October 16, 2019

"I’m into some cool sheet, some dark stuff."

From "Ronan Farrow’s Deranged Impressions on the Catch and Kill Audiobook, Reviewed" (Slate).

I think it's great that he does the voices! Both his parents are actors. Well, I guess it does make it comical... and the topic is dead serious.

You can get the audiobook here, at Amazon.

"[Felicity] Huffman will be expected to eat breakfast from 5:30 a.m. to 6:15 a.m., lunch from 10:45 a.m. to noon, and dinner after 4 p.m. When she’s not eating, Huffman can do a variety of things..."

"... including listening to music on a pre-approved device. She’s also allowed to work on one in-unit craft project at a time. This includes cross-stitch, drawing, card making, crotchet, origami, scrapbooking and watercolor. If she wants to spend time outside, which is open to her from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Huffman can engage in a series of sports, including basketball, volleyball, track, softball, and tennis. While at the prison, Huffman will be expected to wear an inmate uniform at all times. The uniform consists of khaki pants and a coordinating blouse with a brown t-shirt underneath, with the blouse tucked in and buttoned (minus the top button) at all times."

From the People Magazine account of the actress's living conditions in the minimum security prison where she's serving a 2-week sentence.

The noun "crotchet" means "A whimsical fancy; a perverse conceit; a peculiar notion on some point (usually considered unimportant) held by an individual in opposition to common opinion" (OED). It would be funny if that were considered a craft project to recommend to prisoners.

The "kind of knitting done with a hooked needle" — which is probably what People meant — is spelled "crochet."

ADDED: The prison — the Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin — is where Patty Hearst was held for 21 months. President Jimmy Carter commuted her 7-year sentence in 1979 and Bill Clinton pardoned her in 2001. And Sara Jane Moore — who tried to assassinate Gerald Ford — spent 32 years there. Moore got a life sentence but was released on parole.

"Hello, the men. My advice on modern masculinity would be to look at all those traits you believe are feminine and interrogate why you are so obsessed with being the opposite."

"Because this idea that to be a man you have to be the furthest away from being a woman that you possibly can is really weird. Why is everyone so scared of not being masculine? If you consider many of those in power, those who claim to be 'leading' the world at the moment, you've got a lot of hypermasculine man-babies, with terrible hair and no ability to compromise."

That's Hannah Gadsby, writing in (of all places) Gentleman's Quarterly.

With that "hypermasculine man-babies, with terrible hair," she's got to mean Trump. Right? But there's no way his hair is an attempt to be "to be the furthest away from being a woman." It's daringly unmanly. And so are a lot of things about Trump. In real life, watching Trump on TV, I am often exclaiming over his womanliness. He does these theatrical little bits with voices and gestures. No way does he seemed freaked out by approximating the feminine — not that I think he's attempting to imitate a woman, just that he's not trying to stay as far away from womanishness as he can. I think that's a source of his power — the combination of male and female.

Gadsby goes on:
So here's a thought experiment: What if you, the men, looked to traditional feminine traits and tried incorporating them into your masculinity?...
See, I think Trump is already doing that experiment! Not intentionally, but intuitively.

Now, I'm remembering this: "Donald Trump Talks Like a Woman/And strange as it sounds, it might be one of the reasons he’s done as well as he has" by Julie Sedivy in Politico, back on October 25, 2016. I blogged that at the time, here. I said:

The Kurds are "not angels," Trump said.

"They fought with us. We paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that’s OK. They did well when they fought with us. They didn’t do so well when they didn’t fight with us.... I viewed the situation on the Turkish border with Syria to be for the United States strategically brilliant. Our soldiers are out of there. Our soldiers are totally safe. They’ve got to work it out. Maybe they can do it without fighting."

Reported at The National Post.

Video and different quotes selected at NBC News:
"If Turkey goes into Syria, that’s between Turkey and Syria," he said while speaking to reporters in the Oval Office. "It’s not between Turkey and the United States, like a lot of stupid people would like us to — would like you to believe.... If Russia wants to get involved with Syria, that's really up to them... They have a problem with Turkey, they have a problem at a border. It's not our border. We shouldn't be losing lives over it."...

"Our soldiers are not in harm's way — as they shouldn't be — as two countries fight over land that has nothing to do with us. And the Kurds are much safer right now, but the Kurds know how to fight. And, as I said, they're not angels. They're not angels, if you take a look.... By the way, everybody hates ISIS... Some were released just for effect to make it look like ‘oh jee, we gotta get back in there.'"
Trump is always telling us to "take a look." But there's no way I can look at the Kurds and see them at all, let alone see — like God — everything they do and think to judge whether they are angels. Trump is always telling us to "look" at things we can't just look at. Either he's enthralled by television and the idiotic illusion that it lets you watch what's going on in the world or he really means I'm telling you what you would see if you could look.

"Mark Sanford kicked off his presidential campaign against Donald Trump in Philly. One person showed up."

Headline at The Philadelphia Inquirer. The reporter was the only person.
“Nobody knows me in Philadelphia. I get it,” Sanford said. “I think in life we all do what we can do, what’s within our power to have an effect. So we’re just sort of moving along as we go along.”
ADDED: This made me think of Pat Paulson.

Pat Paulsen For President from The Hammer Works on Vimeo.

"Dutch police found a father and six adult children hidden in the basement of a remote farmhouse where they had reportedly spent years 'waiting for the end of time'..."

"Local media said the family were found after one of the sons went to a nearby pub in a confused state, drank five beers and then asked for help, saying he had not been outside for nine years... Some of those freed 'had no idea that other people existed,' the station added.... '[The son who went to the pub] said he'd never been to school and seemed very confused. He spoke in a childish way,' said [the bar owner].... Upon investigation police discovered a hidden staircase behind a cupboard leading to a cellar where a man said to be the family's father and five others, believed to be his children, were hiding.... The family had no contact with the outside world and were completely self-reliant with a vegetable garden and a goat...."

Yahoo News reports.

Top rated comments:
I find the "drank 5 beers" part of this story a bit strange. If he hadn't been outside in 9 years, where did he get the money to pay for the beer? Did he get drunk? 5 beers would put me under the table since I don't drink. I would think the same would be for him, unless the father gave the kids beer while locked up in the basement. Lots of unanswered questions.
They weren't in the basement the whole time. They were farming that land above ground. They tended to the goat above ground. It would be more accurate (but less sensational) to say they pretty much stayed on their property for 9 years.
And (my favorite):
I have been just living my life and driving to work and paying my bills and watching TV and, of course, spending way too much time on Yahoo and......waiting for the end of time. What else you going to do?
Yeah, isn't that an Elvis Constello song?

The man from the television crawled into the train
I wonder who he's going to stick it in this time?
Everyone was looking for a little entertainment
So they'll probably pull his hands off
When they find out his name
And then they shut down the power all along the line
And we got stuck in the tunnel where no lights shine
They got to touching all the girls who were too scared to call out
Nobody was saying anything at all
We were waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're coming
'Cause you really started something...

"Turkey rebuffed U.S. calls for a cease-fire in northeastern Syria as it pressed ahead Wednesday with an offensive targeting Syrian Kurdish militants and demanded that the fighters lay down their arms...."

"Turkey launched the offensive last week to rout Kurdish-led forces it says pose a threat to Turkish national security. Erdogan rejected a U.S. offer to broker a truce, saying in a speech before parliament Wednesday that Turkey had 'never in its history sat down at a table with terrorist groups.' Turkish officials view Syrian Kurdish forces as terrorists for their links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged a decades-long war for autonomy in Turkey. 'We are not looking for a mediator for that,' Erdogan said of talks with Kurdish fighters. He said Turkey and allied Syrian rebels plan to forge ahead to establish a buffer zone some 20 miles into Syria. 'Nobody can stop us,' he said.... 'He needs to stop the incursion into Syria,' [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo said of the Turkish president. 'We need a cease-fire, at which point we can begin to put this all back together again.'"

WaPo reports.

ADDED: "Turkey-Kurd Conflict ‘Has Nothing to Do With Us,’ Trump Says." The NYT reports.

"You would think there is NO WAY that any of the Democrat Candidates that we witnessed last night could possibly become President of the United States. Now you see why they have no choice but to push a totally illegal & absurd Impeachment of one of the most successful Presidents!"

Tweeted Trump this morning.

Meade texted me that, and I said:
very funny. so true
and yet that's how most people felt about him in 2016
Meade responded:
Contrast: no one is now saying—well if Biden somehow does get elected, we’ll just impeach him


"Thomas Chatterton Williams is the son of a black father and a white mother, but grew up identifying as black on the basis that even one drop of black blood..."

"... defines a person as belonging to that often besieged minority. His father claimed that his mother was a black woman at heart, and brought up his son to oppose the implicit racism of passing, though Williams has a complexion more tanned than sub-Saharan, and is often mistaken for an Arab in France, where he lives. Williams married a white woman and both their children were born with blond hair and blue eyes. Are they, too, black by the one-drop rule? In questioning their determinative race, he has plumbed not only his own but also the complexity of racial identity for people outside the prevalent white/nonwhite binary.... Williams’s solution to the 'invented category of blackness' is to cast it off. He speaks of a 'racial injury,' then explains, 'I can think of no better start than rejecting the very logic that created and perpetuates the injury in the first place.' He is ready to retire from race, 'stepping out of that flawed and cruel game.'... Some readers will find his rhetoric perfidious and reactionary, with its dismissal of identity politics and the concomitant particulars of the African-American experience. But he is so honest and fresh in his observations, so skillful at blending his own story with larger principles, that it is hard not to admire him...."

From "How Moving to France and Having Children Led a Black American to Rethink Race" a review, in the NYT, of the book "SELF-PORTRAIT IN BLACK AND WHITE/Unlearning Race."

"I'm going to leave that to best thoughts of the Speaker who I think is brilliant in the way that she conducts herself and does it in a way that appreciates that this is about..."

"... the very integrity of our system of justice and our democracy and that this must be conducted in a way that is not about political benefit but is about what is in the best interest of the integrity of our system which has been compromised because of Donald Trump and his administration."

On MSBC this morning, Kamala Harris was asked a perfectly cogent, significant question that deserved an answer — should the House hold a vote on whether to conduct an impeachment inquiry (rather than to continue its unvoted-for inquiry). After freezing for a while, she comes out with the long sentence transcribed above:

Kamala Harris seems to lack any instinct for leadership. Please note the pinched smile that appears on her face when she gets to her safe island — "the very integrity of our system of justice." I think she knows she's giving us nothing and the smile seems to say, there, I think I'm getting away with this. I've made it to the familiar incantation — "the very integrity of our system of justice and our democracy." She keeps rambling on and says "the integrity of our system" again.

Doesn't the integrity of our system require a vote of the House? That's the question. Is the answer that the "best interest of the integrity of the system" is just something "to leave to best thoughts of the Speaker"? Nancy Pelosi is "brilliant," so whatever she does is the answer as far as Kamala Harris is concerned?! You don't get to integrity by repeating the word "integrity." And you don't show leadership by having no answer other than whatever is in "best thoughts" of the Speaker.

And if you're questioning whether I left out the word "the" in "I'm going to leave that to best thoughts of the Speaker," I did not. Harris's initial response to the question was frozen silence, and she thawed out enough to get some words out but not to say the "the." She loosens up as she goes, as the smile reflects.