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The chyron blizzard continues, 17

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — Netanyahu parallel’s Trump on witch-hunt defense and many other things ]
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All In, Chris Hayes:

Michael Cohen clip:

There’s just so many dots that all seem to lead to the same direction

Elijah Cummings

When we’re dancing wth the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019 what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact.

Chris Hayes to Ro Khanna:

What is your response when they try to sort of gaslight us all that way?

Ro Khanna:

You don’t have to believe a word Cohen says, he has smoking gun evidence

The barrage of lies is so constant, creates a kind of noise, a sort of noise, it sort of can hollowv out peoples memories ..

Michelle Goldberg:

..The epistemological terrorism that the Trump administration practices on us every day to keep us in this state of kind of derangement and feeling slightly off-center and not being able to get your bearings in this moment..

Michael Steele:

Even hustlers have strategy.Even hustlers have strategy [ .. ]

Again, if you wantto deconstruct the administrative state, it starts with deconstruct the way you think and the way that you perceive reality [ .. ]

You throw a little more miasma in the miasma, and you’re ready to go [ .. ]

You don’t want to be the Democrat out there swinging from that limb, to have it sawed off, not by Republicans but by other Democrats

Michelle:

You might go out on a limb to say, Let’s indict him for being a Russian asset, but you’re not going out on a limb to say he was part of a criminal conspiracy involving campaign finance reform and that he probably wouldn’t have been elected President absent this crime

**

Returning you to your usual programming:

Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu is about to be indicted for fraud and bribery — a man whose father was the great historian Benzion Netanyahu, author of the monumental Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain, while his elder brother was the IDF officer who commanded the Sayeret Matkal commandos in the 1976 Entebbe raid, and its only casualty.

Impeachment discussion:

Dan Froomkin:


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I’m really disappointed in the coverage of the tpic of impeachment in the mainstream media. They tend to cover it as a sort of horse race, as a political story about optics

A few other random items:

Ari Melber to Hardball:

You’ve got the baton

Unsure, but good:

You don’t punish rich people. They just go on longer vacations and buy Picassos.

Metastatic zing

AM Joy:

Gabriel Sherman:

The problem is, the Republican party has been taken over by this cult of personality of a reality TV show.

Joy:

It’s incredible and extraordinary this is not like hair on fire, the top story all day every day everywhere.

Language! Shocking!

Alexi McCammond:

You can say a lot without saying a lot of words

Virginia Heffernan:

They’re intoxicated by the idea of his presence, they’re intoxicated by the possibioity that you’re doing something larger than yourself, that you might change the world if you hang out with Trump.

I think Michael Cohen supplied us, if nothing else, a way out of that kind of slavery to Trump’s vision.

Most of us who haven’t gotten close to him think, I wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole. He looks line, Michael Bloomberg said, he looks like a con man when he’s just on the dais, but then there’s people who get nearer him and suddenly turn into smithers..

Backing up this quasi-cultic analysis, here’s a quick quote from “I’m Sorry for the Tweet That I Sent”: Inside the Bonkers Michael Cohen-Matt Gaetz Apology

Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide, relayed to me a piece of advice that Roger Stone offered him when he entered Trump’s circle. “Roger warned me, ‘you need to be careful. I’ve seen it many times. When people start hanging around Trump, they start thinking they are Trump,’” he recalled. “You start thinking you can do the things he does — try to intimidate people, do outlandish things against them — and you won’t face consequences. He might not face consequences, but you’re going to. Everyone could become a kamikaze for him. Just look at Michael [Cohen].

Kamikaze reference too, btw>

**

Okay, one chyron from Rachek Maddow:

and a quote from Trump’s CPAC speech, indeed maybe the heart of his Presidency:

You know, I don’t know, maybe you know. You know, I’m totally off script, right … You know, I’m totally off script right now. And this is how I got elected, by being off script. True. And if we don’t go off script, our country is in big trouble, folks. ’Cause we have to get it back.

Walls. Christianity & poetry. And nations, identities & borders

Monday, February 25th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — continuing our probing of borders, and liminality, with hints of mirroring and parallelism ]
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Let’s start with a “borders” video for your consideration:

That’s worth viewing, though it’s no more the final word on the subject than Robert Frost‘s poem, Mending Wall:

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.

Walls here, I’d, suggest, are liminal as forming borders between one part of the neighborhood and another — but those gaps are likewise liminal, separating if you will one section of all from another. As this (minor) reading suggests, the situation is more complex than a simple statement that walls are bad / good.

Indeed, as here, poetry is often deployed in the service of nuance..

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We’ve had earlier Zenpundit posts on liminality and borders, among them:

  • Of border crossings, and the pilgrimage to Arbaeen in Karbala
  • Violence at three borders, naturally it’s a pattern
  • Borders, limina and unity
  • Borders as metaphors and membranes
  • McCabe and Melber, bright lines and fuzzy borders
  • **

    My interest here is first drawn in by succinctly stated patterns of mirroring and parallelism found in an Atlantic article, What Does It Mean to Be a Canadian Citizen? The first comes from JFK, and may indeed be his most frequently quoted utterance:

    Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country

    That’s the mirroring example.

    The parallel universes example suggested here is no less succinct:

    The time-honored saying “No taxation without representation” does seem to imply, as a corollary, “No representation without taxation.”

    **

    Okay, those are the two quotes that caught my eye for reasons of formal symmetry. The rest of the article, I’d suggest, is extremely interesting for what it says about borders, nationalities and Canada in particular. Here’s one of the writer’s crucial observations:

    About 24 percent of immigrants from Hong Kong return to the territory after acquiring Canadian citizenship, as do 30 percent of immigrants from Taiwan.

    You can see the appeal. Hong Kong’s economy is growing much faster than Canada’s. Its income-tax rates top out at 17 percent. Canada does not tax the foreign-source income of nonresident citizens, in effect creating a geopolitical arbitrage opportunity too attractive to miss: the protections of Canadian nationality at low Hong Kong prices.

    And this, from the concluding para, will give you an idea of the questions the article leaves us with:

    Is citizenship a kind of subscription service, to be suspended and resumed as our needs change? Are countries competing service providers, their terms and conditions subject to the ebbs and flows of consumer preference? Edmund Burke long ago articulated an ambitious vision of society as a “partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.” Does any of that still resonate? Or is it a bygone idea of a vanished age, dissolved in a globalized world?

    Punch counter punch

    Sunday, November 25th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — a perfect two-snake pattern from the WaPo headline writers ]
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    As patterns go, this one is hard to beat:

    Source:

  • Washington Post, John Roberts counterpunches the counterpunching president
  • **

    As you may have gathered, the human propensity for patterning is an enduring interest of mine, and my collecting of such things as ouroboroi, parallelisms, paradoxes, moebius formats and mirrorings is effectively a small pattern language study after the example of Christopher Alexander‘s Pattern Language. Mine, drawing its materials from verbal and visual exemplars rather than architectural ones, perhaps reveals more about the workings of the human mind, aka consciousness.

    The “outer world” has yet to catch up with the significance of these studies..

    **

    At a time when my worldly goods in book form consisted of fifty or so over-thumbed, used science fiction paperbacks and one hardback — I no longer recall what it was — I won a minor poetry prize of $50 and decided it was better to splurge it on one thing I’d really treasure than to dribble it away, a coffee here, a sandwich there.. much though I like my coffees.

    Henbce, for about $45, I aacquired my copy of Alexander’s book — hardback #2!

    An I Ching for the West! Nobel-worthy! A Master’s Masterpiece!

    Sunday surprise, the wind bloweth

    Monday, September 17th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — when inspiration is in the air — Sister Rosetta and Kathleen Raine ]
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    Two very different artworks, each beginning with an attempt to express where inspiration comes from.

    My friend and sometime mentor Kathleen Raine‘s great poem, Invocation:

    Invocation:

    There is a poem on the way,
    There is a poem all round me,
    The poem is in the near future,
    The poem is in the upper air
    Above the foggy atmosphere
    It hovers, a spirit
    That I would make incarnate.
    Let my body sweat
    Let snakes torment my breast
    My eyes be blind, ears deaf, hands distraught
    Mouth parched, uterus cut out,
    Belly slashed, back lashed,
    Tongue slivered into thongs of leather
    Rain stones inserted in my breasts,
    Head severed,

    If only the lips may speak,
    If only the god will come.

    **

    Compare the early gospeller Sister Rosetta Tharpe‘s Music in the air:

    **

    Sister Rosetta sings, Up above my head / music in the air, and Kathleen Raine elaborates, “There is a poem all round me, / The poem is in the near future, / The poem is in the upper air”.. I could go on to describe how Kathleen’s prayer then builds, in rhythm, rhyme, and agony, her description of what she would offer in sacrifice if the divine wind should answer her prayer with a poem — the poem we are in fact reading — and there’s surely no need for me to express further the joy that Sister Rosetta’s song itself invokes and embodies

    But I would like to note that commonality between them — of the inspiration waiting, for Kathleen “in the upper air”, for Rosetta, “above my head” — and to say that “upper” and “above” here indicate a metaphorical rather than a physical dimension..

    **

    And “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

    In this verse, the word for wind and spirit, pneuma, is also the word for breath — wind outside as part of the weather, inner wind as breath, and inspiration (literally, in-breathing) as what the inner wind carries with it — while the verb form, blow, is also related.

    Thus we may read the verse as meaning “wind blows where it wants, and nobody can tell where it comes from, or where it will go next” — or “breath breathes of its own accord, and no-one knows where it comes from or when it will cease” — or “inspiration cannot be forced, it touches down and takes off at its own pleasure, not at our command”..

    Like grace, it floats in possibility space, alighting at will, ever spontaneous, unmerited, never to be predicted.. Fortunate Sister Rosetta, fortunate Kathleen to have been visited.

    Metaphors v, We use sports terms all the time

    Sunday, August 12th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — I’m not the only one thinking sports metaphors are important, though I’ve been collecting a whole lot more examples ]
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    **

    There’s a NYT article — We Use Sports Terms All the Time. But Where Do They Come From? — as you see, tucked away in the Sports section, which I’d really like to transport over here whole, because it’s a sports metaphor article, not a sports article, and sports metaphors are a specialty du maison here at ZP.

    Let’s see if I can ferret out the gist:

    We’re talking about sports idioms, those everyday phrases ingrained in our lexicon, handed down from generation to generation. We use these terms all the time, without really knowing where they came from. Some of their origins are pretty clear: front-runner, on the ropes, the ball is in your court. But there are many others whose provenances are not so apparent.

    The world of sports is a particularly fertile ground for such terms, said Katherine Connor Martin, head of U.S. dictionaries at Oxford University Press. “Sports are written about and discussed a lot, and so have generated a great deal of colorful, specialized vocabulary. And competition exists in many other spheres of life, so sports terms are well suited to be borrowed into other domains, such as business or politics.”

    **

    **

    As I’ve suggested, the whole piece is a rich trove of materials for the sort of exploration I’ve been working on. Just a few minutes ago, as it happens, I heard someone on TV say in regard to the 2020 presidential election:

    If Michael Avenatti wants to throw his hat into the ring, great.

    As it happens, throwing one’s hat into the ring is one of the examples the NYT piece explores a little deeper. Their example:

    In The New York Times: Mr. Mahathir threw his hat in the ring in the recent national elections. Opinion, May 12.

    Their comment:

    Back in the days when boxing was a quasi-legal, rough-and-tumble affair, fighters and even spectators who had an interest in getting into a bout would signal it by tossing in a hat. It’s mostly used now in the rough-and-tumble field of politics to announce that one is running for office.

    Its first use, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, came in The London Times in 1804, in its literal sense: “Belcher first threw his hat into the ring, over the heads of the spectators.”

    Throwing in the towel would be, I suppose, the equal and opposite phrase..

    **

    Other examples they went into in similar detail:

    Wild-Goose Chase

    We need to get a little lost, pursue “productive and instructive disorientation, distraction, wild-goose chases, dead ends.” Book Review, June 4.

    Throw in the Towel

    Anthony Barile, the owner of this wood-oven veteran where other pizza-makers honed their skills, said he was tired and throwing in the towel after nearly 26 years. Food, March 27.

    Out of Left Field

    It was so out of left field and something so different than anything I’ve done. Movies, July 6.

    Hands Down

    Sue is, hands-down, the best at this. I would marry her in a minute. Television, June 21.

    Wheelhouse, Strong Suit, Forte

    One of the many subspecialities within Wright’s wheelhouse is Italian glass. Arts, April 17.

    and so forth, Back to Square One, Across the Board, and my favorite as a Brit:

    Sticky Wicket

    But ad-driven nostalgia is a sticky wicket. Australia, Feb. 7.

    **

    **

    That last quote, under the Sticky Wicket header, was from Australia, a little far from New York. The writer Victor Mather writes, almost as an apology for straying so far afield:

    “Cricket is the U.K.’s baseball,” when it comes to the lexicon, Ms. Martin said. It’s beyond our purview to get into British English too deeply here; there are British alternatives for many terms in American sports.

    I don’t know, however, that any American can suggest a baseball term or phrase as beautiful as the British cricketer’s triple pun:

    bowling a maiden over

    Over and out.


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