Thursday, January 19, 2017

DDD EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FOR JAN/19/2017


THE MAIN EVENT
  • The West African Bloc leadership have given Gambia President Yahya Jammeh until midnight to step down. After ruling Gambia for two decades, Jammeh recently lost elections, and has refused to step down. A state of emergency has been declared.
  • A number of Far Right European political leaders are holding an unprecedented cross-border summit in a sleepy German tourist town this weekend, in the two days following Traitor Trump's inauguration. They are apparently meeting to figure out the best way to build on their American ideological ally's success, and combine forces against the European traditions of tolerant liberal multicultural democracy. The dreaded "mainstream media" has, of course, been banned.
  • In the African nation of Mali, in the midst of an extremely complicated and rapidly evolving situation in that country, a suicide car bomber has claimed 50 lives, with many more injured and not expected to survive. Those targeted were part of a cooperative security group made up of formerly competing militias who had joined forces after signing peace accords with Mali's ruling government in 2015.
A DEEPER DIVE
  • Magnificent bastard Markus Muir has single-handedly punked Fake News media mogul Alex Jones, via henchman Paul Joseph Watson--who is the human embodiement of both the word "moist" and the notion that adopting a British accent is a great way to camouflage significant intellectual impairment--by getting them to run a completely unsubstantiated story about NBC and Buzzfeed getting ready to release vide of Trump saying "nigger" in Apprentice outtakes. Kudos, Markus! Kudos, and huzzahs!
  • Despite being threated with a lawsuit, herself--or maybe even because of it--Summer Zervos, one of the 13 women who came forward to claim she was one of the women whom Traitor Trump has confessed to sexually assaulting, is going ahead with her lawsuit
  • Regarding the political cartoon at the top of today's DDD ExecSum: I was hoping to draw one myself, featuring Assange, Trump and Putin in a "Human Centipede" configuration... but I couldn't make the ass-to-mouth order work, and it would be too difficult to make out who was who. Sorry!
  • Yesterday, former New York Times scribe Judith Miller tweeted critically about President Obama's decision to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning, rhetorically demanding to know "how many people died" because of Manning's leak. While extensive government research has not shown any deaths resulting from Manning's leak, the same cannot be said of Miller's role in providing a veneer of legitimacy to the bullshit being spread around by Dick Cheney and his "Office of Special Plans" CIA bypassing intel stovepipe, which led directly to the 2003 launch of the still unfinished Businessman's War of First Resort in Iraq. That shit killed millions. And Judith is personally responsible for at least a substantial fraction of that number. How Judith Miller hasn't yet found the courage to do the right thing and kill herself in the most painful possible way is beyond my ability to comprehend.
***

SUGGESTED READINGS

1. Will wonders never cease? Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks has penned a  compelling and cogent essay--vividly argued and historically informed--about the true, almost archetypal nature of the Donald Trump Moment, linking it to the concept of the carnivalesque. Brooks writes in part:
Carnival culture was raw, lascivious and disgraceful, and it elevated a certain social type, the fool. 
There were many different kinds of fools: holy fools, hapless fools, vicious fools. Fools were rude and frequently unabashed liars. They were willing to make idiots of themselves. The point of the fool was not to be admirable in himself, but to be the class clown who had the guts to talk back to the teacher. People enjoyed carnival culture, the feast of fools, as a way to take a whack at the status quo. 
You can see where I’m going with this. We live at a time of wide social inequality. The intellectual straitjackets have been getting tighter. The universities have become modern cathedrals, where social hierarchies are defined and reinforced. 
We’re living with exactly the kinds of injustices that lead to carnival culture, and we’ve crowned a fool king. President-elect Donald Trump exists on two levels: the presidential level and the fool level. On one level he makes personnel and other decisions. On the other he tweets. (I honestly don’t know which level is more important to him.) 
His tweets are classic fool behavior. They are raw, ridiculous and frequently self-destructive. He takes on an icon of the official culture and he throws mud at it. The point is not the message of the tweet. It’s to symbolically upend hierarchy, to be oppositional.
There's more--lots more--food for thought contained herein. Also, don't worry. Even though Brooks is a NYT columnist, I've linked to a Santa Cruz Sentinel reprint so you won't smash nose-first into the Times' goddamn paywall.

2. Nat Hentoff, a man whose distinctive "voice" has been "heard" for over half a century via his columns on so many topics, ranging from jazz to politics, has passed away. In the early days of the Daily Dirt, even though I often disagreed with his stances, I found Hentoff's spare but sly style to be a real inspiration. If I've ever moved or entertained you with my words, I would appreciate it if you read this overview of Hentoff's life and career. Consider it a favor to me.

3. We need a laugh, yes? Here... watch this guy prank the crap out of his wannabe troubadour roomie:


***
QUOTE OF THE DAY

"President Donald J. Trump is the insane director you hired so you could get the actor you wanted, and you’re just waiting and hoping that the footage you’re seeing from the location can somehow, in editing, get stitched together into something usable. President Trump is the movie star you need to get the money for the project, but the movie star has decided to rewrite the script over the weekend, and the reports you’re getting back about the new pages are alarming. President Trump is the actor starring in your series who is going to make your life miserable for the next four years. President Trump is what you get when you put the talent in charge."

- Hollywood Republican Rob Long puts "President Trump" in an entertainment industry context for venerable trade mag Variety.

DDD EXTRAS
  • If you want to learn about some cool and/or weird things that happened on the 19th day of January, check out our sister-site, Useless Eater Blog.

THE TAKEAWAY

Accusing a creative person who's taken on a less than prestigious gig of doing it "just for the money" is like accusing a drowning man of kicking and struggling towards the surface "just for the oxygen".

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