Dis n Dat

9 Nov

Diogenes of Sinope

Diogenes of Sinope

Hide your head in the sand but some terrible shit is happening in Gaza

Palestinian youth set up barricades in Surda, the Ramallah-area hometown of Muhannad Halabi, who killed two Israelis in the Old City of Jerusalem, as Israeli forces surrounded his family’s house on 6 October. Halabi, 19, was shot dead by police during the 3 October attack. Muhannad Saleem APA images

Palestinian youth set up barricades in Surda, the Ramallah-area hometown of Muhannad Halabi, who killed two Israelis in the Old City of Jerusalem, as Israeli forces surrounded his family’s house on 6 October. Halabi, 19, was shot dead by police during the 3 October attack. Muhannad Saleem APA images


Jason Kottke revisits a great moment in Web history, recalling Suck.com. And bemoans the disappearance of that Web

Formerly disgraced, former Boston Globe columnist Mike Barnacle writes about the heroin (overdose)epidemic in Nashua New Hampshire

Pete Dexter’s story about what working in a hospital is about doesn’t resemble those TV shows. Surprised?

Every October I await the announcement of the new gaggle of MacArthur Fellows, hoping against hope I will be anointed. To hear Thomas Frank tell it, I have a better shot at winning the state lottery

Baffler # 29

Baffler # 29


John Summers introduces the latest issue of the Baffler #29

..And in the lighter-fare department, we offer a more down-market patrimonial putsch. Close observers of the upcoming dynastic square-off for the presidency have noticed the word “cuckservative” bandied about throughout the endless season of GOP presidential primaries and caucus debates.

The “cuckservative” coinage, we learned, is an unholy blend of “conservative” with “cuckold,” intended to neutralize right-wing candidates believed to be lacking the cojones to stand up to the Man, or something like that. Demonstrating yet again the fatal incompatibility of conservatism with irony, “cuckservative” also derives from a Christian persecution complex rooted in the psychosexual racial perversions of the dwindling patriarchy.

Speaking of the Baffler, Kathleen Geier’s The Family Plot refreshes our understanding of a fundamentally rigged electoral process:

If there is anything salutary about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, it is his occasional refreshing honesty about our pay-to-play political system. In the first Republican debate, Trump said, “I will tell you that our system is broken. I give to many people. I give to everybody, when they call I give, and you know what? When I need something from them, two years, three years later, I call, they are there for me.” He added that after he donated to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign, he invited her to his wedding, “and she came to my wedding, she had no choice, because I gave.”

It was little remarked upon at the time, but that particular bon mot summed up just about everything amiss with the new millennium’s reversion to family-based patronage. There was, of course, the casual endorsement of campaign checks as the premier currency of elite influence-peddling: “When I need something from them . . . they are there for me.” The equally matter-of-fact invocation of Trump’s own wedding as another occasion for pressing flesh and granting political favors served to highlight the rampant mingling of moneyed prerogative and romantic rites of passage among America’s family-based power elite.

Who would have thunk it? Pappy finally spanks 41. Juan Cole observes:

In interviews given for a new biography, George H. W. Bush, 91 lets loose against Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, whom he clearly blames for many of the failures of the presidency his son, George W. Bush. But if you attend carefully to what he said, it is clear that he actually was slamming the Neoconservative cabal that Cheney and Rumsfeld brought to Washington with them. He said:

“I don’t know, he just became very hardline and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with . . . The reaction [to 9/11], what to do about the Middle East. Just iron-ass. His seeming knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East.”

There is a lovely new recording of the music of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona by three masters of the piano. Entitled Playing Lecuona it features Chucho Valdés, Gonzolo Rubalcaba and Michel Camilo with the impassioned vocal support of divas Ana Belen, Omara Portuondo and Esperanza Fernánde. Happily, there is a performance movie of this gifted aggregation.

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