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Black Swan (bookstore) vs Red Hen (restaurant)

Monday, July 9th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — a parallelism post, more than one about free speech and civility ]
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Lexington, VA, and Richmond, VA, the logos:

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A neatly observed opposition, more or less a natural DoubleQUote, between the Black Swan incident where a fellow customer assaulted Steve Bannon verbally in a bookstore and the restaurant incident where the owner of the Red Hen restaurant ejected Sarah Huckabee Sanders, saying her views did not conform to the ethic — or should that be ethos — of the restaurant:

Now from a purely amateur natural history perspective, in a match between a black swan and a red hen, muy money is on the swan every time, as I trust Nassim Nicholas Taleb would agree. And Nabokov too, for that matter.

From a popular consumer interest perspective, if the match is bookstore vs restaurant, restaurant wins hands down — but I’d go with bookstore, especially if it’s a used bookstore..

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As to civility vs freedom of expression, thank God I’m not a cop or a judge — I require both. And that’s certainly a paradox, and probably a koan our society will have to face one of these days.

Steve Bannon as a person I find intriguing to the point of sympathy, because he’s read many of the oddball authors I have, though my resulting observations come out of left field, and his out of right..

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But none of that is what ultimately draws me to this post, it’s the delicious double parallelism of red vs black, swan vs hen.

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I’ve been wondering, putting together this post, whether the bookstore is named for NN Taleb’s celebrated book, or for the wildly popular ballet film of thet name:

Btw, Vogelgesang is birdsong: hen cluck, swan song.

Ouroboroi, mirrors, macro-micros, paradoxes &c

Monday, April 30th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — continuing my habit of collecting language, images included, which catch my attention — various forms of self-eating & other alchemyteries, mythematics and magics — mathemystics, Pythagoras for one, Ramanujan too ]
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<, >Ouroboros or the Mechanical Extension of Mankind by Garet Garrett

ries and

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Here’s a nice, succinct Trumpian self-reference:

I’d give myself an A+.

This one’s a particularly apt example of the ouroboros, as the phrase “comes back to bite him” is clearly derived from the verbal formulation “serpent bites tail”:

Trump’s ‘Fox & Friends’ Interview Is Already Coming Back To Bite Him In Court

Kanye, an admirer of Trump’s way fo doing things, Ari Melber, Fallback Friday, The Beat, 04/28/2018:

Kanye West doesn’t really believe in anything except Kanya West

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That first allegation, btw, is either true of untrue, which is why it’s called an allegation, eh? Same with the second, butt it’s the first that’s orouboric.

>>>

The Fifth Amendment protects persons from self-incrimination in these words::

nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..

Aha, further to this matter:

The right against self-incrimination is rooted in the Puritans’ refusal to cooperate with interrogators in 17th century England. They often were coerced or tortured into confessing their religious affiliation and were considered guilty if they remained silent. English law granted its citizens the right against self-incrimination in the mid-1600s, when a revolution established greater parliamentary power.

Puritans who fled religious persecution brought this idea with them to America

That’s the Puritan side of the matter, but they were of the opposite mind when interrogating Cavalier children:, inquiring (name of painting)

And When Did You Last See Your Father?

Do you suppose the Puritans would have let that young man plead the Fifth?

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A headline from War on the Rocks, Monday 30 April 2018:

CHINA’S BALLISTIC MISSILES THREATEN AUSTRALIA’S SELF-RELIANCE

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Continuing right here. Every ten additional examples or so, I’ll post & tweet a reminder.

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Fox News’s Sean Hannity busted again by Fox News

Were the Erik Wemple Blog anointed the chief scheduler for U.S. Journalism, we’d direct that all major scoops regarding President Trump hit the Internet between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on weeknights. Why? The better to uproot Sean Hannity’s nightly program, of course.

Because when news intrudes, the Fox News host exudes irritation. “I am told by my sources tonight that the New York Times is full of crap, that those are not — a lot of those questions are not the questions that the special counsel is asking,” said Hannity on Monday night after the newspaper published its scoop of 49 questions that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has formulated for Trump.

People might just remember another moment this past when Hannity dissed a breaking scoop from the New York Times, this time about how Trump in June 2017 had ordered Mueller’s firing. “At this hour, the New York Times is trying to distract you. They have a story that Trump wanted Mueller fired sometime last June, and our sources, and I’ve checked in with many of them, they’re not confirming that tonight.”

Later that night, Hannity was forced to confirm the news. “All right, so we have sources tonight just confirming to Ed Henry that, yeah, maybe Donald Trump wanted to fire the special counsel for conflict,” said the host on his Jan. 25 show. “Does he not have the right to raise those questions? You know, we’ll deal with this tomorrow night.”

[Sean Hannity cannot tweet his way out of journalistic corruption]

Well. At noon on Tuesday, Fox News host Melissa Francis told viewers of the show “Outnumbered,” “President Trump is reacting to the leak of dozens of questions special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly wants to ask him. Fox News has now obtained those questions after the New York Times first reported on them. … The questions were reportedly read to the president’s lawyer by Mueller’s team in March,” said Francis.

So: That makes two instances in which Hannity relied on his own sources to debunk the reporting of the New York Times, only to watch as his colleagues confirmed the paper’s findings. One more and we have a full-blown trend.

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Boustrophedon reference, plus Orpheus

Friday, September 1st, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — party time! — i have a strange sense of party, oxen invited ]
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I’m delighted to note a Boustrophedon reference. first by a poet, naturally, Ange Mlinko, in her poem:

A levitating anvil. Omen of seagull
Blown inland. Ranch gate said riverstyx,
but it was the woodland that looked lethal:

no place to put down your foot. Bucolics
demand boustrophedon.

— then in the New Yorker cmmentary by Dan Chiasson:

Art imitates life imitating art: “boustrophedon” describes the path that a plow takes as it moves back and forth in a field, the same serpentine path followed by rivers and by classical manuscripts that alternate between left-right and right-left lines of text. Soon, our contemporary Eurydice in the wrong footwear makes the momentous decision to “shed her red wedge / with its Mary Jane band.” Orpheus, who knows how the story ends, steps in to mansplain her error.

Boustrophedon — plus Orpheus!

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You remember how obsessed I am with boustrophedon?

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Yes indeed, something to watch out for.

Definitive ouroboros photo

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

[ Charles Cameron — yes, this! ]
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Picking up on symmetries observed

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — after Scaramucci on symmetry ]
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It’s encouraging — heart-heartening — to see Doreen St. Félix at the New Yorker picking up on An Image of Revolutionary Fire at Charlottesville:

Two points about her commentary strike my interest. The first had to do, specifically, with symmetry, an old hobby-horse of mine as you may know:

Steve Helber shot an image of peculiar symmetry, in which a man of fortitude was bearing a different light. Two men extend weapons: one is the Confederate flag, furled, hiding its retrograde design, and the other is an aerosol can, modified to eject fire. The figures stand in a classical configuration, on the diagonal, as if a Dutch master has placed them just so.

The second made reference to theology..

The composition of this photo is fiercely theological. The black man is wielding what the black theologian James Cone, quoting the prophet Jeremiah, might call the “burning fire shut up in my bones,” what James Baldwin would have identified as “the fire next time.” (Cornel West, a student of Cone, has advanced the liberatory concept of “black prophetic fire”; West travelled to the city to march with members of Charlottesville’s faith community on Saturday.) It is a pose that upsets a desire for docility; it’s a rebuke to slogans such as “This is not us” or “Love not hate.” This graceful man has appropriated not only the flames of white-supremacist bigotry but also the debauched, rhetorical fire of Trump, who gloated, earlier this week, that he would respond to a foreign threat with “fire and fury.” The resistance has its fire, too.

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I don’t think I see that image the same way St. Félix does. She sees fire on both sides — the fires of the tiki torches in the hands of the supremacists, though they are absent from this particular pohotograph, and the fire visible in the photo, wielded by the “man of fortitude”. Using an improvised flame-thrower strikes me as, if anything, more menacing than waving a furled flag, to be honest, and even though flame-man is in the lower position, his flame makes him, in my eyes, the dominant figure in the composition — and flag-wielder, correspondingly, even though holding the higher ground, more the underdog,

While my sympathies would naturally lie with those who protest supremacism rather than those who proclaim it, this image at first saddens me with the spectacle of fire-power unilaterally vielded by the guy I’d otherwise cheer for — and it’s only when I read a little deeper —

Long said that the protest had seemed peaceful until “someone pointed a gun at my head. Then the same person pointed it at my foot and shot the ground.”)

— that I began to understand why he, rather than the supremacist, might be the one who has feeling most threatened.

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I feel ambiguous, then, about St Félix’ reading of the photo, but grateful that someone has an eye out for form, art, symmetry, in the photo-reporting of a vile, incendiary event.


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