How To Not Think About Trump* For Three Minutes And Change

*or Virginia, or Brexit, or all things Putin or…

Via my sister-the-music-professor’s ex, this perfectly wonderful youtube came to my attention today.  Now it comes to yours:

 

I have to confess that I’ve been overwhelmed lately — by work and the shock of the new semester, partly, and more by a sudden politics and strife overload. Everytime I’ve started to post here, I’ve found myself facing ten-digit paralysis, unable to move the fingers over the keys to report and fulminate on the overlapping, serial outrages.

Finally, I hope, my rage is once more ready to overwhelm my despair, so I plan to show up a bit more regularly, as soon as the last syllabi are complete…but in the interim glorious foolishness like the above helps me. I hope it pleases the jackalry.

This thread is, of course, open.








Lighter than Freon Late-Night Open Thread: Cheeseball Decor for A Spray-Cheez ‘President’

Per the Washington Post:

… “This masterpiece is hanging at the White House,” Kimmel said, barely able to contain his laughter…

“There are only three living people in this painting,” he said. “Two of them hate Donald Trump. The other one is Donald Trump.” He added: “What a beautifully crafted piece of narcissism.”…

“It’s hard to figure out which piece of insanity to focus on,” Kimmel said, “the fact that Richard Nixon and Abraham Lincoln, in this scenario, are friends or that Donald Trump weighs less than 200 pounds in this painting.”…

“Ironic”, my flabby Irish arse, Vanity Fair. Trump’s got this print hanging where he and the rest of the world can see it because he likes it.

So what’s going on here? Why is President Trump, a man of taste, a man who would not do this without good reason, doing this? One word, two syllables: midterms. The midterms! He’s doing a thing where he pretends to be gauche and self-obsessed to expose all the snobs right before the midterms, and laughs and laughs, much like noted good-time guy Richard Nixon in this painting. He’s exposing all the snobby snobs as they come out of the woodwork to yell at the top of their blown gaskets, “It’s too easy! You’re making it too easy to laugh at you, and it’s actually exasperating at this point!”

It’s that, or President Trump thinks that the portrait depicts actual events, and so it’s a very important historical piece to have in his home. It’s a toss-up, really.

I’m sure the artist is a very nice man, but if Trump had the merest modicum of taste, he’d support the guy who created it, beyond hanging a cheap copy some fellow grifter gave him. I own art prints, and even collector plates, but if by some unimaginable catastrophe I end up with Oval Office privileges, you can be damn sure I’ll at least upgrade to a nice original… assuming I can’t persuade the artist into a commission!








Open Thread: Things That Don’t Suck Department

Here’s the full list from NPR:

What could possibly bring together a painter, an economist, a pastor and a planetary scientist? If you ask the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the answer is simpler than you may think: They’ve all shown creativity, potential for future achievements — and the likelihood that $625,000, meted out over five years, will help them complete their grand designs…

That spectrum includes mapping legal aid across the country for the benefit of low-income populations, uncovering abuse in West Virginia’s coal industry, and coming up with radical fictions and bringing down pernicious artistic tropes…








Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: The Proper Commemoration of “Confederate Memorial Day”

One of those “just in the family” things they don’t talk about in front of the Yankees, apparently, because I don’t remember hearing about it before. This year’s commemoration gets a more fitting memorial. Angela Helm, at The Root:

On Monday, Alabama is set to observe Confederate Memorial Day, commemorating the sons of the South killed in the U.S. Civil War. No surprise there. Alabama loves fighting with Mississippi for the title of “most racist state” (though they actually may be running neck and neck with “everything south of the Canadian border” if we’re keeping it real).

I find this amusing, not just because of the abiding ridiculousness of the holiday itself—which for me and most black people is a dressed-up way of reveling in institutional racism and anti-blackness (contrary to claims of “love of heritage”)—but because I just so happen to be in Alabama today, Monday, for a press preview of a memorial and museum dedicated to those both forgotten and annihilated through acts of racial terror across the country, and I will touch this holiest site on … Confederate Memorial Day…

… [H]ere in America, the God some trust is not on the dollar bill, it is the dollar bill. Here, as we all were whispered songs of “sweet lands of liberty,” black Americans perished in a nightmare of running blood and burning flesh and mass rape for pleasure and profit; that story all but erased from history and replaced with men playing war games, re-enacting so-called acts of valor for an indefensible premise…

The national lynching memorial, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, will stand atop a hill, in remembrance of the more than 4,000 victims of racial terror on U.S. soil, which the Montgomery, Ala.-based Equal Justice Institute has meticulously tracked for six years.

The accompanying Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, located in a former slave warehouse, will also tell the tale of our sojourn here: from enslavement to widespread public executions, to Jim Crow, to the continued violence against black bodies through mass incarceration and police violence.

The museum and memorial are but two drops in a bucket recognizing the true “legacy” of this nation; it’s a befitting tribute to those who weren’t able to throw up statues and establish holidays, their bodies sometimes snatched and ripped apart for keepsakes. It finally acknowledges, in a lasting way, what this country wrought upon its literal children, drafted into another war they never signed up for, but one in which they certainly perished, strange fruit hanging from poplar trees…

 
Fred Hiatt, in the Washington Post:

In the Riverfront Park of this state capital, you will find a series of panels depicting the city’s history. They will tell you when the first white settler arrived, how riverboats transformed Montgomery into a trading hub for cotton “and many other important commodities,” and how the city became the cradle of the Confederacy.

They will not tell you that the most important of those other commodities was human beings.

It is the sort of lacuna, says Bryan Stevenson, that allows people to “achieve political victories by celebrating the greatness of America.”

“The question is, which decade are black Americans supposed to want to relive?”
Read more








Monday Morning Open Thread: LIKE A QUEEN!

Sometimes the internet doesn’t suck. Per the Washington Post

Parker Curry, age 2, was not being cooperative.

Standing in front of the new painting of former first lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, Parker ignored her mother’s pleas to turn around for a photo.

“All I wanted was just one pic,” Parker’s mother, Jessica Curry, said Sunday. “She was just so fixated on the portrait and wouldn’t turn away from it.”

Curry, a lifelong District resident, was so fixated on her daughter being fixated on the portrait that she didn’t see a man to the side taking a cellphone photo of the moment — Parker in utter awe, her mouth agape.

The next morning, Curry said, her phone “blew up.”

The man to the side — ­37-year-old Ben Hines of Alexandria — posted the photo on Facebook. It went really, really viral. And suddenly, little Parker went from being a little difficult to being more than a little famous.

The photo, taken Thursday, has been shared, liked, tweeted, retweeted and Instagrammed thousands of times around the world. Obama reacted with not one but three heart-eye emoji…

Parker, in her less than 36 months alive, has become a big admirer of the former first lady. She especially enjoyed seeing Obama dance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” After seeing the portrait, Parker thinks Obama is a “queen.”

(Curry is not certain her daughter knows that Michelle’s husband is former president Barack Obama or that he even ­exists.)…

Buzzfeed has a quote from the artist, Amy Sherald:

When I look at this picture I think back to my first field trip in elementary school to a museum. I had only seen paintings in encyclopedias up to that point in my life. There was a show up of work by painter @thebobartlett whose work still inspires me to this day. There was a painting of a black man standing in front of a house. I don’t remember a lot about my childhood, but I do have a few emotional memories etched into my mind forever and seeing that painting of a man that looked like he could be my father stopped me dead in my tracks… I knew I wanted to be an artist already, but seeing that painting made me realize that I could. What dreams may come?… #representationmatters

I don’t know if Parker will actually remember the moment in this photo, but I can attest that some of my very earliest memories are of specific museum exhibits (an Egyptian lion-headed sculpture at the Metropolitan, a tiny perfect Peruvian silver llama at the Heyes) — and, of course, she’s got this picture to remind her now.