June 5, 2009 archive

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

In this world

Hate never yet dispelled hate.

Only love dispels hate.

This is the law,

Ancient and inexhaustible.

–The Dhammapada, 1

Phenomena XV: Love



Fear is strong

Does hatred

make anyone


We come in

all degrees

of beauty

all depths

of substance

all capabilities

of love

Should cultural


so consistently

deny us love?

The riddles

need solving

so that lives

may be lived

and love

may be found

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–June 13, 2008

Late Night Karaoke

(Surfers Extended Mix)

Dystopia 9: The Blackwaters

Oratin’: Select takes on high oratory.

Obama gave another good speech, light-years beyond Bush in both content and tenor.  Good.  He said a lot of good and truthy things, including admitting the Mossadegh regime change thingy back in the day (I thought he wasn’t interested in “looking back,” but oh well, I guess it’s okay if it’s looking far enough back, b-b-but not too recently back,, though).  Now maybe he’ll go to, say, La Paz, or something, and re-heat that part of the speech about regime change and self-determination and non-interference.

If my insect-like compound eyes are channeling the individual optics properly down the optic fiber-like shafts of my individual rhabdomeres without excessive leakage of light, then there appear to be a wide variety of perspectives on that speech.

Booman made a credible argument that Obama’s speech was frankly and thoroughly progressive, and we should strongly support his worldview.

On the other hand, Chris Floyd shrilly howls unrepentantly apostatic, heretical Commie-plotting-turned-al-Qaeda sympathizing lunacies such as this:

During the speech, we heard many nicely-turned phrases and heartfelt pieties from President Obama as he sought to “correct the misunderstandings” that Muslims have about America and its benevolent policies around the world. But what speaks far more loudly to the reality of those policies is a small story already being shunted aside by the tsunami of gushing press devoted to the empty flapping of presidential jaws in Cairo — the suicide of a Yemeni man held captive, without charges, in the Guantanamo concentration camp since 2002.

Fortunately, my bulbous compound eyes wrap fully around my cephalic structure giving me 360+ degrees of vision, and I can see the optics on virtually all disparate points of view, even those coming out of my own ass.

Here’s a few more of my favorites:  

President Obama’s Speeches

By: Bernard Chazelle

Tomorrow, the president of the United States will give a speech in Cairo that the White House has modestly called an “address to the Muslim World.” I saw on their web site a list of Obama’s forthcoming speeches.

June 04, 2009: Address to the Muslim World

August 12, 2009: Address to Humanity

October 07, 2009: Address to All Eukaryotic Life Forms and Wiccans

November 23, 2009: Address to the Universe

December 15, 2009: Address to AIPAC

Feb 6, 2010: Address to All Deities

April 5, 2010: Address to My Puppy

Obama Calls for Something, Anything in Speech in Egypt

CAIRO – Speaking before a large crowd at Cairo University in Egypt’s sprawling capital city, President Barack Obama urged the Muslim world to “look over there,” causing several dozen in the audience to turn their heads to see what he was pointing at in the vague middle distance.

“But seriously,” Mr. Obama continued. “The time of the past is in the past, and the future is that which lies before us.” Pausing for effect, he added, “The present is now,” drawing applause.

The hilarious rest.

Anatomy of a speech

The thing about speeches is that they sound differently when you are in a refugee camp vs. when you are updating your status on Facebag.

I’ve heard a similar distortion can occur when you are unwittingly transformed into many separate pieces on behalf of the person speaking.

Murder Trial for officer in Oakland BART Killing is on

(also Also diaried at dkos.)

Despite what has been at times a cluster-fuck of an investigation (see below the fold), the murder trial is on.

The BART police officer caught on video shooting and killing 22-year-old Oscar Grant while Grant laid face-down on the ground, will stand trial for murder in Oakland.

After hearing seven days of testimony since May 18, Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay said prosecutors had presented ample evidence to show that (ex-BART police Officer Johannes) Mehserle could be found guilty of murdering Oscar Grant, 22, at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland.

Video of Grant’s January 1, 2009 killing has been widely distributed on the internet.

Open Thread


Be excellent to your thread…

Sen. Graham’s lies and media incompetence

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) once again showed America, and his home state of South Carolina, the face of a corrupt politician.

GRAHAM: The reason I don’t want to go back any more than we have already done is because I know what happened. Out of fear, we overreacted. … They took a view of the law that I think was aggressive, and I would not have approached it that way. Right after 9/11, we all thought we were going to be hit again. So as we go back and try to hold people criminally liable. I think we’re doing a lot of damage to the country, because their mistakes were not criminal mistakes. They were mistakes made out of fear.

The rest, as they say, is history…  

Overnight Caption Contest

Yes We Can, now try and make us

The disparity between the super rich and everyone else grows by the day, despite public bailouts, despite the economic clusterfuck I am calling “The Great Oppression”

Our rights are still under attack.

War crimes are going un-punished.

The opposition on the right is increasingly racist, insane and growing towards violence.

and not a single Democrat seems to have the stones to call this what it is.

Class warfare.

In The Footsteps Of Cezanne (A Photo Blog)

One’s favorite paintings are purely subjective. Since I first discovered but a poster of it, Paul Cézanne’s Le Lac d’Annecy has been among the handful of mine. The real thing resides in London’s Courtauld Gallery, but I first saw it when the Courtauld Institute was being remodeled, and the collection was shipped exclusively to Toronto. The future Mrs. T and I were headed to a friend’s wedding, in rural Ontario, and had decided to drive across the country. I’d never been to Toronto, so we planned to stay for a few days. We drove in from Indiana, had our car searched at the border, and only made it to our hotel after midnight. Except that there had been a screw-up with the reservation, so it wasn’t our hotel. And it was Gay Pride Week, which meant that almost every room in the city was booked. But the hotel manager managed to reach a friend who ran another hotel, and we ended up in a lavish business suite for the price of a small room. We got to bed around 3 a.m., woke the next day, went out exploring, and saw the banners on lampposts: The Courtauld Collection! In Toronto! Right then! It became our first stop!


(massive version here)

The haunting magic of the painting simply cannot be captured online. For one thing, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism are very much about physical texture, and unless you can see the brush strokes, you’re not really seeing the painting. And in Cézanne’s case, and specifically with this work, that often meant palette knife strokes, because Cézanne’s fascination with intersecting planes often led him to craft his art with his knife rather than with a paintbrush. And when we found the room with this painting, I could not leave. The future Mrs. T later told me she began to wonder if I would try to walk out with it.

My enchantment led a couple other visitors to inquire about it. I began explaining. A small crowd gathered. I told them to stand ten to fifteen feet back, relax their eyes, and observe the near photo-realism. The perspective is so perfect that you are transported into its depths, from the foreground tree, across the rippled reflections on the water, to the buildings and landscapes across the lake, and on up into the mountains. It’s an astonishing achievement. Because when you then walk closer, to observe the detailed knife and brush strokes and the physical texture, the image dissolves into what is almost Expressionism. Only the best Cubism similarly shimmers between near three-dimensional realism and pure abstraction. Little wonder some art historians say modern art begins with Cézanne.

Helen Gardner:

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