Twilight of the Blogs
THE ABSURD TIMES
TWILIGHT OF THE BLOGS
Illustration: the right not to wear a mask, ever.
Twilight of the blogs
It's time to learn what an aphorism really is.
Republicans made a big deal out of something they call "Critical Race Theory," and managed to do quite well with this idiocy. I posted an example of what Critical Theory looked like and was about to write about it, but other matters seemed more important. It is simply a series of aphorisms by one of the members of that school and, aphorism is not simply a one sentence smart quip: it is rather anywhere from a sentence to a paragraph one a particular subject, and a self-contained commentary on a p0articular subject. That's it.
It is NOT being taught in schools at all, anywhere in the United States. What is being taught is American History and taught accurately. It is a fact that we had slavery in this country. I'm not going to bother trying to summarize it – you probably know all about it. If not, I'm surprised you are still reading this.
I was not even aware that the most recent QANON fiction or "revelation" was that Joseph Kennedy was going to appear in Dallas Texas on the anniversary of JFKs assassination in order to join Donald Trump as the Vice-Presidential candidate to replace Mike Pence.
Everyone remembers Mike Pence: he is the one who betrayed Donald Trump by not messing with the electoral votes. Some remember the chant "HANG MIKE PENCE" repeated the insurrection. He was merely acting in accordance with the great Constitutional Scholar Dan Quayle that it would be illegal. Today, Pence claims he got his inspiration from James Madison. [You can't make this shit up].
Keep in mind that most Americans get their news from social media and that, therefore, facts, knowledge, and reason are not relevant -- mere assertion is sufficient! One might say it is preferred.
Despite efforts to have the remaining documents from the JFK assassination released, President Biden said they need more time. Now the event took place in 1963, precisely one year after JFK fired Allan Dulles from the CIA for misinformation and plotting our misadventures in Cuba. It is now 2021. That is almost sixty years, I believe. The report was actually not THE WARREN REPORT; it should be called THE DULLES report as the fired Dulles really was in charge of it. The only possible reason to delay further is to make sure everybody connected with it is dead. This is not a "theory", but rather it is what is happening.
Most Republicans either believe that the election was stolen or pretend to believe it. Of course, it was not, but if enough doubt is spread, they will believe it.
A lie, even if you know it is false, when repeated many times, becomes believable. This is at the heart of advertising. When I graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana, recruiters came to the campus and we were often paid five dollars just to be interviewed. I had no intention of taking any job as I intended to go to grad school, but enjoyed the extra money. I was interviewed by a major advertising agency. They asked me to write a jingle, so I wrote one in favor of nuclear testing. I had just heard that one by- product was Strontium 90, which weakened calcium, and it went like this:
"Strontium 90s good for me,
Gives me pep and energy,
Makes my bones as soft as silk,
Strontium 90 in my milk"
I felt certain that they would leave me alone after that, but they offered me a job, benefits, etc. See, it was something they could play ever and over and thus support government efforts to continue nuclear tests. This was a while ago, of course, but the principle remains the same today.
Democrats have no reason to concern themselves with the MAGA crowd. The only ones that have to worry about that are other Republicans who may run against them in the primaries. Whoever comes off the most insane will be nominated. Now, none of the voters will vote for a Democrat no matter what his position, but normal and reasonable people will if the Democrat can show results and commitment for some social program that will be of benefit to them. It is also important to get people angry at Republicans. That motivates them.
We Philologists know that the meaning of words change, but that it is also important to trace that change. Recently, I pointed out that 45 was a Sociopath, not a Psychopath and gave as best a distinction possible on Social Media. The other person had taken that to his own prof and asked about it and he acknowledged that I was right, but that the two words would eventually be used interchangeably. I said he was probably right as people no longer care what their words mean, just so long as they sound impressive. The same has happened to the word "Calculus," a form of mathematics first published by Leibnita but Newton claimed he had discovered it a couple of years earlier. He just didn't bother to publish it, and I believe him. Now, the form used by Newton is favored, probably because of the symbols he used rather than the ones Leibnitz used. Still, both discovered it independently. Now, today, it is often used as a synonym for "figured," or 'belief," as in "The candidate's Calculus is that if he endorses X he will get more votes." Not one fucking thing to do with Calculus and yes, idiots, I know the word comes from stones or rocks used in antiquity for counting, so shut up. The same had happened with the word "literally," to mean "really," not word for word. And don't forget "decimate," which means to reduce by a tenth now being used in place of "destroy". We simply see a steady decline of intellect with social media. It has been there all along, but on social media, it becomes obvious. And Webster's is descriptive, not prescriptive.
I keep hearing that Greta Thunberg has been mistreated and exlloited, misued for the "cause," and so-called by some people I respected and believed. I've never been told any details, sources, or anything else. I do know that she has a form of Autism that she calls her "secret weapon" which allows her to focues on a task for hours without tiring. Perhaps that is what they are talking about?
Obviously, this is an aphorism.
Now we continue to focus of the war against science. In an early demostration I saw a fascinating sign: DEREGULATE MY UTERUS. I'll never forget it, especially since we have a court that will probably overturn Roe v. Wade. I also heard a friend, a physicist; say, "I never thought I'd be demonstrating in favor of facts.
Holdouts: it does seem that, because it will help people and not necessarily corporations, the human infrastructure bill is blocked for now by one or two Democrats. The Republicans, of course, in classic fascistic fashion, all will vote no. An old remark is often cited, but people seem to forget where it comes from. Will Rodgers once said "I don't belong to any organized political party – I'm a Democrat."
I have heard that our President will continue the arm-twisting (I haven't seen any) until morale improves. We once had a sign that said THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES.
Finally: Critical Race Theory has nothing to do with the Frankfurt School and is misnamed. Also, nobody who protests it can cite a single tenet of it. So, here is an example, and it has to do with current events and so-called "systemic racism". In the Arbery case down south, a black jogger was murdered by several KKK or Proud Boys types. They were indicted and being tried in a court with 11 white and one black juror. This was accomplished through premptory challenges. It was done purely for racial reason in a jurisdiction where about 33% of the population was black, and a higher percentage showed up to volunteer. The judge said that it seemed racist to him, but he could not over-rule that. It had been tried before and overturned by the Supreme Court. Vindication only takes one vote.
Now, I myself am about as illiterate as they come on Rules and Procedures (although I do know FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) fairly well and rather found the cumbersome book helpful as for every objection one might have, I could find another that contradicted it. I did fairly well negotiating intellectual property. Once an attorney replied to my threat to sue (I think it was Merke, but it doesn't matter) he said "on what grounds?" Hint: never give strategy away. Instead, I told him "Oh we got a building across the street with a bunch of lawyers walking up and down and all the seem to talk about are grounds, grounds, grounds. Hadn't you best just relax and be sensible?" It worked.
Islamophobia: Islam is just one more target for right wing politicians, but I thought I'd clear a few things up before I left.
First, it is very strange to see the panic that ensued after the twin towers were destroyed on 9/11. A law was passed in either Kentucky of Tennessee forbidding Sharia Law. Our Constitution already forbids it, but those folks didn't know it. Second, when the Oklahoma City bombings took place, they actually arrested some guy who was in England at the time but who was a Moslem. If McVeigh has not been stopped for a traffic violation at the time, he might have escaped to Michigan to re-join the gang that tried to kidnap the current Governor. It never occurred that a white man could do something so unpatriotic, but our government never considered to possibility that it was linked to the shooting in Waco (on relatively flimsy grounds, it seems).
Here is where things get tricky: Islam is not a single religion. The first obvious division comes with a division between Sunni and Shia. Ir aq was ruled Sunni and Iran Shia. And so it goes. It is similar to, but not the same as, the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox. If you remember Dr. Zhivago and the Christmas party, you should remember that it took place in the New Year. (Actually, the birth probably took place in the warmer months; Easter is about the right time.)
I will simply focus on the many Sunni divisions or types (all of which are the "true" religion). A vast majority seems to focus on the Wahabbi sect (named after the cleric whose own family found him a bit strange). Many observe every day of the month of Ramadan which includes a fast *including water) from Sunrise to Sunset, Prayer five times a day, every day, and total abstinence from any Pork products. Women are to be masked and covered totally, never appear in public unless with a relative guardian, and so on.
The other end of the spectrum includes a somewhat elderly woman (to me, which mean in her 30s or 40s) who I knew was Moslem. I mentioned a doctor I visited and described him to her and his prayer five times a day and she said "That's too much Moslem for me." Another person I knew faced buying either beef for a price over his means and ham within his means. He grabbed the ham and said "When God wants me of be more observant, he will help me make more money."
There are all sorts in between, but one thing is uniform "They are not Mohammedans." Mohammad never claimed to be divine and people who did not have a clue invented the term.
However, there are all degrees of observance between the two. I will not go through this with the Shia side as I'm tired already and those who will not understand say along with Donald Trump "they attack me because I'm a Christian."