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Venezuela: The Body Politic

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — zen mind would be blanker than mine, but mine’s getting pretty blank — evidence in the post below ]
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I’m DoubleQuoting that with:

**

Sources:

  • Jon Lee Anderson, Venezuela’s Two Presidents Collide
  • Michael Gazzaniga, Why do some people have ‘two brains’?
  • **

    So the body politic of Venezuela is currently of two minds.

  • Think about what you know of the two hemispheres
  • Think about what you know of schizophrenia
  • Think about what you know of the King’s Two Bodies
  • That’s a nudge. You may well be able to think thoughts along these lines far better than I. Ergo, I won’t do your thinking for you. Besides, if I did, I’d need to do three whole heaps of research, and my library is in storage, my mind in limbo.

    **

    Limbo?

    How anyone can conflate, or almost conflate, schizophrenia with lateral specialization with Kantorowicz’ theory of monarchy is, frankly, beyond me. But I’ve tried.

    Things within things, so to speak, and other stuff

    Sunday, June 2nd, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — strongs words on the significance of chyrons, honor and dishonor in the services, things within things and so on.. ]
    .

    Ari Melber and Jon Meacham talk twitter-fights and chyrons:

    This is a truly fascinating clip, containing not only Ari Melber’s nicely phrased “Bob Mueller brought a book to a Twitter fight” and Jon Meacham’s “The Mueller team has been out-gunned”, but also a discussion of chyrons — which as you know, I’ve been tracking in more than thirty recent posts:

    Jon Meacham again:

    Basically, Mueller is also fighting not only twitter but what I sometimes think of as Chyron Conservatives – you know, the chyrons are the captions at the bottom of the screen ..

    The power of the chyron is a really interesting force right now in our public life ..

    As you know, there are footnotes in the Mueller report, that have date stamped of certain TV chyrons that Donald Trump reacted to, to explore his mind as criminal evidence ..

    Two other Ari Melber quotes of interest — this one a variant on what’s already been said: “trigger fingers turn into twitter fingers” .. — and this one a quasi-ouroboric formulation: “guns as a solution to guns” ..

    **

    Shame and dishonor:

    Whatever officials were involved in the attempt to obscure the name of John McCain from the gaze of Donald Trump on the ship bearing that name — on Memorial Day — dishonor an honorable service.

    Navy acknowledges request was made to hide USS John S. McCain during Trump visit

    “A request was made to the U.S. Navy to minimize the visibility of USS John S. McCain” during President Donald Trump’s recent state visit to Japan, the Navy said in a statement.

    Also shameful, if not dishonorable: the scramble up Everest.

    The mountain is so crowded by those who want to come home and say I climbed Everest that they’re stumbling over one another. This is the mountain Tibetans call “Chomolungma”– “Goddess Mother of the Snows” — sacred, it seems to me, by virtue of its beauty — and now polluted by our petty pride.

    And honor:

    I was going to post in honor of U.S. soldiers Captain Silas Soule and Lt. Joseph Cramer, who refused to participate in the Sand Creek Massacre of 200 or so Cheyenne and Arapaho, many of them women and children, until I realized the piece I was going to point to was from November 2017. Their names do not age, but the news oif the annual run from Sand Creek to Denver is now a year and a half stale. . SO I’ll render them honor with these words:

    **

    Xi Jinping’s blind spot:

    **

    Some time when you have an hour — Malcolm Nance‘s intelligence-oriented conversation at USC packs a wallop:

    **

    And finally, things within things, so to speak:

    If I recall correctly, the Mughal emperor Jahangir is depicted as preferring to speak first with a Sufi sant, then with a lesser king, then with King James I of England, pretty faithfully rendered btw, and finally on the bottom rung of the ladder, with the artist.

    And let’s make that a DoubleQuote`:

    32, let’s begin with Her Majesty’s hat

    Sunday, March 31st, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — hat and flag, insecurity clearances, quantum physics and what it tells us about truth and spin, paris, city of lovers, sex, scandal naturellement, and would you believe it, treason? ]
    .

    Brexit. Her Majesty’s hat draws a clear parallel, but is it a metaphor?

    That was the hat HM wore for the 2017 Queen’s Speech to the joint Houses of Parliament — and we have no reason to suppose her opinion has changed since then. Visual DoubleQuote courtesy of Federica Cocco

    And then…

    I mean, what a nightmare…

    **

    But then, you can’t always trust the facts:

    I mean, news these daze:

    Spin corresponds to fact, like the hands of a stopped clock, twice a day.. (thanks, Wolfram)

    Here’s some detail from the Ars Technical piece:

    You, however, are in a box and cannot report your measurements to me. Instead, I have to measure your state to discover the result of your measurement.

    So what we have here, if I might say so, is a case of Matryoshka measurements..

    That means you are in a superposition state of having measured a vertical or horizontal photon, even after you have made the measurement. I can measure your state, and we end up with two sensible outcomes: you measure horizontal, and I measure you to have measured horizontal; you measure vertical and I measure you to have measured vertical.

    But there are two more possibilities: you measure horizontal, but I measure you to have measured vertical, and you measure vertical, but I measure you to have measured horizontal. If the second measurement is governed by quantum mechanics, those two are just as likely to occur as the sensible outcomes. So half the time, the measurement result you obtain contradicts my measurement of your measurement.

    Got it?

    If not read, the whole article, then read it again. Frown. You’ll get it.

    There is nothing wrong with either measurement, and there is no calculation that we can perform to resolve the contradiction.**

    **

    Reading an account of the Al Franken affair, focused on the questions of piling on (scapegoating?)nand equal justice for accuser and accused — two sports metaphors:

    Fellow Democratic senators quickly entered the scrum as they fought to be next in line to proclaim outrage and demand he should go.

    One of the most disturbing aspects of #MeToo is that watching someone get destroyed in real time has become something of a sport.

    In the course of reading in and around that article, I ran across this brilliant visual DoubleQuoting of the Christine Blasey Ford / Brett Kavanaugh matter:

    On such balance we may project each our suppositions: but to have achieved such balance!

    **
    And so to my dialysis viewing:

    Hardball, 3/29/2019:

    Julia Ainsley:

    He [Barr] doesn’t have blinders on, he knows the public criticism here..

    David Corn:

    It doesn’t look like he’s playing Even Stephen here..

    Zerlina Maxwell [on Barr making decisions ahead of release of Mueller report]: I look at this situation almost like the track and field runner that’s running down the hoe stretch, and they put their arms over their head, and then they’re crossed at the finish line..

    .. this feels like a premature victory lap

    Chris M:Well, David, Zerlina caught me .. with that visual of the President of the United States, this particular one, running a hundred yard dash. I don’t think that would be his event. I think riding a golf cart would be his event.

    .. that must be the sound of a bus going over you ..


    Chris M [ourob]:

    How can a white person [ie Hillary Clinton] bea racist agfainst white people?

    [ but cf “self-hating Jews”]

    With anyb luck, I’ll get access to a complete Hardball video for 3/29/2019 and be able to find the chyrons “DeVos grilled’ (42); Trump “overriding” (43); and “Trump questioned” (50)

    I have a note, “that’s the inverse of what’s true” which is a superb example of reverse (pos-neg) symmetry, cf the spy vs spy image in a recent post).. There was also a ref to David Ignatius, How the mysteries of Khashoggi’s murder have rocked the U.S.-Saudi partnership

    **

    Then there was the Green New Deal, with Chris Hayes:

    Seb Gorka: They want to take away your hamburgers. This is what Stalin dreamed of and never achieved.

    AOC: I expected a little more nuance..

    It’s surreal ..

    No more disposable people, no more disposable places ..

    Ref:

    A Green New Deal Is Technologically Possible. Its Political Prospects Are Another Question.

    **

    Rachel Maddow 3/29/3019:

    Rachel re Barr:

    It was kind of him free-styling, this was him showing off his dance moves ..

    Now, tonight, it appears there’s a little bit of panic in the disco, because now William Barr has released yet another unexpected, taken it upon himself, ad lib, figuring it out as he goes along letter ..

    **

    Let’s close with this stunning image by Stephane De Sakutin / AFP / Getty:

    A mold of the Genie de la Patrie damaged during a “yellow vest” protest at the Arc de Triomphe in December is seen during its renovation by the French restorer Agnes Le Boudec in Paris on March 25, 2019.

    King Canute, Imperial Beach, CA, and rising tides

    Monday, October 22nd, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — a coastal California town has learned the lesson King Canute either taught his nobles or learned the hard way himself — but what can anyone do about it? ]
    .

    **

    Okay, here’s the first para of Can a California town move back from the sea? Imperial Beach considers the unthinkable: a retreat from nature:

    At the start of each year, Southern California gets a glimpse into a future of rising seas, through an annual event called the king tide. On that day, the sun, moon and Earth align to create a heavy gravitational pull, leading to the highest tides of the year. If “king tide” sounds ominous, that’s because it is, particularly for a city like Imperial Beach, a small coastal town near the Mexican border surrounded by water on three sides: San Diego Bay to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Tijuana River Delta to the south.

    It doesn’t hurt that there’s a king reference there either, from my POV — because?

    **

    Because King Canute.

    As a Brit, I was introduced to King Canute at an early age, along with every last one of the other Kings and Queens of England — and their dates — memorize them! Americans, however, have shaken off the dust of kings and queens, and may not know the tale of King Canute and the waves. Was he, as my gold-embossed, colour-plated richly patriotic children’s book had it, an imperious royal who set his chair in the sand before the incoming tide, and not about to lose one inch of English sovereign soil to the waves, dared the Atlantic to encroach on his royal prerogative?

    Or was he, as Henry of Huntingdon, the original chronicler of the tale has it, a humble and wise, one might say ecologically sound king, who set his chair in the sand to demonstrate to his fawning and flattering courtiers that look, not even my royal command can overrule the laws of God — or Nature?

    **

    So, back to the humbling question — rising tides?

    Currently an anomaly, the king tide is a portent of things to come. Researchers warn that, due to myriad factors including the Earth’s rotation, California will deal with even higher sea-level rise than other locations, as the atmosphere and oceans warm. The oceans are now rising at a faster rate than any time since the last Ice Age, about half an inch or more per decade. While much of this is understood by researchers and informed readers, very little has been done by coastal cities to confront this slow-moving catastrophe.

    And Imperial Beach in particular?

    That is what makes Imperial Beach so interesting. Here, at the southernmost beach town in California, in an obscure corner of the United States, one small city is asking: What if we just got out of nature’s way?

    **

    Sources and readings:

  • High Country News, Can a California town move back from the sea?
  • The Sun, You Canute be Serious

  • Wikipedia, King Canute and the tide
  • New York Times, Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040
  • ipcc, Global Warming of 1.5°C
  • Decapitation — Variations on a theme by Vollmann

    Monday, September 24th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — preliminary to a rave review, i suspect, with Helena Bonham Carter as Red Queen thrown in ]
    .

    **

    There’s an old English saying, presumably about the martyred King Charles I:

    The King walked and talked half an hour after his head was cut off..

    Young boys, getting acquainted with rules and grammar, and somewhat literal minded as a result, find this statement a paradox, which, however, can easily be resolved by the addition of a comma or perhaps better, a semicolon:

    The King walked and talked; half an hour after his head was cut off..

    Older boys quickly learn the (semicolon) reason of the riddle, and eagerly apply the first version to younger boys, the better to perplex and torment them. And thus both versions, the beauty of the paradox, the ease of its resolution, and the cruelty thus made available are transmitted across the generations..

    **

    I have written this because the beheading of a king clearly marked my young soul, as I was yesterday reminded by three passages from an Atlantic review of Vollmann‘s latest Opus — Magnum III at least [I, II, and let us not forget, gods I would love to read this, Kissing the Mask: Beauty, Understatement and Femininity in Japanese Noh Theater]..

    Summits chopped off:

  • In West Virginia, mountains do not have their summits chopped off but are granted “removal of overburden.”
  • Decapitation:

  • His insatiable appetite for detail yields both irrelevant trivia (“Embarking on the Super Limited Hitachi Express, which was also known as the Super Hitachi 23 Limited Express”) and magisterial portraits of landscapes befouled by poking and prodding and, in the case of West Virginia’s mountains, decapitating.
  • Headless:

  • Vollmann breathes a cool wind “whose degree of particulate contamination was of course unknown,” hears on a silent street at night the grunting of a radioactive wild boar, and walks on broken glass through an abandoned clothing store advertising a 50 percent–off sale and peopled by headless mannequins.
  • Headless mannequins and radioactive wild boars — vivid metaphors, no? — we the humans have been brain-dead, and in all likelihood will continue so.

    **

    We’re all too familiar with images of ISIS executioners with their orange jump-suited prisoners, just prior to and after solo and group beheadings — as a corrective to the “it’s all Islam” narrative, here’s a para from an article titled Inside the Minds of Cartel Hitmen: Hannibal Lecters for Hire (which includes an interview with Robert Bunker that I will be taking a more extended look at now my review of JM Berger‘s new book. Extremism, is in):

    And the tactics employed in all that killing have become more and more gruesome over time. Maybe the rush felt by some murderers is like a drug itself, and they are junkies needing ever greater doses to get the same high. But how is it that ordinary people get hooked on activities like beheading, acid baths, and cannibalism?

    **

    Quoth the Red Queen: Off with their heads!


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