March 31, 2023

"In a contentious debate in Madison last week, in front of a standing-room-only crowd, the mutual contempt between candidates was palpable."

"[Daniel] Kelly kept pointing at [Janet] Protasiewicz and calling her a liar as she looked straight ahead; the event had a bit of the same vibe as the infamous second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Kelly inveighed against Protasiewicz for speaking in terms of policy outcomes rather than legal doctrine, calling her 'a candidate who does nothing but talk about her personal politics.'"

"Twitter’s system of account verification comes to an end Saturday..."

"... when, as the company’s owner Elon Musk announced earlier this month, all 'legacy' verified accounts will lose their blue check.... But if Musk thought that by stripping 'legacy' accounts of their verification, he could convert those account holders into Twitter Blue subscribers, at least when it comes to American media he’s mistaken...."

If this be humor, make the most of it.


Get ready...

"The extreme lack of curiosity about the political ideology of the Nashville shooter, and what role that ideology may have played in motivating the massacre...."

"As she has evangelised about chakra healing and $75-per-month vitamin supplements, Paltrow's high-end 'yoga mom' spirit has overshadowed her film career."

"Even her exceptionally trim body, at 50, is another part of the brand: recently, she has spoken about a bone-broth diet which has been widely criticised as 'dangerous.' (She subsequently insisted that she has many days of eating 'whatever' and 'french fries.') There is something so absurd about Paltrow's image that it seems almost to transcend the disdain you might expect to be levelled at her for such flagrant unworldliness. To many, she's such a caricature of privilege, doing things that are so glossily removed from ordinary life.... inconceivably wealthy, hyper-fixated on things that most have never thought about (vaginal steamers, anyone?).... [I]n today's relentlessly critical social media discourse, many find her schtick so over-the-top that they can't help but find it entertaining."

Side note: She won the case. 

I trust that the jury ascertained that she and not the optometrist was the one who told the truth. 

Does that make her a less ridiculous figure in our pop culture?

"You’re actually super transphobic and I never want to share a space with you."

Said Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to "Libs of TikTok" creator Chaya Raichik, quoted "AOC storms away from ‘Libs of TikTok’ creator on Capitol Hill" (NY Post).

"We are discussing with them, you know, obviously, there’s a group called the Secret Service that’s involved now. I mean, this is going to be something we’ve never seen the likes of."

Said Trump's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, quoted in "'Shocked' Donald Trump will face 34 counts of business fraud after NYC indictment: lawyer Joe Tacopina" (NY Post).

34 counts?

“We now heard 34 counts," the lawyer said, "And I guarantee you it’s going to be 34 counts when we find out next week. They’ll take each check and make that a count, perhaps, and that’s how they’ll do it because the checks are paid to Cohen."

Tacopina plans to win the case. He says, "We will humiliate them, and they will pay the price."

March 30, 2023

Sunrise — 6:45.


"Grand Jury Votes to Indict Donald Trump in New York."

"Mr. Trump will be the first former president to face criminal charges. The precise charges are not yet known, but the case is focused on a hush-money payment to a porn star during his 2016 campaign."

The felony indictment, filed under seal by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, will likely be announced in the coming days. By then, prosecutors working for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, will have asked Mr. Trump to surrender and to face arraignment on charges that remain unknown for now.

Sunrise — 6:39.

IMG_0692 2

"After serving eleven months in solitary prior to his sentence being imposed, and only 16 months of his sentence thereafter, it is appropriate this gentle and intelligent young man..."

"... be permitted to move forward with the next stage of what undoubtedly will be a law abiding and enriching life. I applaud the decision of the US Bureau of Prison in this regard."

The headline implies that the early release is because of that newly seen footage. Was it?

"I’m trying to show people that they can move here and actually have a reasonable mortgage, while building on the progressive community that is here."

"For a lot of people of color and queer people, there is this generational poverty that continues to get passed down. They don’t have family that can pass down housing or other assets. I’m bisexual, and I’m a woman of color. I’ve been able to find a lot of community here through both of those aspects of my identity."

Here's one of her videos:

"To be clear, I am not denying that Chinese LGBTQ content creators have been forced to survive... in regulatory blind spots by cleverly packaging their stories with less provocative keywords like 'youth' and 'romance'..."

"... instead of 'Boys’ Love' or 'LGBTQ.' Instead, I believe it’s important to look deeper into an ecosystem that allows Chinese queer culture to persist.... [C]reators rely on huge streaming platforms [that]... use queer content to pinkwash their reputations while pursuing younger, more liberal audiences.... Streaming media platforms’ support for queer culture is at best speculative; it can be, and often is, withdrawn when the political winds shift.... In 2020, the Chinese government [objected to] 'chaotic fandom activities' and unconventional gender presentation, a phenomenon exemplified by the so-called sissy pants idols, many of them straight, appearing on television.... [W]hile the past two years were unkind to LGBTQ content creators and platforms alike, there are reasons for optimism. Time and again, when offered a choice, Chinese audiences have proven receptive to queer content and themes...."

I was interested to see the phrase "sissy pants," but this isn't the first time. Here's a post of mine from 2021. I quote an AP report:

"When we realized how many needs were going unmet in the category, we saw this as a timely opportunity to put people’s needs front and center in our stories, creating another chapter of DownThereCare."

Said FCB Chicago chief creative officer Andrés Ordóñez, quoted in "Cottonelle Gets Personal—and Funny—About 'Down There Care'/No cuddly mascots appear in comedic campaign by FCB Chicago" (AdWeek).

"When I was 16 years old, my hair started turning white.... he insecurity, anxiety, and ruminations about my slowly deteriorating hair lasted for over a decade."

"Every mirror became my own personal Picture of Dorian Gray. ... I was 16 and I was already fully immersed in a midlife crisis. And it was this preoccupation with my hair that made Tractate Nazir such a moving and deeply personal learning experience. A nazirite vow prohibits one from cutting their hair, drinking wine, and becoming contaminated by contact with the dead. But more so than any of the other prohibitions, the crowning definition of the nazir—a person who has taken this vow—is hair. The very word 'nazir,' explains Rashi, is a crown. And throughout Tractate Nazir, I discovered how to find sanctity in my own hair...."