Rock Bottom

unknown Let the Games begin!  As a nation, the United States (yes, all the states) of America (the continent we share with Canada and Central America), we have hit rock bottom — or very close to it. Here are the Headlines: Kavanaugh (a.k.a. “the Trigger”); Democrats take Midterms; and 2020 goes to . . . the Democratic nominee, of course. Social movements against Trump are NOW thriving.  Two cheers for that. P.S. I was sorry I missed my U.S. Capitol Page High School Reunion.  I’m not going to share the graduation date, haha.

Will Gretchen Carlson Give Back?

j108111  Twenty million ain’t bad.

As we congratulate sexually harassed former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, I hope she can carve off a million or so and start a free-speaking foundation for women, or at least give a few talks at free-thinking public institutions like the City University of New York (CUNY). A foundation for the non-marginalization of women speaking freely about politics! After all, look at what the Koch brothers did with three million.

Not that there aren’t already those organizations. It’s  just they don’t seem to have much impact or many thought leaders, other than the ones who are, as they say in England, news readers — the face of the news, when women need much more to be in the news (or at least behind the scenes in the editorial rooms, deciding which pretty men to put outside to read the news), not just influence it.

Political science remains one of the most female-unfriendly disciplines in the social sciences. We’re happy to have Gretchen speak for us. I promise no “I told you so’s” if/when she addresses students at the Graduate Center of CUNY about the conservative nature of this subject (read neotribal/patriarchial, etc.). After all, we’re the only public university in town, and we happen to have more women faculty than in the discipline nationwide.

Hopefully, Gretchen won’t pick one of the old Ivies after reading Nancy Wise Malkiel’s book about higher education in the United States, appropriately titled Keep the Damned Women Out.

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.

The Times is Afraid of Time(s)?

th What time is it? Certainly not time for Bernie to step out.   It’s time for him to step up and capture the global sentiment of revolutionary reform (a contradiction in terms, if there ever was one).  But Bernie’s voters could do it.

But who cares? It’s more than American potential voters. The youth across the world – from Rio de Janeiro to Las Vegas is on a tear.  They care (about global political and economic corruption or global political economy, please).

And it feels (I’m not saying it is) like it’s going to be a bigger tear than Occupy Wall Street. The students from Wall Street, New York City to Madrid picked up something in their failed attempt to do anything other than sell t-shirts when they chickened out with their leader-less, supposedly horizontal, go-nowhere (easy to suppress) so-called movement.^

So hey, stop editorializing and calling it news on the “front page” – and telling us that Bernie is like Teddy (Roosevelt). That’s apples* and oranges.

And to think Jonathan Mahler and Yamiche Alcindor call him liberal just because he’s old (and old-fashioned) and rails against economic inequality and for social justice – creating the biggest leftist, “not liberal,”** mailing list?

What’s wrong with a good mailing list? Isn’t this the place to start? Bernie’s not going to win, and he well could cause Hillary’s defeat (or he will, most likely).

Pouty-prince Trump will win. President big-rump Trump being a bully mobilizes Bernies’ people in the United States, at least.**** But hey again, it’s not really about 2016.

The race, as I hear it best described in the United States, is about 2020 – the year of the census, or the year of possibilities for real representational democratic change given redistricting that determines voting rules on a state by state basis.

No – if Bernie is like anyone, he’s like Eugene (Debs that is) in 1916 and so the capitalists, and their thugs (known as politicians who follow different forms of the Wall Street inequalities – like Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer – engineer of the Red Scare) will have to beat down***, and control the press while they’re doing it.)

And to think that the prints this on the very same “front” page as they call out conservative billionaire Sheldon G. Adelson; and Jeff Bezos (who bought their competition, the Washington Post) for interfering with free press.

The Times is clearly afraid of Times – political time that is. *****



^The moralistic youthful temporary resident in my domicile thinks I’m too harsh, and folks who have nothing to lose and are now this individual’s age have been on a rant for years.

*Who can eat apples these days anyway – either you can’t afford organic or you can’t find organic in blue stores like Costco given our hegemonic system of global inequality or the billionaire shut-the-rest-of-us-up-economy. Plus, we all know their either smothered in pesticides, unfairly picked by little children, or irradiated so way out of season—as to be best called Frankenfruit).

**liberal is the old-fashioned word for what progressives now call progressive thought, though Hillary Clinton has commandeered this terms.

***Who said the sovereign state wasn’t large? New York City alone has the largest number of people with guns in the world, commandeered by one politician, Mayor de Blasio.

**** A President Trump will undoubtedly weigh in and try to get them to change their headlines but again, who cares? It’s better for freedom of press to have more of it, than to have to read the front page of the New York Times for anything other than the early-morning-outrage factor.

*****Non-chronological time – time to do something (i.e. political time in terms of American Political Development, a subfield in the study of politics or present-ism in history, otherwise known as contemporary history – another oxymoron which is really code for juxtapositions that produce counter-intuitive thought or critical thinking).


Sweatin’ With the Angries (“conservative” pop & “stupid” liberal mom on “Morning Joe”)

61qYqJ2P3yL._SX401_BO1,204,203,200_ morningjoe_l_2 Every time I go to the gym,* I figure I’ll treat myself with some TV. I’m going to listen to TV news. Exciting. World-spanning. I can catch up** on my pop-culture deficit during my 20 minutes of exercise (which resembles PT more than exercise, but hey).

And then I turn on the dreck. I start with Fox (why not?). Fox and Friends had on one Bush daughter and the Bush mom (not to be confused with the real Barbara Bush, who would never read, let alone write, a children’s book on Texas, or rather American clichés for the youngest minds to consume).

Switch that off. Let’s go to those supposedly liberal cable shows that big media and the G.O.P. are always whining about. It’s even worse. Mom and Pop are arguing. Plus Pop puts down Mom: He’s the intelligent one in the family, after all, who gets to reverse poor Mom — who has to keep saying to her supposed co-host, “No, you’re wrong” (or something to that effect).

Well, that’s when I gotta end. My PT, after all, works only in 20-minute increments, and at least I put in my 7 minutes learning why everyone — populists on the right and the left — is so gosh-dang-it angry — no, enraged.  Let’s hope my PT recovery is better than the Democrats’. The Republicans, naturally, did it to themselves, and I’d listen to more backstabbing and whining if I just had the patience to finish.


* for PT, now exciting, energizing, strengthening . . . just 2 decades of recovery from self-induced PC compulsion

** TV was banned in our house when I was growing up, unlike my cousins. We had a working television but we couldn’t watch until we hit the junior-high ostracization years, when I accidentally revealed (to my horror) my ignorance by responding “Who?” to a mention of Keith Partridge of The Partridge Family. That was the last time I unwillingly hid under a pop-culture rock.