Late Night Open Thread: Catholics, No Charity

Well, that went well… assuming you weren’t Donald Trump. He said himself that he’s been attending these dinners ‘for years, with my father, since I was a young man’, and he still hasn’t picked up a feel for what would be acceptable? Does the man listen to anything other than the sound of his own voice?

What began as the expected ribbing of presidential candidates at the white-tie Al Smith Dinner Thursday turned to boos as Donald Trump described Hillary Clinton as “corrupt” at the event, which is a major fundraiser for the Catholic charities connected to the Archdiocese of New York…

… Trump was quick to take some campaign trail attacks with him to the dais at the annual dinner. He called Clinton “so corrupt she got kicked off the Watergate Commission” and lobbed his usual line that Clinton has been in politics for 30 years and accomplished little. “I can fix it, she says,” he deadpanned as the crowd’s mood noticeably shifted.

As the boos rolled in Trump wondered who they were booing. “I don’t know who they’re angry at Hillary, you or I?” he said. Someone in the crowd yelled out “you!”

Trump’s next line struck a nerve. “Here she is in public, pretending not to hate Catholics,” Trump said, referencing an apparent email exposed by WikiLeaks in which a Clinton spokeswoman seemed to joke about Catholics and evangelicals…

The Democratic nominee, for her part, poked fun at herself while also taking searing jabs at her opponent. Clinton didn’t hesitate to slam Trump for his past comments on women and his ambivalence about accepting next month’s election results.

In contrast with Trump, Clinton also made a point of acknowledging both the purpose and the history of the Al Smith dinner and closed her speech with a big-picture campaign message that was tied to the positive focus of Thursday’s Catholic fundraiser…

Me, I think this was the most interesting photo from the evening:

Now, Timmy Cardinal Dolan is not a good man — to steal a Donald Westlake line, I’d trust him alone all night in bed with a ten-year-old, as long as the kid didn’t have more than five dollars cash on them — but he has a nose for power like a pig for truffles. If he’s willing to put aside his public histrionics over baby-murdering lesbian feminist God-denying Democrats who don’t care about suffering women to suck up to Hillary Clinton in public, that’s another leading indicator as to which party will be on the podium at the inaguration in January.
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If You Need A Break (I Do)

Here’s some utterly non-political awesomeness with which to launch the weekend:

 

My regret:  the strandbeests came to Massachusetts last fall — the MIT campus even! — and I didn’t manage to see them in action.

Anyway…Enjoy!

And consider this a random and campaign-free open thread.



Ceci Ne Sont Pas Des Lunettes*

Calling all Sokals!

I know this is a case of chasing easy marks, but still, I laughed.

Two teenagers visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and they came away…underwhelmed:

The teenagers, Kevin Nguyen, 16, and TJ Khayatan, 17, both of San Jose, had been left scratching their heads at the simplicity of some of the museum’s exhibits, including two stuffed animals on a blanket.

“Is this really what you call art?” Kevin said in an interview over the weekend.

TJ added, “We looked at it and we were like, ‘This is pretty easy. We could make this ourselves.’ ”

Self-portrait_as_the_Allegory_of_Painting_(La_Pittura)_-_Artemisia_Gentileschi

Cue the long-standing first reaction to a Pollack:  “My five year old could do better!”

Nguyen and Khayatan, however, did the hard thing: put their ambition to the test.  Theirs was no instant success:

Inspired during their visit on May 21, they experimented with putting a jacket on the floor and then a baseball cap, but neither drew attention.

Like any driven artist, the two persisted, until, the breakthrough!

Kevin then placed his Burberry glasses on the floor beneath a placard describing the theme of the gallery. He said neither he nor TJ did anything to influence museum visitors, such as standing around and looking at the glasses.

The linked article has a picture of what came next…;-)

Not that the creators could fully appreciate their success. One does have to sacrifice for art:

Within about three minutes, people appeared to be viewing their handiwork as bona fide art, though Kevin said that without his glasses, he could not see what was happening too well.

Give SFMOMA credit, though, for a sense of humor about the matter:

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 1.19.05 PM

That would be a reference to this, I believe (as does the NY Times…)

Anyway — good times!  And nothing to do with the ferret headed weasel (a sphinx for our times!), the senator from the north country, nor the lady whose nomination must not be acknowledged.  So I guess this makes it another politics free open-thread.  Have at it.

*Well.  Actually…they are, in exactly the sense that Magritte argued that his pipe was not.

Image: Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, between 1638 and 1639.



Sort of Maybe a Bit Like Friday Recipe Exchange on Monday: Do NOT Try This at Home Edition!!!!!

Alton Brown has been tinkering again. He’s invented a way to make ice cream in under 10 seconds. The video is below. Whatever you do, do not try this at home!

Bon appetit! And open thread.



A Moment’s Respite

Seems to me that we could all use just a moment of something else to think about. So here’s a bit of pure fun, in the Be-Wary-Of-The-Smiling-Stranger category:

I just love the opponent’s reaction at the end.

Talk about anything that doesn’t involve explosions or Republicans.








And Now for Something Completely Different: Syrian Refugees Welcomed by Canadian Furries

Yes, you read that headline right. Given all the insanity we’ve been covering this weekend, I thought it would be good to post about something nice for a change. When the Vancouver, BC hotel that was hosting the annual VancouFur convention turned out to also be one of the temporary housing sites for Syrian refugees that have been admitted to Canada something really wonderful happened. The anthropomorphic animal reenactors reached out to the refugee children to welcome them to Canada.

CdC1r9RXEAA6IWY*

To quote one of the participants:

Mike Schmidt, who attended VancouFur wrote on Vancity Buzz: “One of the many highlights for me was when the new group of Syrian refugee children came in and got to interact with us. To them we were cartoons to come to life, to us [it] was a means to display our acting performance to a very appreciative audience.

CdADgviWEAAvDVg**

Click on over and see the videos and more pictures of the refugee children having a great time interacting with the furries (the first one is autoplay).

 

* Image found here.

** Image found here.



This is How You Defeat the Islamic State and Other Islamic Extremists!

Yesterday Thanos at Little Green Footballs highlighted (highlit?) this CNN report about an attempted al Shabaab attack in Kenya. On Monday al Shabaab fighters stopped a bus who’s police escort had broken down, stormed onto it, and demanded that the Muslim passengers get off the bus so that they could easily identify and target the Christian passengers left on board. Things did not exactly go as planned. The Muslim passengers refused to follow al Shabaab’s instructions, the Muslim women gave some of their hijabs to the Christian women, hid the other Christian passengers, and the Muslim passengers told al Shabaab that: “If you want to kill us, then kill us. There are no Christians here”. While there were still two men killed in the attack – one Christian passenger that tried to flee and the driver of a truck that was on the road behind the bus – the al Shabaab attackers left and the other 100 or so passengers and the driver survived. Kenya’s security forces were reportedly in pursuit of the attackers.

The quick thinking, courage, humanity, and generosity of spirit of the Kenyan Muslims on that bus defeated al Shabaab’s attackers and their attempt to impose an extremist interpretation of Islam by violence. The actions of the Kenyan Muslims on that bus in safeguarding their Christian fellow citizens are a shining example of what needs to be done to defeat not just Islamic extremism, but the backlash rhetoric, politics, and extremism that it engenders. Al Shabaab, al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other similar groups can only achieve their objectives/ends (win) if they scare everyone regardless of religion or nationality into providing the ways and means that they do NOT actually possess. On Monday al Shabaab was denied those ways and means and lost! This is how they, al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other extremist groups regardless of doctrine, ideology, or nationality will be defeated: by the basic humanity and courage of the very people they seek to set against each other.