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Too good to miss, recent miscellanea

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — i don’t know about you, but wondrous strange stuff passes before my eyes daily, as in a dream — here’s a sampler ]
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First off, two graphics too good to miss:

From my friend Rabbi Lobel:

and via David Metcalfe:

I should probably stop there — the two of them are so stunning. But I need someplace to park some other recent items that caught my attention..

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Then, a chyron ouroboros so brief as to be stunning:

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And here are a couple of other tweeted ouroboroi

And this one with the added distinction of coming from a Q-source:

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Best game as metaphor for politics meme:

Best folk religion image — Holy Child, Patron Saint of Gas Thieves

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BTW, does QAnon get it’s Q from Quelle, German for source and popularly abbreviated Q in New Testament studies, where it is the “hypothetical written collection of primarily Jesus’ sayings” (Wiki) on which Matthew and Luke draw for materials not found in Mark?

Or as I suggested to Ali Minai a day or two ago:

the letter Q is what you get when you try to construct a Moebius strip on a plane surface.

Don’t get me started on Borromean rings..

And is there a Q in that initial snake graphic, at the head of this post? Thus I bite my own tail..

It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 11

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — beating the drum, dancing around, clapback, bracing, blocking, curve-ball, armed to the teeth, showdown, passion play, game-changing, end-game — and some appalling religious hate ]
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Quotes:

Rachel Maddow: that new curveball in the Manafort case coming up next — stay with us ..

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Chyrons, ok:

Prosecuting Trump:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, aka AOC:

Then there’s this set of three horrific sub-captions, drawing distinctions between three major religions..

One on the National Emergency question:

And a game-changer screen-grab re Elizabeth Warren:

I chose these grabs for their wording, not their politics — bracing, clapback, massage, blocking, game-changing, hellscape — and those three stunning alt-right subtitles.

**

Quotes, continued:

Ari Melber:
04/5 Rob Rosenstein was sort of dancing around it [indicting Trump] when he spoke about the normal rules for non_presidents, so to say..
We’re now in this interesting period of a kind of an end game ..
We’re in this interesting end-game, and everyone is thinking, Who’s going to do what?
07/8 David Frum: Special Prosecutors seek prosecutable offences. This js a drum I’ve been beating since early in 2017.. There is a real risk that in this highly legalistic culture, that we look to Bob Mueller to do things that it’s really up to Congress to do ..
08 Frum: We’re not at an ending, we’re at the beginning of the game ..
Rep Joe Neguse: We’re not at the end-game, we’re at the beginning ..
Ali Mystal: Southern District of New York is the bear of the Trump vs Leonardo DiCaprio and this time we’re not sure the bear is going to let him 29: go..
It’s Don Junior and Ivanka who, to my mind, are going to be the first people over the falls ..
32 [SDNY]: If they have to play a role in this passion play, I’d set them up to be the Avengers ..
41 Bernard-Henri Levy: there is a massive attack, today, onbthe very udsea of truth ..
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Hardball, Chris Matthews:
17 Charlie Sykes: That would be the smart play ..
53: he needs to be a little more strategic about this — time your hits, do them in the right way..
towards end: We could be looking at a showdown between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in New Hampshire .. This could be what amounts to an elimination contest between the two of them ..
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All In:
He thinks he’s Teflon Don ..
Why he holds his cards so close to the vest .. he has another hand to play ..
He had an opportunity to show his hand, and he didn’t show his hand ..
32: Republicans came to the table armed to the teeth ..
?40 Elizabeth Warren: We are going to play by some rules that are way past now ..
55 Neera Tanden: .. changed their calculus on this ..
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Singing: In short, in matters quasi-international and criminal / [?Kusmani?] is the model of a modern major-general..
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53: the big/?/great reveal ..

So here we can add dancing around, beating the drum, armed to the teeth, showdown, passion play, end-game ..

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Previous Metaphoric Snow posts:

  • One delicious ouroboros and miscellaneous chyrons &c
  • I have a huge dose of chyrons and a great ouroboros
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 2
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 3
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 4
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 5
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons 6
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 7
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons 8
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 9
  • Second Civil War? It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons 10
  • From the Bunker

    Sunday, February 17th, 2019

    [Mark Safranski / “zen“]
    1

    Friend of ZP,  Dr. Robert Bunker had a few new publications lately with other Friend of ZP co-authors and I thought I would begin my return to semi-regular (or at least occasional) blogging by giving them a nod here. The first was run a few weeks ago at Small Wars Journal: 

    Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 13: Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) Command and Control (C2) Geographic Variations

    by Robert Bunker and John Sullivan

    Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) is a well-known and extremely violent street, and in Central America, prison gang with an estimated transnational membership of 50,000 to 70,000 individuals.[1] Essentially a transnational gang network, MS-13 maintains a relatively robust media presence due to its ongoing criminal activities within the United States, many of which have resulted in homicides and even torture killings, as the gang continues to expand into new communities in Texas and the East Coast of the United States. The gang is organized on a networked, i.e. biological (and/or software program) based model with open architecture ‘plug ins’ that utilize a cellular synapse/and open coding-like strategy that facilitates network linkages and alliances, i.e., interfaces with violent non-state actors (VNSAs). Such network interfaces and organizational schemes go by a number of terms including netwar (John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt) and open-source warfare (John Robb).[2] This note specifically looks at the C2 geographic variations of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) network in the United States, Mexico, and Central America (primarily El Salvador) and MS-13s interface with more powerful violent non-state actors (VNSAs) which result in localized hierarchical organizational expressions.

    Read the rest here.

    The second is a monograph at The Strategic Studies Institute:

    Contemporary Chemical Weapons ... Cover Image

    Contemporary Chemical Weapons Use in Syria and Iraq by the Assad Regime and the Islamic State 

    This monograph focuses on an understudied, but yet a critically important and timely component of land warfare, related to the battlefield use of chemical weapons by contemporary threat forces. It will do so by focusing on two case studies related to chemical weapons use in Syria and Iraq by the Assad regime and the Islamic State. Initially, the monograph provides an overview of the chemical warfare capabilities of these two entities; discusses selected incidents of chemical weapons use each has perpetrated; provides analysis and lessons learned concerning these chemical weapons incidents, their programs, and the capabilities of the Assad regime and the Islamic State; and then presents U.S. Army policy and planning considerations on this topical areas of focus. Ultimately, such considerations must be considered vis-à-vis U.S. Army support of Joint Force implementation of National Command Authority guidance.

    And finally, heading back to SWJ, a book – with Dave Dilegge, John Sullivan and Alma Keshavarz  :

    1

    Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities

    Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities provides a foundation for understanding urban operations and sustaining urban warfare research. This Small Wars Journal (SWJ) Anthology documents over a decade of writings on urban conflict. In addition to essays originally published at SWJ it adds new content including an introduction by the editors, a preface on “Blood and Concrete” by David Kilcullen, a foreword “Urban Warfare Studies” by John Spencer, a postscript “Cities in the Crossfire: The Rise of Urban Violence” by Margarita Konaev, and an afterword “Urban Operations: Meeting Challenges, Seizing Opportunities, Improving the Approach” by Russell W. Glenn. These essays frame the discussion found in the collection’s remaining 49 chapters. Blood and Concrete continues the legacy of Small Was Journal’s coverage of urban operations, conflict and combat.

    Probably not this kind of megacity…..

    See the source image

     

    Greed can do it as easily as Religion — or Time Itself

    Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — the passing of time is theft is the passing of all things ]
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    Here’s a quick stop-motion movie of the Temple of Bel, Palmyra, in four powerful frames.

    The Temple was originally gloriously decorated..

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    That’s Palmyra’s divine triad: Baalshamin, with the Moon god Aglibol on his right and the Sun-god Yarhibol at left, discovered at Bir Wereb, near Palmyra, 60 cm high (Louvre, Paris) (photo: Emmanuel PIERRE, CC BY-SA 3.0)

    The Temple was, in fact, until recently, an impressive ruin..

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    That’s the Temple of Bel, Palmyra, Syria, in a photo by Bernard Gagnon, GNU license.

    But then ISIS used explosives for a sacred demolition..

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    Credit for this and the final image goes to Reuters

    …and now there’s not much remaining of the glory..

    null

    End of film, end of story — setup for the point I want to make.

    **

    Stuff gets made or born, stuff lives or exists.. stuff dies, fades, crumbles, evaporates.. sometimes stuff is reboorn, salvaged, gets a second life..

    Consider the great temple of Angkor Wat, buit by Khmer artists, partly destroyed by centuries of weather and overgrowth, pock-marked by the bullets of insurgents & army.. now given a second life as a tourist destination.. Consider Tibetan mandalas, chalked out in detail, painstakingly painted in sand, then swept away, proof of impermancence..

    Well?

    **

    The establishment of monotheism in Egypt was accompanied by royal command with the destruction of what we might now call religious and cultural works —

    In rebellion against the old religion and the powerful priests of Amun, Akhenaten ordered the eradication of all of Egypt’s traditional gods. He sent royal officials to chisel out and destroy every reference to Amun and the names of other deities on tombs, temple walls, and cartouches to instill in the people that the Aten was the one true god.

    — in a manner that calls to mind some of ISIS excesses, their destruction of the Temple of Bel, for a recent and striking instance.

    **

    Indeed, places of worship have not infrequently been torn down:

    Lord what work was here! What clattering of glasses! What beating down of walls! What tearing up of monuments! What pulling down of seats! What wresting out of irons and brass from the windows! What defacing of arms! What demolishing of curious stonework! What tooting and piping upon organ pipes! And what a hideous triumph in the market-place before all the country, when all the mangled organ pipes, vestments, both copes and surplices, together with the leaden cross which had newly been sawn down from the Green-yard pulpit and the service-books and singing books that could be carried to the fire in the public market-place were heaped together.

    That’s from England — which suffered under Cranmer (Reformation) and Cromwell (Civil War), both of them politically influential Puritans.. who between them made ruins of many British abbeys — think Glastonbury, Fountains, Walsingham..

    Well, all that’s background, simply to establish that time’s river allows for the buildup by a wide variety of means and sweeping away of all manner of things animate and ootherwise, in a continual flux, a continual emergence, a continual impermanence..

    **

    But my point, remember?


    Photo credit: via Trib Live

    My point is that the thief of Pittsburg’s unique and valuable book antiquities deprives us of treasures of the mind in much the same way that ISIS does with its explosives in Palmyra. In the latter case: impassioned religion; in the former: simple greed.

    Appraisers discovered missing items and books that had been “cannibalized,” with entire portions removed, according to the affidavit.

    and the alleged thief:

    is charged with theft, receiving stolen property, dealing in proceeds of illegal activity, conspiracy, retail theft, theft by deception, forgery and deceptive business practices.

    Items of high value and greed, idolatry and iconoclasm — the cutting up of books from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh including a copy of Newton’s Principia is nend ot in the too different from what ISIS’ Kata’ib Taswiyya batallion did to Palmyra.

    Not too different, either, from the activities of Tibetan monks.. or, I suppose, wind, rain, and a thousand years..

    **

    Percy Bysshe Shelley:

    I met a traveller from an antique land,
    Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
    And on the pedestal, these words appear:
    My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
    Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

    Puppetry cascades, or “art is theft”

    Friday, June 22nd, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — and if you experience vertigo reading any of these cascades, feel free to hang in there vertiginously — or let go ]
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    Alright, here’s a DoubleQuote in images:

    I don’t believe there’s a direct borrowing (aka plagiarism, theft) here, but both images rely on a shared puppet cascades convention.

    **

    It’s been a bit of a yawn to say art is theft — at least since a few borrowings past Picasso, and maybe before him — what makes this pair of puppet cascades interesting is:

    First, that each depicts a portion of a cascade of puppets — in the earlier, My Fair Lady version, Bernard Shaw puppeting Henry Higgins puppeting Eliza Dolittle, while the recent New Yorker graphic might as well be X (unshown) puppeting Steve Bannon puppeting Trump with Jeff Sessions and Scott Pruitt, maybe.

    Second, note the X (Bernard Shaw) in the later version, and then ponder the idea that cascades may have a source, or may continue backwards ad infinitum, but Someone or Thing implicitly or explicitly needs to fill that X space. In the earlier version, Bernard Shaw does it, but that only begs the question, is Something puppeting Bernard Shaw? Deity, perhaps, or Muse?

    And in the contemmporary version, where the upper puppeteer is cut off from vision, They‘s a good guess for the X Who‘s puppeting the Bannon figure, because Bannon, They, and Puppetry are all widely associated with conspiracy theory. Oh, and think, X-Files!

    Hey, in reality Lerner and Lowe were making musical out of Shaw‘s theatrical Pygmalion out of Gilbert and Sullivan — and the cascade theft goes on and on, back into the mists and myths of antiquity..

    The actual figures in the New Yorker cascade are X, Lord Bell (representing Bell Pottinger, the PR firm), and, below, the brothers Atul, Ajay, and Tony Gupta. The article itself, The Reputation-Laundering Firm That Ruined Its Own Reputation, is well worth a read. And look at the illustrations careful documentation of the ownership-lineages it’s pilfering from:

    Illustration by Ben Jones; photographs by (clockwise from top): David M. Benett / Getty; Martin Rhodes / Gallo Images / Business Day / Getty; Foto24 / Gallo Images / Getty; David M. Benett / Bell Pottinger / Getty

    **

    Property is theft, now — that’s Proudhon.


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