Alex Beam in the Boston Globe today, highlighted Scott Adams’ (the creator of Dilbert) prediction in in his blog August 2015 that the “Clown Genius,” as he calls him, would win a close election up against Hilary.
“On the surface . . . Trump appears to be a narcissistic blow-hard with inadequate credentials to lead a country.”
He added to the message in the Wall Street Journal this week:
“Humor is an extraordinary tool of persuasion,”
Adams compares Trump to Ronald Reagan, “a Master Persuader — someone who sees reality as malleable because to a large degree it really is.”
“Why does he say these things? He does it because he’s creating the future. The fact checkers are missing the entire show. The show is the president is describing the future by pretending it’s the present. It’s right out of the Norman Vincent Peale playbook.”’
From the New York Times. Some of my favourite movies from an incredible studio.
“When the New York Times’s chief film critics ranked the best movies of the century so far, many readers were surprised by the work at No. 2: Hayao Miyazaki’s animated “Spirited Away.” The rest of us wondered why it wasn’t No. 1.” I am one of the rest of us.
Check out, Sarah Manguso. Her website lists her books, and connects to lots of her articles. Is what she does “prose poetry”? Probably. But it doesn’t matter. It’s phenomenal. Tightly written short pieces. Often autobiographical. She has re-awoken my interest in prose poems.
300 Arguments (Graywolf, 2017)
Ongoingness: The End of a Diary (Graywolf, 2015)
The Guardians: An Elegy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2012)
The Two Kinds of Decay (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008)
Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape (McSweeney’s Books, 2007)
“The Japanese term kaizen translates literally to improvement, but it’s a term that has come to mean gradual, continuous improvement of a piece of collaborative work. It’s most commonly associated with manufacturing operations, but I think it has general application to almost everything, including writing. In companies that implement kaizen, workers look continuously for small improvements that can be implemented immediately. The philosophy was developed to adjust the work process from its traditional practices, back when making a new iteration of something was laborious and had to be done all at once.”Share This:
There is no album closer to my heart than Bright Phoebus credited to Mike and Lal Waterson, (it involves their sister, Norma). It’s finally been properly released on CD by Domino Martin Carthy plays on every track alongside Richard Thompson who is on almost every song. The deeply Yorkshire voices singing new material reaches right into the modern age. If you have never heard The Watersons, it might take a moment to hear what is going, but give yourself a chance.
One of the great joys of my early days in professional theatre was a Blade Runner-esque version of Of Mice and Men with an extraordinary actress and an amazing person, and even though our paths have not crossed in many years, my thoughts have gone to her several times, and I finally looked her up to find that she is just as extraordinary these days.
I have fallen for Frank. He speaks with quavering deliberation, as though he settling on the thought as the words form.
He is riveting as Gabriel, the Russian handler for the embedded agents, in The Americans. He pulls off a non-impersonation of Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon alongside Michael Sheen’s Frost that shows the intelligence and the deep distrust of a man who was closed off from reality and morality. In Robot and Frank, he plays a crotchety former cat burglar who is beginning to lose touch with the world, whose son gives him a “health robot” who by focusing on Frank’s health, gives him a new lease on life. The activities that they engage in are not all above board. Langella acting against the flat voice of the robot, drives the whole film at 10 mph allowing the audience to slow down and yet be drawm in by him. Time to see him in more films.
We are swimming in a world of lies and hype. Politics and the consumer society are mostly based on telling us what we want to hear. And we are happy to hear exactly that. Trump supporters and his haters both. “What do you do,” asked one of Steve Almond’s students, “if, no matter what you write, the reader won’t believe you?” Almond writes, “the nation, as a whole, seems to have no answer for it now.” And boy, we don’t. Even the sober mainstream press is not helping us take our eyes off the car crash that is our national experience at the moment. He goes on to point out that the rhetorical term for all this is “epistemic closure.” “Which is what happens when folks lock themselves inside an ideological echo chamber.”
What we have is “a president for whom lying is not a last resort but a vital political tool. The essential crisis here isn’t that Trump lies. It’s that his lies work because journalists continually debate and debunk them.”
Almond’s conclusion, is that we need to read the stories that are trying to tell us what is really going on. And to read those stories with an eye to where they might be slanted and find others to get as full a story as we can. We will never know all the details, all the facts, but lets live in this world and not some fantasy that feeds our insecurities.
“We need to turn our attention toward those who stand to lose medical insurance or clean drinking water or even the sustenance supplied by a program like Meals on Wheels. All of us must summon the courage to seek out news sources that challenge our beliefs using empiricism, not innuendo.”