August 10, 2018

3 long sentences beginning with "When."

From "Why the Left Is So Afraid of Jordan Peterson/The Canadian psychology professor’s stardom is evidence that leftism is on the decline—and deeply vulnerable," by Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic:
When the poetry editors of The Nation virtuously publish an amateurish but super-woke poem, only to discover that the poem stumbled across several trip wires of political correctness; when these editors (one of them a full professor in the Harvard English department) then jointly write a letter oozing bathos and career anxiety and begging forgiveness from their critics; when the poet himself publishes a statement of his own—a missive falling somewhere between an apology, a Hail Mary pass, and a suicide note; and when all of this is accepted in the houses of the holy as one of the regrettable but minor incidents that take place along the path toward greater justice, something is dying.

When the top man at The New York Times publishes a sober statement about a meeting he had with the president in which he describes instructing Trump about the problem of his “deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric,” and then three days later the paper announces that it has hired a writer who has tweeted about her hatred of white people, of Republicans, of cops, of the president, of the need to stop certain female writers and journalists from “existing,” and when this new hire will not be a beat reporter, but will sit on the paper’s editorial board—having a hand in shaping the opinions the paper presents to the world—then it is no mystery that a parallel culture of ideas has emerged to replace a corrupted system.

When even Barack Obama, the poet laureate of identity politics, is moved to issue a message to the faithful, hinting that that they could be tipping their hand on all of this—saying during a speech he delivered in South Africa that a culture is at a dead end when it decides someone has no “standing to speak” if he is a white man—and when even this mayday is ignored, the doomsday clock ticks ever closer to the end.
I was going to challenge you to diagram these sentences, but what I really want to ask you to do is to sing them to the tune of "Queen Jane Approximately." You know the Bob Dylan song I'm talking about?
When your mother sends back all your invitations/And your father to your sister he explains/That you’re tired of yourself and all of your creations...

Now when all of the flower ladies want back what they have lent you/And the smell of their roses does not remain/And all of your children start to resent you...

Now when all the clowns that you have commissioned/Have died in battle or in vain/And you’re sick of all this repetition...

When all of your advisers heave their plastic/At your feet to convince you of your pain/Trying to prove that your conclusions should be more drastic...

Now when all the bandits that you turned your other cheek to/All lay down their bandanas and complain/And you want somebody you don’t have to speak to...
Dylan follows all of his "when" clauses with "Won’t you come see me, Queen Jane?" Flanagan's "when"s are followed by: 1. "something is dying," 2. "it is no mystery that a parallel culture of ideas has emerged to replace a corrupted system," and 3. "the doomsday clock ticks ever closer to the end." Which do you like better, the Flanagan variety or the Dylan repetition? Dylan gets an extra plus or minus because one of the "when"s is about being "sick of all this repetition." I give a plus, myself, especially since where all the "when"s get us is to a desire to be with "somebody you don’t have to speak to." There's no repetition like no talking at all.

94 comments:

rhhardin said...

"Is dying" is the predicate.

MikeR said...

If, of course: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/if—
I always enjoyed the ways Kipling plays with grammar in that poem. So many things sound clunky, but he makes it work.

Dave Begley said...

Put aside the structure of the sentences. It is clear that the Left is melting down.

The have nothing to offer the general public other than TDS and identity politics.

EDH said...

Instead of “when” lawyers typically use “whereas” multiple times before a “NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the premises and mutual promises herein contained …,”

tim maguire said...

I was surprised to see this in The Atlantic.

Ralph L said...

Flanagan's sentences are easier to understand and probably easier to sing, but I can't carry a tune and my voice is even worse than Dylan's, so someone else try it.

Shouting Thomas said...

Jordan's ideas has been passed thru a series of "men's activism" figures, but only Jordan seems to have captured the public's imagination.

Warren Farrell previously served this purpose, that is being the official spokemen for men as an identity group, but he never gained much traction.

Farrell has no ability to connect to blue collar, non-intellectual men, which is to say most of them. Farrell was more comfortable at "retreat weekend" sessions in the hot tub in Big Sur. He's kinda sleazy, in that SoCal gold chain around the neck, "let's have an orgy!" way.

Jordan's semi-corporate, academic stance seems more palatable.

Normal men seem remarkably resistent to forming an identity based political pressure group. In other words, we're better than women, not to mention more principled.

Phil 3:14 said...

Rhetorical piling on

Phil 3:14 said...

And the the headline starts with “Why”. Aren’t sentences that begin with “when” supposed to end with a question mark?

Phil 3:14 said...

Nine “when’s” in those three sentence.

“When in the course of human events...”

Sentences that start with “when” that aren’t questions always seem like we’d been having a conversation and the speaker is about to lay down the wood.

Phil 3:14 said...

And yo momma too!

tcrosse said...

Instead of "When", imagine one of those movie-trailer voice-over guys saying "In a World Where...."

Ann Althouse said...

According to the "Genius" lyrics site's annotation, "When all of your advisers heave their plastic/At your feet to convince you of your pain/Trying to prove that your conclusions should be more drastic" means "The people who are supposed to be helping her are instead bragging about how much money they have (plastic=credit card)."

But I don't think "plastic" was used like that in 1965 when the song came out. That's much later slang. I recommend researching the mid-60s use of "plastic," e.g., "Plastic Fantastic Lover...

Her neon mouth with a bleeding talk smile
Is nothing but electric sign
You could say she has an individual style
She's a part of a colorful time
Super-sealed lady, chrome-color clothes
You wear 'cause you have no other
But I suppose no one knows
You're my plastic fantastic lover
...

etc. etc.

This was 1967. Also 1967: that guy says "Plastics" and got the biggest laugh in "The Graduate." He's not talking about credit cards.

Plastic referred to how fake everything was getting. It gets really obvious if you listen to "Plastic People" (The Mothers of Invention):

Ladies and Gentlemen...
The President of the United States!
*"Fella Americans...Doot, Doot, Doot..."*
He's been sick!--Doot! Doot!
And I think his wife is gonna bring him
Some chicken soup
Plastic people!
Oh, baby, now you're such a drag
I know it's hard to defend an unpopular policy
Every once in a while--
Plastic people!
Oh, baby, now you're such a drag
And there's this guy from the CIA he's creepin'
Around Laurel Canyon
A fine little girl She waits for me
She's as plastic as she can be
She paints her face With plastic goo
And wrecks her hair With some shampoo
Plastic people, oh, baby, now you're such a drag
"I dunno...sometimes I just get tired
Of ya honey--it's...ah..your
Hair spray...or something..."
Plastic people, oh, baby, now you're such a drag
"I hear the sound of marching feet...
Down Sunset Boulevard to Crescent Heights
...and there...at Pandora's box...
We are confronted with...a vast
Quantity of...Plastic people..."
Take a day and walk around
Watch the Nazis Run your town
Then go home and check yourself
You think we're singing
'Bout someone else
But you're plastic people...

tcrosse said...

Say When.

Hunter said...

I've found the Facebook page "Oh look, another JBP character assassination" to be an amusing follow.

The left is utterly desperate to discredit Peterson but doesn't know how, except by calling him a misogynist and bigot, neither of which are traits he even comes close to exhibiting. He's smart and knows how his words will be twisted by disingenuous critics even as he says them, and disarms their retort before it's even made.

Anyone who listens to Peterson for 10 minutes can see this and what he is vs. what he isn't.

Their only hope is getting the message out as loudly and widely as possible that Peterson is a terrible person who you shouldn't even bother listening to. Hence all the cheap character assassination, but I don't think it is working except among the hardcore SJW faithful.

BarrySanders20 said...

I enjoy Flanagan’s writing. Sometimes I think she should take a breath. I imagine it would be exhausting to have a conversation with her, but maybe she stops to listen when engaged in personal conversation.

Ann Althouse said...

The OED finds the oldest appearance of "plastic" as "credit card" in 1975:

1975 D. Jenkins Dead Solid Perfect 214 She had a whole purse full of plastic.

I think think it became common in the 80s.

The use of the word to mean "Artificial, unnatural; superficial, insincere" is traced back to 1963:

1963 Daily Tel. 22 May 16 The plan's promoters must not take it amiss if, winking an eye, some of our elder oysters inquire whether plastic houses might not connote plastic people.

Ann Althouse said...

The oldest meaning of "plastic" is sculpture.

1598 R. Haydocke tr. G. P. Lomazzo Tracte Artes Paintinge Pref. 7 Painting, Carving and Plasticke [It. la plastica scultura] are all but one and the same arte.

Ann Althouse said...

"I enjoy Flanagan’s writing. Sometimes I think she should take a breath. I imagine it would be exhausting to have a conversation with her, but maybe she stops to listen when engaged in personal conversation."

I agree that she does it well. She gets a sentence going and then runs with it, like it's a game, the kind of game where you get something going and the idea is to keep it going and going as long as possible. But it's got to be entertaining or people won't put up with it. Don't try to write like that unless you really know what you're doing, and even then, it's probably not the best choice.

I think Flanagan did it pretty entertainingly there, and yet, for me it was distracting. But I'm unusually interested in taking the distraction of thinking about language and sentence structure.

Geoff Matthews said...

Shouting Thomas

I imagine that Peterson is able to relate to blue collar men because he had worked on oil rigs in Northern Alberta when he was much younger.

That type of work has a way of keeping you grounded.

Ann Althouse said...

Phil brings up the Declaration of Independence, which begins with a long sentence beginning with "When."

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

Diagram that. It's easy to get started. The subject is "respect," so write "respect" on a horizontal line, then draw a short vertical line and write the predicate. It's "requires."

respect | requires
___________________

Yancey Ward said...

I predict that eventually, someone will try to assassinate Peterson since he is proving difficult to discredit by the normal leftist tactics.

mezzrow said...

There is a considerable subculture of those who relate to life through a series of interpretive associations of existence through Dylan lyrics. There is another subculture that does essentially the same activity through Zappa lyrics.

Althouse is a member of one of these groups, while I am the member of the other.

my thought - What does that Venn diagram look like? Not a lot of real estate in that overlap, I suspect.


BarrySanders20 said...

Diagram that. It's easy to get started. The subject is "respect," so write "respect" on a horizontal line, then draw a short vertical line and write the predicate. It's "requires."

No can do. Written by a slaveholder and cog in the patriarchy. He’s been deplatformed, and anyone found dallying with his ideas shall be shunned.

Seeing Red said...

saying during a speech he delivered in South Africa

Sent South Africa about to be as successful as ZimBOBwe?

Seeing Red said...

Isn’t South Africa

And

It’s too early for an English lesson.

RK said...

Imagine your American city without stuff white men invented, designed and built. Foreign cars, stuff made in China, and knick-knacks is about all that would remain.

It's so cute when people fantasize about the disappearance of white men.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Phil 3:14 said...

Aren’t sentences that begin with “when” supposed to end with a question mark?

When they are not questions they should not.


In this case when is acting as a conjunction. It is easier to see if you reorder the sentence:

When I get home I will eat.
I will eat when I get home.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

I like Peterson a great deal, but his problem is that he feels the need to give his opinions on everything, so he advocates for just eating meat and greens (I limit my carbs, but meat and greens only is pretty extreme, as well as boring). He was asked about Alice Cooper and psychoanalyzed Alice as a nihilist. Cooper is a good-natured preacher's son who came up with a vaudeville act that sold. Even adolescent me knew his "demonic" schtick was a joke, since Cooper appeared on "Hollywood Squares" and golfed with Barry Goldwater.

So Peterson does get things wrong. But most of the time, he offers basic common sense - which makes him toxic to the left.

traditionalguy said...

You have to feel bad for the lefties. They are the Kings with no clothes on who are suddenly seeing the truth. The internet free speech has called them out as naked fools.

tim maguire said...

I don't know when "plastic" became a slang term for credit cards, but given that they did not become common until the 70's, probably not before then.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The oldest meaning of "plastic" is sculpture.

In mechanical engineering, plastic is the opposite of elastic

Stretch a spring a little way, and it is an elastic deformation: it springs back to its original shape. Stretch it too far, and it becomes a plastic deformation: you have permanently changed its shape.

I'm guessing that the sculpture meaning has to do with the permanent shape change involved. I assume the word plaster is related.

Michael K said...

I think "plastic" originally referred to a quality also called "malleable" which describes something that can be molded into shapes, sometimes permanently.

Then it became a noun.

The Crack Emcee said...

So many things I have preached SHOULD happen - The Macho Response (Trump), critical thinking (Peterson), eliminating charlatans (Alex Jones) regulating quackery (limits on Homeopathy) etc., have been steadily rolling out, in fits and bits, making me a *little* less cynical about mankind because, yes, they're all signs the Left - which I Left in the early 2000s - has finally run out of gas.

All we're hearing now is Democrats trying to turn the engine over again.

rhhardin said...

Notice that wh- words that sound both letters have the h pronounced before the w.

Caligula said...

Hence all the cheap character assassination, but I don't think it is working"

It may work in the way "banned in Boston" once worked to sell books: so long as it's possible to download and play the podcasts/videos privately, each increasingly over-the-top attempt to defame Peterson is likely to stoke enough curiousity to launch thousands of new downloads.

The Crack Emcee said...

I've never heard this Dylan song before, or don't remember doing so. I think I like his version better.

I'm not sure what his "point" is, but that's necessary I guess.

Ann Althouse said...

"I've never heard this Dylan song before..."

You've never listened to the album "Highway 61 Revisited"?!

rcocean said...

The Atlantic Magazine has simply turned into another PC Leftwing rag under Left-wing Israeli Jeff Goldberg.

rcocean said...

I look at their stories and its "ho hum" here's another 1,000 words of blather pushing the "Party Line"

Marcus said...

I have listened to Peterson talk about his diet (or, more specifically, his daughter's diet which has changed her life from a living Hell to pretty much normal -- which he adopted in stages based on her suggestions) and several times during the interview(s) he mentions that he is not a dietician and is not recommending his diet to anyone. It's just an anecdotal story that was prompted by the interviewer. What was he supposed to say, "I don't want to talk about it"?

Marcus said...

thanks for the link to the JBP Facebook page. Think I'll order me a lobster t-shirt from one of the ads.

Otto said...

Ann is correct about what plastic meant in the 60s. The word was associated with the man who gave Hoffman advice on what fields looked promising to college graduates. That advice was actually sound back then as the use of plastic uses exploded thereafter. But the word was attached to the person who in the movie was depicted as a valueless, materialistic American .To make this "American" even more demeaning, in the movie Hoffman was sleeping with his wife. However these "intelligent" deconstructionist ( Ann was a fringe member)who railed against American values had no values to replace them with except adolescent shit. Those 'valueless" Americans
who have been demeaned for the last half century have morphed into what we now call the deplorables. Trump struck a nerve with that group.

rcocean said...

BTW, I have had the problem in my business writing. I tend to use the same words or sentence structure over and over.

I really have to watch it. Because I don't have an editor.

19TheDragon86 said...

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

The first three commas should be omitted. The dependent clause beginning with the subordinating conjunction "when" ends at "them."

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

Marcus, while I am glad his diet has done Peterson and his daughter good, he's gone on to give general dietary advice that strikes me as a bit specious.

I've binged on his YouTube vids. Overall, I really like the man.

Carol said...

I hate it when a writer starts multiple sentences in a row with introductory phrases. It may be economical but it's amazing how annoying that can be. And too prosy for speech.

T Rock said...

Now maybe you all remember the Beach Boys hit Fun, Fun, Fun in which each line ends with NOW. Now maybe you are aware that each NOW is nuanced differently than all of the others. Now that is a really clever piece of poetry.

Otto said...

BTW Ann being snookered in the 60s finally did take the advice of that awful "American" and went into law in the 70s, which was the equivalent of 60's plastics.

Teller said...

"When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the Age of the Furious
The Age of The Furious
The Furious! The Furious!"

James Graham said...

"I always enjoyed the ways Kipling plays with grammar in that poem."

Q. Do you enjoy Kipling?

A. Don't know. I've never kipled.

robother said...

When the truth is found to be lies
And all the joy within you dies,
Don't you want somebody to hate,
Don't you need somebody to hate
Wouldn't you love somebody to hate.

Ken B said...

Am I the only one who suspects that when Althouse cannot answer an argument she goes on about usage ( screwing up hoary for example) or “diagram that sentence” or some other lexical distraction to hide her evasion?

Lovernios said...

Shouting Thomas: "Normal men seem remarkably resistent to forming an identity based political pressure group. In other words, we're better than women, not to mention more principled."

That may be construed as a virtue, but it could also be a weakness in current identity politics era. And if men give up the political arena and the tipping point arrives, men's only recourse may be violence. Something we're very good at, but something that we may regret.

Richard Dolan said...

"Which do you like better, the Flanagan variety or the Dylan repetition?"

One offers nicely structured prose and the other free-form verse. If it's an argument you want to win, go with the first. If you want to pull someone in, stick with the second.

Bad Lieutenant said...

rcocean said...
BTW, I have had the problem in my business writing. I tend to use the same words or sentence structure over and over.


You mean like blaming Jews for the sunrise and the rain? Buy we see that you are aware of the problem, and try to mix it up with the occasional use of synonyms like "Israeli," though of course an educated person knows that Israeli and Jew are not the same thing.

Jeffrey Goldberg was born in Brooklyn. He has not made aliyah. He is an American JUST LIKE YOU.

(I knew this, but checked because of Nietzsche's advice, "Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster.")


I really have to watch it. Because I don't have an editor.

8/10/18, 9:57 AM


Here's a hint. Real Israelis' names you probably couldn't pronounce. Oded Fehr is an Israeli name. Binyamin Netanyahu is an Israeli name. Jeffrey Goldberg is an American name, belonging to an American.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Blogger Ken B said...
Am I the only one who suspects that when Althouse cannot answer an argument she goes on about usage ( screwing up hoary for example) or “diagram that sentence” or some other lexical distraction to hide her evasion?


Well, Ken... You're the only one who suspects it. The rest of us know.

Fernandistein said...

Diagram that.

Too busy making multiplication tables and spelling flashcards.

Fernandistein said...

"F. L. A. S. H. C. A. R. D. S.

Flashcards!"

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Bad Lieutenant said...

Jeffrey Goldberg was born in Brooklyn. He has not made aliyah. He is an American JUST LIKE YOU.

Wikipedia says he has duel citizenship, and he served in the IDF. So it's not wrong to say he is Israeli. (I'm not arguing that it is relevant. )

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse said...
"I've never heard this Dylan song before..."

You've never listened to the album "Highway 61 Revisited"?!

Sure, but I don't remember the song. I forced myself to listen to Dylan, like I forced myself to listen to the Stones. They're just not artists that cross over, but seem to have some mystical hold on Boomers, so I did it.

I came away liking both of them, but not as much as most.

The Crack Emcee said...

BTW - Except for a Beatle song or two, and The Monkees because they were on TV, I'd never heard "Rock" of any kind until I went to a white school in 1976 (I was born in '61). Even there, Dylan wasn't big, being the age of Zeppelin and Van Halen. I'm always glad I made friends with a white guy - who I'm still friends with - who introduced me to Steely Dan and Zappa, showing me a way into it all.

MB said...

Leftism is not dying, it's just dropping its thinly worn veneer of reasonableness and going back to its fanatical, anti-intellectual roots.
"Intellectual" leftism has taken them as far as it could go, but in the end it went down in defeat in '89. This was probably seen by many leftists as profoundly unreasonable and illogical, hence reason and logic were found guilty.
Time for a new approach, based on pure emotion and unreason.

James Graham said...

" … this new hire will not be a beat reporter, but will sit on the paper’s editorial board—having a hand in shaping the opinions the paper presents to the world … "


The dermatology-obsessed.

We need to laugh at them.


roesch/voltaire said...

Well "ideology" is always present although not apparent.It often reinforces the dominant or hegemonic class that insists that we need to talk about religion or politics without considering identity or class etc. And of course this gives rise to a counter ideology that wants to foreground historical context including identities.But Identity politics can go to the extreme when folks suggest that Little House on The Prairie be taken down because of the way one character refers to Indians, and the dominant ideology can masks the historical struggle of workers, or immigrants by referencing a golden past, mostly while, when everyone was happy with the status quo. On either case sometimes both are just blowing in the wind.

Owen said...

Prof A: "I think Flanagan did it pretty entertainingly there, and yet, for me it was distracting. But I'm unusually interested in taking the distraction of thinking about language and sentence structure."

Agree, Flanagan got up on the wave and ran it pretty far. Most of us lazy readers had to go back and re-read it a few times to get what it might actually all mean with a nicely-diagrammed map, but we enjoyed the zing of it all.

Was Dylan more or less disciplined in the rhetoric of his song-making? Isn't half the value and fun of such wild, loose excursive structures, their unpredictability, the chance that you will ride the sentence to the very end and it will just CRASH?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Iggy, I didn't see anything about dual citizenship, though I did note his IDF service. Remember that Rick Rescorla served in the US Army in Vietnam, though a Briton, because he believed in our cause.

Bad Lieutenant said...

You've never listened to the album "Highway 61 Revisited"?!

Why, should I?

buwaya said...

A famous German student song,

Die Gedanken sind frei

"Thoughts are free"

Expressing, more or less, the ideals of a liberal education.

The precise opposite of the dominant ideology in US campuses, this can serve, very aptly, as a protest song, here, today.

buwaya said...

Pete Seeger sang it!

Die Gedanken Sind Frei - Pete Seeger

The irony.

The Crack Emcee said...

This has always been my favorite Stones song, done in my favorite way.

Nobody really covers Dylan. They just copy him, mostly.

Lovernios said...

Crack Emcee: "Some of my best friends are white." Just kidding. Glad to see you're back.

You certainly have a unique point of view. I grew up a poor white boy who lived in mostly black neighborhoods. And I have a kind of love-hate relationship with black people. Some I loved dearly like my best friend roommate for many years who died much too young about 30 years ago. Some I hated, like the kids who chased me in Franklin Park because I had a black dog (and who would've whupped my ass if they caught me).

Kids in my neighborhood listened to all kinds of music, soul, rock, funk, jazz. Some of my favorites were Ojays, Spinners, Stylitics, Delphonics, Funkadelic as well as Led Zeppelin, Stones, Beatles, Grand Funk, Zappa, Santana.

We Americans are going to have to come to some mutual agreement on how to live together. Despite the dreams of some, black people aren't going anywhere, neither are whites. I don't know what that will look like, but I'm cautiously optimistic we'll find a way.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The Crack Emcee said...

Nobody really covers Dylan.

Jimi Hendrix did a pretty good job with All Along the Watchtower. ( Certainly a much better version than Dylan's. )

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Die Gedanken sind frei

unfortunately

Die Getränke sind nicht frei

hstad said...

AA states - ".....Plastic referred to how fake everything was getting....?"

Not sure I remember the scene correctly? But wasn't the relative talking about career paths in the "Plastics Business" vs. everything looks plastic???

The Crack Emcee said...

Lovernios said...

"Glad to see you're back."

Glad to hear it.

"You certainly have a unique point of view. I grew up a poor white boy who lived in mostly black neighborhoods. And I have a kind of love-hate relationship with black people."

If you see us as people, you would. I'm the same way with whites.

"Some I loved dearly like my best friend roommate for many years who died much too young about 30 years ago. Some I hated, like the kids who chased me in Franklin Park because I had a black dog (and who would've whupped my ass if they caught me)"


My first white BFF was Mitch Ross, a Jewish kid who died in my first year of high school, driving some girls home. He and I used to sit under a tree and we'd explain all kinds of things to each other, really looking forward to being together. His father was a Nike salesman. The kind of guy that wore a red jacket and tie with an all white get-up. Wild. Then Mitch was gone. I raised some money to plant some trees in Israel in his name, lost touch with his folks, nurse the memory. And then there's the Nazis who ripped me off for the bar I helped design. I still remember losing a shoe as I barely got away from them. Yep - love and hate. There's a lot of that going around.

"Kids in my neighborhood listened to all kinds of music, soul, rock, funk, jazz. Some of my favorites were Ojays, Spinners, Stylitics, Delphonics, Funkadelic as well as Led Zeppelin, Stones, Beatles, Grand Funk, Zappa, Santana."

I lived in two worlds: the L.A. Valley, where I got exposed to Rock and other weirdness, and South Central, L.A., where I was raised in Jazz, but exposed to Soul, R&B, Funk, etc. It was strictly regimented. I couldn't let the white kids know I liked black music and couldn't let the black kids know I liked Rock. So I became a headphone addict. And I still am. Everything I do should be listened to in headphones because that's how I made it and intend for it to be heard. Here, try it.

"We Americans are going to have to come to some mutual agreement on how to live together."

That's what reparations is all about: getting on the same page and putting a period on the past. To focus on the money is counterproductive, especially because nobody's likely to leave with it after they feel like we're a part of America, legit. I don't get it.

"Despite the dreams of some, black people aren't going anywhere, neither are whites."

I spoke too soon, and I agree.

"I don't know what that will look like, but I'm cautiously optimistic we'll find a way."

I fight massive bouts of depression over the actions of my people - Americans of all shades - but, I think, that's because I want the best for us. I don't want to kill the rich, or the goose that lays the capitalist eggs, just get a little justice so we can look each other in the face with compassion - and without 9/11 or something having happened to motivate it.

I'm with you: we'll get there. One day at a time. One day at a time.

JohnAnnArbor said...

"So what you're saying is....."

Lovernios said...

Crack Emcee,

I've been given to thinking about reparations lately, partly because of your return to Ann's salon. What I've focused on is rather than cash payments to individuals, Congress would award mineral or gas/oil rights on a substantial portion of Federal lands. A quasi-government corporation could be chartered to manage the funds earned from this and use the proceeds to fund programs for the descendents of enslaved people. It could be overseen by the Congressional Black Caucus or a new congressional committee.

In this way the funding would not be coming from the taxpayer and not seen by whites as coming from their paycheck. The programs could be measured for effectiveness in solving the myriad problems facing black Americans. Those programs that showed improvements in the lives of black Americans would be continued, those that don't would be ended. And these efforts would be of black Americans, by black Americans, and for black Americans.

buwaya said...

There is no reconciliation in sight -

This is Pew, so a very progressive source, still this is data against interest.

Political Polarization 1994-2017

Its notable that "Republicans" are on the whole much less dogmatic than Democrats - check the area under the extremes for either. They are less polarized.

And moreover it should be noted that the most intense polarization is not black:white, but between factions of whites. This is a white:white civil war, elite vs the middle, and the rest of the population, black, hispanic, asian, are just accessories, or weapons, because wars are fought between adversaries of comparable power.

Teller said...

Lovernios on reparations: "Congress would award mineral or gas/oil rights on a substantial portion of Federal lands."

Home run.

The Crack Emcee said...

Lovernios said...

"I've been given to thinking about reparations lately, partly because of your return to Ann's salon. What I've focused on is rather than cash payments to individuals, Congress would award mineral or gas/oil rights on a substantial portion of Federal lands. A quasi-government corporation could be chartered to manage the funds earned from this and use the proceeds to fund programs for the descendents of enslaved people."

I was totally with you until you got to the money being used for "programs" instead of given directly to free people with no middlemen trying to direct their actions.

Look, here's the image most whites have of reparations. It's silly. Reparations has an extensive historical component, steeped in the ideas of justice and freedom, which comes first because reparations can't be understood, or achieved, if the money goes into a program where we can't control our own destinies. Making our own choices responsibly - not the South's, not Johnson's, not Clinton's or Obama's or anyone else's - must be the end result for us to say we got there.

I don't want my less educated black friends to stand in another line. I want them to wonder what they can become if they had some of the resources necessary to do something - like white folks have. And I want them to know, both, their ancestors AND the nation of their birth, are anxious to see as well.

But not without context. Without that, we're still wasting our time. I like your idea, though. Just week it and I'm onboard (I think.).

Lovernios said...

Obviously, I haven't thought it through at any level of detail. By programs I was more thinking of funding individual efforts, say starting a business, attending a training program, or community efforts to rebuild homes, things that black people themselves want to do. Nothing mandated by government, ideas generated by and carried out by black Americans. You decide what needs to be done. You decide where to spend the money. The only role for government is to cede these mineral/oil/gas rights to black Americans as a group.

Like Frederick Douglass said to a reporter asking what should be done with freedmen, "Nothing should be done. You've done enough already." As I said this would be by and for the descendants of enslaved people.

Jon Ericson said...

This thread is becoming a dumpster fire.
It started out pretty good, though.

Bob Loblaw said...

Say When.

You're no daisy.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Lovernios said...

...It could be overseen by the Congressional Black Caucus or a new congressional committee...The programs could be measured for effectiveness in solving the myriad problems facing black Americans. Those programs that showed improvements in the lives of black Americans would be continued, those that don't would be ended.

Obviously, I haven't thought it through...


Obviously.

Taylor said...

What a great article!

There's so much bad journalism, I'm always rather shocked when I come across some good journalism.

Maybe I'll start subscribing to The Atlantic.

The Crack Emcee said...

Lovernios said...

"Obviously, I haven't thought it through at any level of detail. By programs I was more thinking of funding individual efforts, say starting a business, attending a training program, or community efforts to rebuild homes, things that black people themselves want to do. Nothing mandated by government, ideas generated by and carried out by black Americans. You decide what needs to be done. You decide where to spend the money. The only role for government is to cede these mineral/oil/gas rights to black Americans as a group.

Like Frederick Douglass said to a reporter asking what should be done with freedmen, "Nothing should be done. You've done enough already." As I said this would be by and for the descendants of enslaved people."

You're on the right track, and I'm glad to hear it. That Douglass quote is apt, here, as well - totally in line with my thinking. I could go for your idea, as long as there was even a token cash amount attached to it - money being representative in America - and as long as the historical component was done right. I could see that.

Check you out, Lovernios, you got Civil Rights cred.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

"Jimi Hendrix did a pretty good job with All Along the Watchtower. ( Certainly a much better version than Dylan's. )"

Fuck. My BAD. Of course he did. I must be getting old.

The Crack Emcee said...

buwaya said...

"Its notable that "Republicans" are on the whole much less dogmatic than Democrats - check the area under the extremes for either. They are less polarized."

The Republican's problems as a party are fixable, they're just too cowardly to do it, hence Trump. The Democrats, on the other hand, bravely go to battle over everything - and destroy themselves. (Can you establish priorities if you have no standards?)

"And moreover it should be noted that the most intense polarization is not black:white,...because wars are fought between adversaries of comparable power."

Blacks are 13% of the population. Figure it out. It's only because whites won't deal with us honestly that our issues are still on the front burner. I've wondered where we'd be - blacks, as a race, and America as a nation - if whites could've figured that out sooner. They not only twist themselves into our enemy, but act as the nation's own worst enemy in the doing, because WE ALL WANT THE SAME THINGS AS AMERICANS. They've just been steady figuring out ways not to deliver.

Anyway, you white folks have got to stop fighting, too. Like black people, you look so much alike, it's absurd.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I was totally with you until you got to the money being used for "programs" instead of given directly to free people with no middlemen trying to direct their actions.


Look, I want to put this kindly. You said (barring modifiers and qualifiers, not all, yada yada) that black people don't know what taxes are. Such people as don't know who taxes are can't be given directly large sums of money. They are not competent. They are disabled because of their psychic suffering. Disabled people need custodians, guardians.

These are your thoughts as I interpret them, pardon me if I haven't quoted precisely, but when black dysfunctions have been raised to you, your response is much along these lines. It's not your fault, X happened to you. The grenade went off, never mind who pulled the pin, but now you have no legs, you cannot walk. Fine, but then you have to be wheeled around, you need elevators, you will never be able to climb ladders or stairs.

I know your focus is on the black experience in America. But consider this hypothetical: America isn't here, and you are dropped in Soviet Russia or current Russia, or in China or LatAm or Africa or Australia or anywhere else. Or just on some desert island of no national character. America is gone, sunk into the sea like Atlantis for her sins.

But now you're somewhere where nobody actually has a reason to care or any guilt or responsibility for your history. You're just folks, and you have your lives to live.

Do you expect say Hungary, France, Paraguay, Vietnam to tolerate your dysfunctions?

Or will they end? Do you expect that you would snap out of it and become successful civic and economic units in their society?

Ultimately nobody can fix you but you. If you hang your hat on the notion that you must be given stuff, that's Team D. Plus which, they've tried that for decades, ie since LBJ. With results you know. And you choose to identify as R.


May I ask if you have engaged with the arguments I posted earlier, and re-linked and expanded on for your benefit?

Saint Croix said...

I don't want my less educated black friends to stand in another line. I want them to wonder what they can become if they had some of the resources necessary to do something - like white folks have. And I want them to know, both, their ancestors AND the nation of their birth, are anxious to see as well.

The way you create wealth is through your investments. You invest in the stock market, and you create wealth. You invest in real estate, you create wealth. It's not easy, and there is risk involved. But it's fun. And you can definitely teach people how to do it.

A great website for learning about investing in the stock market is The Motley Fool. This is my page at the Motley Fool. You can see some of the investments I like there.

Anybody can do well in the market. This stuff can be taught. I did not learn in public schools. I was self-taught, by reading Peter Lynch and hanging out at the Motley Fool.

Now I've had a lot of education. 12 years, plus 4 years, plus 3 years, plus 6 years. I've had 25 years of education. Holy shit. But I never had a class where I was taught anything about investing in the stock market.

It's like the people who teach in public schools have no interest in teaching children how to make money. This is a very basic skill set. And yet it's so rarely taught in our schools.

I don't know why this is. Maybe it's because many liberals have this disdain for money. They think it's beneath them. They think it's dirty. And so they teach English, or Math, or Biology, or Chemistry, or Photography. They teach so many things! Except how to make money so you can follow your dreams. It's unbelievable if you think about it. Astounding. This liberal hostility to wealth creation is shameful and stupid and ultimately evil.

So if you look into why African-Americans have not accumulated wealth, it's because they are liberals. They are a product of liberal education. It may be that liberals want to keep people needy, and angry, so that liberals can rely on this need and this anger for their own power. I would just say to these liberals, if you know how to make money, share this knowledge. So other people can make money, too.

Tom said...

There are a certain number of Althouse posts where I see the title and think, "Sweet, we're gonna talk about X!" Then, I read a bit further... "And, we're taking about Dylan..."

The Crack Emcee said...

Bad Lieutenant said...

"Look, I want to put this kindly. You said...that black people don't know what taxes are."

No, I said I know blacks who don't know what taxes are. Come on.

"Such people as don't know who taxes are can't be given directly large sums of money."

Yes, they can, the lottery does it.

"They are not competent."

You're not competent. I keep telling you of the historical context that reparations must have - first - while you guys keep fretting over the money. That's why it's so important. If this nation - not just blacks - doesn't assume some sense of responsibility, then the whole project will fail.

"These are your thoughts as I interpret them,...your response is much along these lines."

Not at all. You guys ALL misread things. Like when that football p[layer said he wanted to raise awareness of problems and the whites, here, read that he wanted to raise awareness by making problems for whites - it's just incredible how your minds work.

"It's not your fault, X happened to you. The grenade went off, never mind who pulled the pin, but now you have no legs,...."

That's not black's problem. We can walk fine. We have legs. We need you to stop thinking for us and get out of the way. Nobody asked for you to think for us. That's the original sin again.

"I know your focus is on the black experience in America. But consider this hypothetical: America isn't here, and you are dropped...anywhere else."

OK, I'm with you - carry on:

"But now you're somewhere where nobody actually has a reason to care or any guilt or responsibility for your history. You're just folks, and you have your lives to live."

As a black person who's traveled extensively, I've been just that person, countless times.

"Do you expect say Hungary, France, Paraguay, Vietnam to tolerate your dysfunctions?"

You keep assuming WE are the ones with the dysfunction. In racist-assed Hungary, or France? Has it ever occurred to you that we - apparently one of the original peoples of the world - are the one's who are OK, and the rest of you are functionally insane, thus hating us and making our lives Hell? Was I dysfunctional when I ran into a nest of Nazis and their killer dogs on the German border? Or heard them chanting at a HUGE RALLY in Alsace? Was I the sick one, being chased from an ATM, in France - because they thought I was African? You guys literally have to flip the world upside-down to make your vision of it even close to accurate.

"Or will they end? Do you expect that you would snap out of it...?"

I got out of Yurp as soon as I could, and kissed the ground when I got back to America, both, because I was free of *inescapable* racial persecution AND the effects of socialism. When you will snap out of thinking they're any place to emulate, I don't know.

"Ultimately nobody can fix you but you."

Not if they're broke, themselves, and white folks ARE broken. They think material success makes them "all that" but it's only when they socialize do they realize it's not everything. I tell my black friends things, all the time, warning them not to sound like idiots in public. Whites confidently wade into that space ALL THE TIME.

When they start to deal with THAT, then they can come talk to me about black issues.

"If you hang your hat on the notion that you must be given stuff, that's Team D."

Thank goodness, I'm hanging my hat on getting stuff BACK.

"Plus which, they've tried that for decades, ie since LBJ. With results you know. And you choose to identify as R."

I choose R for one reason and one reason only: the D's have lost credibility. The Rs are only a way station, and not an attractive one. Hostile actors are NOT my fellow Americans.

The Crack Emcee said...

Saint Croix said...

“The way you create wealth is through your investments. You invest in the stock market, and you create wealth. You invest in real estate, you create wealth. It's not easy, and there is risk involved. But it's fun. And you can definitely teach people how to do it.”

Man, you guys are patronizing. Guess what? I’ve invested, owned stocks, all that - it can’t make-up for white folks.

“A great website for learning about investing in the stock market is The Motley Fool. This is my page at the Motley Fool. You can see some of the investments I like there.”

Because I’ve never heard of the Motley Fool before. [rolls eyes]

“Anybody can do well in the market. This stuff can be taught. I did not learn in public schools. I was self-taught, by reading Peter Lynch and hanging out at the Motley Fool.”

But you also weren’t in a situation where, if you fucked-up in the least - one slip - the whole house of cards falls down and you have to start over - with NO CARDS. Repeatedly. Welcome to America.

“Now I've had a lot of education. 12 years, plus 4 years, plus 3 years, plus 6 years. I've had 25 years of education. Holy shit. But I never had a class where I was taught anything about investing in the stock market.”

Or the realities of American life, apparently.

“It's like the people who teach in public schools have no interest in teaching children how to make money. This is a very basic skill set. And yet it's so rarely taught in our schools.”

If we were togethe,r in person, this is where I’d leap across the table to strangle you.

“I don't know why this is.”

This is the first accurate and honest thing you’ve sad.

“Maybe it's because many liberals have this disdain for money.”

Seems kind of a shame to leave blacks at their mercy, then, huh?

“So if you look into why African-Americans have not accumulated wealth, it's because they are liberals.”

And, if you hear white men talking like idiots, it’s because they’re white men. Wow - it works!

“They are a product of liberal education. It may be that liberals want to keep people needy, and angry, so that liberals can rely on this need and this anger for their own power. I would just say to these liberals, if you know how to make money, share this knowledge. So other people can make money, too.’

I’ma go shoot myself now.