Thursday, January 21, 2021

Quips and Quotations (Post-Fascism Edition)


 

 My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.

--Carl Schurz (1829-1906), German-born American statesman

 






43 comments:

  1. 'Post fascism'! You made me laugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew, it was either that or Post-Evil Incarnate

      Delete
  2. Imagine, a president for ALL Americans! A great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mitchell, we have no right calling ourselves a democracy without one.

      Delete
  3. Hi, Kirk!

    Happy New Year 2021, good buddy!

    Did you watch New Year's Rockin' Eve hosted by Tom Hanks, featuring stellar performances by Demi Lovato and Katy Perry and capped by one of the biggest, most spectacular fireworks displays in history? (Meanwhile, down at Mar-a-Lago, Trump had two sparklers and a cherry bomb.)

    It was a great day for America, good buddy. I watched the inauguration and wept many times throughout the perfect program. Senator Amy was excellent in the role of presenter. The swearing in of VP Kamala was a tremendous moment in our nation's history, and a long time comin'. Gaga, J-Lo and Garth nailed their songs. Amanda Gorman stole the show with her poem. The minister who delivered the stirring benediction reminded me of MLK. President Joseph Biden gave the greatest speech of his life at a time when he needed to. The evening program was equally great. The remarks by the three former presidents, Obama, Bush and Clinton, was a display of unity that surely inspired all who tuned in. Were they all preaching to the choir? Were Democrats and lovers of democracy the only ones who watched the inauguration and the evening celebration? Time will tell. I already read an article about Garth Brooks' fans turning on him and "washing their hands" of him for making the un-American decision to support unity by singing at a democratic president's inaugural. So be it. If the very concept of unity is now viewed as controversial, if people refuse to even listen to one another and try to find common ground and reconcile their differences, if they choose war over peace, then President Biden indeed has much work ahead changing minds and hearts and bringing a divided nation together.

    I wish every American could awaken this morning as I did, feeling like it's Christmas morning - excited, enthusiastic and hopeful, a tremendous burden lifted, indelible memories of having witnessed a splendid day and evening, a sense that the rudder has been turned on the ship of state and it is now getting back on course. For the first time in years I awakened filled with hope for brighter days ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unity. Well, Shady, like tango, it takes two to unify. Honestly, I don't particularly mind the partisan bickering as long as there's some substance to the bickering. Unfortunately, much of the time there's not. Also, it would be nice if there were more places for partisans to participate other than just these two "big tents" And I'm not talking a party for "centrists" either. As obnoxious as many of Trump's supporters were and are, they DO have a right to be involved in the political process, as do many leftists and liberals who wonder exactly what they're doing in a political party that seems a bit embarrassed by the words "left" and "liberal". I say let there be a political party for every strain of political thought, and then see who comes out on top. Case in point. There's some talk that Donald Trump may start his own Patriot Party. Had he only done that in 2016, Hillary might be on her second term right now.

      I know. I'm rambling. Thanks for commenting, Shady.

      Delete
    2. Shady, my thoughts were all over the map when I replied to you comment, which is why I cut it short. Let me see if I can come up with something a bit more coherent.

      In the past week I've seen here and there the suggestion that the rise of Donald Trump was due to there being "too much democracy" in the United States. Since Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 but became president anyway, I would argue it was because of NOT ENOUGH democracy! As for the Electoral College, one of the arguments for its continued existence is that it promotes "stability" and keeps extremists from taking over the country. Yeah, well, it worked out really well this time, didn't it?

      The argument for the continued existence of the two-party system is that it, too, promotes stability and keeps the extremists from taking over. Sigh. All the Republican nomination did was give Trump creditability that he wouldn't ordinarily have had. It safe to vote for Trump because the GOP says it is. While I'm sure there's a lot of rank-and-file members of the party that saw through Trump, it was naive to think the majority of lifelong Republicans were going to cross party lines just because he headed the ticket.

      Third parties. Yes, they're allowed to exist, but the Democrats and Republicans make it hard for them. For instance, nine states forbid voting for third-party candidates in primary elections (but you could still vote for Trump in those states.) And then there's the mathematical problem, that in a three-way race you could end up with a president who gets a minority (nicely referred to as plurality) of the vote. But there are ways around that. Runoff elections, for instance.

      Finally, I rather the last four years not lead to a fetish for centrism and an abhorrence for anything too radical. For one thing, todays centrism is often yesterday's radicalism. Case in point: Joe Biden is getting a good deal of applause (at least from some quarters) for appointing a transgender woman to be his assistant secretary of health. I, too, applaud him for doing do. But suppose Biden had made it to the White House back in 1988, the first time he ran for the Democratic nomination? Appointing a transgender woman to be White House tour guide would have been seen as too radical, much less assistant health secretary. Minds have changed a lot since then, though not necessarily because of the people we elect to office. Never forget the effectiveness of grass-roots politics.

      Just some thoughts on a cold night. Cold where I am, anyway.

      Delete
  4. Hope it all works out for you guys :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it will never completely work out for us guys, Ananka, or else our Founding Fathers wouldn't have felt the need to qualify "perfect union" with the word "more."

      Delete
  5. It is like a great weight has been lifted off America's back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brian, now we just have to see how good a chiropractor Joe Biden is.

      Delete
  6. Hello Kirk, I'll bet that Mr. Schurz never imagined how far wrong either of his affiliated countries would go!

    Wow, I just read Schurz's Wikipedia entry. It is amazing how much he crammed into one lifetime!
    --Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim, Germans and Americans and every other nationality that I can think of have one thing in common. They're all homo sapiens. As John Lennon once said, we're all Hitler and Jesus.

      Delete
  7. Lady Gaga did a fabulous job, I think!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debra, you may recall that I did a post on my country's National Anthem some time back. I made the point that it was written by a man under siege and a time when the United States was the underdog. I also wondered out loud if such a siege mentality, such an underdog status, really meant all that much in the present era when the United States is routinely referred to as the world's sole superpower. Well, there's under siege and there's under siege. For the foreseeable future, the USA really doesn't have to worry all that much about foreign invaders. But DOMESTIC invaders? Both figuratively and now I guess literally, they can create one helluva siege when they put their minds to it. But thank God that siege has now been lifted. When Lady Gaga looked up at the the stars and stripes and sang, "the flag was still there", it gave the song a meaning I don't think it ever quite had before.

      Delete
  8. I love it!

    It was a great day wasn't it? Many historical images from the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I caught it all on the 11:00 news, Maddie.

      Delete
  9. Biden may get a hand cram signing all those executive actions.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a wonderful day for all!! And so much hope on the horizon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JM, as long as I'm not feeling dread, and for the first time in four years, I'm not.

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Amazing moments provided by Lady Gaga:
    1) She looked her escort directly in the eye and thanked him by name, "Thank you Evan."
    2) Her brief, steely, dismissive glance toward the seditious Pence when handed the mic.
    3) The arrangement's suspenseful syncopation of its mixed 3/4 and 4/4 meter.
    4) When she turned and gestured to the flag that was flying on the pediment of the Capitol and sang the words "...that our flag was still there!" Especially moving given the Trump / Pence administration's attempted coup and given that the only other time in our history that the Capitol was invaded like that was during the War of 1812 -- the war wherein the song was written.
    It felt like I had just heard this song for the first time in my life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to hear from you again, Kass. It's been a long, long, long, long, time.

      I did indeed catch Lady Gaga thank Evan. I'm assuming she had just met him.

      Mike "Born Again" Pence meets Lady "Born This Way" Gaga, a surreal inauguration moment if there ever was one.

      Kass, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you once sing opera? You certainly know the technical aspects a lot better than I do (I remember being taught in sixth grade music appreciation class that "every boy does fine", but have long since forgotten WHY every boy does that and what it has to do with music.) The only way I can describe Gaga's rendition is as classical with some blue notes thrown in here and there, especially right at the end.

      About Lady Gaga gesturing to the flag--Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! The moment I saw that (which unfortunately was hours after the fact as I had to work) I knew I had to put it on this blog. Suddenly, the old English drinking song-turned-national anthem was RELEVENT again!

      Delete
  13. Kirk - I had many tears during the Inaugural program and I'm holding onto the positive outlook, aware there is much work to be done. As you've probably noticed, I haven't blogged for years, but I return and read my favorite bloggers frequently. I was reminded how you thanked me for sending bloggers your way at the end of my Elizabeth Edwards poem 11 years ago, which was inspired by your "In Memoriam." Gratitude seems to be such a fleeting quality these days. I am impressed with your consistency of content and output!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kass, your two blogs, ReDoingTheUndone and The K Is No Longer Silent, can still be found in the sidebar to the right, though the longer you go without posting, the farther to the bottom they sink. TKINLS currently resides just below Life on a Learner's Permit. This is a blog started, and apparently abandoned, by Leslie Morgan, aka, LimesNow. I just clicked it on now, and her name has been replaced by "unknown"! But trust me, it is, or was, Leslie. Leslie's other blog, Ramblings From Yet Another Stranger on the Bus can still be found way toward the bottom, and still has her full name. Also remaining in the sidebar is random firings across the synapses by rraine, though it's been silent for years. Then there's the curious case of Downhill Run. This was a blog by my long-lost half-brother, the late Mike Williams. If I click it on, the blog is still there, but it no longer has a title or an author. It will remain for the time being. My policy is to never remove a blog from the sidebar unless it ceases to exist altogether, as I just now discovered has happened to Digital Existence, a blog done by a man named Jim who was a friend of Leslie's and rraine's in Las Vegas. He used to photograph flowers.

      One of the bloggers who came my way through your Elizabeth Edwards poem is a woman who goes by the moniker angryparsnip and publishes Two Little Square Black Dogs. She still provides regular updates on her canines. Australia-based blogger Elisabeth still publishes Sixth in Line about once a week, and--Oh! I see you already left a comment there. Anyway, those are the blogs where I used to see your comments.

      Kass, even if you've lost the desire to blog yourself, I hope you'll continue to leave comments on MY blog. You're a good writer, and you critique of the Lady Gaga performance was EXCELLENT.

      Delete
    2. That should be "your critique". I'm obviously not going to get any high marks for excellence.

      Delete
  14. Hello I just discovered your blog, I followed. I expect my blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, since you asked me so nicely, bahardantavsiyeler. But there's no following icon on your blog. And I don't speak Turkish so I don't know what that stuff in the bottle is you're selling. Has it been approved by the FDA?

      Delete
  15. Not sure if you got my comment. I click "Preview" and then it goes away???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kass, my response to your comment disappeared when I clicked preview. I can't explain it. Sorry if you lost something.

      Delete
  16. Replies
    1. OK, now THAT got through. Let me try this again

      Delete
    2. Kass, I really am interested in what you had to say. If you'd like to try again, can I offer a suggestion? Next time, before you click Preview, copy the comment. That way, if the Preview acts temperamental again, you won't lose anything.

      Delete
  17. What I said was something to the effect that, yes, I was an opera singer who sang for years with Utah Opera, but most recently was able to put on a One Woman Show right before the Pandemic hit. It was called "Redoing the Undone," just like my blog. It dealt musically with issues faced in my life.

    I'm still in touch with Lorraine through Facebook and Messaging. She has lived with Jim, the photographer of flowers for more than 5 years. They rescue abandoned rabbits. They recently moved from Las Vegas to Arizona. It's a coincidence that very recently we were talking about how much we missed Mike. Was he really your half brother? I have lost touch with Leslie.

    I am eagerly awaiting your post about Cloris Leachman (hint hint). I featured pictures of the last scene of "The Last Picture Show" on my blog 11 years ago and you commented, "Cloris is very forgiving. Timothy is lucky to have her."
    Last Picture Show

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kass, I hope once this pandemic's over with, you can resume with your one-woman show, maybe even take it on the road. Cleveland's not that far from Utah, is it?

      Mike Williams was indeed my half-brother, though we didn't grow up together. In fact, the last time I saw him in person, I was eight years old! He showed up in the comment section one day, but didn't identify himself as my half-brother; my sister figured it out after he contacted her via a different social media website. Though he tried to goad me into it from time to time, I never admitted the relationship on this blog because I first wanted to establish some ongoing private communication with him, which he refused to do. It was either the blog or nothing, and I found that annoying (of course, he could have just admitted the relationship on his own blog, but something, I don't know what, held him back.) Whatever the tensions that may have existed between us, I do miss his presence in the comment section. He was a character.

      I remember your Last Picture Show post, if not my exact comment. I will pay my respects to Mary Richard's hilariously neurotic landlady sometime this weekend.

      Delete
    2. Hmm...I think it may be Mary Richards even without the apostrophe.

      Delete
  18. Kirk - In case you didn't, you can click on "The Last Picture Show" at the end of my comment and it will show the post and your comment. I was rather proud when I learned how to use hypertext in comments on blogspot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kass, I found the post by going through your archive, as well as a discussion of The Last Picture Show on a post right after that. If you don't object, when I do the Cloris Leachman tribute, I'd like to add links to those two posts.

      Delete
  19. Oh, blush blush, I would love it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Most of the world is glad he's gone although I doubt he'll stop trying to destroy American belief in democracy. Here in Britain the government have just given themselves massive extra powers tagged on to the Brexit bill that was rushed through at top spead when we faced a No Deal. Terrifying lack of environmental protection or health service protection now, and open door for them to spend public money on helping their buddies companies at the expense of other companies. Most Brits aren't aware or just overcome with crap from them so they just shrug. I doubt you'd get many people here storming parliament if they were paid £1000 each to do it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny, American democracy didn't come from the Greeks, at least not directly. It came from the English. It's a continuation of something your country began in 1215 with the signing of the Magna Carta. 1341 saw the establishment of the House of Commons, which for the first time since the fall of the Roman republic saw people who weren't kings, princes, dukes, barons, or lords elected to serve in government. The English Civil War was decided in Parliament's favor (at the cost of the reigning monarch's head, I may add.) The term "bill of rights" was coined in your country in 1689. The American Revolution was really just two republics fighting each other. The colonists merely wanted what your countrymen already had: representative government. Your democracy is every bit as worthy of preserving as ours. Here's hoping the cynicism you speak of will soon fade.

      Delete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

In order to keep the hucksters, humbugs, scoundrels, psychos, morons, and last but not least, artificial intelligentsia at bay, I have decided to turn on comment moderation. On the plus side, I've gotten rid of the word verification.