If Nouns and Verbs (Not Pronouns) Could Talk?

Do two queries equal a right, not a wrong?  Or is it right or wrong or vengeance or justice (in French with the accent)? Human rights or the French definition of good citizenship: liberté, égalité, fraternité? We could go on and on. What are costs of imperialism(s) or conquests — not just one, but of the whole globe and around again? Or as one of my colleagues put it about a certain Scottish professor who came west (first New York University, then Harvard, then out to a farm — not Princeton but Stanford), David Marquand’s The End of the West.

For me it’s about reading the New York Times with a sociological lens, yet again.  Nowadays the headlines and sub-headlines do all the work (of reading).

Circle the literary action or the verbs and adverbs on the Page Ones — of the physical paper, section by section, BTW.

  1. backs
  2. surviving
  3. soaring
  4. shamed
  5. spurs
  6. can lead to
  7. rise
  8. fall
  9. restores
  10. blue-chip (names)
  11. speak (Mountains)

Then, the nouns

  1. anomaly
  2. signals
  3. Eve
  4. Mother!
  5. necktie
  6. laxity
  7. rationality
  8. (an) indiscretion
  9. Rebels
  10. reboot

Finally, kudos to Jon Hamm for the flower that gives us a thousand words, or at least one — and that word to think about — over a weekend is peace.  #

Let’s Look at It as Presidents in Mirror-Opposite Conversation

th Putting aside the Democrats’ reassessment — or the irony that it’s not the GOP that has to open its tent — and putting aside that we’re no longer a polarized nation . . . and that a realignment of sorts occurred — a more dramatic realignment than most, since it sweeps into power the GOP on every level, the most important one arguably being their clean sweep in the states, as well as the municipalities . . . federalism organized under one party has not been so powerful since the Civil War.  Bracketing all that — another way to look at the polarization/realignment/Democrats as donkeys now all braying is — in conversation, or as a binary.

As President Barack Obama’s politics and identity politics — or the universality of his identity-less politics — put him in the position of being betrayed by many American people, or should I say demonized — denigrated — as the Antichrist, as a boy, as an illegitimate president given the Birther controversy — it’s only fitting that Donald J. Trump (DT) was in conversation and was given Obama’s warm seat.

DT not only participated in the Birther movement, and led it to some extent; he embodies the exact opposite of our sitting lame-duck president, Barack Hussein Obama.  As one friend noted, 9/11 has now been replaced by 11/9 — the day DJT got proclaimed president(-elect).



Trump’s S.L.A.P.P. = G.R.O.P.E. (read GOP Reprisal Opposing Public Exposure; or Grotesque Retribution Opposing Public Exposure).

th-11 G.R.O.P.E. defines Trump’s own version of S.L.A.P.P. litigation (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.)

The latest S.L.A.P.P. against a former porn star is especially egregious. I’d share the details but this is a G. audience blog. And most people watching the U.S. election have already heard or read this latest American presidency race to the bottom.  So just think about what G.R.O.P.E. could stand for — either GOP Reprisal Opposing Public Exposure; or Grotesque Retribution Opposing Public Exposure.

No matter what, this goes way beyond a civil war against women: It’s now criminal.

Trump’s Gang — Heads or Bodies of State?

Of course they beat their wives – Trump’s advisor(s) that is. There is already a link between terrorism and domestic violence, so why not the Alt Right media heads, like Bannon?  Ailes uses sexual harassment as a negotiating tool.  (Think about this for a moment if Trump appointed Bannon or Ailes as Secretary of State? Chris Christie gets to be the new AG, or is he also angling for it?)

Are these floating heads of state(s)? Or are they intimidating, free-floating heads on bodies that are simply fear-mongering? To be sure, they are a few of Trump’s advisors and campaign staff who already knocked off the GOP.  (Remember Trump’s finger incident, when he couldn’t stop poking congressional Republicans on the Hill?) So now the question is: Is Trump’s gang trying to intimidate all of us non-SCAMs and SLAMs?

It’s striking how the New York Times this summer started adopting the American academy’s language (“othering” or “us versus them”) more and more.  After, what, more than half a century, it’s fascinating to see this in the paper.  And it’s odd that it took so long to figure out the neotribalism aspects of being what Frantz Fanon called Wretched of the Earth.  (The idea that fear is not part of the American electoral discourse?  Fear is, and was, always a factor for getting folks out to those polls.  FDR got electoral mobilization based on that emotion.)

Nonetheless, if you’re interested in reading about theories of violence, vitriol that uses petrol, or the politics of violence and intimidation, you don’t have to grab a copy of Wretched of the Earth.  Fanon happens to be one of the far-right wing’s (right righteous revolutionaries) favorite books to bash and then burn.

Burning books, however, is better than burning at the stake actual women, children, immigrants, the ill, or persons with disabilities, and different genders and sexualities, who were the “wretched” or the inspiration undergirding this postcolonial book, among others. The fact that it took so long for “the print authorities,” or the Paper of Record, to notice is hardly new news.

What is new news is that the caring equation increased. Others need protection in an “us and them” equation long before “them” can become “us,” if that makes sense.  And the authorities are not just those taking office, executing offices (police), but especially those in the Fourth Estate practicing or selling our freedom of speech.

Why did it take so long for the United States to realize it’s not #BlackLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter, or that the police triage their violence all the time (raping prostitutes into silence so as not to report anything)? False hope is always dangerous. It’s not just retaliation, it’s blowback.

We know why it took so long for Trump to get his gang in place as he is developing another property called the White House. Trump being a landed businessman (developer) is supposed to intimidate us, and he needs a gang.

The false hope stems from the news claiming to be new, when it’s actually age-old. Intimidation tactics don’t work so well without the element of surprise. The mainstream (not just right-wing) media is so good at reporting bride burnings and honor killings in the East, but not at our ideological home patrolled by dead white men.

Meanwhile, more than 10,000 women and children have to go to the ER each day because of domestic violence.  (Four million per year, and that’s a low guesstimate, since it’s only the ones willing to admit they didn’t run into doorknobs that get reported).

The only thing new about police brutality is that some folks are starting to document it, and therefore care, though only if they’re one of us (immigrants already on our shores, not abroad).#

MSNBC Follows Roger Ailes’s Media Recipe

Look. Gretchen Carlson’s Title VII civil-rights lawyers do not have to look far to find evidence of how Gretchen’s been treated as a sexual commodity selling bad boy/moralistic mama in 2016’s horse-race politics. MSNBC follows Roger Ailes’s recipe in a New York Times advertisement, making Nicolle Wallace the centerfold.

The MSNBC producers – the supposed opposite of Fox News – present their “Codebreakers” with pride. The code, to me, seems to be protecting our commodification of women newscasters. It’s more akin to custom keepers, not breakers of any idea or thing.

Whether it’s covering or uncovering women, it’s neotribal to me when both supposed sides of the supposedly polarized news treat their women* the same way.  Bare or veiled, it’s all about commodifying women.

Being veiled makes women personal property, whereas being bare-armed and bare-legged makes them corporate sales commodities.  Here’s the newscaster-women-commodification custom recipe: Place woman in the center, showing her décolleté, legs, and bare arms, surrounded by five men (one African-American as a token of Obama’s presidency, and one just this side of 40 wearing frat-boy tennis shoes, a nod toward Bernie Sanders millennials).*

Isn’t this what Gretchen’s brief describes, protesting sexual discrimination? MSNBC producers cannot see or sense how out of sync they are. Oh, I forgot, they fired Melissa Harris-Perry when she complained about her show being bumped one time too many for the 2016 political-circus travesty, when she too was discussing politics.

Perhaps Hillary Clinton’s insistence on wearing pantsuits is cheeky and counterculture after all.

* Token outspoken progressive lesbians like Rachel Maddow exempted; she gets to wear pants and don sleeves in a different ad in this series. Oh, and I forgot the morning-show housewife who puts up with Morning Joe Scarborough’s put-down banter, who gets to wear unflattering sweater sleeves as long as those legs remain exposed.