July 3, 2022

Sunrise — 5:25:04, 5:25:39, 5:25:43.

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Those are just my sunrise pictures from this morning. You can write about anything you want in the comments.

I have 6 TikToks for you tonight and no idea which one you'll like best. So let me know.

1. Random boy doesn't seem to know what freckles are.

2. The Italian husband makes caprese salad.

3. Do you think your happiness depends on finding that special someone?

4. Why not paint your car Tiffany blue?

5. Time to practice hippie dancing.

6. The Canadian guy was warned: Don't let New York City change you.

"I walk around the neighborhood that encouraged me for so many decades, and I see the reminders of Harvey and the Rainbow Honor Walk, celebrating famous queer and trans people."

"I just can’t help but think that soon there will be a time when people walking up and down the street will have no clue what this is all about."

Said Cleve Jones, who lived in the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco for 50 years before moving out of the city altogether, to live in a small house with a garden, quoted in "Once a Crucial Refuge, 'Gayborhoods' Lose L.G.B.T.Q. Residents in Major Cities/Many are choosing to live elsewhere in search of cheaper housing and better amenities. They are finding growing acceptance in other communities after decades of political and social changes" (NYT).

It's not just about housing costs:

Trump is the most popular political figure in America.

 According to the new Harvard-Harris poll:


The key to understanding this is that all of the other political characters are more unpopular than Trump.

ALSO... and this must scare the bejeezus out of a lot of people:

"The [Rainbow] gathering is organized around large camps and communal kitchens that serve coffee, tea and food. No money is exchanged."

"At a trading post, kids and adults bartered for jewelry, stones, glass pipes and Snickers. A painted rainbow was being erected over the 'Granola Funk' stage in the meadow, where a musical, a gong show and other performances would take place. At the Christian-themed Jesus Kitchen, one attendee said the nondenominational gatherings had made him a believer. 'I’d never seen Christians do it the way these guys do it,' said Gavin Boyd, 25, a carpenter from Fort Collins, Colo. It was, he said, less orthodoxy and more spirituality."

This weekend is the 50th Anniversary of the first Rainbow Gathering.

Most of the WaPo article is about the locals worrying about the environmental impact of the gathering and the group's basically good reputation for sanitation and cleanup. There was a little something about politics:

"One complication in this case has been the chaotic jumble of rich and famous people who moved in and out of [Jeffrey] Epstein’s orbit."

"The names thrown about over the years have driven a frenzy of media interest but led to no clear evidence of wrongdoing.... Leland Nally, a writer and film-maker who painstakingly called all 1,500 people in Maxwell and Epstein’s little black book of contacts for an article that appeared in Mother Jones magazine in 2020, warns against jumping to conclusions based on whose name was jotted down. Epstein was obsessive. 'He absolutely was a social-ladder-climber and a collector of these people, so I think he was very quick to put people in this black book,' he says. That said, it is surprising that those who were around Epstein with any frequency did not have at least an inkling of what he and Maxwell were doing. 'I think it’s impossible for many of the people who were close with them throughout the years to have no idea of what was going on,' Nally says.... When [Virginia] Giuffre, now 38, asked Epstein why [Bill] Clinton spent time with him, she claims he laughed and told her: 'Let’s just say he owes me favours.' Epstein cultivated this image, Nally says: 'He enjoyed being seen as a sort of supervillain wacky billionaire.'"

"On Capitol Hill, House Democratic leaders are discussing ways to force Republicans into uncomfortable positions on abortion..."

"Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to colleagues Monday noting that leadership had been discussing potential votes related to abortion... House leaders have asked committee chairs to flag legislation that they could consider voting on to hold Republicans accountable on numerous protections, according to two House Democratic aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity to outline private deliberations. A House GOP aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss their member’s thinking, acknowledged that such votes could put them in a tough spot with their base. Some senior Democratic aides in the Senate have voiced wariness of deploying a similar strategy in their chamber, worrying that holding such kinds of votes might allow Republican senators who voted to confirm Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe to claim they acted to uphold women’s reproductive rights. Those dynamics arose in the Democratic caucus meeting where a group of women senators discussed strategy ahead of the court ruling — tamping down the possibility that there might be a string of 'show votes' to demonstrate Republican opposition to abortion rights and potentially other freedoms. Instead, the three Democrats familiar with the meeting said, a likelier strategy is to attempt over the summer to pass bills on the floor by unanimous consent — a maneuver that would publicly demonstrate GOP opposition to popular measures but would not require all senators to cast votes on them."

"It’s curious that booing is absent from modern theatre, because it’s as old as European drama."

"The earliest reports of audience booing were recorded at the annual festival of Dionysus in Athens where playwrights competed to win prizes for their efforts. The verdict was delivered by the crowds who howled (that is, booed) at the worst dramas and cheered for the best.... [These days a]udiences have developed alternative ways to express their dissatisfaction. Coughing is the commonest method.... Noisily turning the pages of the programme tells your neighbours that you’re unimpressed by the antics on stage. Fiddling with sweets or rattling your ice cubes has the same effect. Snoring is sometimes heard in the stalls – surely the most lethal form of theatre review.... We are confused about booing. We enjoy the sound because it represents a revolt against authority, against celebrities who misbehave, and against poor taste. Yet we also consider it discourteous and even vulgar...."

Writes Lloyd Evans, in "Three cheers for booing in the theatre" (Spectator).

The oldest meaning of the verb "boo" — going back to the 1500s — is "To low or bellow as a cow does" (OED): "The ungodlye colleges of priestes..that dayly boo and rore the holye scriptures" (a1555).

"Numerous people close to the committee’s work say the abrupt decision to go public with Hutchinson’s testimony, which surprised even some of its top aides..."

"... and which involved presenting the world with details the committee itself had learned only days earlier, was necessary to prevent her account from leaking. With evidence that Trump allies were trying to influence her decision to talk, some members also worried she might back out if they waited any longer.... [B]y rushing Hutchinson onto the witness stand, the committee has also exposed itself to criticism that it failed to thoroughly vet her claims. Hutchinson has come under intense scrutiny from Trump and his allies, who have accused her of lying or derided her for relaying hearsay that would not hold up in a criminal proceeding. So far, no one has publicly corroborated her account of a struggle between Trump and the Secret Service in his presidential SUV.... Officials have said anonymously that the Secret Service agents involved are prepared to contradict Hutchinson in sworn testimony.... One person familiar with the investigation who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to address sensitive matters, called the story of Trump lunging at a Secret Service agent an 'unforced error' that amounted to a colorful aside, when the main point, not in dispute, was that Trump was furious at being barred from proceeding to the Capitol...."

From "The Jan. 6 committee bet big with Cassidy Hutchinson. Did it pay off? The decision to accelerate her testimony has led to second-guessing but also produced some of the most memorable hearing moments to date" (WaPo).

I don't care whether "Trump was furious at being barred from proceeding to the Capitol." There's got to be more about what he believed would happen there. I'm stuck on the idea that what he wanted was a huge, attention-getting protest against resolving the election without more inquiry into whether the vote counts were accurate. If he had joined the crowd it would have been a stunning sight. But he didn't get his way. It was too dangerous. That he thought he could do it seems to be evidence that he was NOT picturing a violent scene. So what if he was "furious" that he didn't get to do his gigantic, historic photo-op?

"One day I hope to become a mother. But for now I have sex just because I like it. Sex is fun. For the puritanical tyrants seeking to control our bodies..."

"... that’s a problem. This radical minority, including the right-wing faction on the Supreme Court, probably won’t stop at banning abortion. If we take Justice Clarence Thomas at his word — and there’s no reason not to — the right to contraception could be the next to fall. Why? Because many in this movement are animated by an insatiable desire to punish women who have sex on our own terms and enjoy it.... They are part of a movement intended to curb the hard-won freedom to pursue careers and joys outside the confines of wifehood and motherhood.... In the America where I came of age, I was told my life was worth more than my ability to have babies. And my sexuality was nothing to be ashamed of.... Later, when I was a student at the University of Michigan, the movement for sex positivity was thrilling and liberating. We learned that pleasurable sexual experiences between consenting adults of all genders and orientations were to be celebrated.... " 

Writes Mara Gay, in "The Republican War on Sex" (NYT).

"Patients were typically confused when presented with a clinic that looked mostly like a house and a little like a church."

"They described to me how anti-choice protesters would prolong and exploit this confusion to keep patients away from medical care for as long as possible, employing medical misinformation or simple guilt. When a car did make it into the clinic parking lot, the protesters could not physically approach whomever got out of it without trespassing, so they just yelled at them. They had an elevated platform for this purpose, built right up against the clinic’s property line...."  

They chose to talk about sex a lot. They tended to be opposed to birth control and were fond of explaining 'God’s plan for human sexuality.' One woman illustrated this plan with unasked-for details about her virtuous married sex life. She felt that abortion and hormonal birth control were murder, and that condoms were undignified. Her husband learned to suppress his sexual urges, she said, and they now had sex only for procreation.... 

July 2, 2022

Sunrise — 5:05, 5:20, 5:24, 5:26

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Write about whatever you want in the comments.

I've got 10 TikToks for you tonight. A nice round number. Let me know what you like best. I'm predicting #6.

1. Irish guys doing American accents to talk about the 4th of July.

2. The real deal behind this Bali beach.

3. A very charming rendition of "Gymnopedie."

4. The hottest birds.

5. A Kamala impression.

6. The meticulous restoration of an ox-tongue iron.

7. A porcupine tail hairbrush.

8. Sandy Dennis laughs and screams.

9. A puzzling Zillow listing.

10. "POV: you're at a diy house show." (This is a whole page of "duets," so click around. The first one, in the upper left corner is the original, and then others have added their interaction with him in a split screen.)

"I’d Rather Die Than Delete Truthful Tweet For Cancel Creeps."

 Writes Jordan Peterson at The Daily Wire.

Since Twitter did not do me the favor of actually specifying my crime, we unfortunately have to guess at why this has occurred — and that’s actually a big problem in and of itself, and also indicative of the utter carelessness of the Twitter organization with regard to the propriety of its own censorial actions. I should at least know exactly what I did wrong if I am required to “acknowledge that” my “Tweet violated the Twitter Rules.” 

What rules, you sons of bitches?...

"Whereas elopements began as a way to surreptitiously tie the knot, today, they’re all about creating something special, specific, and small — but by no means secret."

"These events are not meant for large crowds in the moment, but they are meant to be shown off, and so incredible photography becomes a nonnegotiable.... [E]lopements allow couples to 'treat themselves to their flavor of extravagance' — one that is suddenly attainable. So if a traditional wedding is vanilla or chocolate, think of this new brand of elopements as an Instagram-only hot-fudge sundae with a gold-leaf brownie balanced on top: It is lavish and luxurious, aspirational and impressive, meant to be admired by friends and strangers via social media. Delicious enough onscreen, but even better in real life."

"Salad is a first-world luxury..... Lettuce is a vehicle to bring refrigerated water from farm to table."

"If you have an intuitive sense that a food that’s 96 percent water is a waste of resources and a nutritional zero, you’re right.... Salad... uses too many resources for too little food to be a smart choice for either human or planetary health. It graces my table because I like it and because it can help me say no to seconds of lasagna. But that’s a solution to a first-world problem: too much food.... Lettuce lends its health halo to anything that gets put in a bowl with it.... If you buy a salad, and then remove the lettuce, you see what you’re really eating for lunch: sad little brown piles of croutons, dressing, shredded cheese, and chicken strips. Of course there are grain- or bean-rich salads, populated with bona fide nutritious vegetables like kale and broccoli.... But they’re the outliers. Most salads are nutritional and environmental losers."