Thursday, April 19, 2018

Disruption vs. Business as Usual: Bakers, Milkmen, #NeverAgain

The cover story for The Nation Magazine for their end of April double issue is "How the youth activists of #NeverAgain are upending gun politic" and bears the cover title, "THE DISRUPTERS."

"Disruption" has become a positive buzz-word, and I can go along with that, having insisted ca. 1970 with US warfare in Vietnam, "No more business as usual."

We should keep in mind, though, that the flip side is the need for "regular order" in most of the business of the Congress of the United States and that the bakers of Paris during The Terror after the Revolution and the milkmen of London during the Blitz in World War II acted admirably in staying calm, carrying on, and supplying their cities with necessities. There can be heroism in "business as usual" and resisting disruption.

So let us praise the young disrupters of #NeverAgain, and, in different situations, those who got on with their business when the times were dangerously unusual.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Donald Trump and the Dark Side of Winning

Donald Trump has used variations on "We're going to win so much, you're going to be so sick and tired of winning."

There's a tradition here from usually misattributed "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing" to the U of Michigan fight song to Winston Churchill's flashing his ambiguous V for Victory (and bugger the Nazis) to darker versions.

One oldie from the dark side is from the Greek poet Euripides's great and bloody tragedy, THE BACCHAE, where the Chorus asks rhetorically, "What finer prize do the gods give to mortals than to hold one’s hand in victory over the head of one’s enemies?" One possible answer: Holding high your enemy's severed head (or what you *think* is the head of an enemy ...).

Not so old but always relevant is "Sieg Heil": "Hail Victory!" recycled by Richard B. Spencer and the White nationalist Tiki-Torch trolls.

And that is why a whole lot of emphasis on winning — and Winners and Losers and "You're a hero or a zero," and "hero" means "winner" — should make you nervous.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

"The Lybyankan Candidate," Season 1 Finale: "Missiles Flying" (No Longer Tentative)

From the Desk of Boris

Production Memorandum: The Lubyankan Candidate (Television Version, season 1)

From: Boris B, Associate Producer
To: Natasha F., Script Analyst
Subject: Wrapping Up First Year

Natasha, sweetheart! I've talked to Production Team, who have talked with "Money," who have had audience with You Know Who. They love idea of Fearless Leader playing subtle 5-D chess performing Operation Butterfly Wing: letting Uncle Sam Apple-Pie And Mom, LLC, totally patriotic US-firm-subsidiary supply gasses and other deadly goodies below cost to Syrian Sock Puppet, who will do his thing. They also like counterattack by Orange Marionette using missiles, of which US Navy provide video for free.

Dog wagged and asset active for second season.

However: Nyet on sequence of glorious Imperial Navy sinking US destroyer. Notes from Money say would look like Fearless Leader switch chess to Battleship (name of boys' game and bad movie). Would also take remaining budget for CGI. My suggestion to just sink a US ship and film not well received: no budget for shooting of any kind outside of USSR Russian Federation, and unsure future free videos from Amerikanski meet exacting tech standards of 5-D chess player.

So: End season one with missile flying (stock video) intercut with our man in command, basking amid support of yuuuuge demonstration in Washington DC showing him love and support (stock video of Inauguration crowd + cheap CGI).

Work fast. We need scripts for 25-year run.