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I have a huge dose of chyrons and a great ouroboros

Saturday, February 9th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — chyrons as news haiku, and various news and docu screengrabs ]
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I’ve described chyrons — those verbal banners in the bottom third or fifth of a TV news screen — as the newsperson’s haiku. Headlines have long served a similar purpose, with their writers, seldom the authors credited with the articles in question, preferring puns to emphasis — puns, the “lowest form of wit” as they are sometimes mistakenly termed, James Joyce qv.

Chyrons, now — shorter than most headlines, and therefore tighter in their demands — are an art-form that sometimes calls forth subtlety and wit. I love them, not least because they’re visual verbals.. combining the eye-catching quality of the visual with the point-making clarity of the verbal — a double hit.

Here, then, from today’s haul of yesterday’s chyrons:

That’s the killer — a major war. Here are two more for context:

And let’s not forget ISIS:

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Here’s a sporting metaphor — I suppose I should say, both literal and figurative?

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Two versions of Roger Stone‘s fight:

And Dems fighting words, with flying without a pilot as a bonus:

CNN for a change, and the tax returns — so many, many fights!

Back to MSNBC:

Comic strip!

And an MRI instance, medicin aat its most inquisitive:

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Okay, a screengrab from the documentary on the Oslo and Otoya terrorist actions by Anders Breivik, 22 JulyBreivik as network cog and Knight Templar:

Oh hell, let’s close with two grabs from another docu, Evil Genius, first episode, the first grab noting the way a scavenger hunt was part of the bank-heist murder:

And the second demonstrating the route the scavenger hunt was designed to take, marked on the map in red — note the arrow at the end of the trail landing up where it had started — a clear and fascinating image of ouroboros:

Too good to miss! And that’s it for now..

Forget religion, it’s all politics!

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — Ukraine-Russia tensions reach Greece’s holy Mount Athos ]
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Holy Athos

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Forget religion, it’s all politics!

Thee title of the Guardian piece, which came to me via my admired scholar friend Michael Robinson, is Ukraine-Russia tensions reach Greece’s holy Mount Athos. Michael pointed it my way because “holy Mount Athos” — not because “Ukraine-Russia tensions”.

Nevertheless, forget religion, it’s all politics! (a popular refrain in our secular-dominant world)..

“Ukraine is an independent country and deserves its own church,” Makarios told the visiting Belarusians, who nodded dubiously. His view is not shared by all: a Ukrainian monk based at Makarios’s cell, Father Agafon, had a different opinion, calling those Ukrainians in favour of an independent church “splitters and heretics” and saying the Ukrainian church should remain under the control of Moscow.

and:

Although most of the monks on Athos are Greek, for many Russians, as well as Ukrainians and Belarusians, a pilgrimage to Mount Athos has become almost like an Orthodox version of the Islamic hajj, seen as a spiritual must for any true believer. Oligarchs and government elites particularly like the peninsula, with its difficult-to-obtain permits and air of a VIP club. In the weeks prior to the Guardian’s visit, Makarios said he had hosted a Belarusian army general, a number of Ukrainian MPs and several rich Russians at his austere cell.

Makarios’ austere breakfast, btw, is coffee and nuts — for the visiting generals, MPS and rich folk, too..

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Forget religion, it’s all violence and strategy!

With a meeting in Kiev on Saturday set to formally proclaim the church’s independence, some are predicting violence if Kiev tries to seize church property from the Moscow patriarchy.

Subtitle of the piece:

Orthodox church’s decision to make Ukrainian branch independent of Russia causes schism and predictions of violence

and:

M:alofeev blamed the Americans for the turmoil, claiming that “Pyatt is trying to stir up the same things he did in Ukraine” in Greece. He also claimed Bartholomew’s entourage was “infiltrated with CIA agents” and said the decision to grant independence to the Ukrainian church could lead to violence in Ukraine and Athos to split with the ecumenical patriarch.

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Forget religion, it’s all money!

One Russian who has been particularly active on Athos is Konstantin Malofeev, a businessman known as the “Orthodox oligarch”, who is currently on EU and US sanctions lists for his alleged role in funding the separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

and:

He insisted that most of Athos was united in its loyalty to the ecumenical patriarch, but conceded that the feeling was not unanimous. “There are some monks who just love Russian money,” he said with a sigh.

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Forget religion, it’s quintessentially religion..

For centuries, Orthodox men have come to Mount Athos, a closed peninsula in northern Greece, to sequester themselves away from the everyday concerns of the outside world. The only entrance is by boat, and women are strictly forbidden to set foot on the territory. Male pilgrims, after receiving a special permit, can visit to confess and seek counsel from the 2,000 monks at the 20 monasteries and smaller “cells” dotted along the hilly shoreline. It is one of the holiest sites of Orthodoxy, the eastern form of Christianity that split with Catholicism in the 11th century.

Monks enter Athos “to sequester themselves away from the everyday concerns of the outside world,” okay?

Athos runs on Byzantine time, an archaic system in which the clocks are reset each day at sunset, and it uses the Julian calendar, rendering Athos 13 days behind the rest of the western world. At sunset the monasteries shut their gates and a stillness settles on the peninsula until the bells ring for morning liturgy.

“People come here to try to be saints, and leave the difficulties of the world behind,” said Father Porfirius, a 27-year-old Greek monk. “The hardest part is to kill your will. We try to destroy it, to get to the level of obedience of Jesus Christ.”

Patriarch vs Patriarch (with Putin Plus):

All is not well in Orthodoxy currently, with a split linked to Russia’s war in Ukraine causing a schism and dark talk of violence among the various Orthodox churches. Bartholomew of Constantinople, known as the ecumenical patriarch and the “first among equals” of the Orthodox patriarchs, agreed in October to give autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox church, essentially making it an independent church. Patriarch Kirill of the Russian church, which regards Ukraine as its domain, responded furiously and announced a split from the ecumenical patriarch.

and:

Kirill has banned Russians from taking holy communion in the churches of Athos, calling any priests who bless the ecumenical patriarch schismatics, leading to a dilemma for those Russians who want to visit.

Schism is about as bad as it gets within Christianity. The Pope and the Patriarch are currently trying, with some little success, to heal a schism between Catholics and Orthodox which began as a dispute over a clause in the major credal statement — the filioque clause in the Nicene Creed — which broke the two major branches of the Church, east and west, apart in 1054. That’s more than a millennium of strife between brothers whose savior prayed at the end of his life [John 17.22-23]:

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

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Okay, kudos to Guardian writer Shaun Walker for knowing the importance of religious reporting of issues that also have economic, strategic, political aspects!

And let’s conclude with a link to this related Orthodox prayer page:

:Concerning the Orthodox Prayers for the Union of All and the Prayer in St. John 17
Excerpts from Ecumenism: A Movement for Union or a Syncretistic Heresy?
by Bishop Angelos of Avlona

Metaphors, more iii

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — continuing from Metaphors, more ii — which has become seriously overloaded and is listing, seriously, to port ]
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Almost all of these are references to Trump’s press conference with Putin, which seems important enough to call for its own post — there may be a couple of earlier statements dropped in..

For example:

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jump to 17.10 in the video, answering “What was your view of Vladimir Putin today?” “Well, Ari, it’s All Star week here in Washington DC. He won the Home Run Derby of all Derbys, Vladimir Putin .. I think this was a big victory for Vladimir Putin..”

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This too:

WILSON: “I do think, though, that a lot of people today saw the real Donald Trump. They saw the Donald Trump who comes out acting like he’s the swaggering alpha male and he sat there on the stage like a whipped dog. I mean, he wanted Vladimir Putin’s approval. He didn’t care about anything else. He wanted Vladimir Putin to pat him on the head and to tell him he’s a good boy and nothing else mattered. He was defending himself with these wild haymaker punches trying to bring Hillary Clinton back into the conversation, but it was very clear today who the boss was in that room and who wears the dog collar. And it’s Donald Trump.”

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And these:

not taking one on the chin..
i don’t know if they’d show up in his ofice and say, game’s up…
trump made a game-time decision to play things his way ..
he could have hit a home run, I’m ashamed he didn’t ..
it was a game-time decision that virtually no one in his white house approved of – ashley parker
was the white house awaree that they were likely gamed .. ?
trump has outgamed himself ..
the democrats are charlie brown, the republicans are lucy — sen chris murphy
the informational dark side of the moon in that meeting..
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Trump & Putin took turns on the tire swing yesterday — rachel maddow
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British economists prove it: Sports destroy happiness

Sports make the world a sadder place. Seriously. We’ve got data.
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Armed with 3 million responses to a happiness monitoring app, plus the locations and times of several years worth of British soccer matches, University of Sussex economists Peter Dolton and George MacKerron calculated that the happiness that fans feel when their team wins is outweighed – by a factor of two – by the sadness that strikes when their team loses.
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Which means, assuming a roughly equal number of fans on both sides, Sunday’s World Cup final between France and Croatia made the world less happy than it was the day before. On net, soccer is a destroyer of happiness.

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Bob Kerrey

He got played by Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin is going to play you, and play you he did ..
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Ari to George Will:

We go into this baroque fugue state

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this sort of Potemkin gun group in Russia ..
while we’re playing bingo.. [Ari]
here’s an easy one for you, here’s softball on hardball .. [chris matthews]
coming up: spy games ..
they do a walk back and a half twist ..
this is a very simple pattern ..
a russian diplomatic vehicle / miracle — and then, game over ..
trump torpedo
moral equivalency, tit-for-tat ..

there’s a lot of tit-for-tat in this .. [Jonathan Chait]
this kind of contrition theater ..
keep your bingo card open for a few more minutes, nicolle ..
gone beyond a goat rodeo ..
[ new terms ] helsinki republicans, helsinki humiliation ..
this is a velcro, not a teflon situation for him ..
appears to have walked back his walk back ..
“think of it as a player-trade” 11th hour/ swapping mcfaul for russians
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WotR: THE SHELL GAME: FUELING A FUTURE WAR IN THE PACIFIC

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Will Hurd, Trump Is Being Manipulated by Putin. What Should We Do?

By playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands, the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad.

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Nicolle Wallace Bursts Out Laughing as Jonathan Swan Talks WH Confusion: ‘No One Really Knows Anything’

Axios’ Jonathan Swan broke down how things are, um, movin’ right along in the White House at the end of this very chaotic week, but the way he described it was just too much for Nicolle Wallace.

Wallace brought up how Dan Coats sounded “unshackled” yesterday and asked, “What is the collective feeling among the White House staff about the fact that Donald Trump’s own appointees, who head arguably the most important government agencies… are no longer pretending that Donald Trump isn’t ridiculous?”

Swan noted how some officials are still “pretty buttoned up,” citing DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen, before telling Wallace the following:

“We’re finding more and more often that when we talk to people who work in the White House or at a senior level in the administration is we’ll ask them why did Trump do this thing, whatever it might be… In the early days of the administration, you could expect an answer that rationalizes, tells your game theory and whatever. Now they’re just like [makes an ‘I dunno’ noise].”

Wallace burst out laughing and Swan made the noise a few more times before saying, “They’ve stopped bothering trying to explain him.”

Game theory, see?

But you can hear that laugh, and Swan’s noise, at Mediaite, though I can’t find a way to bring the video here — if I could, I’d have a marbelous DoubleQuote with Andrea Mitchell‘s interview with Dan Coats and the interruption by a White House tweet:

A DoubleLaugh!

Snap!

GeoPol, the Kremlin & Putin’s Games in the New Yorker

Saturday, July 7th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — see also GeoPol, the White House & Game Theory in the New Yorker ]
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Playing Hockey Against Vladimir Putin, By Ben McGrath,July 3, 2018:

In May, playing hockey in an annual charity exhibition alongside a half-dozen former N.H.L. stars, in Sochi, Vladimir Putin scored five goals and assisted on four more. In previous years, despite learning to skate only in his late fifties, he’d scored as many as eight. “Western journalists ask me how it’s possible,” Slava Fetisov, one of Putin’s teammates and a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Detroit Red Wings, told me recently. “Let’s say Pavel Bure or Sergei Fedorov”—Hall of Famers both—“score two goals, and the President scores five or six or seven. I say, ‘You have to be in the right time, in the right place.’ That’s what our President does. He’s got a good shot. He understands the game. This is unteachable. If it’s in your genes—your blood—you can play.” Fetisov, who serves as a senator in the Russian Duma, referred to Putin as “one of the most popular leaders in the world,” and added, “this is one of the most unique examples in the history of big politicians, to show they can play the hardest possible sport.” He meant this, he explained, in the sense of providing a healthy model for children, who might otherwise succumb to “street challenges,” like alcohol and drugs. He cited other examples of Putin’s “God-gifted” athleticism: “He can ride the horse, he can swim, he can skate, he can ski, he can do judo and sambo and karate.”

One can be plenty familiar with Putin-related propaganda—the pectoral flaunting on horseback, the black-belt demonstrations—and still be surprised to hear it reinforced so explicitly in conversation. Fetisov is revered by sports fans on two continents, not only for his grace on the ice but for his courage in standing up to the Soviet regime that sought to prevent him from playing in the United States—which, he told me, is the only country other than Russia where he can imagine wanting to live. “The people are so warm, so friendly, so patriotic,” he said of Americans. The fact that relations between the two countries have devolved almost to Cold War levels is a source of distress for Fetisov, he said, and so, two months ago, in the interest of diplomacy, he smuggled an American filmmaker onto the ice in Sochi as a player on Putin’s opposing team.

The undercover on-ice agent was Jon Alpert, a winner of sixteen Emmy Awards, and the career leader in penalty minutes—“No one is really close,” he says—for a New York- and New Jersey-based beer-league team called Gitler’s Gorillas. Alpert is sixty-nine and skates with the slightly bent ankles of a novice, although, as a hockey-besotted teen-ager, he tried, unsuccessfully, to walk onto the varsity team at Colgate. He has a more distinguished record when it comes to securing journalistic access, calling himself “a normal guy who has gotten into really unusual places.” He founded the Downtown Community Television Center, in 1972, with his wife, Keiko Tsuno; its Web site describes him as “the first American TV reporter to enter Cambodia after the Vietnam War,” “The only Western reporter to interview Saddam Hussein” between 1993 and 2002, and, in reference to Iran, “The last reporter to gain entry into the Embassy where the American hostages were being held.” In conversation, he is no less prone to pointing at the scoreboard. “I did the last interview with a guy before the Taliban cut his balls off,” he told me.

His presence in Sochi was a kind of audition for a would-be film project he is calling “Putin on Ice.” Alpert wants to face off against Putin, one on one. “I plan to use analogies,” he said. “Cheating on face-offs, keeping your head up, using violence to settle disputes. We can find a parallel in hockey for everything that’s going on between Russia and the United States.”

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Okay:

We can find a parallel in hockey for everything that’s going on between Russia and the United States.

How’s that for sports metaphors?

Shorts 5: Apocalypse to Almond blossoms

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — mostly about beauty — let’s start with apocalypse and end with the blossoms, eh? reverse engineering! ]
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Hey!

Putin’s apocalyptic blackmail

In the Orthodox tradition, the Book of Revelations has not been among the most important texts. Yet there is something positively apocalyptic about the recent speech of the Russian Orthodox Church’s most important convert, Russian President Vladimir Putin. A nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed cruise missile that could circumnavigate the planet avoiding US missile defenses! A nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed submarine drone! And, most of all, a hypersonic “meteorite” too fast for American interceptors, a mighty ognennyi shar, a great “ball of fire”! (Jerry Lee Lewis was not credited, but then Putin’s Russia is not known for overly scrupulous honoring of property rights.)

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Jerry Lee Lewis ? That’s a pop refeerence in an otherwise serious context. Let’s see..

Pop paradise:

Religion (Zen??) in games:

Following the massive initial success of Alto’s Adventure, the team released a major update that added a Zen Mode to the title in 2016, which removed obstacles to create a more relaxing experience for players who simply wanted to drift off into the game world. It was around that time that Cymet moved his family from Vancouver to Toronto to work more closely with the team at Snowman, and he said that the ordeal helped “give me a sense of groundedness in this emotion we’ve tried to capture with the game, of going outside your comfort zone and putting yourself somewhere completely new that’s beautiful and interesting, and trying to find the beauty there.”

IMO, and with ref to the above and to zen, seeking beauty leads to prettiness, whereas seeking truth leads to beauty.

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Placing that game art in a binary context:

Adorno:

Like many émigrés, Adorno was initially disoriented by US mass culture, which had not yet overrun Europe as it would after the war. This disorientation became a principled distrust. He claimed that capitalist popular culture – jazz, cinema, pop songs, and so on – manipulates us into living lives empty of true freedom, and serves only to distort our desires. Popular culture is not the spontaneous expression of the people, but a profit-driven industry – it robs us of our freedom and bends us to conform to its needs for profit.

Scruton:

When Metallica appeared at the 2014 Glastonbury festival there was a wake-up moment of this kind – the recognition that these guys, unlike so many who had performed there, actually had something to say. Yes, there are distinctions of quality, even in the realm of pop.

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Okay, and to close with authentic beauty, art, culture….

A brilliant DoubleQuote in a single tweet:

Encouragingly, there are just such blossoms outside my window.


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