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More metaphor &c

[ by Charles Cameron — continuing the series, with a choice gobbet of Updike ]
.

from Meet the Press, 10/21/2018

**

I continue to find the close reading of metaphors an invaluable analytic tool, and one that is also of interest to me personally, for writerly, poetic purposes. I’ve expanded my search from its original focus on games — specifically including sports, theater, war games &c as metaphors for politics — to cover something I’ll characterize as fine writing — giving me the ability to note and quote across a wider range of topics and usages.

My last post in the series ran to 18 comments, each one containing a couple of dozen or so instances of metaphor or fine writing, and I don’t expect my expanded search criteria to expand my actual collection — if anything I hope to cut back in favor of writing other things. But when MSNBC’s Meet the Press splashes a great End Game banner on my screen, as it did today, see above, I still won’t be able to resist.

**

On the subject of fine writing, though, how’s this?

Dorothy Dotto, thirty-eight, happily married for nineteen years, the mother of three, a member of the Methodist Church, the Grange, and the Ladies’ Auxiliary. She lives, and has lived all her life, in the town of Elm Corners, somewhere in the Corn Belt; as a child, she won seven consecutive pins for perfect Sunday school attendance, and she graduated with good grades from a public school where the remarkable truthfulness of George Washington and the durable axioms of Benjamin Franklin were often invoked. Her father, Jesse, who is retired but still alive (bless him), for forty years kept above his desk at the feed mill a sign declaring, “Honesty Is the Best Policy.”

That’s John Updike, describing “the unimaginably tactful and delicate process whereby the housewife next door was transmogrified into a paid cheat” in what in retrospect looks like a major turning point in the American psyche — the loss of innocence that occurred when it was revealed that many hundreds of Dorothy Dottos had been suborned into a grand cheating system in what’s now known as the 1950s quiz show scandals:

The American quiz show scandals of the 1950s were a series of revelations that contestants of several popular television quiz shows were secretly given assistance by the show’s producers to arrange the outcome of an ostensibly fair competition. The quiz show scandals were driven by a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons included the drive for financial gain, the willingness of contestants to “play along” with the assistance, and the lack of then-current regulations prohibiting the rigging of game shows.

Back to Updike:

Now, as we remember the flavor and ethos of that innocent era, we realize that the contestants, aside from their freakish passion for Hittite history or skeet-shooting statistics, were meant to be us — you and me and the bright boy next door. This was America answering. This was the mental wealth behind the faces you saw in a walk around the block.

**

Okay, game shows, in addition to Updike’s undoubtedly fine writing, that’s a game reference. But a loss of American innocence? That’s not nothing. That’s something worth pondering..

In fact, a loss of innocence is fundamentally a loss of the default assumption of trust — and isn’t it precisely the loss of trust that leads to all those conspiracist theories of a mysterious “They” who run “our” world, Skull and Bones, the Bohemian Club, No Such Agency, whoever — and the ensuing distrust of and between political paetiues, leading us eventually to today’s:

**

And how’s that for a delicious paradox? The United States are now Divided as to whether they’re divided or united — with divided in the majority..

Okay, loss of innocence, let alone loss of virginity, may be strong language to describe the impact of those 1950s quiz show scandals on the American psyche — but something broke, a ratchet slipped, and perhaps we haven’t been quite the same since.

In any case, I’ll be collecting my usual snippets and gobbets of this and that — often sports, politics, war or strategy related, but also just plain curious or fine stuff — here in the comments section. And oh, btw, I’ve been misspelling gobbet as gobbit for years hereabout: forgive me, it’s spelt (spelled?) with an e, and means a chunk, primarily of meat or writing — no Gandalfian echo intended.

Ad now, as my friend David Ronfeldt would say, Onwards!

19 Responses to “More metaphor &c”

  1. Charles Cameron Says:

    Some clips from Meet the Press, 21/10/2018

    CHUCK TODD:

    Firing up his most-loyal supporters.

    PRES. DONALD TRUMP:

    I had heard that he body slammed the reporter!
    .
    CHUCK TODD:

    Good Sunday morning. And welcome to the choose-your-own-adventure midterm elections.
    .
    CHUCK TODD:

    At times, using violent language.

    PRES. DONALD TRUMP:

    Any guy that could do a body slam, he’s my kind of–

    SCOTT WAGNER:

    I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes, because I’m going to win this.
    .
    PHIL BREDESEN:

    Changing the players makes some sense. I think we ought to change the players.
    .
    SEN. DICK DURBIN:
    In order to deal with the deficits they’ve created with the tax bill for the wealthy people and special interests, they are going to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Those are fightin’ words for a lot of people, not just Democrats, but independents, as well.
    .
    agree with the president when he’s right, be prepared to fight him, if necessary, when he’s wrong.

    Unintended / unanticipated consequences?

    CHUCK TODD:
    I’ve talked to a lot of Democratic activists this week in Nevada and Arizona, a lot of Democratic strategists. And a lot of them complained, off the record, about how Senate Democrats handled the Kavanaugh situation. And they’re upset, because it impacted those races. Both races have changed post-Kavanaugh. What would you have done differently, if you could do it again?

    SEN. DICK DURBIN:

    Chuck, that’s a good question but a tough one to answer. We were dealt cards, in the Senate Judiciary Committee, we never anticipated. The fact that there’d be a letter coming forward from Dr. Ford, which eventually became public, which led to a hearing, which we had not even planned. All of those things were unforeseen. This was not some strategy that was laid out. It unfolded this way. We did the best we could under the circumstances. I still believe that we did the right thing in voting against Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.
    .

    More to come..

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Oh lovely! from A Trans Latinx Artist’s High-Fashion Critique of Colonialism:

    In her anti-memoir “Disavowals,” from 1930, the French Surrealist Claude Cahun wrote, “Under this mask, another mask; I will never finish removing all these faces.”

    Matrioshka masks!
    .
    Headliners — Jerry Brown:

    He’s a leader, he punches above his weight

  3. Overload in CO Says:

    Zen,
    look at the map behind the Divided States of America graphic. Might that be a map of the different time zones?
    Yes, the continental United States is divided into 4 different time zones. According to a poll, 99% of people agree that the USA is divided into different time zones.

  4. Overload in CO Says:

    Sorry,
    meant to address that last comment to Charles.

  5. Charles Cameron Says:

    LOL

  6. Charles Cameron Says:

    monday 10/22/2018
    the beat:
    he [bolton] also referred to that [rissianm 2016] interference as a true act of war ..
    i study rap battles for a living .. m 23
    today’s trump-cruz rally is the political equivalent of Drake and Pusher T making an album together. That will not happen. Because apparently family values are stronger in celebrity rap than in republican politics ..
    howell raines:

    I saw people of character cozy up to Gov Wallace in Alabama after much soul searching. That was pinochle compared to what we are seeing here ..

    in effect it’s a circus, and the only rule maker is the ringmaster, donald trump ..
    .

    .
    raines:

    i’m old enough to remember muhammad ali,and he was =most dangerous in the late rounds, in the final seconds of each round, when he would bewilder his opponents with a hurricane of punches, and i think that’s what we’re seeing from trump right now. he’s viciously effective as a closer ..

    right now he is viciously effective as a closer ..
    .
    [another analogy]:

    being able to take a punch, and in rope-a-dope in rumble in the jungle, he took a lot of punches before coming back — and sometimes that’s the most dangrous thing.

    from one point of view, you’re like pinatas out there ..
    .
    hardball:
    .
    i’m backed up wrt my notes on metaphor, hope to get caught back up over the weekend. for now, over and out!

  7. Charles Cameron Says:

    catching up, misc:

    driving around in a van with politicians with crosshairs on them – 1.33-4, msnbc, nicolle wallace 10/26/2018
    .

  8. Charles Cameron Says:

    mtp 10/24/2018
    mtp
    m 16 total crackpotism
    it’s a lay-up .. 1 i know Folks inside the white house put press on the president to go into that space, .. to make that lay-up, take the shot .. and the president throws the ball at the other end of the court ..
    34/5
    we were all coming up with these programs to try to figure out how do we keep isis from radicalizing people on line .. it turns out we need to worry about these social media programs domestically — how do we keep ourselves from radicalizing
    ourselves? [ourob]
    52 the war for the soul of the republican party is over .. an trump won ..
    melber the beat:
    donald trump has weaponized politics with names attached ..
    a partisan brawler from a reality tv show ..
    these are from varied recent days & sources –o

  9. Charles Cameron Says:

    steve schmidt on brian williams 11th hr 10/26/2018:

    we avoided a tragedy of epic dimension by good luck, maybe a little bit of providential intervention, and the fact that all of the security protocols worked — and that’s the only reason.

    i’ll probably make a whole post about this one, time permitting..
    .
    hardball:
    he’s playing the pastor here, when he’s part of the problem.
    sending pipe bombs isn’t saying boo, it’s political terrorism ..
    his trademarks have been bullying and intimidation, and vitriol can breed violence ..
    that crowd didn’t catch the change in the mood-ring ..
    lock her up doesn’t take a big jump to blow her up ..
    we can disagree without being disagreeable ..
    it’s a food fight .. gun fight ..
    this is the president’s attack list ..
    he should not be beating the tom toms of ..
    i have a runnning war with the media ..
    it’s part of the shtick now..
    will donald trump learn he has flown too close to the sun ..
    all in, ari melber:
    any guy who can do a body slam..
    campaign carried out by an israeli teen, not neo-nazis ..
    he found a father in trump
    he has a marvelous opportunity here — but he’s someone who has never missed an opportunity .. to miss an opportunity ..
    ‘shell game” ..
    someone has weaponized trump’s twitter feed into a hit list..
    ah, sports and politics!

    CNN is ISIS

    The phrase “CNN is ISIS” started trending on Twitter Saturday afternoon as Trump supporters had fun heckling the network.
    .
    Pro-Trump conspiracy theory website InfoWars got the trend started by offering $1,000 to “anyone who is seen on TV with a ‘œCNN is ISIS’ t-shirt or sign,” apparently in reference to comedienne Kathy Griffin’s ISIS-like photo shoot pretending to behead President Trump. CNN fired Griffin from her role as the co-host of the network’s annual New Year’s Eve program in response to the controversial photo.
    .
    At a rally in Washington, D.C., a Trump supporter was seen standing in front of CNN cameras holding a sign that read: “CNN Is ISIS.”

    two sources for sayoc van graphics & decals:

    Guardian, Annotated: the Trump memes stuck to Cesar Sayoc’s van
    Slate, The Many Right-Wing Memes Covering the Suspected Mail Bomber’s Van

    they think it’s theater, they think it’s like pro wrestling ..
    david corn on hardball: he’s playing footsie with this stuff ..
    trump is putting all his
    it’s off the trump playlist ..
    all in chris hayes:
    george soros mnailed it to himself [conspiracist ourob!!]
    it’s like someone has had a religious conversion experience ..
    President Trump: “I think I’ve been toned down…I could really tone it up…
    beschloss: i spend all my life looking for historical precedents, and i strike out ..
    he understood the stations of the cross of american politics .. !!
    smoke and mirrors ..
    snake oil ..
    he’s just trying to keep his supporters in a hermetically sealed chamber of spin and lies .. michelle goldberg ..
    risky game — but it’s also the only one he knows how to play ..
    .
    OKAY, I’M ABOUT CAUGHT UP WITH MY NOTES — it might be good to go back once the transcripts are available, and check some of these out — ONWARDS!

  10. Charles Cameron Says:

  11. Charles Cameron Says:

    Blast from the past: an ugly, politically successful visual DQ from @realdonaldtrump:

  12. --Charles Cameron Says:

    MTP Monday, Katy Tur:
    the regulars (at tree of life synagogue, among them many of those killed) .. the sturdiest branches of the tree of life ..
    tree of life — light of joy ..
    ari melber:
    note: kroger shooting
    richard stengel:

    let’s define this.. one of the terms that has become popular among people who fight terrorism is something called stochastic terrorism, which means a kind of terrorism that is fueled by mass media, by social media,it’s the weaponization of grievance, the weaponization of mental disorder .. this is something that isis 0racticed ..

    michael eric dyson:

    it’s not muhammad about which we should be concerned .. it’s bubba ..
    .
    a president using his bully pulpit to bully people ..
    .
    the voices of the victims are the voice of god ..
    .
    he’s basically an albatross ..

    hardball:
    it was plucked straight out of putin’s playbook ..
    .
    rabbi sacks on parshat vayera:

    This daring interpretation became the basis for a principle in Judaism: “Greater is hospitality than receiving the Divine Presence.”

    steve schmidt:

    he’s stoking a cold civil war in this country and it has turned hot on the periphery ..
    he creates a sense of shared and virtuous victimhood ..
    this is trump’s reichstag fire ..
    turning people into infested vermin ..

    ..
    .
    chris h:

    the false equivalency .. it is hard to get an arm around the asymmetry in american politics in this moment ..

    michelle goldberg:

    this kind of civic abbatoir we’ve been plunged into ..

    .
    10/20/2018 all in chris hayes
    he has a no-holds barred attitude/approach

  13. Charles Cameron Says:

    Gavin Newsom, the Next Head of the California Resistance

    A former baseball standout once recruited by the Texas Rangers, he views town halls as spring training for the rigors of governing.

    Hats off to writer Andrew Marantz for this:

    The news of the day came up once or twice, but, really, what was there to say? The killing was horrible, senseless. It defied all logic. I had a pedantic quibble with this, although, in the moment, I kept it to myself. The shooting was an egregious act of hatred, of course; and yet it did, strictly speaking, follow a twisted kind of logic.

    That’s from The Pittsburgh Shooting and the Dark, Specific Logic of Online Hatred. I don’t know that logic is the exact right word here, but there’s a dark, specific sense, a dark, specific narrative if you will, which may contain its own contradictions, twists and turns — but yes, there’s a dark sense that we can in fact, and should, make sense of.
    .
    raise the bloody flag ..
    courage on the gridiron ..
    in nicolle w, 10/31/2018:
    one more pugilist in a World Wrestling Federation contest ..
    the beat:
    a week from today, the gloves will be off regarding robert mueller ..
    this is his closing argument. the caravan’s coming, it’s dangerous — this is not clear — he got the army out to meet them at the border like the Alamo or something. i don’t know what he’s creating, this iconic fight here ..
    [ad] better sleep keeps me on top of my game ..
    .
    here’s an odd one –

    Democrats in prime position to take House, but battleground district poll shows wild cards remain

    My Grandfather Thought He Solved a Cosmic Mystery

    When I knew them, Francis and Claire were no longer at the lab; during my childhood, my mother would invite them for a month-long visit at Christmastime. Francis was a man of consuming obsessions. One year in the mid-’90s, it was a card game whose simple rules hid deep mathematical truths;

    .
    EXCLUSIVE: HOW ELIZABETH HOLMES’S HOUSE OF CARDS CAME TUMBLING DOWN
    .
    ari, 11/02/2018:
    the one oerson yyou don’t fight in the club is the bouncer ..
    hardball:
    this is really the battle of the bugles, the battle of the tubas ..
    all in chris hayes:
    it’s the political sports ..
    this is going to be like shooting fish in a barrel m37/8 ,,
    she (stacey) absolutely has a charismatic .. [check context for more]
    .
    nicolle 11/05/2018
    p[trump] ainting an astonishingly apocalyptic view [of democrats].. [check context for more]
    the mini-me analogy ..
    .
    i’m a religious man, but i’m not a prophet ..
    .
    ‘I know the ropes’: Pelosi makes her case for leader as Democrats chase House majority

  14. Charles Cameron Says:

    Russia Turns Up Uninvited to NATO’s Trident Juncture War Games

    The whirring of a low-flying Soviet Union-era war plane signaled Russia’s uninvited arrival at NATO’s biggest military exercise since the end of the Cold War.
    .
    Marines on board the USS Mount Whitney off the Norwegian coast had gathered for a group photo on deck, when the Tupolev TU-142 soared overhead.
    .
    “It’s a long-range maritime patrol reconnaissance plane,” said one fascinated Marine after casting an expert eye over the visitor. Although he had seen plenty of images of the aircraft, this was the first time he had seen it live, so to speak.
    .
    Russia has already made clear its displeasure over NATO’s Trident Juncture exercises, the largest by the alliance since the end of the Cold War. They warned that the two-week long exercise, which it sees as an anti-Russian show of force, would not go unanswered.

    rachel:
    even with the deck totally stacked in the republicans’ favor ..

  15. Charles Cameron Says:

    POST MIDTERMS:
    .
    “I’M VERY WORRIED ABOUT DON JR.”: FORGET THE MIDTERMS—WEST WING INSIDERS BRACE FOR THE MUELLER STORM

    But another source said Trump instructed Giuliani to stay off television to avoid hurting Trump’s midterm message. “Trump’s thinking is, ‘I gave you a lot of rope and now you got a lot of rope marks around your neck,’” the source said. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.)

    going to the mattresses ..
    .
    Trump warns of ’warlike posture’ if his opponents investigate him – video

    During a post-election press conference, Donald Trump told reporters he is prepared to work with Democrats now that they have taken control of the House. Moments later, he warned of a ‘war-like posture’ if the House Democrats sought to investigate him.

  16. Charles Cameron Says:

    Down for the Recount — a clever Atlantic political / sports pun ..

    Try to imagine the shhh of a combination lock turning on a secure filing cabinet in that anonymous building, the ghostly whisper of papers shuffling between manila folders, the steel roll-down gate ascending so Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort or Michael Cohen can emerge from the mouth of the underground parking garage, their souls now unburdened of incriminating secrets, having disclosed them in the windowless confessional of the special counsel’s conference room where, The Washington Post reports, Mueller, a “sphinx-like presence,” does not ask any questions himself, instead sitting in the back and letting his staff work the cooperating witnesses over, like a card player who lets his confederates do the betting.

    MTP 11/7/2018:
    Trump: They can play that game, we can play it better, because we have a think called the United States Senate ..
    As Sarah Palin once said, I can see 2020 from this table {Pletka] ..
    Danielle Pletka: This is what Donald Trump forcibly reminds me of, is Fifth Grade .. [the Republocan Party] .. or its going to be that Fifth Grade party in which the base votes with Donald Trump, because he sets the standard, or its going to be a party that stands up, and includes a lot of people that Donald Trump thinks losers and didn’t pick for his fricken volleyball team ..
    I think it’s a race to the bottom ..
    It’s not a dog whistle, it’s a foghorn ..
    This goes to the WWE thing. There’s still a part of him when he spars with the press, he still thinks its part of the show ..
    You have a president that essentially loves to essentially do [?] the rhetorical arts..
    The Beat, Ari Melber:
    Criminal organization that passes for an administration
    He did the same thing he did in picking Kavanaugh to be on the supreme court. He looked for somebody who would basically be a Get Out of Jail cards free .. Now he’s got two cards out there and it raises the question when happens when you’re holding two ace and Bob Mueller’s holding one.. We don’t know what he’s holding .. I was going to say he’s probably holding two jokers ..
    But DC clichés can overwhelm simple facts. Like the cliché that American politics zigs and zags in Presidential races..
    keyser soze .. puppets – [check when transcript available] ..
    ghetto boys ..
    Hardball:
    how far can he go with this gambit ..
    if he ever wants to pull the trigger ..
    corn: smother, strangle ..
    wartime consigliere..
    what a press conference it was .. street fighting ..
    Whittaker tweet “Note to Trump’s lawyer: Do not cooperate with Mueller lynch mob” ..
    How far can he go with this gambit ..
    It’s already a street fight .. they can play that game, but we can play it better ..
    Blood on people’s noses ..
    Break the glass option – heidi przybyla
    I think I am a great moral leader ..
    He came there ready to pick a fight .. wanted ton be seen .. fighting ..
    The goal .. they could duke it out with him ..
    Your mom is dead and I can kill fredo ..
    Look at an assistant to the president pulling a mic out of the guy’s hand – that’s physical ..
    Donald trump brought his streetfighting .. to the White House ..
    This is going to be one of the great fights of the American presidency ..
    He’s fighting for his life ..
    All in chris hayes:
    All bets are off ..
    blumenthal: break the glass .. firestorm ..
    natasha: he may have been playing his cards close to his chest ..
    to shoot the moon .. burn down the building ..
    .
    Trump Launches “Game of Thrones” Showdown with Iran

  17. Charles Cameron Says:

    CSIS, Artificial Intelligence and National Security David Sparrow;

    SO I ACCEPT YOUR SUGGESTION THAT WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT WAS PHYSICAL RISK, NOT INTELLECTUAL RISK. I THINK THERE WERE ELEMENTS OF HYPE ABOUT IT. I THINK GO IS AN INTENSELY DIGITAL GAME WITH RULES AND IN FACT, THE RULES ARE THE SAME ON BOTH SIDES WHICH FREQUENTLY IS NOT THE CASE IN WARFARE. [..]

    THAT SAID, IT WAS VERY POWERFUL ACCOMPLISHMENT AND ONE THAT WAS NOT EXPECTED, EVEN BY MANY IN THE FIELD. SHORTLY AFTER IT HAPPENED, MY WIFE AND I WERE DRIVING OUT IN THE SHENANDOAH AND THERE WAS SOME NPR THING WE HEARD FOR A FEW MINUTES BUT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT THE FACT, THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT THIS AS THE COMPUTER BEAT THE WORLD’S BEST PLAYER OF GO. THAT’S ONE WAY TO LOOK AT IT BUT I THINK THE RIGHT WAY TO LOOK AT IT IS 300 OF THE BEST COMPUTER SCIENTISTS WITH UNLIMITED BUDGET AND UNLIMITED ACCESS TO COMPUTER POWER, MOST OF WHOM WERE DECENT GO PLAYERS, WERE ABLE TO POOL THEIR RESOURCES AND BEAT THE BEST SINGLE INDIVIDUAL AT GO. AND WHEN YOU DESCRIBE IT THAT WAY, THEN THE HYPE IS STAMPED OUT. BUT YOU MADE AN INTERESTING DISTINCTION BETWEEN INTELLECTUAL RISK AND PHYSICAL RISK THAT I HAD NOT MADE BEFORE. THANK YOU

    Hardball:

    when we look at polls in the media, we see the horse race; when we look at polls in a campaign, we’re constantly looking for gettable votes ..

    fumble the ball [get context when transcribed] ..
    m 46 he was their horse in the race and they .. make sure he wins
    .
    11/10/2918 ??
    turned on him with fangs bared
    sharpton:

    this is not about when he’ll leave the stage, this is about him restructuring the whole judicial system..

    **

    and you know what, frankly the Kremlin tends to be right about President Trump’s movements and actions when it comes to Russia, even when thr White House isn’t ..

    Protest is as American as football. Why doesn’t Trump get it?

  18. Charles Cameron Says:

    You know, I’m deeply abstract, disentangled from much of what goes on, ivory towered if you like, and although I’ve posted numerous posts about threeness and threeness games, I don’t think I’ve ever thought to mention threesoms, love triangles, &c, which can tip all too easily from friendly to murderous.
    .
    nor did i know anything, until a casual reference on a TV show I was uninterested in gave me a hint to check love triangles, about Karpman and his triangle:

    The drama triangle is a social model that was conceived by Stephen Karpman, a student studying under Eric Berne, the father of transactional analysis. Berne encouraged Karpman to publish what Berne referred to as “Karpman’s triangle”. Karpman’s article was published in 1968. Karpman received the Eric Berne Memorial Scientific Award in 1972 for this work.
    .
    Through popular usage and the work of Karpman and others, Karpman’s triangle has been adapted for use in structural analysis (defining the conflict roles of persecutor, victim, and rescuer) and transactional analysis (diagramming how participants switch roles in conflict).

    Here:

    some more:
    broward county is sometimes called the florida of florida..
    .
    ‘Preparing for the worst’: Mueller anxiety pervades Trump world

    But half a dozen people in contact with the White House and other Trump officials say a deep anxiety has started to set in that Mueller is about to pounce after his self-imposed quiet period, and that any number of Trump’s allies and family members may soon be staring down the barrel of an indictment.

  19. Charles Cameron Says:

    The Worst Is Yet to Come for California’s Wildfires

    Forest fires might be seen as the particularly horrific edge of a sword that is coming for us all.

    into this flies the julian assange hand grenade ..

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