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When one fantasy-come-true is proof of all the rest

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — sheer gossamer speculation about the trump effect ]
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There’s a sort of weird logic to it. Trump, the fantasist extraordinaire has indeed had one of his fantasies come true, and it’s a big one — “most powerful man on earth” — akin to being heavyweight champion of the world, but moreso. POTUS says it by implication: MPMOE makes it explicit.

Give the man credit for that, and then watch as he tosses out other fantasies — like a gambler scattering coins in a fountain after a successful night at a Vegas hotel casino — and declares them all true by extension —

biggest crowd?

  • if he’s the MPMOE, must be.
  • et cetera, et cetera

  • if he’s the MPMOE, must be.
  • ad infinitum

  • if he’s the MPMOE, must be.
  • never before seen

  • if he’s the MPMOE, must be.
  • last trump?

  • **

    This really has to do with magical thinking, or poetry as it veers towards prophecy perhaps, as in “and of his kingdom there shall be no end”.

    Or so I suppose.

    **

    Footnote:

    Russian President Vladimir Putin is the most powerful person in the world right now, according to the latest ranking from Forbes. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

    Putin has other fantasies, too..

    On humility: Clinton, Bush — and Trump

    Sunday, July 16th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — another “life imitates art” and a Trumpian ouroboros ]
    .

    In my view, humility shaves ckoser than Occam’s Razor — Occam tends not to shave our assumptions, while humility invites us to consider even our thoughts, even our certainties, as uncertain, as open to question.

    Did I mention I’m the proud owner of the domain name, Church of the Open Question?

    **

    Life imitates art:

    Upper panel: George W Bush and Bill Clinton on humility:

    Lower panel: from Madam Secretary, season 3..

    Trumpian Ouroboros:

    That’s actually brilliant, IMO. And Trump relishes and repeats it:

    Hey, Pope Francis is a close second..

    And then there’s this — delicious — from a WaPo piece titled Donald Trump’s Secret Service code name is less humble, more mogul:

    During a lightning round of a debate, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump picked a potential Secret Service code name that was truly coded: HUMBLE. When the braggadocious billionaire starts to receive actual Secret Service protection Wednesday morning, agents plan to call him something a bit more fitting: MOGUL.

    Okay. Mebbe that’s a bit more modest.

    Hm. MOGUL as in magnate, tycoon? Or MOGUL as in speed-bump on the ski slopes?

    Footnoted readings 02 – Acts of corporal mercy

    Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — a note at the intersection of material with spiritual ]
    .

    left to right: Emmanuel Levinas, Gershom Gorenberg, Elliott Horowitz

    **

    Gershom Gorenberg in March 28th’s Washington Post tells three stories from his own life of what I believe Catholicism would call “acts of corporal mercy” — feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting prisoners, visiting the sick, harboring strangers, and burying the dead (Matthew 25. 34-40). He concludes, honoring his mentor, Israeli historian Elliott Horowitz:

    He said, without pride or embarrassment, that he acted out of religious conviction. In Israel, the political stereotype of Orthodox Jews is of people concerned exclusively with settling the occupied territories. In the world, commitment to the most traditional forms of faith — Jewish, Christian, Muslim or other — is often confused with building walls between people.

    Elliott believed that faith demanded breaking down barriers between human beings created in God’s image. I believed that, too, but he pushed me to act.

    **

    It’s a story by and about a friend, and about human goodness. Apart from those two sterling but not uncommon facts, why should I care?

    I care because the story illustrates the Jewish proverb of which Emmanuel Levinas reminds us:

    the other’s material needs are my spiritual needs

    It’s not easy to bridge the gap between subjective experience and objective, physical reality, which is why the hard problem in consciousness is called the hard problem in consciousness — but this quote bridges the gap effortlessly, and in a manner that instructs us.

    Michael Yon on the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol

    Thursday, October 13th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron ]
    .

    king-bhumibol

    **

    Michael Yon on Facebook, and (illustrated) on his journal page under the heading Rivers of tears flow tonight:

    On one level, there is not much to say other than that one of the greatest leaders in history graced us for so long. He is the Father of Thailand. He was a champion of peace, freedom, and prosperity, and a good friend to America and to American people. His Majesty is loved by many Americans.

    Americans normally do not like Kings, but King Bhumibol is a great exception. Those who studied him grew to respect him, then to like him, and finally to share in the love for the King of Kings. The love for His Majesty is so immense that it could fill the Gulf of Thailand.

    Thais are among freest people on earth, thanks to His Majesty. He brought his millions of sons and daughters very far, and he taught lessons and brought inspiration to foreigners such as me.

    He was a musician, and good, and his photography was excellent. Highly educated, he visited every corner of this great country, into the deepest jungles to help villagers, into the mountains, out to the islands, down the rivers. He went everywhere. His Majesty was a man of the people. He wanted to see with his own eyes, and he did.

    Finally his body has worn out. We wish his body had lived to 110 but his body wore out. He spent it working for Thailand. But this is not the end. Only his body is gone. His Majesty is more alive now than ever before.

    Strangely perhaps, since I only knew of him from a smattering of press accounts, I too am moved to tears by the death of this man and monarch. May he rest in peace.

    WaPo just can’t bear their faces?

    Sunday, October 9th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — the words “substitute teachers” come to mind ]
    .

    There’s nothing like quoting the recent past to illustrate the near future, eh?

    presidential-vice-presidents-wapo-savedhttps://twitter.com/postpolitics/status/785172785417125889

    I guess these guys seem more presidential?

    **

    Edited to add: Okay, revised version, 20 minutes later:

    https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/785177688839520257


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