September 23, 2023

Sunrise — 6:43, 7:08.

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"Anyone else get a little bugged when people say Dylan has a bad voice?"

"I love what Leonard Cohen said about his voice: 'Most music criticism is in the nineteenth century. It’s so far behind, say, the criticism of painting. It’s still based on nineteenth century art–cows beside a stream and trees and ‘I know what I like.’ There’s no concession to the fact that Dylan might be a more sophisticated singer than Whitney Houston, that he’s probably the most sophisticated singer we’ve had in a generation. Nobody is identifying out popular singers like a Matisse or Picasso. Dylan’s a Picasso — that exuberance, range, and assimilation of the whole history of music.'..."

The top-rated comment is so Reddit: "I find it the opposite of annoying. You’re telling me what your depth is as a music listener and what level of convo I should be expecting and how to respond accordingly. It gets rid of the guess work."

"Trump is triangulating. He sees, correctly, that the Republican Party is now on the wrong side of the public on abortion."

"By rejecting a blanket ban and making a call for compromise with Democrats, Trump is trying to fashion himself as an abortion moderate, a strategy that also rests on his pre-political persona as a liberal New Yorker with a live-and-let-live attitude toward personal behavior. There is a real chance this could work...." 

From "Donald Trump Is Not of Two Minds About Abortion" (NYT), from Jamelle Bouie, who proceeds to speculate about why it shouldn't work. Democrats and the anti-Trump media will continue to critique Trump for making the 3 Supreme Court appointments that led to the overruling of Roe v. Wade. And Republicans will continue to push for legislation restricting abortion as much as possible. 

But Trump is offering to mediate, to bring both sides together to come up with a number — a number of weeks within which women can freely obtain abortions — probably not 6, something like 10 or 12.*

"Try a week of 'age belief journaling,' in which you write down every portrayal of an older person — whether in a movie, on social media or in a conversation."

"Then question if that portrayal was negative or positive, and whether the person could have been presented differently. Simply identifying the sources of your conceptions about aging can help you gain some distance from negative ideas.... [T]ry to look at the honest reality with optimism. If you’re feeling deflated that your tennis game isn’t as strong in your 70s as it once was... remind yourself: 'No, I can’t play tennis like I did when I was 50, and I can only play for 10 minutes. But I can still play.'"

"It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat. I am not going anywhere."

Said Senator Robert Menendez, quoted in "Gold Bullion and Halal Meat: Inside the Menendez Investigation/Federal prosecutors have accused Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey and his wife, Nadine, of accepting bribes in exchange for official actions by Mr. Menendez" (NYT).

I love the way this article begins. Unlike the other news reports I've seen, it doesn't forefront all the cash and gold found in Menendez's house. It sets up a woman-made-him-do-it narrative. We begin in January 2018, when Menendez had avoided conviction on federal bribery charges. There was a hung jury, and the government declined to pursue a new trial. "He was free...." He could return to his Senatorial career. But then:

"Tuesday, I’ll go to Michigan to join the picket line and stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create."

 X'd President Biden, quoted in "Biden to join the picket line in UAW strike/His decision to stand alongside the striking workers represents perhaps the most significant display of union solidarity ever by a sitting president" (Politico).

The announcement of his trip was seen as a seismic moment within certain segments of the labor community. “Pretty hard-core,” said one union adviser, who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to speak publicly....

The president’s plans come as some Democrats have begun to question his response to the strike, recognizing that he needs the full backing of union workers in his presidential reelection bid....

The link on "question his response" goes to a Politico article from last Tuesday, "'Trump scooped us': Dems sound alarm on Biden’s handling of the auto worker strike/Donald Trump’s decision to head to Detroit for a speech next week is setting off alarms among some Joe Biden allies." That article says:

"Liberals can and should criticize the mistakes of conservative decisions. That is a necessary step toward reversing them..."

"... when liberals have a majority on the Court again. But they should not indulge in hyperbolic criticism that undermines the very institution over which they should be trying to regain control."

"It’s a really hard argument in normal circumstances to say the government, who is prosecuting someone, can shut them up from defending themselves in public."

"What makes this backward from everything else is that normally, in every criminal prosecution I can think of, the power imbalance is that the state has all the power and the defendant has none. But in this case, you have a defendant who has very significant power."

In a 1991 case, the Supreme Court upheld barring defense lawyers from making comments outside court that are likely to prejudice a jury, citing “the state’s interest in fair trials.”

But the Supreme Court also suggested that greater speech restrictions might be permissible on lawyers because they are officers of the court. It has never addressed what standard a gag order on a defendant must meet. A handful of appeals courts have addressed gag orders imposed on defendants and set different standards....
The article quotes lawprof Paul F. Rothstein: "Everything about these cases is making new law because there are so many gaps in the law. The system is held together by people doing the right thing according to tradition, and Trump doesn’t — he jumps into every gap."

September 22, 2023

Sunrise — 6:40.

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"She laid down and used one of the dogs as a pillow, and the other dog laid right next to her and kept her safe."

Said Lt Mark Giannunzio, quoted in "Lost Michigan toddler found asleep in woods using family dog as furry pillow/One dog provided support and another kept watch as two-year-old girl was found three miles from Upper Peninsula home in slumber."

"Ron DeSantis sat at her table talking in an outdoor voice indoors, failing to observe any basics of conversational ritual or propriety, reeling off an unself-conscious list of his programs and initiatives and political accomplishments."

"Impersonal, cold, uninterested in anything outside of himself. The Carlsons are dog people with four spaniels, the progeny of other spaniels they have had before, who sleep in their bed. DeSantis pushed the dog under the table. Had he kicked the dog? Susie Carlson’s judgment was clear: She did not ever want to be anywhere near anybody like that ever again. Her husband agreed. DeSantis, in Carlson’s view, was a 'fascist.'"

Wrote Michael Wolff, in "The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty," quoted in "Tucker Carlson Refutes New Book’s Claim That Ron DeSantis Accosted His Dog" (The Jewish Voice).

Carlson's response: “This is absurd.... He never touched my dog, obviously.... It’s totally made up. Ridiculous actually."

"Murdoch’s unhappiness and befuddlement is the throughline of... 'The Fall: The End of Fox News,' which is to hit shelves next week..."

"... days after Murdoch, 92, announced his retirement from the Fox Corporation and News Corporation boards. [The book] paints Fox’s owner as embarrassed by the channel’s vulgarity and horrified by its ultimate political creation, Donald Trump. Murdoch apparently very much wants to thwart the ex-president.... Though 'The Fall' is peppered with references to HBO’s 'Succession,' Murdoch comes off as the anti-Logan Roy, desperate for the approval of his mostly liberal children, with the hateful Fox News standing between them. 'He just wants his kids to love him,' Roger Ailes is quoted saying. 'And they don’t.'... ... Murdoch has... handed Fox to his son Lachlan... widely seen as the only true conservative among the Murdoch heirs.... The network may keep boosting Trump’s Republican primary opponents, but once the primaries are over, we can expect it to once again be the lucrative propaganda arm of Trump’s presidential campaign.... The electorate that Fox helped shape, and the politicians it indulges, have made this country ungovernable. An unbound Trump may well become president again, bringing liberal democracy in America to a grotesque end. If so, it will be in large part Murdoch’s fault...."

Writes Michelle Goldberg, in "The Ludicrous Agony of Rupert Murdoch" (NYT).

"I am very self-conscious about the way that I look, in part because I am a woman who happens to be conscious."

"Since birth, every piece of media I have encountered has socialized me to hate all of my body parts.... I thought that I was ugly for a very long time and then, suddenly, I found myself on wikiFeet [a photo-sharing foot-fetish site dedicated to celebrities’ feet], against my will, in the form of a photo of me from college, on a Lake Michigan beach.... [A]mong five voters, one voted 'beautiful,' one voted 'nice,' two voted 'okay,' and one hater voted 'ugly.' I am not sure the wikiFeet community realizes that, by reducing women to just their foot scores, they are dehumanizing us.... I am more than ten toes and eerily flat arches. I also have a beautiful heart beneath two medium-sized breasts.... Please go to, create a user account on this collaborative, celebrity-foot database, and vote for me like my self-confidence depends on it..... I care what people think about me. But the best lesson I ever internalized is that no one will love me, or my feet, like I love myself (and my feet).... Loving myself is a tough task, and requires constantly reminding myself that I deserve patience and generosity and warmth...."

"The original premise behind the right to shelter was, for starters, for homeless men on the streets..."

"... people experiencing [AIDS] that was [then] extended to families. But never was it envisioned being an unlimited universal right, or obligation on the city, to house literally the entire world."

Said New York governor Gov. Kathy Hochul, quoted in "Hochul wants to end NYC ‘right to shelter’ law as migrant crisis surges" (NY Post).

"We have to let people know that if you’re thinking of coming to New York, we are truly out of space...."

September 21, 2023

Sunrise — 6:37.


"For decades, educators have seen speed as a marker of aptitude or mastery.... But a race against the clock doesn’t measure knowledge or intelligence."

"It assesses the much narrower skill of how well students reason under stress. As a result, timed tests underestimate the capabilities of countless students. New evidence shows that although smarter people are faster at solving easy problems, they’re actually slower to finish difficult ones. They’re well aware that haste makes waste, and they don’t want to sacrifice accuracy for speed.... Although it pays to be quick, it also pays to be determined, disciplined and dependable. Strangely, though, the tests that define students’ grades and help determine their educational and professional fates... evaluate students as if they’re applying to join a bomb squad or appear on 'Jeopardy.' Time pressure rewards students who think fast and shallow — and punishes those who think slow and deep...."

A time-pressure test isn't really detecting how quickly you can answer questions. Time-pressure can interfere with your concentration and create static that makes you slower than you'd be if you took the test without a time limit. Some people worry about the time and some people don't. Some people hate to be rushed and others find a deadline motivating. Why systematically disadvantage those who are inclined to be careful and systematic and favor those who take risks and shortcuts?

"By what calculus would a company choose to furnish their quarters with a poster of a guy modeling a windbreaker rather than a museum-quality painting by Lichtenstein?"

"Granted, companies need to promote their brands. But a generation ago, corporations turned to art to burnish their reputations and acquire a patina of class.... Branding seeks to deliver a product to the widest possible audience, while art is about one person alone in a room, trying to give physical form to the invisible matter of their inner lives — or in Lichtenstein’s case, wondering if he had an interior life in the first place. As he once said, 'I don’t have any big anxieties. I wish I did. I‘d be much more interesting.'"

The painting — which isn't really a mural, because it's on canvas and was easily removed — is  26 feet tall and 18 feet wide and "painted in situ over a period of five weeks" back in 1989 in a building designed by I.M. Pei.

The new tenant is Alo Yoga, "a company specializing in leggings, cropped tops and other clothing designed for what it calls 'mindful movement.'" Alo refused to talk to the NYT about its anti-art decision.

"I heard that you have a collection of fake food?"/"I do. I have it all over my house. I like the worst kind..."

"... like an old, dirty piece of carrot. Or I have a bowl of cereal next to my bed with a spoon. It looks like I just forgot to take it downstairs. I kind of live in a joke shop. I always loved joke shops when I was young. So I have a lot of spilled food or things that look like something bad happened just sitting around to delight me when I walk up the steps."

There's lots of interesting stuff in that interview. I'll just highlight this:
What do you think of this idea that Gen Z is turned off by sex scenes in movies, especially gratuitous ones? There basically isn’t a scene in any of your movies that isn’t gratuitous.

"The British government writing to tech firms demanding they financially punish and cancel Russell Brand...."

"Am I for kids being able to read about anything in school? Yeah, I am. I don’t give a shit what kids read."

Said Howard Stern, quoted in "Howard Stern Tells Off Critics Who Say He’s ‘Woke’/Now: I’m Anti-Trump, Pro-Vaccine and Support Transgender People… ‘I Am Woke, Motherf—er’" (Variety).

Does he have "woke" right? Not "giving a shit" about what kids read?

He also said "I support people who want to be transgender." Isn't that ideologically incorrect? Aren't you supposed to manifest a belief that people are transgender and not that people just "want to be transgender"?

Let's compare Howard Stern to Russell Brand. Both were, in the past, something some people might call sexist pigs. Whatever, it's arguable. And both have restyled themselves either to keep up with the times or because they've gotten older and matured or declined. You can speculate. But Stern is appealing to the left while Brand is appealing to the right. More or less. And Brand is the one experiencing retaliation while Stern seems to be protecting himself.

Anyway, searching the 2 names together, I came up with this old interview (perhaps from 2017). Watch it while you can, and don't miss the random reference to the Roman Empire (within the first 2 minutes):

"People I dated seriously, subsequently, were people of substance. Distinguished in their professions."

Said Harvard lawprof Noah Feldman, quoted in "She Pioneered Internet Fame, He Helped Draft a Constitution. Now They’re in Love. Who would have guessed that the former New York media obsession Julia Allison and the law scholar Noah Feldman would make a great couple?" (NYT).

That quote is poetry!

Another Feldman quote: "I was not at an optimistic point in my romantic life. Will anyone ever meet any human ever again?" That quote, too, is poetry, but it loses its punch in context. He was talking about the covid lockdown.

About Allison:

September 20, 2023

Sunrise — 6:37, 6:38, 6:40, 6:49.

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"Fans of walks love to point out that Virginia Woolf dreamed up 'To the Lighthouse' on a walk around Tavistock Square."

"Insomniac walks through London powered Dickens’s novels. Bathtubs and apple trees get all the attention, but many more scientists have had their eureka moments while on long, solitary ambles. Friedrich Nietzsche famously wrote that 'only those thoughts that come by walking have any value.'... The writer Teju Cole often gets invited to take walks....But he usually demurs. 'Really, what I love more than walking itself is getting lost,' he said in an email. 'And getting lost with someone else in tow is difficult. This might be why my favorite walks have been in solitude and in cities with which I am unfamiliar....’… Walking is a rare moment in our modern life where you can just let your mind wander. Aimless walking is a lost art in our ever-optimizing society. So let’s meet for coffee. I’m sure I’ll come up with lots of fun things to talk about on the walk over.”

Writes Lydia Polgreen, in "No, We Shouldn’t Make This Meeting a Walk" (NYT).

"[T]here’s... recorded evidence, documented on TV comedy specials and on [Russell] Brand’s own radio show during the 2000s..."

"... that Brand relentlessly harassed women he worked with, sexualizing and dehumanizing them on air, and then belittling them to the public when they objected. This was the particular insidiousness of aughts-era misogyny, which people like Brand propagated but absolutely didn’t invent: the idea that if girls, or young women, complained about how they were being treated, they were joyless scolds, too uncool to get the joke and too ugly to be concerned about anyway. The trap was that women were expected to cheerfully participate in their own objectification or risk being not just exploited but also vilified.... Brand’s raptorial sexuality was his personality, his unique selling point, and for a very long time he was handsomely rewarded for it. If people really want to reckon with the legacy of such strikingly recent cultural misogyny, in other words, it’s best not to comfort themselves too soon with the idea that Brand was in any way an anomaly."

"When a man in Ohio found out that someone online had manipulated his 11-year-old daughter into sending intimate photos of herself, he called police for help..."

"... according to a video shared widely on social media. The man was hoping officers could speak with the girl to help her 'realize what this was,' the video shows. But when two Columbus police officers responded to the man’s home, one of them said that his daughter 'could probably get charged with child porn'... 'Who? She can?' the man responded in the video. 'She’s 11 years old.'... 'Doesn’t matter,' the same officer replied. 'She’s still making porn.'"

From "Police told a father his 11-year-old could get ‘child porn’ charge, video shows" (WaPo).

"But I am very conscious of male aggression and ego because I examine it a lot in myself."

"As I’ve gotten older, I just kind of marvel — not even marvel. I’m dumbstruck by my own aggression and ego. I think back and I think, 'What on earth gave me this sense of entitlement, that I was commanding people to accept and appreciate what I do?' Which is what you have to do when you’re a designer: You have to insist that people look at your stuff, and you have to insist that it’s worthwhile and demand their time and their attention. I’m ashamed of it... but I’m also kind of proud of it."
Said Rick Owens, quoted in "Rick Owens will keep your male ego in check" (WaPo). 

Owens is a fashion designer. Here are a lot of things collected on one page. I'll just ask you to look at these "swim briefs" he'd have you wear. I suspect they will "keep your male ego in check." And why not wear this in the Senate chamber? I mean, to "check your aggression"? 

"While the September equinox usually occurs on September 22 or 23, it can very rarely fall on September 21 or September 24."

"A September 21 equinox has not happened for several millennia. In the 21st century, it will happen twice—in 2092 and 2096. The last September 24 equinox occurred in 1931, the next one will take place in 2303.... The equinox dates vary because of the difference between how the Gregorian calendar defines a year (365 days) and the time it actually takes for Earth to complete its orbit around the sun (about 365 and 1/4 days)."

Maybe you were expecting the equinox on the 21st. Did you realize how wrong you were? 

Anyway, the fall equinox this year is on the 23d. That seemed oddly late to me, but I see that it's not.

"Other than this one key fact that the rape described actually was a fabrication of this woman, the rest of the story was bulletproof."

Said Jann Wenner, quoted in "Jann Wenner Defends His Legacy, and His Generation’s/The co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine on the legacy of boomers and why he chose only white men for his book on rock’s 'masters'" (NYT).

This is the interview that's been in the news — see "Jann Wenner’s Rock Hall Reign Lasted Years. It Ended in 20 Minutes. The day after the Rolling Stone co-founder made remarks widely criticized as racist and sexist in a Times interview, the Hall of Fame called an emergency vote and ousted him" — and that we've talked about already, but I'm calling attention to something I haven't seen discussed yet.

Here's the remark I've quoted in context. The interviewer, David Marchese, is in boldface. The rest is Wenner. I've put the above-quoted remark in red:

September 19, 2023

At the Tuesday Night Café...


... you can talk about whatever you want.

"YouTube suspended the comedian and actor Russell Brand on Tuesday from making money from videos posted to the social media platform..."

"... three days after British news organizations published an investigation in which several women accused Mr. Brand of sexual assault.... A spokeswoman for YouTube said in an email that Mr. Brand, whose channel on the platform has 6.6 million subscribers, was suspended for violating YouTube’s 'creator responsibility policy.' 'If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community,' the spokeswoman said."

The NYT reports. 

How does the action taken — demonetizing current videos — protect anyone from the "off-platform behavior" — which took place, if it took place, long ago? The current videos don't have anything to do with the conduct he's accused of. It seems to me that the demonetization is at most punishment in retribution for what he is accused of having done. The only conceivable "protection" it offers is from the current speech, which is about culture and politics. YouTube isn't admitting to this kind of viewpoint-based censorship, but the NYT alludes to it:

While Mr. Brand’s earlier stand-up routines had a broadly left-wing focus, skewering the British establishment and focusing on subjects like social inequality, he has recently reinvented himself to focus on conservative talking points, often seeming to target an American audience.

NOTE: This post was edited a bit to make it easier to read.

"What are some famous examples — in truth or fiction — of a character who puts a lot of effort into being able to be lazy?"

I ask ChatGPT, a propos of the previous post about the "Lazy Girl" jobs. I was influenced by a comment from Jamie, who wrote, "Heinlein wrote a story called 'The Man Who Was Too Lazy To Fail,' about a smart but lazy guy who spends his life and career thinking up efficiencies and ends up very successful."

ChatGPT answered me:

I see Instapundit is linking to "The ‘Lazy-Girl Job’ Is In Right Now. Here’s Why."

That's in the Wall Street Journal. Subheadline: "Rather than lean in, young workers say they want jobs that can be done from home, come with a cool boss and end at 5 p.m. sharp."

Here's the Instapundit link. Quips: "Career goal of the moment" and "it’s unfair if women get paid less than men."

I was thinking about blogging that "Lazy-Girl Job" story yesterday. Quip: I was too lazy.

"Mr. McCarthy, in his desperate pursuit of the speakership last winter, ran around making promises willy-nilly to the House’s small band of right-wingers..."

"...  and he will now rise and fall on how he handles those commitments and expectations.... His attempt to placate them by announcing an impeachment investigation into President Biden went over poorly, prompting multiple Freedom Caucusers to scold him for trying to buy them off.... Gaetz & Company have a point: Mr. McCarthy is out of compliance with several of his promises...."

Writes Michelle Cottle, in "Maybe Matt Gaetz Is Right" (NYT).

"Haaning's new work Take the Money and Run is also a recognition that works of art, despite intentions to the contrary, are part of a capitalist system..."

"... that values a work based on some arbitrary conditions. Even the missing money in the work has a monetary value when it is called art and thus shows how the value of money is an abstract quantity. Haaning's new work Take the Money and Run is also a recognition that works of art, despite intentions to the contrary, are part of a capitalist system that values a work based on some arbitrary conditions."

Said the Kunsten Museum's exhibition guide, about the 2 completely blank canvases it chose to display, quoted in "A Danish artist has been ordered to repay a museum after delivering blank canvases" (NPR).

The museum had advanced Jens Haaning over $75,000 so that he could recreate an earlier work of his in which he attached actual cash to the canvas. In that earlier work, the money was supposed to represent the wage gap between Danish workers and Austrian workers. Haaning is considered a "conceptual artist," and the new work expresses a concept that the museum made a show of understanding (or pretending to understand).

September 18, 2023

Sunrise — 6:41, 6:42, 6:45.



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"The first thing to understand about Trump is that he’s not a normal politician. He doesn’t give a rip about policy."

"What he cares about is saying and doing whatever it takes to fulfill his desires and thirst for power, including destroying democracy if necessary. Treating him as anything other than a depraved authoritarian is not only wrongheaded, but helps his cause by legitimizing him as a reasonable choice for voters. And that’s exactly what Welker did."

I'm reading "How not to interview Trump/Kristen Welker's tenure as 'Meet the Press' moderator got off to an inauspicious start," by Aaron Rupar.

We're supposed to believe that other politicians don't say "whatever it takes to fulfill [their] desires and thirst for power."

I don't like the way the abnormalization of Trump has come at the cost of stifling our capacity to critique other politicians. The others may be more "normal" than Trump, but since when is a "normal politician" a genuine policy wonk who's dedicated to telling the truth and serving the people?

“I ran deep into the Rocky Mountains while on 24-hour fasts, used exhaustion (as well as some mind-altering drugs) to loosen the grip of reality."

"I put myself in front of the most gorgeous places on earth. I climbed frozen waterfalls and remote desert towers. I ran at night, during hurricanes, and bobbed face up, in the middle of lakes, in the middle of the night, in my birthday suit. I was searching and searching — for what, I did not know — and in the process I was failing and failing, powerless to pry the lid and taste nature’s mysterium tremendum."

Wrote Francis Sanzaro, a year ago, in "The Next Walk You Take Could Change Your Life" (NYT).

I'm reading that today because it was a suggested link at the bottom of a new op-ed, also by Francis Sanzaro, "When I Stopped Trying to Self-Optimize, I Got Better." That newer piece quotes Antoine de Saint-Exupéry — in his book "Wind, Sand and Stars" — "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add but when there is nothing left to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness."

"Although if I happen to change my mind, and the New York Times doesn't cover it, I'm going to feel pretty insulted."

Says Orin Kerr:

"Once, at a transhumanist conference, I listened to a man with magnets in his fingers bemoan the conformism of even those brave enough to radically alter their corporeal selves."

"The world provides infinite ways to modify the human body, he was saying, but all anyone wants are bigger breasts and bigger muscles. A debate requires a pose, a character, a strong narrative presence separate from the speaker’s well-armored sense of self. It’s a performance, not a reveal; theater, not therapy. What would Paglia say about this soft chthonic inability of four women to disagree with one another? Are we fated to meld into one sensible neoliberal? Faced with infinite choice, will we retreat to the safety of steroids and breast augmentation?"

Writes Kerry Howley, in "Scenes From the End of the Sexual Revolution" (Intelligencer). Howley is reporting on a debate organized by Bari Weiss, "Has the Sexual Revolution Failed." Apparently, the debate was "banal," and the 4 participants ended up mostly agreeing with the proposition that mothers should be respected.

Camille Paglia was not one of the participants, but we're told the audience saw a video clip of her and cheered. Howley calls Paglia "a brilliant woman willing to say crazy shit." That's one way not to be banal.

"I don’t know why people stick up for [Biden] so much... – when he makes bad decisions, like you.... I don’t know why..."

"... you and other people say, 'Oh, it’s okay that he’s destroyed the strategic petroleum reserves.' I mean, why do you do that? Or, 'It’s okay that he has open borders.'... I don’t know why. And I think that’s why the media has lost so much credibility."

Said Donald Trump to Kristen Welker in the unedited version of the "Meet the Press" interview.

Here's the transcript. Here's the video. And scroll down for the full text of the video, in which you can see how Welker — who is getting criticized for not inserting more fact-checking in real time — broke in to do what Trump called "sticking up for Biden." 

September 17, 2023

Sunrise — 6:36.


"In the interview, David Marchese of The Times asked Mr. Wenner, 77, why the book included no women or people of color."

"Regarding women, Mr. Wenner said, 'Just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level,' and remarked that Joni Mitchell 'was not a philosopher of rock ’n’ roll.' His answer about artists of color was less direct. 'Of Black artists — you know, Stevie Wonder, genius, right?' he said. 'I suppose when you use a word as broad as "masters," the fault is using that word. Maybe Marvin Gaye, or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just didn’t articulate at that level.'"

From "Jann Wenner Removed From Rock Hall Board After Times Interview/The Rolling Stone co-founder’s exit comes a day after The New York Times published an interview in which he made widely criticized comments" (NYT).

Wenner's book, called "The Masters," collects various Rolling Stone interviews, and every single one is with a white male. Good and obvious choices like Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, and Bono. But, come on, how could Wenner not have known he'd be challenged for omitting all women and all black musicians?!

Why wasn't he prepared with a response — and by that I mean an articulate response?

"Do you think there’s an element of like, 'This is a time where men could really be men,' that’s appealing to men about this?"

The Rolling Stone interviewer asks Mike Duncan, the "History of Rome" podcaster, in "Why Are So Many Men Obsessed With the Roman Empire?" 

Duncan responds:

"Oliver [Anthony] splits his time between the farm and a remote wooded encampment where he lives a spartan life in a tent and small trailer with his pregnant wife..."

 and their two young children. He and I both hope that his homestead can serve as a pilot site for my proposal... to build free healing centers in depressed communities across the nation, places that help reclaim a generation beset by depression, PTSD, loneliness, addiction, and mental illness."

The article says "Kennedy, a well-known conspiracy theorist," but it's causing me to think of conspiracy theories.

I'm reading "Armed man impersonating US Marshal arrested at Robert F. Kennedy event ID’d" (NY Post) and watching the TikTok video it quotes and links to.

Here are the thoughts that occurred to me as I was watching the video, preserved in real time (I'm quoting the 3 texts I sent Meade as the video played):

1. that really looks like he intended that to be seen and used after he committed murder

2. i suspect him of making this to create evidence that he was a lone lunatic

3. and i would not assume he’s a trumpster… he’s creating evidence here

Quote from the TikTok:

“I need to speak to the Hell’s Angels, I need to speak to the Mongols…. Let’s f–king break some kneecaps … Let’s f—k it up. I’m putting this planet on lockdown … Take care of each other, protect the women and the children. If I don’t make it back, call the f–king president. Your commander-in-chief, Donald J. Trump.” 

"The ways you can get infected with this bacteria are, one, you can eat something that’s contaminated with it [and] the other way is by having a cut or tattoo exposed to water in which this bug lives."

From "California mom had all of her limbs amputated after consuming bad tilapia: 'She almost lost her life'" (NY Post).

The bacteria is Vibrio Vulnificus, and here's a link to an article from last month, "New York State Department releases guidance after 3 dead from flesh-eating bacteria in New York, Connecticut." 

I think the problem with swimming and tattoos refers only to recent tattoos, in their healing phase. It would be quite something if getting tattooed represented a decision never to go swimming again. 

Meanwhile, the woman who lost all her limbs merely encountered fish, and it's not enough to avoid eating raw or undercooked fish. You have to worry about handling raw fish. Wear gloves.

"People don’t necessarily go into standup shows expecting airtight truths. They expect laughs, perhaps some trenchant observation...."

"[Hasan] Minhaj described his work as 'the dynamic range that theatre and storytelling and comedy allow you to explore.' Does that mean audiences should expect his words onstage to stringently hew to the facts on the ground? The slipperiness of memoir finds a new dimension when it’s played for laughs in front of a crowd...."

When the accused hires a lawyer, "It is a power game, because usually the victim has no representation, and I think it is completely unacceptable and unfair."

According to Prof Sir Steve West, former vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England and president of Universities UK, quoted in "'It’s a power game': students accused in university rape hearings call in lawyers/Parents of young men facing conduct panels over assaults are raising the stakes by bringing barristers to them, academics say" (The Guardian).
Smita Jamdar, a partner at the law firm Shakespeare Martineau who advises universities on sexual assault hearings, said: “There are increasing numbers of students choosing to bring cases of sexual misconduct of all sorts to their university rather than the police, and increasing numbers of very serious allegations.”...
Jamdar said institutions often brought her firm in because an accused student had hired a lawyer and the university needed support. “Everyone ends up arguing over legal principles that are utterly bamboozling to most student conduct panels,” she said.... 

"Mr Trump says he will resolve all burning issues within several days, including the Ukrainian crisis. We cannot help but feel happy about it."

Said Vladimir Putin, quoted in "Donald Trump pleased at praise from Putin: 'I like that he said that'/Former US president makes comment in interview with NBC after being told Putin approved of his stance on Russia invasion" (The Guardian).

The headline is — deliberately? — deceptive. What Putin said wasn't "praise." It was sarcasm. 
In that light, Trump's response — "I like that he said that. Because that means what I’m saying is right" — doesn't mean he's idiotically soaking up praise. Trump is simply taking the opportunity to restate that he can broker a deal.

Here, consider the tone and the context: