeah, and they're just as mean as he was!

ADDED: Did you know that Martin Van Buren is the only U.S. President who did not have English as his first language? He was a native speaker of Dutch. I stumbled into that as I was retroactively adding my new tag "Van Buren" to old posts. I encountered this post from 2014 quoting John McWhorter as saying:
"In today’s America, to not be able to get down, or at least pretend to, is to be inarticulate. We live in a distinctly swaggery age. Obama, then, speaks a larger English than Romney – or Reagan, or Kennedy. It complements the fact that he is the first president since Martin Van Buren, who grew up speaking Dutch and broke into it when angry, to be raised in a household where more than just English was spoken. It’s stupid enough that Obama has to downplay his command of Indonesian to avoid looking like a Muslim; must we jump him for using the Black English spice kit?"
Does Obama speak Indonesian? CBS quoted him in July 2008 as saying: "I don't speak a foreign language. It's embarrassing!" Was he lying? This chart lists him as having "partial mastery" of Indonesian (and, interestingly, shows that we haven't had a President who was fluent in a foreign language since FDR).

50 years ago today: "On March 26, 1967, over 10,000 congregated in Central Park for an Easter Sunday 'Be In.'"

Untapped Cities reminds us of the ignition point of what would be The Summer of Love.
The Central Park event was organized by Paul Williams, an 18-year old who had founded the first serious rock and roll magazine, Crawdaddy, as a college freshman a year earlier, and Jim Fouratt, a gay actor who would co-found the Yippies a year later. That January, San Francisco had launched its first “Human Be In,” called Gathering of the Tribes, which had drawn 30,000 people to listen to Timothy Leary, dance to the Grateful Dead, and vibe on the free acid distributed to the crowd. The New York “Be In” would lack even that level of structure (if that’s the right word…), with flyers plastered around the city simply calling on people to “come as you are” to Sheep Meadow.
Here's some video:

Here's a contemporaneous article in the Village Voice, "Central Park Rite is Medieval Pageant," by Don McNeill:
Rhythms and music and mantras from all corners of the meadow echoed in exquisite harmony, and thousands of lovers vibrated into the night. It was miraculous. It was a feast for the senses; the beauty of the colors, clothes, and shrines, the sounds and the rhythms, at once familiar, the smell of flowers and frankincense, the taste of jellybeans. But the spirit of the Be-In was tuned -- in time -- to past echoes and future premonitions. Layers of inhibitions were peeled away and, for many, love and laughter became suddenly fresh....
And here we are in that future, hearing the echoes. 


I used the word in a comment just now [where it, unfortunately, misautocorrected]. And I'm reading the Wikipedia article on the subject. This jumped out:
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan said of Michael Dukakis, a presidential candidate who was rumored to have received psychological treatment, "Look, I'm not going to pick on an invalid."

US President Donald Trump has been noted for repeatedly using apophasis. In 2015, Trump said of fellow Republican presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, "I promised I would not say that she ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground, that she laid off tens of thousands of people and she got viciously fired. I said I will not say it, so I will not say it." In 2016, he tweeted of journalist Megyn Kelly, “I refuse to call [her] a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct."
I didn't remember Reagan as being such an asshole! Sheds a different light on present-day efforts to distinguish Trump from Reagan, like Maureen Dowd in her column today"Donald, This I Will Tell You":
You mused that a good role model would be Ronald Reagan. As you saw it, Reagan was a big, good-looking guy with a famous pompadour; he had also been a Democrat and an entertainer. But Reagan had one key quality that you don’t have: He knew what he didn’t know.

You both resembled Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloons, floating above the nitty-gritty and focusing on a few big thoughts. But President Reagan was confident enough to accept that he needed experts below, deftly maneuvering the strings.

You’re just careering around on your own, crashing into buildings and losing altitude, growling at the cameras and spewing nasty conspiracy theories, instead of offering a sunny smile, bipartisanship, optimism and professionalism....

"Even gender-neutral pronouns don’t feel as if they fit me. I feel no identity or closeness with any pronouns I’ve come across. What describes me is my name."

Said Patch, formerly known as Patrick Abbatiello, formerly designated as male, who not only acquired a legal name change — to Patch, just Patch (It's Patch*) — but got the legal gender designation changed to "genderless."

This happened in Multnomah County, which happens to be a county name I know, because it's that county with the idea of spending $22 million building 300 "tiny houses" in the backyards of homeowners who agree to take in a homeless family for 5 years.

The linked article is at HeatStreet — which has an attitude that I find unappealing and where there's a Gender Identities quiz that's freeze-framed on an image that I'm not going to click on but is either snarkily or unwittingly trading in surprising phallus placement:

I'm creating a new tag — "gender privacy" — for this and yesterday's post "What a deceptive headline at The Daily Caller!"

Yesterday's post was about a teacher who, after losing her breasts to cancer, wanted to present herself as gender neutral and to say to any children who wondered about her gender: "We all have private lives, and it would not be appropriate to talk about our private lives during the school day." In the comments, people focused on the problem of what pronoun to use (which really is troublesome as we maintain an interest in speaking in a natural way), and I said:
I didn't take a position on the pronouns.

I talked about etiquette and decency in interpersonal relationships.

Note that this isn't a woman demanding to be spoken of as a man or raising the issue whether she somehow really is a man. This is a person who is asking for no reference to be made to her sex. It's a request for privacy about her body.

Out of simple empathy, you could respect that.

You could also ask why a person's sex is considered properly in the public realm. Why don't we all demand privacy about the body parts we cover up and demand that others cover up. If they must be covered up, why do we feel entitled to talk about them?
These are questions I really want to discuss.

Also, I see an analogy to something that happened in the development of the same-sex marriage issue. Many people started to ask why the government is involved in recognizing people's personal/sexual relationships at all. Why not privatize the whole thing, get government out of marriage? Now, you might want to think about why government concerns itself with our private parts. If you want to say gender is more than genitalia, that it's a state of mind, the question of privacy is only heightened: Why should government concern itself with how we feel deep inside?

As for those pesky pronouns, we have freedom of speech. That too belongs in the sphere of the individual. We get to decide for ourselves how to speak. There are many difficult decisions here, and the government should not be solving them.


* Let's never forget what the Saturday Night Live people found hilarious in the early 90s:

The movie was a big flop, but the character had been hugely successful on SNL in many sketches.

"It’s like a warm peach that kind of gives a little bit, that has extra skin."

Said the Yankees pitcher Greg Bird, about his hairless cat, Mr. Delicious.

To fully savor this post, pair it with the previous post.

"Many Indonesians who are still too poor to eat beef, except on special occasions, can now afford dog or cat."

Said one animal protection researcher quoted in "Indonesians’ Taste for Dog Meat Is Growing, Even as Others Shun It" (NYT).
“From a strictly practical, agricultural point of view, growing dogs and cats for meat requires far less space and feed resources than growing cows, and is therefore cheaper,” [Brad] Anthony said. “The economics of it all is likely the primary motivator for production and consumption.”...

[D]ogs are not classified as livestock, the way cows, pigs and chickens are. Because of this, the slaughter, distribution, sale and consumption of dogs are not regulated.... In Jakarta, Juniatur Silitonga... says he slaughters about 20 dogs in an average week....

“It’s cheaper than beef,” he said. “Eating dog meat is a tradition among local tribes, and they are mostly Christian, but Muslims also eat dog meat soup for medicinal reasons.”
There is a belief that meat from a black dog cures asthma.

ADDED: In the comments — those swamps of vitriol and condescension — they're making a beeline for Obama-eats-dog material. Here's my Obama eats dog tag to beef up — dog up — your witticisms.

But what I really want to talk about is poverty and human health. If dogs and cats are cheap and easy to breed and keep, why shouldn't poor people be accorded respect as they embrace this form of food production? The article doesn't really approach this problem, but immediately distracts us with 2 completely different problems: 1. Cruel methods of slaughter, and 2. Rabies.

These are utterly easy to see as problems. There's no debate about ethics, so it's a fine distraction from the harder question I want to talk about.

And aren't these problems solvable? Can't poor people be educated about and convinced to use the most humane method of slaughter? We affluent people — most of us — don't deny ourselves meat because of the suffering of animals. We just expect that the suffering to be decently minimized.

As for rabies, nobody wants rabies! Let's work on that problem everywhere. According to the article, unregulated commerce makes it hard to rabies, which is "a persistent problem in Bali and elsewhere." If this is a reason to deny a meat source to poor people, please explain to me why affluent people are encouraged to travel to Bali. Here's a NYT article from 2015: "Rabies Deaths Higher Than Previously Thought":
Rabies kills 59,000 people a year, or about 160 a day — more than had previously been assumed — according to a study published last week.
That is a terrible problem. Worry about that, not whether some poor people are taking advantage of the profusion of dogs and cats to get some meat in their diet.

"Must I first define 'privilege' in its current use, or should I imagine that if you’ve reached this paragraph, you’re already among the cognoscenti?"

"As it is known today and discussed in progressive circles, a jurisdiction Bovy writes about with the knowing weariness that comes with longtime residence, privilege is not just about having special advantages available only to the few, but it is also about those advantages that are entirely unearned, and usually ones of which the privileged party is blissfully unaware or, even better, somewhat defensive."

Paragraph 4 of "The last thing on ‘privilege’ you’ll ever need to read/A new book argues that accusing people of unearned advantages does nothing to address inequality — and may only make things worse," a review by Carlos Lozada (in WaPo) of the book "The Perils of 'Privilege': Why Injustice Can’t Be Solved by Accusing Others of Advantage," by Phoebe Maltz Bovy, who, according to Lozada seems to have "scoured the Internet for every overwrought think piece and self-indulgent personal essay about privilege" and "read all of them." She's even "read the comments sections, those swamps of vitriol and condescension that no one is ever supposed to even contemplate or speak of, let alone wade into."

I know you may never click through, since it's in WaPo, and there's a paywall, so let me tell you that there's a lot more of Lozada displaying his exasperation that anyone would do research into understanding what people are talking about on the internet. Bovy herself worried that there might be a problem with a "microhistory" of some phenomenon as it played out on the internet,* and Lozada — noting Bovy's interest in seeing more variety in what's written about economics and inequality — gives her the send-off:
We could, of course, just start reading something else, too. Not all the waters out there are so swampy.
Yeah, stick to mainstream media like The Washington Post where we keep the opinion tidied up and presentable. Speaking of privilege! It seems to me that Lozada is the privileged party... blissfully unaware or... somewhat defensive. Why is anyone wading the swamps of vitriol and condescension, when we've got these nice, clean newspapers with everything laid out for you?

* But I think there's an excellent chance that this is exactly the kind of research historians will need to be doing. This is public discourse preserved. It will not be enough to study what the big newspapers were saying at the time. People were talking and leaving their discussions in writing. Lozado would like to reject all this discussion as illegitimate — a swamp. He'd like to say: That's not the real public discussion. The people who actually matter were somewhere else, and they did not put their thoughts in writing. These are not real people in here talking. Ignore them. They don't matter.

It's a bit like the way Trump voters are portrayed as people whose ideas and opinions can't possibly matter. We've seen that they matter, whether the coastal elites in mainstream media like it or not. And historians can act aloof and swampophobic, but I don't think that will play out any better than the "Great Man" approach that once kept historians above lowly things.

March 25, 2017

"Diners at Upland, the California-inflected brasserie in Flatiron, would have a story they could tell their great-grandkids: about the day they saw President Obama — gracious, handsome, tieless — while taking forkfuls of little-gem salad."

The love affair — the press with Obama — continues.

And new love arrives: "Did Senator Cory Booker and Mindy Kaling Just Set Up a Real-Life Date Over Twitter?"

"Incredibly, he was able to instead survive by following a group of monkeys, who dropped him fruit and lead him to shelter and water every day."

"Maykool had been found in very weak condition; nine days in the rainforest had left him dehydrated, his skin ravaged by bites, botflies, and spines, his feet and ankles painfully swollen."

"I said I wanted to get some outside stuff, and I looked out the window and saw it was getting darker and darker... There wasn’t very much thought to it."

Said Don Hunstein, the man who took the photograph that's on the cover of "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" — quoted in his NYT obituary. He was 88.

That photograph has been stared at by a lot of people and inspired many, many fantasies — especially of what it should be like to have (or be) a girlfriend.

IN THE COMMENTS: Paddy O said:
Reminds me of a dream I once had. Was it even my dream? It wasn't. It was a dream I once heard about. A dream Meade had one day many years ago, a dream of freewheelin' with a blog hostess.

Is Trump "unhappy" that Jared Kushner went on a ski trip to Aspen just as the healthcare bill got stymied?

That's what some source said, causing the anti-Trump media to blurt out headlines like "Trump unhappy Jared Kushner took a powder on the ski slopes as health care bill floundered."*
Kushner was on vacation until Thursday, skiing with family in the posh Colorado town of Aspen. Paparazzi caught Jared and Ivanka taking leisurely strolls, enjoying ice cream cones with their three kids and winding their way down the slopes.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, Trump was fuming. According to a source close to the president, "[Trump] is upset that his son-in-law and senior adviser was not around during this crucial week." Kushner did appear at the White House on Friday during the last gasps of the Obamacare repeal effort.
I smell fake news! I think someone is just guessing — and hoping — that Trump is having tantrums. Even if I believed he's that touchily emotional, I wouldn't believe that he thinks the Kushners' ski trip is bad political theater. Because... it's not... is it? I think it says: Everything's going along just fine, we've got everything under control, everybody's happy. And also: Trump isn't dependent on having his kids at his elbows at all times keeping him normal.

But, yeah, if he freaks out when they're gone, he sounds unhinged. Which is why I think CNN carried the story.

* I loathe that kind of cornball writing — took a powder on the ski slopes — especially when they went ahead and used floundered instead of coming up with something else that sounds ski-related.

By the way, is the right word flounder or founder?
A flounder is a fish,** but as a verb, it means to blunder about, to be in serious trouble....

A founder is someone who starts something, but as a verb, founder literally means "to sink." Figuratively, it's "to collapse or fail completely."...

Flounder and founder are happy little nouns that don't get mixed up. But it all falls apart when they're verbs — if you're floundering, you're struggling. If you're foundering, you're failing completely. You're sunk! You can't even hold onto the letter l.
Take a powder, of course, does not actually relate to the powder that is snow. But exactly what does it refer to?
The phrase take a powder meaning to "scram, vanish," is probably from the 20's; it was a common phrase as a doctor's instruction, so perhaps from the notion of taking a laxative medicine or a sleeping powder, with the result that one has to leave in a hurry (or, on another guess, from a magician's magical powder, which made things disappear). Powder blue (1650s) was smelt used in laundering; as a color name from 1894.

Fish keep turning up in strange places. I think the intended word is smalt — which is cobalt glass.


** Footnote to a footnote: This is another reason to reject "flounder." With that powder... ski business, the writer has just nudged us to think concretely about random words and be amused by the image, and a flounder cannot swim in snow, but it is one of those subjects people have had passionate, pointless arguments about.

"You know the more Trump fails, the more we're just getting what we want: Not Hillary."

Overheard at Meadhouse.

"Instead of watching it on a TV screen, I wanted to recreate the conditions under which I’d originally enjoyed this movie, so I booked it at Chicago’s Music Box Theater..."

"... as part of my film series, 'Is It Still Funny?' It was a packed house, and as Harold embarks on that first fake suicide, I could feel my own tension building."

From "A Movie Date With My Younger Self" by Marc Caro (in the NYT).

"With the failure of the Ryan healthcare bill, the illusion of Trump-is-Hitler has been fully replaced with Trump-is-incompetent meme."

"Look for the new meme to dominate the news, probably through the summer. By year end, you will see a second turn, from incompetent to 'Competent, but we don’t like it.'"

Writes Scott Adams, about the biggest thing that happened yesterday, as he sees it, which was not the failure to get to a vote on healthcare reform.
[I]n the 3D world of persuasion, Trump just had one of the best days any president ever had: He got promoted from Hitler to incompetent. And that promotion effectively defused the Hitler-hallucination bomb that was engineered by the Clinton campaign.
By the way, we were just talking about Scott Adams on the blog yesterday — talking about that Bloomberg article and how he thought it had fake-newsed him — and he stopped by in the comments:
I like the comments where people are reading my mind and determining how much fun I am having, or not having.

The Bloomberg experience was fun for me from top to bottom. That's why I did it. And it went exactly as I told my brother and several others it would. That includes my blog on the experience, which I decided to write before the story appeared. (It was obvious how the article would turn out.)

Based on the reaction on Twitter to my blog, a lot of people liked it and appreciated the glimpse behind the curtain.

You might be confusing me with people who feel shame or anger from this sort of experience. I'm not normal that way. I can see how that would be confusing. I laughed as hard as my brother did in the video on my blog.
Makes me think of the old line You must have mistaken me for someone who cares.

You have to care at least enough to say that.

The other day, I was talking about the weather with a woman who might have been about 30 or so.

She got to describing the movie "Twister" (the special-effects laden tornado movie from 1996), and I said I'd never seen it. To lighten the mood, I said "I've seen 'The Wizard of Oz.'" To my utter amazement, she said "I haven't." How can you not have seen "The Wizard of Oz"?!

ADDED: In case you, like me, don't know "Twister," this is a good way to get up to speed:

AND: Nice to see Bill Paxton again. And Philip Seymour Hoffman.

HEY: There's also an Everything Wrong With for "The Wizard of Oz"!

What a deceptive headline at The Daily Caller!

"Transgender Teacher Gets $60k After Co-Workers Won’t Call Her 'They.'"

I shouldn't reward them with traffic, so let me not leave this post too enigmatic. There was a lot of harassment against this teacher — who adopted the self-presentation as gender neutral after she had breast cancer surgery and opted for reconstruction to a masculine rather than feminine-looking chest.

Here's the underlying article in The Oregonian, so I recommend getting the facts there, not at The Daily Caller, with its fake-news click-bait headline.
Leo Soell... identifies as neither male nor female and uses the pronoun they instead of he or she. But, Soell wrote, coworkers continuously called Soell "she," "lady" or "Miss Soell." Someone smeared Vaseline on Soell's cabinets, the complaint said, and another yelled insults in the school hallway. Others conspired to prevent Soell from using the school's lone gender-neutral bathroom, the complaint said....

If kids asked whether Soell was a boy or a girl, district leaders told Soell to respond, "We all have private lives, and it would not be appropriate to talk about our private lives during the school day."...

Soell said coworkers responded by intentionally calling Soell "lady" or "Miss Soell."

"Another teacher yelled at me openly in the school hallway, saying that my gender is a 'belief system' that I do not have the right to make other people follow and that God is on her side," Soell said in a complaint, obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
I understand that many people are traditional about maintaining the distinction between the sexes, but if you want to be taken seriously as traditional, you'd better display traditional etiquette and decency. 

"The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it... That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you're dead."

Wrote Trump in "The Art of the Deal." Also: "Know when to walk away from the table."

I'm reading these quotes in yesterday's Washington Post, in "Trump’s health care ultimatum is straight out of ‘The Art of the Deal.’ It just might work."

But is anyone talking about Trump's "walk away" approach today, after the ultimatum failed? Or is everyone saying: Trump failed. And: So much for the "Art of the Deal." And: Trump got a stark elementary education in the complicated reality of Washington politics — that art-of-the-deal stuff doesn't fit the exquisite complexity of Congress.

The "walk away" strategy isn't just a bluff, is it? Sometimes, you really do walk away. Long term, that builds your game, doesn't it? Or, maybe it's wrong to say "just a bluff," because in poker, if you need your opponents to think you bluff, so they'll stay in when you've got a good hand. Poker bluffing is not a good analogy for what Trump did in saying the vote had to happen on Friday or that was the end. What corresponds to the hidden hand? All that's hidden is whether Trump really will declare it over if those hearing the ultimatum don't believe this really is their last chance. They know what the bill is, and if they decide not to vote for it because they want something else, then Trump might follow through with his threat and back out. But the balky members of Congress are the ones who are staying in and taking the risk that Trump won't stay in, so they seem to be the ones doing the bluffing. Isn't it Trump who's in the position of a poker player who folds because he thinks the other guy has a better hand?*

Whether poker bluffing is a good analogy or not, we still need to think about how well Trump's approach to Congress is working. In this analysis, we need to think about what Trump really wants. I'm not sure. He may want to fulfill a campaign promise, but that promise was always contingent on Congress doing what he wants, and it's questionable whether the bill was even what he promised. If nothing passes, it ends an intra-party fight, a fight that would have continued into the Senate, straight into the wheelhouse of Rand Paul...

... who likes to stand in front of a poster with Trump's "Art of the Deal" words on it.

But I'm not sure Trump wanted to keep that promise. I think maybe he could see that there would be terrible problems under any bill that might pass, and that his name (and his party's name) would be on all those problems — which the Democrats and their many friends in the media would elaborate and amplify in the run up to the mid-term elections.

With the bill rejected — swiftly thrown away in a grand gesture — Obamacare remains, and the coming problems are all (or mostly) on the Democrats. They passed that slow-toppling disaster, with no buy-in from Republicans, and they refused to participate in the earnest effort to save America from the collapse.

I don't think Trump gave up. He saw a better path and set up a quick way to get on it.

Now, I expect that the media will belabor the defeat and the proof that Trump is no artist of the deal and that Trump will get moving on different, better, happier deals like walls and airports — tangible, buildable things.

After 30 years of marijuana use, Woody Harrelson gives it up because it was "keeping me from being emotionally available."

"Still, he has nothing bad to say about marijuana, which he calls 'a great drug.'"

He's right — isn't he? — about the biggest problem with marijuana.

I've been averting my eyes from the healthcare roundelay.

Hey, that is the first time in my life that I stopped to think of the right word and came up with roundelay. Where did that come from? This must be a special kind of aversion I've been feeling....

And is roundelay even correct?

Roundelay — originally "A short simple song with a refrain," according to the OED — has the figurative meaning "A repetitive and apparently pointless cycle of events; a farce." Here are the historical examples for the figurative usage, which — though it sounds very old-fashioned to me — go back only to 1949:
1949 Los Angeles Times 3 Nov. ii. 5/1 So long as this roundelay continues, the nation will be losing real wealth, and our standard of living will slowly deteriorate.
1968 Wall St. Jrnl. 9 July 18 Some cynics have treated all this as just another political roundelay.
1990 N.Y. Mag. 30 Apr. 48/2 It's another night at the office, another in the constant roundelay of political money-making exercises.
2005 D. Goewey Crash Out viii. 118 The past decade had been a roundelay of failed attempts to keep him out of lockup.
I went looking to see where roundelay appeared in the NYT archive and this headline from WWII grabbed my attention — from 1941 (so, still the figurative usage):

ADDED: Maybe this animation at the NYT caused me to think "roundelay":

Needs a few more pointing hands, no?