businesses that fed at the government tit in denial, blacktop highway wallpaper, the not nice fairy tales

In Japan the historian Saburo Ienaga fought Ministry of Education for thirty years over the official censorship of his books which detailed Japanese Imperial atrocities during WW II. One of his major battles was before the Japanese Supreme Court as recently as 1997. Much of the public had grown to support suppressing such public documentation and education. Holocaust denial has a strong, if small following in the U.S., Australia and Europe. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary there are still quite a few people who link vaccines with autism. They are in denial about the evidence or maybe just plain false pride will not let them admit they’re wrong and suffer the public embarrassment. Republican web sites till push the urban legend that Freddie Mac and the working poor caused the Great Recession, but by extending that logic they also caused the world-wide recession. They not just denying their role and that of their economic policies, but laying responsibility off on others. A twofer in the way of denial and deflection. Some combination of denial, what they see as political fidelity and the power of self-delusion is probably in play here as well, Romney camp features Tampa govt. contractors who say they don’t need… government

The A.D. Morgan Corporation employs 50 people and has annual revenues of about $80 million, according to its website. The company lists more than 130 projects and developments. Impressive, no doubt. But the list is nearly all government projects. (One of the few not to be: the Poynter Institute for Media Studies). From the Sumter County jail expansion, Woodlawn Elementary School, the library at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, interior sign at James Haley Veterans Hospital, the Plant City Courthouse, a Florida Department of Transportation weigh station, the projects that have made A.D. Morgan the success it is have been government, big and small, state and local.
Smith didn’t see that as a contradiction to her message that government didn’t help her.

“We’re not going to have an opportunity in the private sector, they have a tendency to use lump sum, low bid,” Smith said, explaining how government bids work. “So by virtue of what it is that we do, we go to the client base that purchases construction services that way.”

And by client, she means government. So doesn’t she benefit from government spending because of her business model?

“So are you saying that if the government purchases anything from Microsoft, Microsoft would be nothing but for the government?” she said. Of course, government and the private sector bought Microsoft products, making it the success that it was. With her business model, it’s almost exclusively public projects.

Asked again about her heavily reliance on government work, Smith got all post-modern.

“We’re all government,” she said.

I’ve known conservatives that have depended on the government directly or indirectly for most of their adult lifetimes to make a living or help them with medical costs ( yes there are people who do not think Medicare and veterans medical benefits are government programs). It seems silly or maybe gulling to some, but these people just cannot bring themselves to admit that the lives they actually lead do not line up with their pure, abet irrational political beliefs they hold.

winged ghost or white moth

Everyone to their own taste, but I’m not much for horror-porn. Since I took a lot of biology in school people are surprised that I’m what they consider squeamish. I just don’t enjoy or feel entertained by a festival of disemboweled bodies, buckets of blood, various graphic depictions of torture. Though the taste for such entertainment goes all the way back to the Brothers Grimm. Actually far before the well-known fairy tales. What were the Roman coliseum fights between gladiators about but a live horror show. The lure of the fairy tale and not the kind with silly farm ducks or glass slippers.

In Grimms’ Fairy Tales there is a story called “The Stubborn Child” that is only one paragraph long. Here it is, in a translation by the fairy-tale scholar Jack Zipes:

Once upon a time there was a stubborn child who never did what his mother told him to do. The dear Lord, therefore, did not look kindly upon him, and let him become sick. No doctor could cure him and in a short time he lay on his deathbed. After he was lowered into his grave and covered over with earth, one of his little arms suddenly emerged and reached up into the air. They pushed it back down and covered the earth with fresh earth, but that did not help. The little arm kept popping out. So the child’s mother had to go to the grave herself and smack the little arm with a switch. After she had done that, the arm withdrew, and then, for the first time, the child had peace beneath the earth.

This story, with its unvarnished prose, should be clear, but it isn’t. Was the child buried alive? The unconsenting arm looks more like a symbol. And what about the mother? Didn’t it trouble her to whip that arm? Then we are told that the youngster, after this beating, rested in peace. Really? When, before, he had seemed to beg for life? But the worst thing in the story is that, beyond disobedience, it gives us not a single piece of information about the child. No name, no age, no pretty or ugly. We don’t even know if it is a boy or a girl. (The Grimms used ein Kind, the neuter word for “child.” Zipes decided that the child was a boy.) And so the tale, without details to attach it to anything in particular, becomes universal. Whatever happened there, we all deserve it. A. S. Byatt has written that this is the real terror of the story: “It doesn’t feel like a warning to naughty infants. It feels like a glimpse of the dreadful side of the nature of things.” That is true of very many of the Grimms’ tales, even those with happy endings.

Where The Great Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan Lived. A very good essay on the woman who Fitzgerald was in love with before Zelda and inspired a few characters, including Daisy.

Ginevra King met Scott Fitzgerald for the first time on January 4, 1915, while visiting a school friend in Minnesota. The two began a romance that consisted primarily of written correspondence, until it was broken off in 1917. While a two-year letter writing campaign might not seem like much by today’s standards, it clearly made an impression.

blacktop highway wallpaper

A pinch of opportunity makes deep inequality more palatable. Besides the possibility of not having free will, why do people, or not enough of them, not act in their own rational self interests. While there are opportunities to get ahead in the U.S., with only about 4% of the working poor ever reaching upper middle-class standards, the concept of everyone being the next Horatio Alger is largely a myth. So why do the vast majority of the working public believe there are rainbows and unicorns just around the corner.

“When you look at it rationally, it makes no sense that people are placing such a disproportionate value on that first one per cent increase in opportunity.

“But that slight increase in fairness seems to have some kind of symbolic meaning.

“It appears people are happy to accept extreme inequality when they have this tiny carrot dangled in front of them.

“We’ve got to remember that our experiments are conducted in a lab at a university, not in the real world which is far more complex.

“But these results could shed light on why people living in unequal societies aren’t more vocal in rejecting unfairness.

The Mill is a film special effects studio. This is a demonstration reel of the kinds of effects they can do.

The Mill US Showreel 2012 from The Mill Visual Effects Studio on Vimeo.