Serpent logics: the marathonSunday, November 24th, 2013
[ by Charles Cameron — oh, the sheer delightful drudgery of finding patterns everywhere ]
I’ll start this post, as I did the previous one to which this is a sort of appendix, with a (deeply strange, tell me about it) example of the…
Truly weird Matrioshka Barbie image http://t.co/Dt6NcY4xWa
— hipbonegamer (@hipbonegamer) October 2, 2013
That’s a piece of jewelry made out of disembodied pieces of Barbies from the extraordinary designer’s mind of Margaux Lange, FWIW.
This post is the hard core follow up to my earlier piece today, Serpent logics: a ramble, and offers you the chance to laugh and groan your way through all the other “patterns” I’ve been collecting over the last few months. My hope is that repeated (over)exposure to these patterns will make the same patterns leap out at you when you encounter them in “real life”.
Most of the examples you run across may prove humorous — but if you’re monitoring news feeds for serious matters, my hunch is that you’ll find some of them helpful in grasping “big pictures” or gestalts, noting analomalies and seeing parallels you might otherwise have missed.
Have at it!
Here’s another Matrioshka, from the structural end of lit crit that my friend Wm. Benzon attacks with gusto over at New Savannah:
I wonder if any work has been done to map the stories-within-stories structure of the Mahabharata as a tree or graph?
— Abhinav (?????) (@abhinavagarwal) September 15, 2013
You’ll recall this is the pattern where something turns into its opposite… as described in this quote from the movie Prozac Nation:
I dream about all the things I wish I’d said.
The opposite of what came out of my mouth.
I wish I’d said
“Please forgive me. Please help me.
I know I have no right to behave this way?”
Here are a few examples…
Ahmed Akkari Repents Violent Opposition to Danish Cartoons Lampooning Islam:
After a Danish newspaper published cartoons satirizing the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, Ahmed Akkari spearheaded protests that ultimately cost the lives of 200 people. Now he says he’s sorry. Michael Moynihan on what changed Akkari’s mind.
That one’s run of the media mill…
After over-hyping cyberwar in story after story – media now runs story after story about cyberwar being over-hyped.
— Ali-Reza Anghaie (@Packetknife) September 20, 2013
And this one’s from my delightful, delicious boss, Danielle LaPorte:
What if the opposite were true? #truthbomb
— Danielle LaPorte (@DanielleLaPorte) September 20, 2013
A friend sent me this:
RT On the topic of things you shouldn't do, but can: pic.twitter.com/KCeCtPbAYa (via @wesbos) -> @hipbonegamer for your serpentine logic series?
— Callum Flack (@callumflack) September 28, 2013
Let’s just plough ahead…
Nominalism is the category where the distinction between a word and what it represents gets blurry — a very significant distinction in some cases —
It's funny how 'mature content' is a phrase used primarily to mark immature content, especially with schoolboy humour in games.
— Chris Bateman (@SpiralChris) September 18, 2013
How’s this for naming your donkey after your President?
FOR THOSE THAT MISSED IT A FARMER HAS BEEN ARRESTED FOR NAMING HIS DONKEY SISI.
— Stanley Cohen (@StanleyCohenLaw) September 21, 2013
Consider this one, another instance of nominalism in action, from the French justice system:
A mother who sent her three-year-old son Jihad to school wearing a sweater with the words “I am a bomb” on the front, along with his name and ‘Born on September 11th’ on the back, was handed a suspended jail sentence on Friday for “glorifying a crime”. A court of appeal in the city of Nimes, southern France, convicted Jihad’s mother Bouchra Bagour and his uncle Zeyad for “glorifying a crime” in relation to the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11th 2001.
The classic nominalist image — with which I’d compare and contrast the French three-year-old with the unfortunate name and tsee-shirt — is Magritte’s cdelebrated “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”:
And here’s one final nominalist example:
There is something very pharisaical about pointing at other people and calling them pharisaical.
— Chris Henrichsen (@Chrishenrichsen) September 30, 2013
Here’s a potential downwards spiral, for those watching India:
Watching Modi watch Bharatanatyam http://t.co/dC4wcoZRCI
— TOI India News (@TOIIndiaNews) September 30, 2013
This one’s from Jonathan Franzen:
And meanwhile the overheating of the atmosphere, meanwhile the calamitous overuse of antibiotics by agribusiness, meanwhile the widespread tinkering with cell nucleii, which may well prove to be as disastrous as tinkering with atomic nucleii. And, yes, the thermonuclear warheads are still in their silos and subs.
People who used to queue for bread find it odd to see people standing in line to get a phone almost identical to the one in their pocket.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) September 20, 2013
Some of these categories seem pretty fluid — or to put that another way, some of these examples might fit with equal ease into several doifferent categories. Here’s another oppositional class:
Grad school, the inevitable process of feeling dumber while getting smarter.
— Hans-Inge Langø (@hilango)September 24, 2013
From Ezra Klein and Evan Solta blogging at WaPo’s Wonkbook: The Republican Party’s problem, in two sentences:
It would be a disaster for the party to shut down the government over Obamacare. But it’s good for every individual Republican politician to support shutting down the government over Obamacare.
A great “values” juxtaposition:
Just saw a picture of a Che Guevara iPhone 5 case which kinda contradicts everything Che fought for
— reema #HandsOffSyria (@rHouzaiXo) September 28, 2013
And hey, nice phrasing:
The Paradox of Desistance is … You can't do it alone ,but only you alone can do it !!
— Steven Duncan (@BlessheadSteven) September 17, 2013
Here’s an example of one of the central patterns of violence and justice:
Tit for Tat:
What Kenyans are witnessing at #Westgate is retributive justice for crimes committed by their military, albeit largely miniscule in nature
— HSM Press Office (@HSM_Press) September 21, 2013
[ the account this tweet came from, which was a media outlet for Shabaab, has since been closed — hence the less than euqal graphical appearance of this particular tweet… ]
And here, without too much further ado, is a whole concatenation of…
Serpents biting their tails:
@selectedwisdom did you just link to yourself via yourself?
— GregorydJohnsen (@gregorydjohnsen) September 24, 2013
You call it narcissism. I call it me.
— Nein. (@NeinQuarterly) September 20, 2013
[ … and that last one of Nein‘s appears to have been withdrawn from circulation ]
Wow. Doctors & medical journal sued for publishing an article that made malpractice suits harder to win. http://t.co/3N5qWs4Vq7
— Julian Sanchez (@normative) September 18, 2013
I remember seeing a speculation that all words were originally metaphorical. In the metaphorical sense of 'all,' I'm guessing…
— Allen Stairs (@AllenStairs) September 22, 2013
This one I love for its lesson on biblical pick-and-choose:
A man tattooed Leviticus 18:22 on his arm that forbids homosexuality, unfortunately Leviticus 19:28 forbids tattoos. pic.twitter.com/heZ2woyfzt
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) November 17, 2013
Obama's choice to run State Dept diplomatic security shot himself in the foot. No, not figuratively. http://t.co/ZbUjM5FisF
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) September 18, 2013
This one is also a DoubleQuote:
We hope you won't hate-read this essay about hate-reading http://t.co/gkHP3NIYix
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 20, 2013
when closely followed by:
Combatting Twitter Hate with Twitter Hate http://t.co/lmWCT7oauv
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) September 21, 2013
And this one really bites:
#Taliban killed by the very same mines they had planted in Sangeen, Helmand. http://t.co/ph8GHOSm6u
— Sana Safi ??? ???? (@SanaSafiBBC) September 19, 2013
To close the series out with more of a bang than a whimper, here’s Serpent bites Tail with apocalypse & gameplay for additional spice:
God hovers over "delete universe" button RT @NYTMetro: High-end restaurants feed their chickens their own high-end table scraps
— Teju Cole (@tejucole) September 17, 2013