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though things are moving as Trump behaves as if he were president through his tweets, and continues to assemble his nightmare gang (the phrase is from the NYRB, titling an essay by MIchael Tomasky)

You can read about this or watch on DemocracyNow.org.  Here are Martin Garbus and Rose Styron on this tragic egregious stealing of the life of someone who tried to work for the improvement of lives of Native Americans.


The staute of Leonard Peltier now in jail for over 40 years, a Native American activitst was dismembered this week.

I continue for now to contribute what a reader coming here might not have seen and a few thoughts thereon. For this week, Alan Bennett's diary entries from the LRB (not publicly online as far as I know), first after Brexit:

24 June:  The day after the referendum, I spend sitting at the kitchen table correcting the proofs of Keeping On Keeping On before going to Yorkshire in despair. I imagine this must've been what Munich was like in 1938 -- half the nation rejoicing at a supposed deliverance, the other stunned by the country's self-serving cowardice. Well, we shall see.

10 November, Venice: One way of going on post-Trump, though it's hardly a solution, is to live without news: no papers, no TV, no comment ... It's not something I want to get used to, or for the outrage, the disgust, the despair to become blunted. Better raw ... Trudging painfully through the streets ... America ... is now virtually a dictatorship, with congress and the presidency both in Trump's hands, and the Supreme Court packed for years to come [a minority party], if we're lucky enough to be granted years to come .. Thankful I am old and have no children [my case grandchildren] to leave in a world of at the mercy of this lying and bellicose vulgarian ... [a little later] a malevolent buffoon ....

14 November. A nauseating picture on the front of the Guardian of Trump and Farage together, with 'nauseating' in this case not just  a word. It does genuinely make one feel sick.

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John Berger:  he died this week: he was an ethical art critic, poet, painter, an intelligent well-educated man, humanist, feminist, yes they have existed and continue to exist all over the world. Ways of seeing was his important work. Here's a summary of his work.  Another great 1970a mini-series, a a DVD worth watching. From the text:



Images we are so used to are analysed for what they tell us.

Begin here:



You can go to YouTube and see Parts 2-4.

The kind of adversarial criticism the "Adorno" school of thought attracts nowadays -- which I find highly unfair: it's a defense of modern amoral hedonistic un-self-examined public media: "Puritanic rationalism" But I include so you can see why Berger's writing is not remembered as widely today as it deserves.

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3 January.  The endurance ordeal is over for another year.  I woke around 4.  Even with my nightly sleeping pill I couldn't sleep past that hour.  I am so deeply ashamed and revolted by what is happening in the US govt on the federal and other levels. By so much I see in the public media, obscenely luxurious houses around my block, the soulless hotels I've stayed in, glamor it's called, popular movies. Got up and read in the Washington Post that Trump hardly ever uses email. He said he doesn't do email or some phrase, with the excuse it's so unsafe. Each time I've seen him near a computer it's been with that son-in-law of his, Jared Whatever. I am now wondering if Trump is semi-literate. Did he graduate from high school?  how well can he read? he can't spell and shows no ability with grammar. Not a moron as he's planning now to revamp the immigration laws to be like the repressive ones of the 1890s. He knows about that.  My grandparents could not have gotten in had they been in place post-1900.  There have been powerful kings before who are morons,  illiterate but all I've ever read of got their thrones through inheritance, not that an electorate voted them in. What a statement that makes about the American electorate. Hofstadter in his important Anti-Intellectualism in the US failed to predict this. I saw in the New Yorker an article about Intellectuals for Trump ...

It seems to me of immense importance that this man cannot read anything complicated nor write anything complicated. The true author of the Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, who became very guilty when he realized how his book has become a legimitizer of Trump told Jane Mayor in the New Yorker how it was produced. Alas, he has been shut up by Trump's lawyers.

Truly I can no longer watch PBS but intermittently (Malcolm Brabant, Fred de Sam Lazaro) and for DemocracyNow.org while there are still the invaluable interviews (the Leonard Peltier entry above came from that), I just manage to listen to the recitation of what happened today and give up. She has a way of repeating her tapes as she has so little money and too many of them feature Trump's face or tweets. Her attitude towards Julian Assange now sickens me. I shut the sound off.

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It's also what's not in the news:  I look for but don't read anywhere that Obama is about to pardon and free Leonard Peltier. Only that people against "cop-killers" were responsible for AU's craven destruction of the Peltier statue. Nor that he has taken the Nuclear stance off High Alert: a president can start a nuclear war right now in four minutes: high alert would require him to consult others first. Obama cares too much about his place in social organizations after the presidency is over -- $90,000 a year for the rest of his life is not enough.

Miss Drake

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
misssylviadrake
Jan. 6th, 2017 03:09 pm (UTC)
Marvelous book
From a friend:

I read and resonated with this diary blog particularly John Berger. His death (sad, but he did live to 90) is inspiring me to look again at Ways of Seeing, which I remember as a marvelous book. I used to use it and his mini-series (back when it was an enormous procedure to show a videotape) in the 1980s in my first round of teaching.

My husband told me, that Ways of Seeing episodes are on Youtube, and I hope I can find time to revisit them. I'd also like to mention how enormously valuable I find Youtube, and I hope the new administration won't put up paywalls or encourage taking content down or whatever it is will they do to try to monetize everything.

A NYT oped on Brazil's savage health, worker protection and social welfare cuts points the direction our country is probably headed. Brazil is a country, as I understand it, that only recently began to have a servant problem, meaning it had begun to build a middle class economy. The new Congress in the US also voted to allow microscopically pinpointing federal workers for firing or pay cuts, which, at the very least, will chill internal dissent. Federal govt workers will feel that.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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