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It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 5

Monday, February 18th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — a quiet weekend with no chyrons, but yasukuni, heavy metal, and three stunning headers on faith, forgiveness, and guns ]
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Kamikaze, yay! As war-relate epithets go, it’s among the very finest — strongest, most halo’d with associations — from my POV as mythographer and poet:

As myth and legend, dream and imagination have it in some circles in Japan, kamikaze is spirit wind, downward-rushing, warships targeted, headlong warplanes in full nose-dive, martyrdom almost — tinged with cherry blossom and droplets of blood, patriotism, self-sacrifice ..

The controversies swirling around the Yasukuni Shrine and its inclusion of war criminals as patriotic heroes is something we’ve addressed in Zenpundit before — for both the controversy and the mythopoetics, see these excerpts:

  • Zenpundit, Why is the Yasukuni Shrine so controversial?
  • Zenpundit, Japanese self-sacrifice with intent to kill Americans
  • **

    Saturday wasn’t a chyron-collecting day for me — I had the distinct pleasure of a visit from Omar Ali, and live conversation trumps Trump every time — so I don’t have many items to display here… but this one caught my eye today, Sunday, as much for the color of the header as for its provocative content:

    Heavy Metal Confronts Its Nazi Problem

    Among bands that are said today to fall into the category of N.S.B.M., as it is often called, are ?8?8??, from Russia, whose fans have given Nazi salutes during performances; a Finnish band, Goatmoon, which has performed in front of a backdrop resembling a Nazi flag; and Der Stürmer, from Greece, which shares a name with an anti-Semitic German newspaper whose editor, Julius Streicher, was convicted during the Nuremberg trials and then executed. Those bands and others, including Stahlfront, Sunwheel, Absurd, and Dark Fury, performed in December at the Asgardsrei festival, in Kiev, where Nazi-style displays abounded.

    Asgard, hoke of the Æsir in Norse mythology — sacred to some though not all Asatru in a way reminiscent of Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine..

    **

    Okay, moving along, here’s a football ref, buried in the text of Uranium One informant makes Clinton allegations to Congress:

    An FBI informant connected to the Uranium One controversy told three congressional committees in a written statement that Moscow routed millions of dollars to America with the expectation it would be used to benefit Bill Clinton’s charitable efforts while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quarterbacked a “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations.

    Don’t you just love quarterbacked? Like wingman and running point, it comes up all the time, but that was a stellar quarterback example in terms of paragraph content, ***** in my book.

    Which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve captured one of this week’s favorites yet — making an end run around Congress:

    Finally, I ran across three headers with religion-connected content today (Sunday at time of writing)…

    **

    A Senator praying his party would avoid a second shutdown may well be no more than a figure of speech:

    Republican Chuck Grassley was on the Senate floor, asking the entire chamber to join in seeking divine intervention with Trump. “Let’s all pray that the President will have the wisdom to sign the bill, so that the government doesn’t shut down,” he said, as Washington waited, once again, on its capricious President.

    Susan Glasser, the New Yorker writer, seems to take it a bit more seriously..

    So it’s finally come to this: only God can stop Trump, as members of his own party are admitting that they’ve basically given up trying.

    **

    The story here is best told in this image, the work of the artist Wendy MacNaughton recording the words of a National Portrait Gallery guard, Rhonda:

    Falling on one’s knees in prayer is definitely a mark of religion, even though Obama isn’t generally considered an object of religious devotion..

    **

    And this may be the most remarkable of the three. In the guns as religion article, it’s the mother of a teen-aged son who was shot and killed — a mother who is now a US Representative, Lucy McBath — who ssuggestd gun culture is an American quasi-religion — but she’s the one described in the article as deeply religious in her opposition to gun violence, refusing the request the death penalty for the killer of her son:

    We never considered pushing for the death penalty because I firmly believe that I am not the one to choose who lives and who dies. Morally and ethically, I believe that decision is left to God. We suffered so much pain and so much anguish, and I actually did not want to be the one to inflict that upon his family, and I didn’t want to be rooted in those kinds of decisions, because I truly believed that would be the noose around my neck and I would not be able to move forward to actively champion for safer gun laws and a safer gun culture, because that’s what I believed that I was given to do, and I couldn’t do that without forgiveness, and I couldn’t do that without releasing myself.

    That’s a stunning level of faith and forgiveness.

    Remember?

  • Zenpundit, From the Forgiveness Chronicles: Rwanda
  • Zenpundit, Of martyrdom and forgiveness
  • Zenpundit, More from the Forgiveness Chronicles
  • **

    Sources:

  • New Yorker, The New Republican Strategy for Dealing with the Emergency That Is Trump
  • Atlantic, The Obama Portraits Have Had a Pilgrimage Effect
  • New Yorker, Lucy McBath on the “Religion” of Guns in America
  • Sunday surprise special

    Monday, February 18th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — selected from among the very best of Dylan, Bach, and Joni ]
    .

    I don’t think I’ve ever posted either of these two pieces here on Zenpundit, but in my mind they’re the rock Passacaglia par excellence and the similarly towering classical exemplar — and if you’re exclusively classical in temperament, you may not know Bob Dylan‘s masterful Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands:

    while if you’re straight rock in taste and experience, may I introduce Bach‘s Passacaglia, certainly one of his greatest organ works, here played by Ton Koopman:

    **

    Okay, that’s the classical and rock compare and contrast — here’s Bob Dylan‘s peer — and there aren’t that many — Joni Mitchell, with her wonderful Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter:

    — and that’s a bonus..

    It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 4

    Saturday, February 16th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — manufactured, seized, slammed, gagged, shot down, bled, died — more marvelous & terrible metaphors &c ]
    .

    Here we go again..

    **

    Melber, The Beat:

    0 This is going to be a metaphysical, legal, rhetorical debate we’re going to be having for a while..
    7 You have the hammer being dropped on Paul Manafort ..
    11 You are saying we can do the over under with anyone who wants to play ..
    13 Look, I think the judge’s instruction has shown she is quite serious about not turning her court into a circus.
    You can’t go onto the steps of the courthouse, where witnbesses might be coming in, or prospective jurors, and turn it into a circus by holding big press conferences ..
    And we’re not going to turn it into some kind of reality show set ..
    19 More people in the mosaic are coming together
    32 Ralph Peters: So many people have died and bled for that Constitution, the least the Republicans can do in the Senate would be to risk a Primary challenge. It’s not exactly Omaha Beach..
    Ari: How can I say it fairly? Making the case against this being an emergency at his announcement of the emergency .. [paradox, ourob]
    41-2 Malcolm Nance: I think he {Sen Menendez] was signaling what people have been asking for about three years now. Listen, you know, that it’s finally filtered its way up to the halls of Congress, ton where questions like this, which we have been talking about every night for two and a half years non-stop, to where it can be put into the Congressional Record the query, What does a foreign power have over our President? now will lead out into the investigations which must happen. Clearly Donald Trump is in debt to Russia for something.
    Well, you mentioned the way information and politics, and I’m sure to some degree in the work you focus on, Where do people’s ideas about things come from..
    This is very serious pool ..

    Hardball:

    00-1 Trump: Everyone knows that walls work .. Everyone knows — that, Nancy knows it, Chuck knows it — it’s all a big lie, it’s a con game — if we have a wall we won’t need the military, because we’d have a wall ..
    Noah Rothman: The Maadisonian scheme is falling apart. No longer is Congress a jealous guardian of its own authority ..
    I don’t want a ‘two can play at this’ game type of political maneuvering that’s happening right now ..
    The wall is a McGuffin ..
    Power is a one-way ratchet ..
    Ann Coulter re AOC: She’s off the reservation, but everyone understands that ..
    Jeremy Bash: That meeting was a Russian government delegation meeting with the high command of the Trump campaign to talk about sanctions relief ..
    Their histories {Stone, Manafort] sort of follow around each other.. [dbl helix?]

    All In, Chris Hyes:
    California is prepared to call this what it is, which is Theater of the Absurd. California is prepared to continue to remind the American people this is a manufactured crisis ..
    We don’t want to participate in this show any more ..
    We don’t want to play. We don’t want to be part of this. We don’t want to be part of this theater. We don’t want to be part of this political misdirection ..
    maxine waters: He’s up against the wall ..
    coulter: forget the fact that he’s digging his own grave ..

    **

    Oddments:

    Tecovas western boots ad: Value is one of our values .. [ourob]

    It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 3

    Friday, February 15th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — further gleanings in the fields of MSNBC, my dialysis entertainment ]
    .

    Butterflies, no comment.

    Hoawk, ditto.

    **

    Feb 12 Nicolle:Wallace:

    Brand new reporting suggests that special counsel Robert Mueller may have evidence of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and that the investigation into a conspiracy or quid pro quo between Donald Trump campaign and the Russians is alive and kicking. Testimony from one of Miller’s top deputies delivered behind closed doors and in front of a judge in Paul Manafort’s case is akin to a unicorn sighting. It’s a rare transcript of a Mueller prosecutor describing in his own words one of the investigative theories around the question of conspiracy.

    Note reference to a unicorn sighting at top of that screen-grab

    __________________________________________________________________________

    MTP 2/13/2019
    DJT: We haven’t gotten it yet, we’ll be getting it, we’ll be looking for landmines, because you could have that you know, it’s been known to happen to people ..
    ChuckT: The landmines he’s referring to aren’t real landmines in front of his wall, I think he’s meaning political poison pills {metaphor for metaphor!!] ..
    ChuckT: Kasey, it seems as though everyone is playing a little political kabuki theater here ..
    It’s a sort of security blanket, rhetorically ..
    .
    Melber 2/13/2019:
    42 Rep Hakeem Jeffries: While Paul Manafort and others who were formerly associated with the Trump campaign continue to play checkers, while Mueller is playing 3-dimensional chess ..
    45 Rep Hakeem Jeffries: This is an Ari Melber freestyle that I’m doing right now — appropriate on this show, by the way
    47-8 Rep Hakeem Jeffries: That’s not the Hakeem Jeffries playbook, that’s the James Madison playabook .. *****
    this was a split decision — if this was a boxing match ..
    54: you’re talking about a double back-flip ..
    56: he’s the quarter-back of the [] .. who’s calling the play? ..
    59 triangular (check this) ..
    .
    Hardball 2/13/2019:
    14: david corn: you have to believe there’s aa lot of nodding & winking going on in that [cigar room] meeting and afterwards ..
    what they [russians] mean by peace is they win, you lose ..
    32: Chris M: many of the President’s Republican allies — is that what you call them, allies? stooges sometimes ..
    I represent West Point: that’s $250m that’s been appropriated, not contracted — so when Kevin McCarthy talks about a tool in a toolbox, he’s talking about a hammer to smash the new science buildings for those cadets, their new dorms — that’s the next generation of military leaders ..
    36/7 it’s a game — it’s a game to hide a failure when he could have had a good deal earlier ..
    55 Up next, a Trojan Horse in the White House .. [see War Hawk chyron above] *****

    All In Chris Hayes 2/13/2019
    06: Why is Trump’s campaign chairman, the guy who’s quarterbacking his campaign, taking some time out to meet with Konstantin Kilimnik who, according to court papers, is somebody the FBI has identified is somebody associated with Russian intelligence .
    19-20 rep jeffries: .. a russian operation to affect or interfere ith our elections, and that was a full courtr press. But what we also see is that there was a full court press of human intelligence agents or people with connections to the Russian intelligence agencies, who were obviously targeting the Trump campaign to get something out of them ..
    35 barbara boxer: if this is the way he plays, he should take his marbles and go home ..
    36: he’s cruising for a bruising ..
    37: you [jim manley] said mcconnell was basically ready to go to war ..
    .
    Rachel Maddow 2/13/2019:

    In that case, the case of Mike Flynn and his abrted sentencing hearing, you might notice a little melody, a little tune that recurs, that is becoming sort of a theme song for all
    When we look at these cases, when we can now see, over time, with all of these cases and all these dozens of indictments and dozens of
    .defendants, we can now see a little bit of a recurring melody, a little theme that you can recognize in how judges react when they hear about, when they see evidence about the alleged or confessed crimes of the people who have been caught up thus far in this investigation ..
    We also see that tune, all over today’s news, in multiple cases ..
    That same theme, that same little melody seems to be applying when it comes to the new case of Roger Stone tune ..
    But in the middle of all these things, the theme, the melody, is not quite recognizable. I mean, who has won, going up against the Mueller investigation ir any of the related prosecutions?
    That theme, which we can hear is running threrough all of these different cases and all of these different stories that bre in today’s news, is its loudest and clearest tonight when it comes to the President’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort ..

    ,
    Bryan Williams 2/13/2019:
    Is it fair to cast this in Hannah-Barbera terms and say that the folks on Capitol Hill are anxious to maybe just gently pull the pin out of this grenade, get it passed, and toss it down Pennsylvania Avenue?
    You really need to go for this .. to the mat ..
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Nicolle Wallace 2/14/2019:

    Because being at war with Nancy Pelosin will feel like a walk innthe park compared to the subversive, quiet, silent, sneak attacks from Senate Republicans. I mean, Nancy Pelosi is a master tactician, a master strategist, and a brilliant public sort of leader band general of her troops. Mitch McCaonnell is, sort of, plays cloak-and-dagger, and this White House won’t see his attacks coming ..

    Velshi & Ruhle 2/14/2019:

    All we can try and do is to ride the bucking bronco of change as it happens .. *****

    Pelosi 2/14/2019?:

    The President making an end-run around Congress ..

    **

    Two Bolton tweets:

    McCabe and Melber, bright lines and fuzzy borders

    Friday, February 15th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — exploring the notion that liminality is the strangeness of borders ]
    .

    Gadi Schwartz follows the border wall in the dunes where Trump’s prototypes have already failed the test

    **

    The topic area this post will explorenis that of liminality — one of the more helpful concepts anthropology provides us with — and borders — of considerable interest in terms of our southern border at this time, and closely related to the concept of liminality.

    In case you’re not familiar with liminality, my post Liminality II: the serious part, offers our best introduction to the concept. Trying to put it in brief: liminality is the strangeness of borders.

    **

    McCabe’s lines:

    Let’s start with Andrew McCabe and his forthcoming book The Threat, as excerpted in The Atlantic under the title Every Day Is a New Low in Trump’s White House.

    I’m starting here because McCabe mentions various types of lines — :

    McCabe writes that the President calls him — “It’s Don Trump calling” — on a phone line, unclassified, insecure as it turns out — but although that’s a line connecting two places and two people, it’s not the kind of line I’m interested in.

    He writes of a finish line, which he felt he’d crossed as he left the Capitol after briefing the Gang of Eight with Rod Rosenstein — in a secure SCIF — and that’s closer to my interest, with a quasi-geographical border-line, between the Capitol itself and the Capitol steps — as well as its mental component, a temporal border if you will, the completion of a significant task.

    He writes about “drawing an indelible line around the cases we had opened” during that brief, and the phrase “indelible line” has a definite, even definitive quality to it that’s significantly closer to my interest.

    And then he writes about the moral lines, the ones that really interest me because they’re so clear they’re called bright:

    The president has stepped over bright ethical and moral lines wherever he has encountered them. Every day brings a new low, with the president exposing himself as a deliberate liar who will say whatever he pleases to get whatever he wants.

    There’s no mistaking lines of that sort, they are real moral borders: light is on one side, wrong on the other

    **

    Bright lines and grey areas:

    There are, of course, what are known as grey areas, where the moral lines are not so bright.. and here’s where we can turn to Ari Melber and his special, Live at the Border, on MSNBC yesterday, which deals with a physical, geographical border-line that’s bright and definite — cannot be crossed — in some places, and far less distinct — an irritant in daily life, no more — in others.

    Melber’s Border:

    Some comments made by journos and interviewees in Melber‘s documentary stood out for me because they touched on this liminal nature of borders. It’s one thing to see lines on a map, and quite another to visit the varied landscapes and sociologies across two thousand miles of river, mountains, cities, desert..

    We keep talking about this border like it’s one thing, like its one place, like it’s a national crisis..

    The US southern border with Mexico is two thousand miles from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico: desert, mountains, farmland, cities, concrete, scrub grass, farmland, and a whole lot of sand, and one long river ..

    Texas:

  • The debate over the border and a wall may seem loike politics in Washington DC, but here it’s a way of life ..

  • Here the landscape takes over ..

  • The natural barrier here makes it almost impossible to cross ..
  • New Mexico:

  • The southern border of New Mexico is one of the most [unintelligible] parts of the country ..

  • t stretches across roughly two hundred miles of rugged terrain and barren desert, making it hard to know where the US ends and Mexico begins ..

  • e city of Sunland Park is actually at the point where both the state of New Mexico and the state of Texas meet, but also with the state of Chihuahua which is in Mexico.

  • It’s one region with one culture here, because, you know, I have families that live here in Sunland Park during the week, and on the weekend they go back home to visit their mom, their parents, their aunts, in Mexico ..
  • Arizona:

  • .. the interconnectedness of both sides ..

  • he reality is, the people who live in El Paso are the people who live in Juarez, they’re the same people, a hundred thousand people commute back and forth every day to go to work, to go to school..

  • In the State of Arizona it has 353 miles of border .. so long and varied the stories there are as varied as the terrain

  • This administration is using the desert to kill people and they’re dying from lack of water ..

  • This is Nogales, Arizona, but that’s Nogales, Mexico ..

  • .. it’s the rhetoric behind the border ..
  • California:

  • A massive sea of sand dunes spans the desert ..

  • It would be really hard to build a full-blown wall here, because the sands are constantly shifting throughout the year, but a floating fence, that is a different story ..
  • The issue:

    The wall is not the issue. And the border, this very real stretch of land with people, and families, and businesses, and churches, on both sides of the line, is not the issue. The issue is what this country as a whole looks like, and who gets to call it theirs — which is why the wall will never be built, and always be needed, why the border will never actually be secured but always need to be secured.

    The border is not what we need to secure; what we want is for people to be secure; we want people to feel secure. And that, that’s heart [hard?], and getting there and all that it would mean is something that no amount fencing is ever going to provide..

    **

    Further readings:

    Here are some of the other Zenpundit posts on liminality and borders:

  • 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

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