high brows and propaganda, summer lake wall, justice becomes a day old donut

Most conservatives have either never heard of The Paris Review or since it has a French word in the title think it is obviously some kind of lefty rag – anyone remember “freedom” fries (which was both ironic and disrespectful of the French solders who were dying while part part of the coalition in Afghanistan). The Paris Review may have been in cahoots ( I love that word) with the CIA, Exclusive: The Paris Review, the Cold War and the CIA.

Though these efforts started with conferences, they soon moved to publishing. In his “Proposal for the American Review,” Melvin Lasky argued for the creation of a magazine to “support the general objectives of U.S. policy in Germany and Europe by illustrating the background of ideas, spiritual activity, literary and intellectual achievement from which the American democracy takes its inspiration.” As Saunders wrote, The American Review was born instead as Germany’s Der Monat. Its equivalent in France was Preuves, edited by Francois Bondy. In the U.K., it would be called Encounter, edited by poet Stephen Spender and Irving Kristol (later replaced by Lasky). All, Saunders reported, would be secretly funded by the Congress for Cultural Freedom. Encounter was born in a planning meeting attended by Michael Josselson (who would covertly lead the Congress for Cultural Freedom for the CIA for most of its life), the composer Nicolas Nabokov (Vladimir’s first cousin), and, from the United Kingdom, by Christopher Montague Woodhouse, a British intelligence officer.

The Review and these other publications did publish some great stuff over the years – short fiction interviews, articles and poetry. That all becomes a little tarnished when, even with the best intentions, the editorial content may have swung a little too far on this or that person or event, because the coverage was tinted however slightly by propaganda. Writer and editor George Plimpton was at TPV during part of its CIA shenanigans. He and James Linville  did this interview, Fran Lebowitz, A Humorist at Work.

There are some great writers who are great talkers, but there are more great writers who are not great talkers. People seem to think there is some connection between talking and writing, but I love to talk and if there were some connection between the two of them I would be the most prolific writer in the history of the world.

INTERVIEWER

What if you dictated a book?

LEBOWITZ

Then you would have a dictated book.

INTERVIEWER

What’s the difference?

LEBOWITZ

That’s not writing. Talking is not writing. To me, it would be even a slower way to write. To me, dictating a book seems impossible. But what would also be impossible, would be to write on one of those word processors. There’s too much distance.

INTERVIEWER

What do you use then?

LEBOWITZ

A Bic pen. I’m such a slow writer I have no need for anything as fast as a word processor. I don’t need anything so snappy. I write so slowly that I could write in my own blood without hurting myself. I think if there were no such thing as men, there would be no word processors. Male writers like them because they have this sneaking suspicion that writing is not the most masculine profession. This is why you have so much idiotic behavior among male writers. There are more male writers who own guns than any other profession except police officers. They like machines because it makes them seem more masculine. Well, I work on a machine. It’s almost as good as being a mechanic.

summer lake wallpaper

Since almost everything is for sale, why not justice – Justice for Sale. How big money is overwhelming judicial elections and corroding our confidence in the courts

After his defeat, Butler appeared at a conference on judicial selection reform. Holding up a copy of John Grisham’s 2008 novel, The Appeal, he said, “Welcome to my world.” In the novel, a chemical company’s industrial waste poisons the water in a Mississippi town, causing widespread cancer and death. The company stage-manages and heavily funds a successful campaign to replace a liberal justice with a conservative one, who shifts the state supreme court from left to right and casts the deciding vote to overturn a $41 million verdict against the company. The ads that defeated the liberal incumbent attacked her record on crime and other social issues, but really it was her lack of favoritism to business that led the company to take her down.

Like Grisham’s successful challenger, Michael Gableman was a little-known county trial judge with thin credentials, recruited by business to run against Butler. He became the first candidate to defeat a sitting justice since 1967; only three other justices in state history had been defeated in the previous 115 years—in 1947, 1908, and 1855.

I like money. Though unlike Ayn Rand and modern conservatism I do not confuse it with virtue.

Children Listen to Radio for News of Amelia Earheart. The original caption on this image read, “Medford, MA. Little David Morrissey tunes in the latest report of the thrilling search being made for his Aunt, Amelia Earheart Putnam , missing aviatrix.  Meanwhile, David’s five year old sister Aimee uses her small globe to point out the spot in the Pacific Ocean from whence faint radio signals supposedly from lady Lindy and her navigator, Capt. Fred J. Noonan, were heard. July 5, 1937.” Copyrighted image. I posted this because of this recent news, Earhart’s Anti-Freckle Cream Jar Possibly Found. There is a picture at the link and more details.

Conservative Republican editor: Young Americans ‘so frickin’ stupid’ they shouldn’t get to vote. There are just some people who should never ever go around calling other people stupid. Jonah Goldberg is one of them, for obvious reasons.

Jason Collet- Hangover Days

greed and biology, a wind has blown the rain away, yes it can get worse

There was never any doubt that the we are our biology and the idea that much of our lives are predetermined could be twisted to justify some awful behavior. In Managing Wall Street’s ‘Winner Effect’, John Coates, once a financial insider himself makes the case that JP Morgan’s recent $3 billion and counting trading debacle was biology – neuroscience in particular. That might even be true. It is perhaps, also of some importance that we differentiate between reasons and excuses. That some individuals are more prone to take risks – with other people’s money-assets-lives – is a reason, it is not a good excuse. If you throw mashed carrots at the wall and Your parents turn your chair around and make you take a five minutes time out eventually you stop throwing mashed carrots. Who knows, some similar reaction to financial misbehavior might have similar long-term benefits. Though we do have a political movement dedicated to defending the right of the man-children to throw temper tantrums with the capital created by actual workers – those opposed are the Marxist Anti-Christ. What if you work – which means do something of value to someone else – and you do not get paid. There are circumstances in which that is not slavery, where your work is rewarded with education and experience – intangibles that do count for something on those pretty sheets of white paper called resumes. Like police powers, drones and hair products, using unpaid labor – commonly known as interns – can be abused. This Article May Be Illegal – Unpaid media intern files dispatch from the bottom of the totem pole, “All we’re asking for is that these employers pay the minimum wage rate and also acknowledge the employment relationship, such that our clients get workers’ compensation, get unemployment, get social security, get church and disability benefits. Who’s arguing on the other side that the Hearst Corporation can’t afford those basic worker protections and wage provisions?” Who and what deserves what and when can depend on perceptions. If someone appears to be cheating – thus cheating someone else out of something – a place in line – or as the Brits call it, the queue. Because we live in a world run by human beings, instead of Blue whales -  sigh – we have something called queuing theory, which says 1) We get bored when we wait in line. 2) We really hate it when we expect a short wait and then get a long one. 3) We really, really hate it when someone shows up after us but gets served before us. Have you ever seen a Blue whale in a queue. Thought so.

A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long.
e. e. cummings

“Miss Me Yet?” Bush Economic Makeover Hinges On Collective Amnesia

Bush economic revisionism approached satire this week, as the conservative commentariat began suggesting that voters miss the former president remembered for pursuing economic policies that drove the national economy into a historic recession and financial crisis.

Efforts to whitewash the Bush economy are nothing new on the right, but by suggesting a growing nostalgia for Bush the right tacitly advances the campaign of Mitt Romney, a campaign that even Republicans acknowledge is nothing more than an updated version of what Bush left behind. Moreover, the effort comes as the right tries to obscure the fact that during Romney’s tenure as governor, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of all states in jobs creation.

I do not know why we have the word worse. It denotes that something has reached bottom. That the situation, person, era or whatever has reached rock bottom. Seldom is that actually true. Romney’s economic plan makes Bush’s Great Recession look like a picnic. Conservatives do know that the race to the bottom is a bad thing, right?

I do not know the name of this jane freilicher painting. I called it painting within a painting. I’m a little weary of the meta meme in popular culture and articles about pop culture. This painting happens to be some meta that i like. There is always an exception.