Author Archives: winterSmith

Zen and the Highway

interstate-zen

Ikkyū regards young Sōgi’s calligraphy as golden hour yields to white. “Your hand is inelegant, as always. It’s … bold, though.”

Magpies screech disapproval from a nearby pine.

A horn echoes through the courtyard. Sōgi looks in the direction of the disturbance. Ikkyū bows his head and sighs.

“Forgive me for speaking out of turn, Master Ikkyū, but it would perhaps be best were the monastery further from the highway.” Read more

Dear Conservatives: It’s Judgment Day

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? - Matthew 7:16

On Tuesday night, Donald Trump stood before America and refused to denounce white supremacy. Instead, he used the opportunity to order one of America’s most notorious hate groups to stand at the ready.

He did this on national television, with millions watching and the cameras rolling.

After years of denial, years of deflection, of misdirection, of dog-whistles and whataboutism and hey-look-over-there-ism, after years of insisting that black is white and up is down, you, Trump supporters, find yourselves standing naked in full daylight. Read more

Trump’s “Failure” to Denounce White Supremacy: Journalistic Malpractice in the First Degree

2020 Presidential Debate

It’s been a long time since I expected much from corporate journalism, but no matter how low I set the bar they keep finding ways to tunnel under it.

Their handling of Trump’s “debate” shout-out to white supremacists everywhere – his overt call for them to stand at the ready – buggered belief.

Check this nonsense from ABC: Read more

#ArtSunday: Fall Flora

I recently purchased a new Nikon D750 full-frame, and on Friday my new Sigma 105mm macro lens arrived. Yesterday was my first flower-hunt with the rig. More test-drive than anything, but for me there’s something quite beautiful about this time of year, as nature begins tucking in and settling accounts…

Susan-in-Fall When-September-Ends

COVID Radio: Stay the Fuck Home, Becky

COVID-RadioNew and Improved! It will tap your toes, boogie your butt, make you smarter and better looking! Cures gout, unsightly warts and the heartbreak of psoriasis!

[ahem]

Our badass COVID playlist continues to grow in cool ways. Assume you sleep 8 hours a night and need music for the rest of your day. This playlist will keep you in tuneage for 6 days and 18 hours.

Old favorites, new discoveries, eclectic and intelligent. Rock, Indie, Electronica, Pop, ’70s, ’80s, alt.90s, Motown, Grunge, Punk, Dance, Trance, New Wave, Metal, Soul & R&B, Americana, Industrial, DarkWave, Trip-Hop, Shoegaze … even a smattering of C&W, old school and new.

You won’t like everything but that’s what skip buttons are for.

Thanks to Matthew Grimm for the song that gives the playlist its title…

LISTEN NOW!

Do Billionaires Get a Bad Rap?

Monopoly-ManA famous man once said “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

I thought about this as I was talking with my friend Bryan yesterday. The subject was NBA and MLB players striking in protest against the attempted murder of Jacob Blake by the Kenosha PD, and Bryan was saying that it can’t always just be the players. The owners need to stand up, too.

He’s right, but I have very little faith in owners. Read more

Hey Look – More Goodell Bullshit!

Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sat down with Emmanuel Acho for one of his Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Acho asked Goodell what he would say to Colin Kaepernick by way of apology.

At which point … well, Commish gonna do what Commish do. Deflect. Dissemble. Misdirect. Distract.

This morning Mike Florio took Goodell apart like a hungover Gordon Ramsey breaking down a chicken with weak joints.

And I honestly don’t have a thing to add. I’m just linking it for the record.

All I’ll do is repeat the question I asked back in June: Mr. Commissioner, what team will Kaepernick be playing for this fall?

If Woody Guthrie Were Still Alive…

…Matthew Grimm’s Dumpster-Fire Days would be his favorite album of the last decade.
Matthew-Grimm-Dumpster-Fire-Days

My favorite lines from each song:

Salt of the Earth

We gathered in the square to watch Black men hang like a Friday night football game
We’ll greenlight genocide long as some charlatan tells us it’s in Jesus’ name

Tommy Keene Is Playing Kiki’s House

Corporations, Christians, contras, all fronts in one never-ending war
We raged at the sacred and austere, revenge for childhoods lived in fear Read more

CNN: We false equivalence, you decide.

Yes, goddammit, THIS.

Stimulus talks on the brink of collapse as two sides trade blame and get no closer to a deal

BOTH sides are to blame. The people who want to keep us alive are as much at fault as the people who lock kids in cages and think Nazis are very fine people and who don’t care if we live or die. The people who want to give us enough to survive are just as bad as the ones who want to give us nothing.

Brought to you by CNN. We false equivalence, you decide.

What was it Hunter said?

Some people will say that words like “scum” and “rotten” are wrong for Objective Journalism — which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful.

🤬

Graphic: The American Left-Right Political Spectrum

UPDATED 2020/8/9

Several conversations since I originally posted the spectrum have made clear that some elaboration and refinement is in order. In this update I add elements for context and present a revised spectrum graph that more accurately reflects the US political-economic spectrum with respect to the global “left-right” divide.

______

There exists a sort of consensus among Americans about left-wing vs right-wing (vs “moderate” or “centrist), but this narrow popular view fails to account for historical shifts and the global context. In short:

The US is significantly more conservative than the rest of the industrialized West and we have shifted dramatically to the right over the past 50 years. Read more

Defund the Police? Good Cops, Bad Cops…

defund-the-police_lg

The individual tells you nothing about the system. The system tells you nothing about the individual.

The issue isn’t whether you respect Black Lives Matter. It isn’t whether you respect the Police. It’s whether the Police believe all are equal under the law. Recent weeks and months (and years) have set before our eyes a wealth of evidence answering that question. Read more

I Hope Kanye West Gets Help

Kanye-West

This whole Kanye thing is hard to watch.

I’ve had a couple brushes with bipolar folks – one of them terrifying enough that I started carrying a gun out of fear for my well-being – and I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like living with it.

I hope he gets help. I also hope that people watching are motivated by his case to educate themselves more on mental health. And maybe the stigma lessens a bit.

If you’re struggling with mental health issues or know someone who is, you can get help at MentalHealth.gov.

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