Three songs with “Georgia” in the title:
“Are you really going to hand over the White House to a real estate agent?” ~John Lydon, on Donald Trump
Politics is the only field where inexperience and ignorance are considered to be positive qualities.
Apply for literally any other job in the world and tell them, “I’ve never done this before, but that’s a good thing because it shows I lack a fundamental knowledge of the systems and processes involved.” Report back with your results.
“Go outside. Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone. Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see. We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice. Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t. Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t. And that’s the point. Just walk, see, sit down if you like. And be. Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have, and realize that that is enough to be happy. There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.” ~Charlotte Eriksson, in You’re Doing Just Fine ©2015
“Picture a wave in the ocean. You can see it, measure it – its height, the way the sunlight refracts when it passes through – and it’s there, and you can see it, and you know what it is: it’s a wave. And then it crashes on the shore and it’s gone. But the water is still there. The wave was just a different way for the water to be for a little while. That’s one conception of death for a Buddhist: the wave returns to the ocean, where it came from, where it’s supposed to be.” ~Chidi, The Good Place
I don’t know what I believe sometimes. The quote above is very pretty and poetic, but I don’t necessarily believe it.
But if it turns out to be true, and we are all just waves returning to the ocean, that would be okay.
“People tend to approach challenges in one of two ways: as problem-solving, or as conflict.” ~Steven Pinker (source)
That’s why the American government doesn’t work anymore. As long as congress sees every issue as a conflict to be won rather than a problem to be solved, we’re going to lurch from one extreme to the other.
The big danger is that we’ll lurch into a ditch of fascism and not be able to pull ourselves back out.
Joe Biden is exclusively emphasizing the infrastructure bill now. He is positioning himself to take a victory lap over a bill that was never in question.
He doesn’t seem to want to talk anymore about the Reconciliation Bill. That’s the one that would have made health care more accessible and affordable, lowered the cost of higher education, and ensured that everybody got an equal chance to vote.
So he’s going to raise his tiny, wrinkled fists in victory, and his aides will explain that, in the name of pragmatism, the Democrats were once again unable to do anything to improve anybody’s life. But, they will say, if they win the next election, then we’ll certainly be able to have those things.
“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” ~John Lydon
Excerpted from a Forbe’s review of About Time by David Rooney, available online HERE:
Ancient Romans were well aware of the coercive effect of clocks on daily life. Shortly after the first sundial was installed at the Forum, writers attacked it, damning “the man who first discovered the hours”. Characteristically for a culture fixated on cuisine, the greatest criticism concerned the timing of meals. “When I was a boy, my stomach was the only sundial,” complained the playwright Plautus. “But now what there is, isn’t eaten unless the sun says so.”
It’s hard to imagine a life without clocks, but their lives were not greatly different than our own. Somehow they went to school, went to work, went to church, waged wars, imposed taxes, and everything got done.
And, of course, that reminded me of this:
Excerpted from The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts, ©1982:
Harvey himself never talked much about his childhood in Woodmere and Bayshore, except for two stories. First, the August afternoon a few weeks after his graduation when he was briefly picked up by police for indecent exposure. And then, there was the day his parents sat him down in 1943 to tell him about the brave Jews of Warsaw who were hopelessly outnumbered and surrounded by Nazi troops. But they fought on anyway, not because they thought they could win, but because when something that evil descends on the world, you have to fight. Even if it’s hopeless.
By the time Harvey took his high school diploma, news of the Nazi Holocaust had shocked the world, especially the millions of American middle-class Jews who had grown to feel so secure. The Holocaust touched Milk doubly, in a way that he could not have imagined at that time.
Before Hitler’s rise, Germany had an active gay liberation movement that pressed for legal demands and collected hundreds of thousands of signatures on petitions asking for homosexual equality. But in 1936, Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler issued the following decree:
Just as we today have gone back to the ancient German view on the question of marriages mixing different races, so too in our judgment of homosexuality– a symptom of degeneracy which could destroy our race– we must return to the guiding Nordic principle, extermination of degenerates.
About a year later, Himmler ordered that gays be rounded up and sent to Level 3 camps– the death camps. Gays wore pink triangles, so they would not be confused with Jews who wore yellow stars of David. Some estimates put the number of gays exterminated at over 220,000, the second largest category of Nazi genocide victims after Jews.
This attempt at genocide efficiently squashed the only gay political movement in the Western world. Harvey Milk, meanwhile, was seven years old then, playing in the aisles of grandfather Morris’ dry goods store. It would be years before ideas of gay equality rumbled again, this time in the United States.
The “indecent exposure,” by the way, was a trumped-up charge the police used to harass gays at the time. He had merely taken his shirt off in a park.
“Give people what they need: food, medicine, clean air, pure water, trees and grass, pleasant homes to live in, some hours of work, more hours of leisure. Don’t ask who deserves it. Every human being deserves it.” ~Howard Zinn