Journal 08/31/2017 (a.m.)

  • tags: nutrition

    • Just as we reached the final, dregs-and-leftovers phase of summer, the first pure, truly emblematic, undeniable piece of pop art of the Trump era landed right in our laps. Two nights before the fight, Taylor Swift unloaded her new single “Look What You Made Me Do,” and although Trump still seems wedded to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” as his signature rally-closer, he really should consider an update. Swift’s tour de force of deflective petulance is amazing: It’s essentially a catalogue of every public feud she’s had that, without naming them, manages to extend, mock, and, most important, commodify them. (Side note: Do you know anyone in real life who has “feuds” who isn’t utterly insufferable?) “Look What You Made Me Do” — it’s right there in the title — is an anthem that turns the abrogation of personal responsibility into a posturing statement of empowerment. With its tense “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? … ’Cause she’s dead!” it embraces the possibility of calling “Do over!” as a form of self-realization, and imagines a world in which a clean slate means never having to say you’re sorry because every conceivable way you lash out must be someone else’s fault. Is Taylor Swift to blame for anything? How can any of us know? There was violence on many sides, many sides.
    • Swift is a perfect, golden avatar of our moment, a child of the new century who understands celebrity as a form of constant curation of one’s brand the way that Madonna, a child of the old century, understood it as an act of persona creation. Whether or not she is a Trump supporter, she is an embodiment of Trump culture.
    • But as we watch Swift’s video — and yes, I get it, it’s not a crime against art, just a clever, irritating, hyper-self-aware pop earworm calculated to prove that she can not only take a joke but she will own and copyright said joke — we should probably pause to remember that none of this fame-enthralled solipsism emerged from a vacuum. It’s the big bang from which Trump the self-selling celeb was spawned. And his presidency didn’t invent this grim and cynical strain of pop culture; it’s just given it a good home. None of this exists without our complicity.
  • tags: Alexa Amazon Microsoft

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Journal 08/29/2017 (a.m.)

  • I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
    It rains solid diamonds on Uranus and Neptune

  • I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
    Small steps: Really basic ways to add exercise to your day

    • llary Clinton’s 2016 brand: Tough. Capable. Experienced. Ready. A fighter.


        Who freaks out when a man stands behind her for a few seconds.

    • That last detail about Hillary’s personality didn’t emerge until the world was treated to excerpts from her forthcoming memoir What Happened, in which Clinton makes yet another effort to cast herself as the victim of structural sexism.
    • Picking up this anecdote — treating a sliver of a wisp of a crumb as though it’s a boulder with which to crush feminism’s enemies — diehard Clinton defender Jill Filipovic wonders, ludicrously, in the New York Times whether the incident was the game-changer of 2016. She speculates that a “different split-second choice could have changed the course of world history,” suggesting that if either Clinton or the debate’s moderators had made a big fuss about Trump’s violation of her personal space, Hillary would have won the election.
    • That Clinton didn’t react simply neutralized the moment, though. If anything, it hurt Trump a bit by making him look a little weird. If Clinton had responded angrily, she would have looked unhinged and everything else about the evening would have been forgotten.
    • While George W. Bush was speaking in his third debate against Al Gore that season, Gore deserted his podium, deliberately took half a dozen steps over to Bush’s, and loomed over the shorter man, inches away, trying to look intimidating. Gore’s behavior was utterly bizarre, much more intrusive than what Trump did. Bush paused, looked at the vice president, and gave him an amiable, disarming nod. It instantly punctured Gore’s John Wayne act. The audience burst into laughter.

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Journal 08/28/2017 (p.m.)

    • housands of demonstrators, carrying signs with slogans like “Stand Against Hate,” descended on Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Park on Sunday for what many hoped would be a peaceful march against bigotry and President Trump.

      But it was soon punctuated by tear gas and a scattering of violent skirmishes. Some anti-fascist protesters, wearing black and with their faces covered, chased or beat Trump supporters and organizers who had scheduled and then canceled the “anti-Marxist” rally, citing concerns over safety.

      Police, and in some cases other counter-protesters, stepped in to halt the violence or escort the victims away from the area. Officers reported 14 arrests, many of them for violations of the city’s emergency rules banning masks, sticks and potential weapons inside the demonstration area.

      The clashes came despite widespread calls from activists and elected officials across the Bay Area for peaceful civil disobedience and underscores Berkeley’s growing reputation for violent reaction by the far left. Other protests earlier this year in the city turned ugly, with far-left and far-right forces fighting in the streets.


      Some in Berkeley worried that Sunday’s chaos, captured on video and quickly disseminated through social media, would provide unwanted ammunition to Trump and his supporters.

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Journal 08/27/2017 (a.m.)

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Journal 08/25/2017 (a.m.)

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