October 15, 2016

"The Most Important WikiLeaks Revelation Isn’t About Hillary Clinton."

"What John Podesta’s emails from 2008 reveal about the way power works in the Democratic Party," by David Dayen in The New Republic. (Podesta was a co-chair of Obama’s transition team.)

"The BBC has admitted mistaking footage of a 'third rate' Bob Dylan impersonator for the singer in a report about his Nobel Prize award."

"Instead of using stock footage of the artist singing his hits on the BBC's Six O'Clock News, a young producer at the corporation mistook a tribute act for the folk legend...."
An inside source said: "It looks like they asked someone who didn't really know much about Dylan to find footage for the report. Perhaps when you're in your 20s one old rock star looks pretty much like another. But anyone editing the package should have known something was wrong. Dylan's voice isn't exactly smooth, but this guy sounded like someone strangling a cat!"

Why not Evan McMullin?

"Evan McMullin’s Moonshot White House Bid Has Utah’s Attention" (NYT).

"How Evan McMullin Could Win Utah And The Presidency/It’s unlikely, but far from impossible" (FiveThirtyEight).

I don't have the option of voting for Evan McMullin. The ballot I'll be marking here in Wisconsin looks like this:

3 of those names I'm completely unfamiliar with. Anyway... we could write in McMullin.

Rock corner.


Photographed yesterday, at Parfrey's Glen.

I like the way it looks like a cake with a slice cut out, complete with a layer of filling. How did that layer of broken-up rock get in there?

Norway will not give Finland a mountain for its birthday.

It's Finland's 100th birthday next year, and there has been a social media campaign to get Norway to give Finland the summit of Halti mountain, which is already partly in Finland, with the summit just 66 feet inside of Norway. It would hardly change the border at all to redraw the map to put the summit on the Finnish side.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the Norwegian constitution bars giving up any territory and the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said no to the cute birthday idea.

I made a screen grab from Google maps:

Hillary Clinton is so far ahead — so seemingly almost locked in — and yet she still can't get to 50%.

Clinton's RCP average in a 4-person race is only 44.4%. You've got to imagine the missing top of this graph. Picture an empty space that's larger than what you see here, which tops out at 45%:

That's more than 55% of voters who do not support Clinton, and you've got to figure a good portion of those who do support her only support her out of rejection of Donald Trump. In fact, that's the main argument her campaign is making for her. She also lays claim to all the liberals who loathed her in the primaries and wanted Bernie Sanders. We're headed into what could be a landslide victory for someone that almost nobody likes.

I'm searching for an up side to this. Perhaps it's bad to have a beloved President. Is Obama beloved? Yes, to a great extent he is. Here's his approval rating over time. It doesn't look that great, but I think we Americans are mostly liking and trusting him and, as a consequence, not getting as outraged about things that should be bothering us. The new President will not be loved and may very well be hated. And all the things we've let slide as we indulged the well-liked Obama are going to fall heavily into the lap of the new, loathed President who we're not going to cut any slack.

I'm trying to say there's some good in that: 1. We'll have to face reality (or something close to that), 2. We'll break out of our complacent funk and get back to our old tradition of sharply criticizing the President, 3. We'll stop looking to the President for spiritual uplift and pseudo-religious hope of salvation.

"Should you become Internet Famous, follow this checklist."

"It should ensure that, once people start using your character and likeness purely for their own personal enjoyment, they won't discover you're an actual human with flaws and systematically purge you of your job, friends, spouse, and newfound revenue streams."

Extrapolating life lessons from the story of the rise and fall of Ken Bone — the man in the red sweater at the town hall debate.

Maybe look at it from the other side: Let's not impose sudden fame on random citizens. It's cruel.

"Even death, we're trying to put it off. We came up here to die, and we even messed that up. We're still alive."

Nothing, Arizona.

Population: 4... whenever that was made.

October 14, 2016

Goodbye to Don Ciccone, the lead singer of The Critters...

That's "Younger Girl," a cover of a Lovin' Spoonful song, written by John Sebastian. That was the first we heard from The Critters in 1966 — my all-time favorite music year, half a century ago. (Compare the Spoonful version, here. And compare "Prison Wall Blues," which some people say is the source of "Younger Girl.")

Ciccone wrote the follow-up single — also from 1966 — which lacks that spritely joy of the Spoonful song, "Mr. Dieingly Sad":

Ciccone was 70.

ADDED: "Younger Girl" gives present-day listeners the impression that the man is singing about underage sex, though it gets no more lascivious than this:
And should I hang around,
Acting like her brother?
In a few more years,
They'd call us right for each other.
And why? If I wait I'll just die.

Looking for fall foliage, in the deep rock gorge of Parfrey's Glen.




Looking straight up:


"And so he was really trying to dominate and then literally stalk me around the stage and I would just feel this presence behind me."

Said Hillary Clinton, talking about the last debate to Ellen DeGeneres. She also said: "He was really all wrought up, and you could just sense how much anger he had."

Sexist claptrap, in my opinion, but Trump's response, which starts out okay, ends in what I'm seeing as a rape joke:
“So I’m standing at my podium by my chair. She walks across the room. She’s standing in front of me, right next to me,” Trump claimed.“And the next day I said what did the papers say? They said, ‘he invaded her space,’” he said. “Believe me, the last space that I want to invade is her space.”
IN THE COMMENTS: A lot of people are unable or unwilling to see the innuendo that I see, perhaps because you want to protect Trump. For example I Have Misplaced My Pants says:
I see no evidence that he is referring to Clinton's [I presume Althouse suggests] vagina. Althouse, you have a dirty mind. You do this a lot. Is your mind and your blog--just want to counterbalance!
On the other hand, Unknown says:
Of course he was using double entendre. How dense are you people?
And then there is EDH:
Althouse: "ends in what I'm seeing as a rape joke" ... which I guess is okay if you're a liberal, like Norman Lear?

"Who'd wanna rape you, anyway?"

At the Fox Café...


... you can say whatever you want.

Are we drawing foxes now? I tried to draw a rat...


... this is drawing with a finger on the iPhone screen... and Meade said it looked "foxy," so I tried to draw a fox. On seeing that my winner of the rat contest looked like a mouse and the runner-up looked like a dog, I started to think of casting about for another animal to misdraw.

"I speak three languages. English, German, and spastic."

 "Spastic is my mother tongue."

"... poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music..."

Wrote Ezra Pound in "ABC of Reading":
I was talking about Ezra Pound and "ABC of Reading" in connection with Bob Dylan's winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. Some people had been saying songs are not "literature," and I was looking at the etymology of the word "literature" and ran into another quote from Ezra Pound. (It was: "Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.")

In the comments, Jeff Gee got me pointed to the quote clipped out above.

What's that Latin? It's Horace, saying:
Now drink
Now with loose feet
Beat the earth 
Pulsanda! I love that word. I need another rat just so I can call her Pulsanda.


Version 2


"If you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, then you don’t belong in the workforce."

"You can’t be negotiating billion-dollar deals if you can’t handle, like, you know."

Said Donald Trump Jr. in the middle of some chatter on "The Opie and Anthony Show" back in 2013.

Just reading the quote — under the HuffPo headline "Donald Trump Jr: Women Who Can’t ‘Handle’ Harassment ‘Don’t Belong In The Workforce’" — I thought it was awful. Naturally, I linked "harassment" to Trump Sr.'s "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything." I imagined Trump Jr. saying women who want to be in the billion-dollar-deals workplace need to put up with pussy-grabbing and other forced, physical intrusions.

But I listened to the audio...

... and I think that they are talking about the kind of sexual harassment claim that is based on rough language — jokes and remarks with sexual content — and the photographs of naked women that might get displayed on some guy's computer screen. 

At some point, speech and the display of pictures in the workplace really can properly be seen as creating unequal conditions for women in the workplace, and people who care about that equality should want to think about where that point is. There are also freedom of speech interests on the other side. "The Opie and Anthony Show" isn't a good place to display your knowledge and thoughtfulness on this subject, and that's why it might be a good idea not to indulge in this kind of banter if you're going to get involved in politics.

I'm inclined to shrug this one off. It's years ago, it's Trump's son, and it's casual banter. I'm most uneasy about the idea that women are being too fussy and therefore should stick with jobs that are already designed to accommodate female sensitivities. That's bad, but I can imagine a decent person who might just blurt that out.

I'd like for it to be possible for a free-speaking, real person to run for office. When I've found Trump (Sr.) appealing, it's because it has seemed that he'd broken down barriers and shown that it is good to speak expressively and to come right out and say the things it had seemed we weren't supposed to say. About a year ago, I had a dream in which I thanked him for showing that we don't have to be so repressed.

But at some point, these things accumulate, and you think: That's too much. And yet: Be careful. When a person has opponents, and they know these things accumulate, they can dribble out one thing after another and cause you to think it's too much. There are just so many things! But the things, individually, may, on careful inspection, be nothing. A lot of zeroes are not a lot. They're still nothing.

With Trump, the things are not all zeroes, and we may be so fed up that we don't care enough anymore to look closely to see what is really a zero or close to zero. If so, we empower the dribblers.

They can dribble anything now.

I do understand how some literalists look at the word "Literature" and say that it denotes material that is to be read.

Here's what the Online Etymology Dictionary says:
In English originally "book learning" (in which sense it replaced Old English boccræft); the meaning "activity of a writer, the profession of a literary writer" is first attested 1779 in Johnson's "Lives of the English Poets;" that of "literary productions as a whole, body of writings from a period or people" is first recorded 1812.
Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree. [Ezra Pound, "ABC of Reading"]
Meaning "the whole of the writing on a particular subject" is by 1860; sense of "printed matter generally" is from 1895....
Oh, hang on. I have a point I'm making. But I have Dylanmind and I must disrupt my literature — such as it is — to do my Dylan imitation. You're reading, but imagine hearing it:
And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
Fighting in the captain’s tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers
T.S. Eliot won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 — "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry."

Ezra Pound never won. Nor did Ezra Pound really fight with T.S. Eliot in the captain's tower, whatever that is. Back when "Desolation Row" came out, it was 1965, and we would have assumed that something called "the captain's tower" was a phallus, but people don't talk like that anymore. And why didn't Sigmund Freud win the Nobel Prize in Literature? That was some kick-ass literature he wrote. It came out in book form, and people read those books.

Ezra. Man, look at him. He looks like Bob Dylan.
Angered by the carnage of World War I, Pound lost faith in England and blamed the war on usury and international capitalism. He moved to Italy in 1924, and throughout the 1930s and 1940s he embraced Benito Mussolini's fascism, expressed support for Adolf Hitler, and wrote for publications owned by the British fascist Oswald Mosley. During World War II, he was paid by the Italian government to make hundreds of radio broadcasts criticizing the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jews, as a result of which he was arrested in 1945 by American forces in Italy on charges of treason. He spent months in detention in a U.S. military camp in Pisa, including three weeks in a six-by-six-foot outdoor steel cage, which he said triggered a mental breakdown: "when the raft broke and the waters went over me". Deemed unfit to stand trial, he was incarcerated in St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., for over 12 years.
Oh, Ezra. There are winners and losers, and he's a big time loser. But he said — see above — "Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree." He didn't say, it's got to be read. He said it is language, the best of language. That would include words written to be heard, not read, if only the words were good enough. But he had terrible political judgment.

Yet you are the literalist perhaps, and politics has no part in your assessment of the meaning of words. Literature is stuff that you read, and Bob Dylan's songs are designed to be heard mixed up with sounds from musical instruments, sounds that are not words at all.

But the Nobel Committee is not a committee on precision in language, and it controls the scope of the meaning of its prize. It doesn't have to give the prize to the person who most closely embodies the meaning of the name of the prize. And anyway, the committee is operating in Swedish. If you're so hot to be literal, start speaking Swedish.

"But whether Mr. Dylan is a poet — yes, he is being compared right now to Sappho, Homer, the great bards who sang — has never been an interesting question."

"Mr. Dylan has put his words out into the world in vessels with too many dimensions to be broken down into elements: as songs. Think of a song as thrillingly alive with the furies of creation, discovery and experiment, with the resolution of each verse reaching a pitch of such insistence, humor and force that the next has to push further or die. Think of 'Highway 61 Revisited,' from 1965 — a song that Mr. Dylan performed last week at the Desert Trip festival in Indio, Calif...."

That's Greil Marcus, writing in the NYT putting an important spin on the argument why it made sense for Bob Dylan to win the Nobel Prize in Literature: It's not whether a song can be detached from its music and regarded as a poem, but the song as a song, at one with its music.

And I love Marcus's first paragraph, on why it's not surprising that the novelist Don DeLillo did not win the Nobel Prize in Literature this year.

October 13, 2016

FiveThirtyEight uses Ron Johnson to depict the proposition: "Clinton Is Surging, But Down-Ballot Democrats Are Losing Ground."

Link to article: here. Key passage:
Perhaps most worrisome for Democrats is what’s going on in Wisconsin. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s re-election campaign looked all but dead. The powerful Koch brothers pulled money out of the state as Democrat Russ Feingold consistently led in the polls. But two new polls this week showed Johnson trailing by just 2 or 3 percentage points, and a third gave Johnson a lead, despite Clinton’s advantage in the state seeming to grow....
ADDED: It makes perfect sense to me. The more clear it seems that Clinton will win, the more important it becomes to those who worry about her that she should be offset and balanced by a Republican-led Congress. It seems really risky to empower a President Trump with a same-party Congress, but once he's not a threat, the risk-averse among us should gravitate toward a Republican Congress to put a brake on President Clinton.

"There are novelists who still should win (yes, Mr. Roth, that list begins with you)..."

"... and there are many others who should have won (Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Woolf, Nabokov, Auden, Levi, Achebe, Borges, Baldwin . . . where to stop?), but, for all the foibles of the prize and its selection committee, can we just bask for a little while in this one? The wheel turns and sometimes it stops right on the nose."

Writes David Remnick of the "astonishing and unambiguously wonderful thing" that is Bob Dylan's winning the Nobel Prize in literature.

The wheel turns and sometimes it stops right on the nose.

The wheel turns and sometimes it stops right on the knows.

The wheel turns and sometimes this wheel’s on fire/rolling down the road/best notify my next of kin/this wheel shall explode!

IN THE COMMENTS: Meade says:
If it were up to me, I'd have given the award to Erica Jong. 
I know what he means, because I understand Dylanspeak. He's gesturing at a song called "Highlands":
Then she says, “You don’t read women authors, do you?”
Least that’s what I think I hear her say
“Well,” I say, “how would you know and what would it matter anyway?”
“Well,” she says, “you just don’t seem like you do!”
I said, “You’re way wrong”
She says, “Which ones have you read then?” I say, “I read Erica Jong!”
She goes away for a minute
And I slide up out of my chair
I step outside back to the busy street but nobody’s going anywhere
And I go away for a minute, because I have this rat picture I want you to see:

rat 1

It's Rattatz, the official rat of the Althouse blog. You voted, remember? I had to run off and get him, because "Highlands" is one of the 5 Dylan songs with "rat":
Windows were shakin’ all night in my dreams
Everything was exactly the way that it seems
Woke up this morning and I looked at the same old page
Same ol’ rat race
Life in the same ol’ cage
3 of the 5 songs have "rat" in "rat race." The other 2 are "Clean Cut Kid" ("They said Congratulations, you got what it takes'/They sent him back into the rat race without any brakes") and "It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)" ("While one who sings with his tongue on fire/Gargles in the rat race choir/Bent out of shape from society’s pliers/Cares not to come up any higher/But rather get you down in the hole/That he’s in").

And I don't care to come up any higher, but will get you down in the rat hole that I'm in, and say that the other 2 of the 5 songs are "Froggie Went A Courtin’" ("Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides") and "Motorpsycho Nightmare":
I was sleepin’ like a rat
When I heard something jerkin’
There stood Rita
Lookin’ just like Tony Perkins
She said, “Would you like to take a shower?
I’ll show you up to the door”
I said, “Oh, no! no!
I’ve been through this [movie] before”
I knew I had to split
But I didn’t know how
When she said
“Would you like to take that shower, now?”

Well, I couldn’t leave
Unless the old man chased me out
’Cause I’d already promised
That I’d milk his cows
I had to say something
To strike him very weird
So I yelled out
“I like Fidel Castro and his beard”
Rita looked offended
But she got out of the way
As he came charging down the stairs
Sayin’, “What’s that I heard you say?”

I said, “I like Fidel Castro
I think you heard me right”
And ducked as he swung
At me with all his might
Rita mumbled something
’Bout her mother on the hill
As his fist hit the icebox
He said he’s going to kill me
If I don’t get out the door
In two seconds flat
“You unpatriotic
Rotten doctor Commie rat”

"Bob Dylan 100 percent is not going to win. Stop saying Bob Dylan should win the Nobel Prize."

Ha ha.

"Mr. Greenberg was neither the first white nor the first Jew to work for the civil rights of blacks. But he was one of the most powerful white figures..."

"... in the movement in the 1960s and ’70s, a distinction that led to friction with both blacks and Jews. Still, Mr. Greenberg helped achieve through the courts what the political system had denied Southern blacks: voting rights, equal pay for equal work, impartial juries, equal access to medical care, equal access to schools and other benefits of citizenship broadly enjoyed by whites."

From the NYT obituary for the great civil rights lawyer Jack Greenberg.

"I lit a cigarette on a parking meter and walked on down the road /It was a normal day..."

Inappropriate touching:
Well, I spied a girl and before she could leave
“Let’s go and play Adam and Eve”
I took her by the hand and my heart it was thumpin’
When she said, “Hey man, you crazy or sumpin’
You see what happened last time they started”

The reaction in the room as it is announced that Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize in Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

There's a gasp and a grand mix of pleasure and excitement sounds:

So I guess in some way this is also a prize for the American song tradition, to which Bob Dylan belongs, and within which he created new poetic expressions.

The word "tradition" appears in no Bob Dylan song, but Bob Dylan is very devoted to the tradition, and you can really experience that if you listen to his old "Theme Time" radio shows. As far as people "creating" good new things, I don't think you'll find that in Bob Dylan songs. There's bad human creation:
Now the rovin’ gambler he was very bored
He was tryin’ to create a next world war
He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor
He said I never engaged in this kind of thing before
But yes I think it can be very easily done
We’ll just put some bleachers out in the sun
And have it on Highway 61...
That's "Highway 61 Revisited," the first words of which are "Oh God," and you will find God the Creator in Bob Dylan songs:
There’s a kingdom called Heaven
A place where there is no pain of birth
Well the Lord created it, mister
About the same time He made the earth 
That's "Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking."

A glimpse of an atrocious hotel lobby in Gagra, Georgia (or is is Abkazia?) sends me back to "That Party at Lenny's."

Yikes. This is the worst hotel lobby I have ever seen featured in a article in the NYT.

Not only is there an old hairy-legged, black-sock-wearing man in shorts sitting on a depressing sofa, not only do limp draperies block the light, not only is there a set-up chess board with extra-large pieces... there's a huge statue — double life-sized — of Vladimir Lenin leaning forward intensely as if he's about to get up and kill you.

The article is about a place in Gagra which is in Georgia (or Abkhazia, "a quasi country whose existence only Russia and three other nations recognize"):

"I wasn't that comfortable with all the psycho polemic babble. It wasn't my particular feast of food."

"Even the current news made me nervous. I liked the old news better."

Wrote Bob Dylan in his great book "Chronicles." I don't know if the Nobel Committee included that book in its reasons for giving him their big award, but I loved "Chronicles" and blogged it in detail, chapter by chapter, back in 2004. You can find all the old posts with the "Dylan's 'Chronicles'" tag.

Ah! That tag got me to a 2013 post reacting to a NYT piece by Bill Wyman (not that Bill Wyman) about how Bob Dylan could win the Nobel Prize for Literature. I said:
It's hard to believe Bob Dylan would like the Nobel Prize. It's just a topic to write articles about and to get traffic flowing wherever they're published. Remember the backstory to the song "Day of the Locusts":
"Sara was trying to get Bob to go to Princeton University, where he was being presented with an honorary doctorate. Bob did not want to go. I said, 'C'mon, Bob it's an honor!' Sara and I both worked on him for a long time. Finally, he agreed. I had a car outside, a big limousine. That was the first thing he didn't like.... When we arrived at Princeton, they took us to a little room and Bob was asked to wear a cap and gown. He refused outright. They said, 'We won't give you the degree if you don't wear this.' Dylan said, 'Fine. I didn't ask for it in the first place.'..."
Anyway, I was thinking about that line "There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke," as we were talking about the old aphorism "Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel" (which I attributed to Racine, and a commenter said was really from Horace Walpole). Bob Dylan also sings about getting a letter in which he was asked how he was doing: "Was that some kind of joke?" But there's more to comedy than jokes, so his contempt for jokes shouldn't mark him as a nonthinker, even if we take the old Walpole saying as gospel.
But back to that Dylan quote in the title. That's from Chapter 5, the last chapter of "Chronicles," blogged here (where there are links to the posts on the earlier chapters).
How people felt about Communists in northern Minnesota: "People weren't scared of them, seemed to be a big to-do over nothing." P. 271....

Dylan's favorite politician: Barry Goldwater. P. 283.

Why: "[he] reminded me of Tom Mix."

"Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize in Literature."


I am stunned. It's taking some moments for the news to sink in.

My first reaction was: I'd heard this idea floated for a long time, but I didn't take it too seriously. And I'm the kind of deep devotee of Dylan that when I write "take it too seriously," I hear a Dylan song and stop to think what it is. Isn't that a Dylan line? No, I'm thinking "You shouldn’t take it so personal...." — which is "One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)." "Seriously" only appears in one Dylan song — if I can trust the search function on his website — and that's here....
Now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously
He brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously
And when bringing her name up
He speaks of a farewell kiss to me
He’s sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
Muttering small talk at the wall while I’m in the hall
How can I explain?
Oh, it’s so hard to get on
And these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past the dawn
"Visions of Johanna." Sorry if I'm muttering small talk at the... web... while I'm just out of bed...

Oh! I am simply delighted. No one I don't actually know has made such an impression on me in my life, and it was done with words... words and music... but it's the literature prize, so I'm going to stick to the words here, even though the last thing I read before I went to sleep last night was David Remnick's New Yorker article "Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker/At eighty-two, the troubadour has another album coming. Like him, it is obsessed with mortality, God-infused, and funny." And that contains some long quotes from Bob Dylan, who had a lot to say about Cohen. But it wasn't mostly about the words, but the music:
“His gift or genius is in his connection to the music of the spheres,” Dylan went on. “In the song ‘Sisters of Mercy,’ for instance, the verses are four elemental lines which change and move at predictable intervals . . . but the tune is anything but predictable. The song just comes in and states a fact. And after that anything can happen and it does, and Leonard allows it to happen. His tone is far from condescending or mocking. He is a tough-minded lover who doesn’t recognize the brush-off. Leonard’s always above it all. ‘Sisters of Mercy’ is verse after verse of four distinctive lines, in perfect meter, with no chorus, quivering with drama. The first line begins in a minor key. The second line goes from minor to major and steps up, and changes melody and variation. The third line steps up even higher than that to a different degree, and then the fourth line comes back to the beginning. This is a deceptively unusual musical theme, with or without lyrics. But it’s so subtle a listener doesn’t realize he’s been taken on a musical journey and dropped off somewhere, with or without lyrics.”
But let's talk about lyrics, Bob Dylan's lyrics — a singer's lyrics have won the Nobel Prize. I don't think that's happened before. We expect poetry — to be taken so seriously — to stand disengaged from music. But wasn't early poetry sung? Dylan's words, because they were sung, became imprinted on minds. I cannot exaggerate the impression these words made on me when I began listening to the songs half a century ago. Utterly entranced by The Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man," I took a chance and bought an album from the "folk" section of the record store: "Bringing It All Back Home." That was Bob's current album at the time The Byrds' single came out, and "Mr. Tambourine Man" was on that album. It was also just before the release of "Highway 61 Revisited," so a summer of bonding to "Bringing It All Back Home" ended with access to the new album. I played those 2 albums continually in 1965, when I was 14. I went back into the old albums, "Another Side Of Bob Dylan" and "The Freewheelin Bob Dylan."

Unlike many of the recordings of the day, Bob Dylan enunciated his words clearly. He was saying unusual things, but you knew what the words were — nothing garbled Louie-Louiesquely — so you got those words lodged in your head, where they would come to mind often, and swirl into your self-generated thoughts, even when you didn't know exactly what he was talking about, there was meaning, meaning to contemplate for the rest of your life.

You could read and try to memorize poems or hear a poet recite his verses — Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg — but because this was music, those words got very deeply rooted. All my life, ever since I was 14, Bob Dylan lyrics have been interlaced with my own thoughts. I can't imagine who I would be without Bob Dylan. I can't begin to unravel my mind back to the point when it didn't contain threads of Bob Dylan. I can't pull out any particular idea of mine that I got from Bob Dylan. I'm not the get-out-of-the-doorway-if-you-can't-lend-a-hand type of Bob Dylan fan, stuck on the political propaganda era, his younger, older days.
Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth
“Rip down all hate,” I screamed
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull. I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now....

October 12, 2016

"It's a paler place without" Scalia, said Justice Ginsburg.

"Paler. Because he was a wonderful storyteller. He had an uncanny ability to make even the most somber judge smile."

When asked about Hillary Clinton potentially stacking the court with liberal justices, Ginsburg said she resisted "the notion that, if you are a Democrat, then you are 'liberal.'"

"Just think of John Paul Stevens appointed by President Ford, then Souter appointed by the first President Bush," she said. "They were not 'conservative.'"
I'd like to see the whole quote, but 2 examples of Republicans who turned out not to be conservative does not make me think it's at all likely that Democrats will turn out not to be liberal. When's the last time that happened? Felix Frankfurter?

"The very next day, I was sitting in exactly the kind of place I had envisioned, an impersonal room with gray walls and black leather furniture..."

"... describing to the attractive young psychiatrist in the chair opposite me how I had always had to develop elaborate compensatory strategies for getting through my school work, how staying with any one thing was a challenge for me, how I was best at jobs that required elaborate multitasking, like waitressing. Untrue, all of it. I was a focused student and a terrible waitress. And yet these were the answers that I discovered from the briefest online research were characteristic of the A.D.H.D. diagnostic criteria. These were the answers they were looking for in order to pick up their pens and write down 'Adderall, 20 mg, once a day' on their prescription pads. So these were the answers I gave. Fifty minutes later, I was standing on San Vicente Boulevard in the bright California sun, prescription slip in hand."

From "Generation Adderall/Like many of my friends, I spent years using prescription stimulants to get through school and start my career. Then I tried to get off them," by Casey Schwartz.

A great ad for Hillary Clinton is a horrible admission of the reality...

... that a lot of people would like to just be able to vote for Obama again. Close your eyes, hold your knows,* think a happy song — here, he'll sing it for you...

... and you can believe if you want to believe: You're not really voting for Hillary Clinton. You're voting for Obama.


* I assure you I intended to write "hold your nose." I only saw the mistake after I published. I'm leaving the mistake though, because sometimes a mistake is delightful. I wish I could imagine a mistake that could get us out of the jam we're in with this election. Leaping into dreadful uncertainty, hold your knows!

"Like Skittles and Tic Tacs before us, we unequivocally condemn recent remarks made by Donald Trump that make reference to our candy."

"We have nothing but respect for the fine work of the Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, and Mr. Trump’s comments regarding her ‘pieces’ were lewd, vulgar, and entirely unacceptable. Our candy’s name was never meant to be used in the service of such crass wordplay. We hope that, this Halloween season, our entire line of candies will continue to represent what they have represented since 1928—wholesome and sweet American treats that in no way promote the reduction of powerful women to their anatomical parts."

The Reese's Pieces entry in "Candy Companies' Prewritten Statements Anticipating the Trump Campaign's Next Candy-Relgated Gaffe."

"Instead of chanting a soccer cheer — 'What will Iran do? Destroy them!'..."

"... they were urged to shout the mournful cry, 'Ya Hossein!,' or 'O Hussein!' if Iran scored."

Iran beat South Korea in the World Cup qualifying match, but it was the eve of Ashura, the Shiite's "most solemn and sorrowful holiday" and "the religious authorities said the match could proceed if the stadium were turned into a place of mourning, with black banners commemorating the death of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, more than 1,300 years ago."

"A woman jailed for allegedly duping her friend into believing she was a man and having sex with her using a prosthetic penis has had her conviction quashed."

"Ex-private schoolgirl 26-year-old Gayle Newland is being released on bail pending a retrial after three Court of Appeal judges reviewed the conviction," The Daily Mail reports.

We discussed the case last September, here.

Speaking of what goes on in the locker room, remember this New Yorker cover from May 2015?

I originally wrote about it here. The cover shows lots of male candidates getting ready in a locker room and Hillary Clinton looking in from the other side of the door. Donald Trump is not in the picture at all, but it would be Donald Trump who, weeks before the election, would get in trouble for something he and his supporters would try to pass off as "locker room talk."

We need some leavening. Bring on the rats.

We started with 8 and got down to 4. Let's pit the winners of the playoffs against one another. I'm not saying there won't be more rats competing in future Most Loved Rat fights, but let's have a championship round now, while we need it so badly. The playoff winners are Rattatz...

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... and Virgil...

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"Russia had its own Pussy Riot moment. What do you think of Donald Trump’s pussy riot moment?"

Said CNN's Christiane Amanpour to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Lavrov is sober: "Well, I don't know what this would… English is not my mother tongue, I don't know if I would sound decent. There are so many pussies around the presidential campaign on both sides that I prefer not to comment on this."

Do you have to be careful when speaking a foreign language... or does it work as license to say something that you don't really need to take responsibility for?

Is "pussy" a word we can say? A all-female punk rock group can use it, but that doesn't clean up the word for general usage.

I love the way Lavrov uses self-deprecation to claim greater freedom: English is not my mother tongue. I wouldn't say "tongue" so close to "pussy," but I'm a native English speaker. Lavrov can't be thought to have intended any double meaning there.

And I love how Lavrov totally made a comment and then pretended he didn't by saying he prefers not to comment. The comment was: "There are so many pussies around the presidential campaign."

Christiane Amanpour giggled and claimed not to have expected that.

But what "pussies" did Lavrov mean? Was it a reference to women in general? Was it the women who have been thrust into the spotlight by sexualizing moves by Trump and Bill Clinton? Was it a reference to Hillary Clinton and the many women around her? Is it not the sex meaning at all by the idea of pusillanimousness — the timidity or weakness associated with kittens and women? Why would Lavrov say that?

It's hard to know what he means... other than perhaps: You Americans are so weak compared to us Russians.

ADDED: He says on both sides. That's key. I'm picturing him singing "Both Sides Now." Write your own parody....

"I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed. No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it."

"'Is everyone OK?' You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. 'Is everybody OK?' And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that."

Said Donald Trump to Howard Stern in a newly released recording — just as 4 women from the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant say that Donald Trump walked in on them while they were undressed.
“I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here,’” said Mariah Billado, the former Miss Vermont Teen USA. Trump, she recalled, said something like, “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”
He's saying that to teenagers. Maybe the 4 women are not being completely honest — they might oppose him as a political candidate — but you have that corroborating statement from Trump himself. And look how his statement is an idea we've heard before: "I sort of get away with things like that" is like "They let you do it....  Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything" and not all that different from "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."

Why Donald Trump is not like Citizen Kane.

Instapundit links to Eric Felten in The Weekly Standard, "Citizen Trump?/The eerie similarities between DJT and CFK":
"Wellesnet," the online Orson Welles news and fan site has noted that Donald Trump's campaign is coming, more and more, to resemble the doomed election bid of Charles Foster Kane in the 1941 film. One will remember that things for Citizen Kane started to come unraveled when he threatened, at a big rally, to prosecute his opponent once elected.

"But here's one promise I'll make and Boss Jim Gettys knows I'll keep it," Kane says. "My first official act as governor of this state will be to appoint a special district attorney to arrange for the indictment, prosecution and conviction of Boss Jim W. Gettys."

As Wellesnet recounts, in turn, "Gettys destroys Kane's political aspirations by leaking a sex scandal involving Kane in the final stretch of the campaign."
Citizen Kane was a movie about a character who, of course, didn't think of himself as a character in a movie. He was not aware of the drama of his story arc. He was not motivated to crank it up into the greatest story that ever hit the big screen.*

Donald Trump is a real man. He is witnessing the approach of doom. Maybe he holds onto some shred of hope — he's a fighter, he likes to win — but that's all the more reason to make his story as interesting as possible, for the inevitable movie or movies — who knows how many movies there will be over the years? Donald Trump has 4 more weeks to write the story that will be enacted in those movies he sees coming.

Alec Baldwin, his "SNL" impersonator, is a great and serious dramatic actor. Surely, Baldwin will get a movie made. I look forward to the meta material. Baldwin will play 2 roles — oh, should I shut up and just write the screenplay? — Trump and Alec-Baldwin-as-Trump mocking Trump on "SNL." We see Baldwin/Trump seething and scheming as he watches Trump/Baldwin imitating him.

He's seething and scheming and then he laughs maniacally. Suddenly, he envisions the movie that will be made.

For decades they've been saying that "Citizen Kane" is the greatest movie of all time, but my movie will be bigger and greater. It will be huuuge. Because this really happened. Not just a stupid sex scandal that brought Kane down — a tawdry little thing — but a torrent of craziness like nobody ever saw. A sex scandal — that's Bill Clinton crap and Bill Clinton's crap is already part of my story. My story! It will all be in there. The aging actresses — they're always looking for parts — they'll be falling over each other trying to get the roles of Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey and that other one, the 12-year-old that Hillary laughed at. And I've got all the young women too. So many roles! All the beauty queens — Alicia Machado — and the journalists who all ganged up against me. Megyn Kelly. Megyn Kelly will beg to play the part of herself in my movie. My movie! There's Nancy O'Dell and that actress in the purple dress — the one I took the Tic Tacs for — and Ivanka — Ivanka! — and Hillary herself. Hillary! Ha! Streep wants that. Streep will beg on her knees for that. Of course, Streep will do it. Streep or any one of those old actresses hot for a meaty role — a meaty roll with Bill. Heh. Who will play Bill? Who cares?! The question is me! Baldwin will do it. Of course! It's such a great role. What am I saying? The story isn't over yet. The climax hasn't even happened. This real-life story is still getting written — by me, the greatest character in the history of movies. The greatest movie scriptwriter in history. Writing in real life. Writing history moment-by-moment, tweet-by-tweet, impromptu splutterings on stages in front of millions. I can play out whatever crazy real-life destruction — ha ha ha ha ha look out, Paul Ryan! — any destruction-of the-GOP fantasies I want and it's all part of The True Story of Donald Trump. I can say anything, do anything — grab them by their pussy, shoot a guy on 5th Avenue — and it's actual true story, history-of-the-United-States-of-America, craziest thing that ever happened. It's big. It's huge. It's bigger than President of the United States. Fuck President of the United States. You can take that lousy job, Hillary. I am become bigger than you ever imagined becoming! President of the United States — it's just a childish conventional dream. You didn't build that. Go. Live in that ugly little house. It's not like you can actually push the nuclear button. Knock yourself out "fixing" Obamacare and war-and-peace-ing the Middle East for 4 years. Good luck with the America that's going to hate you. Like they already hate you. They're voting for you, but I assure you, Hillary, they hate you. And they're gonna love me — me, the greatest character in the greatest movies, the most movies and the best movies ever made. And fuck you too, Citizen Kane.


* Citizen Kane was based on a real person, William Randolph Hearst, but he didn't want to be a character in a movie, and he wasn't motivated to live his life, as defeat approached, to maximize the entertainment value of the story if it were presented in movie form. My point in this post is that the more it is apparent to Donald Trump — in these last 4 weeks — that he will lose the election, the more he may fixate on accomplishing something else, such as the destruction of the GOP as we know it or the ruination of the presidency that doesn't get to be his. Trump is an entertainer and he's been entertaining us all along and he has reason to think that he will be entertaining America forever as a character in our history. How big of a character can he be? He wants to be huge.

October 11, 2016



Lots of hammocks today on the trees outside Tripp Residence Hall, by Lake Mendota on the UW campus.

Moai Tower slackline.

A playoff round in the Most Loved Rat contest.

Rattatz, the winner of Round #4...

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... is pitted against Dipsy, the winner of Round #1...

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Swayze, the winner of Round #3...

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Virgil, the winner of Round #2...

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Drawing in the snow — the childish idea of snow angels...

... writ large....

"Simon Beck is a snow artist who creates huge designs in the snow by simply walking in a pair of snowshoes... This short documentary by Flash Studio follows Beck's preparations for a piece he did in Stryn, Norway, on a day of good snow."

Lovely photography. Settle in and watch to the beautiful reveal in the end.

"I can take whatever Donald Trump wants to throw at me — I know how to deal with a bully."

"But what I cannot and will not accept is the way this man goes after entire groups of Americans. His comments about the way he feels entitled to grope women are deeply disturbing — but he says it's just 'locker room talk.' When pressed on Sunday night, he doubled down on his excuses and refused to admit he'd done anything wrong."

Says Hillary Clinton in email I received this morning. She's hitting me up for a contribution. (I never contribute to any candidate.) She says "He's shown us again and again how deeply unfit he is to be president. I'm absolutely unwilling to take even the smallest chance that he might win — are you?" That's a good pitch.

Anyway, I disagree with the statement that Trump, at Sunday's debate, "refused to admit he'd done anything wrong." I don't even accept that he said "it's just 'locker room talk.'" He said it "was locker room talk," but not that it was just locker room talk. He also said that he was "not proud of it" and that he "very embarrassed by it" and "I hate it." He also apologized — to his family and to the American people. And he segued to saying ISIS is way worse and, later in the debate, what Bill Clinton did to women was "far worse." To say something else is worse is inherently to say that something is bad. To apologize is to say that what you did was wrong. And to say you are "not proud" of something is to say it was wrong. So even though he began by calling his remark "locker room talk," he didn't stop there.

I know that many of his defenders do stop there. That hurts him. Helps him with hardcore fans, but they're not enough to win, and they drag him down. I think he fought hard for his cause on Sunday night, and he did about as well as he could, but he doesn't have supporters of a kind that could detoxify him. Without middle-of-the-roaders capable of conceiving of embracing him, he's getting smeared up stinkily by those who love him best.

He imagined himself as the star who "can do anything": "They let you do it....  Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything." Now, he's even more famous, and he's toxic — so repellent that Hillary can raise money off the fear of "even the smallest chance that he might win."

"She just said a terrible thing. Shout it out, 'cause I don't wanna say it." "Pussy!" "You're not allowed to say..."

"... and I never expect to hear that from you again. She said — I never expect to hear that from you again — she said he's a pussy. Terrible! Terrible. That's terrible."

That's Donald Trump, last February. Trump paces around, throwing his hands up and shaking his head in mock puritanism. The "he" — do you remember? — was Ted Cruz.

Marco Rubio performed outrage: "My boys wanted to know, 'What was the word? What was the word?' I said, 'I can’t tell you.' I had to make something up."

At the time, I said:
This is ridiculous drama. When you call someone a "pussy" to mean that they are timid, you are referring to the little animal, the kitty cat. It's like calling someone a mouse. It shouldn't even be regarded as a bad word.

The "conceptual art" idea of having a celebrity arrive as an ordinary model for a routine life drawing class.

The traditional art-school drawing from the model — and I've been there, done that a thousand times — becomes a different kind of event — supposedly! — when somebody famous strips down and sits/lies/stands there for the students — who are surprised to find themselves scrutinizing and delineating... Iggy Pop.

You can see the drawings at the Brooklyn Museum... even though the drawings are merely conventional life-class drawings. It's hard to see why they deserve a museum show. The "conceptual art" — such as it was — is lost in the past, the performance of Iggy in the room, surprising people by behaving like an ordinary life-class model, transforming the experience in whatever way it was transformed. You can't see that at the Museum.

The Museum is trying to make up for the shortcoming with additional artwork — "works depicting male bodies from the Museum’s collections... from ancient Egypt, Africa, India, Japan, and Mexico, as well as prints and drawings by Egon Schiele and Max Beckmann, and photographs by Eadweard Muybridge and Robert Mapplethorpe." This way the show will, we are told, "examin[e]the representation of masculinity across a larger international  and historical spectrum."

The museum also portrays the exhibit as part of its "Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum." How does the depiction of the male body fit into reimagining feminism? Well, that's the point, isn't it?, you're supposed to reimagine. But wait, I will help: The male body is designed to fit into the female. The female naturally encompasses the male, both in heterosexual intercourse and in pre-birth existence.

"Ann, the two of us need post no more/We both found what we were searching for/With a friend who texts my phone/Rat pics like Mr. Bone...."

From Meade's sung-to-the-tune-of-"Ben" song, posted on yesterday's Most-Loved-Rat post, which was at the top of the blog from 10:48 a.m. yesterday until 9:02 today.

Perhaps you wondered if this blog had ended with a whimper — a squeak from Rattatz...

rat 1

... and Mr. Bone....

Version 2

No, I am back. The Altexit plan has been implemented, but that only relates to law-proffing, not blogging, and part of the idea is to free the blog to go where it will go without tethering to teaching and the ineffable moral pull of the old scolding "You, a law professor."

"She wasn't concerned so much about my behavior, being 'appropriate,' or not being exposed to things that may be unsavory."

"There were no boundaries around those things. But yeah, she was a very concerned parent otherwise, when it came to keeping me alive. What was — I hate this word — but 'normal' for me is what most people consider marginal and extraordinary in their childhoods. So I didn't think about these things as being anything other than what I encountered in my everyday life."

Says the actress Gaby Hoffman, whose mother was Viva:

"Take a cue from the dog. Put your nose in things and take dedicated sniffs. Name the smells."

"Every expert smeller I met practiced it thousands of times. Pick up a bottle of perfume. Crush leaves between your fingers. I enjoy smells more now. They’re no longer good or bad. They tell me about the world. That’s as close as I get to being doglike."

From "Learning From Dogs as They Sniff Out Their World," by Jan Hoffman (my favorite NYT writer (see this)).

October 10, 2016

Raddatz... gives me an idea...

... for another rat name: Rattatz!

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Let's pit Rattatz against Mr. Bone:

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And that's why I don't live-blog debates anymore.

It took me 3 and a half hours to write about last night's 90-minute debate. That was with a transcript, so I didn't have to transcribe my own quotes. And I was trying to write as fast as I could.

The so-called "town hall" debate.

It wasn't much of a "town hall" debate was it? I felt sorry for those people who had to sit and be background for 90 minutes. There were so few of them. Each one stood out and had to sit still and look alive, but though they were few, most never got called on. Those who did get a shot asked the most simple, pathetic questions. As I try to recall the questions this morning, they all seemed to be a short plea: What will you do to encourage people like me?

The candidates mostly ignored the person and even the question and plugged in something they wanted to talk about. They never did any of the sort of emotive, bonding-with-the-questioner performance that we are urged to think of when we hear the words "town hall debate." They ran out the clock, and then one of the moderators — in the guise of a "follow-up" question — would replace the "town"person's question with something more specific.

Here's the transcript of last night's debate. I'm going to read the questions and test myself. Am I right about what I just said? (Or do you need me to talk about the fly that landed on Hillary Clinton's face or the way Trump and Hillary didn't shake hands at the beginning and did shake hands in the end? Meade wanted me to rewind and get a video of the fly's antics. I could be first with the news of the fly! Have you ever heard of insect politics? Neither have I. Insects... don't have politics. They're very... brutal. No compassion, no compromise. We can't trust the insect. We rewound and laughed a lot, but I left it to the internet to take the pictures.)

Question 1 came from a teacher. She wanted to know if the candidates "feel" they are "modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today’s youth." Hillary, going first and setting the tone, boosted the ego of the townswoman by pronouncing her question "very good" and "important." She then proceeded to ignore the question and go into her standard line "our country really is great because we’re good." That's been her pat answer to Trump's banal "Make America Great Again." So when Trump got his turn, he knew where to go: His "whole concept" has been "to make America great again." A typical cascade of short sentences flowed out of that mental prompt, and nothing got back to the townswoman's question.

October 9, 2016

Are you expecting Trump to go big and wild or to play it straight and "normal"?

Watch the debate with me.

The "SNL" cold open — don't miss the great Alec Baldwin doing his Donald Trump impersonation one more time.

"And as usual, Donald Trump drags all his Acme dynamite to the center of the stage and blows it up so that no one can pay attention to anything bad about Hillary. "

Said Maureen Dowd, on "Fox News Sunday" today, when Chris Wallace asks her how much damage Hillary Clinton will suffer from the leaked speeches she gave to Wall Street insiders.

But quite aside from Donald Trump and his distracting, self-destructive high-jinks. The pro-Wall Street stuff in the speeches isn't going to hurt her now. As Dowd put it:
I think it would have been lethal during the primaries, but now not so much because, you know, in many ways, she is the GOP candidate. She's the one who cuddles up to hedge funds, and she's the shill of Wall Street. So, it's only what we already knew.
She is the GOP candidate. 

ALSO: From the same panel discussion, I was struck by a negative reference to Abraham Lincoln. It's from Chris Wallace:
[T]here was also a passage in one of her big money speeches in which Clinton invokes Lincoln fighting for the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery and saying, you need both a public and a private position.  This goes to the core, as I was talking to Maureen, about what people don't trust about this woman.  
She's like Lincoln?

"I'm seeing people defending Trump. They say 'locker room.' And: this is the way men talk when they are alone with men."

"It's like they are *trying* to validate the anti-fraternity ideology of feminists."

Something I wrote in a discussion at Facebook yesterday.

Jake Tapper attempts a euphemism — and it's not "vulva."

So what Trump said was "And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

And Jake Tapper obviously didn't want to say "pussy":

If you're going to use the anatomical term to avoid the slang, use the scientifically correct term. "Vagina" for "vulva" is as much slang as "pussy." "Pussy" is at least a quote. "Vagina" is ridiculous.

No one was picturing grabbing a woman by the vagina. If we were, those of us who are saying that Trump was referring to sexual assault would be saying rape, not merely sexual assault.

IN THE COMMENTS: Meade said:
(CNN) Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump called Monday for barring all Muslims [who grope] from entering the United States.

"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of [groping] Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," a campaign press release said.
In the wake of the [Donald J. Trump groping] attacks, a prominent Muslim imam, Sami Abu-Yusuf, told reporters women were to blame because they “dress half naked and wear perfume.” The outrageous claim prompted [Democratic Party vice president candidate Tim Kaine] to file a criminal complaint against the cleric.

Withdraw from the cares of the day by voting in Round #3 of the Most Loved Rat contest.

Today, I'm pitting Pop...

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11 Shades of Obtuseness about Donald Trump's Dirty Words.

Let me give an example of something I am seeing. With 55K shares on Facebook:

That's so obtuse, in so many ways. Let's count:

1. "50 Shades of Grey"? Hadn't seen that talked about in a while. (Wait. There is this.)

2. Boasting of committing what sounds like criminal sexual assault is not the mere saying of words. The size of the outrage isn't about the words as bad words, but the words as evidence of actions allegedly taken.

3. The outrage isn't limited to women. Men, too, are outraged.

4. Many people — women and men — are fine with using the words "fuck" and "pussy" in private conversation.

5. The words "fuck" and "pussy" can be used in sentences that express contempt and disregard for other human beings, and the outrage against Trump's words has to do with what the words express in the sentences actually spoken. Many excellent sentences can be made using those words — sentences that can be received with favor by women who hate what Trump said.

6. People read novels and see movies about all sorts of things, including horrible things. Stories about murder and torture and all kinds of physical and psychological abuse are very popular. The effect is titillating, but that doesn't mean people want these things actually to happen to them.

7. You may love a particular character in a story, because he's interesting and exciting and transgressive, but that doesn't mean you want him to be President. I love the movie "My Dinner with Andre," but Andre Gregory would be a terrible President. Last night, I watched the movie "Willard." Willard is a fascinating character. Watching him bond with rats, train them, gather them into suitcases and carry them into the office to unleash havoc was fascinating... oh, watch out, pussy!...

... but Willard would not make a good candidate for President. Neither would Hannibal Lecter.

8. It would be interesting to see those rats overrun the White House... in a movie. But not in real life!

9. Fantasy time is over. Put down the novel. Turn off the movie. Face the grim reality of picking a suitable President.

10. I said it 2 years ago: I'm for boring. I mean for President. I'm not talking about novels and movies and sexual fantasies.

11. "OK. Yes, we are bored. We're all bored now..."

"... but has it ever occurred to you... that the process that creates this boredom that we see in the world now may very well be a self-perpetuating, unconscious form of brainwashing, created by a world totalitarian government based on money, and that all of this is much more dangerous than one thinks, and it's not just a question of individual survival... but that somebody who's bored is asleep, and somebody who's asleep will not say no?"

The old "Shame!" chant breaks out at the Paul Ryan/Ron Johnson/Scott Walker rally in Elkhorn yesterday...

... where Donald Trump had been scheduled to appear.

What goes around comes around.

I remember the "Shame!" chant from the 2011 "uprising" — the Wisconsin protests — liberals opposing Scott Walker and his conservative legislature.