“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”


Just like every other thoughtful, sentient being living on planet Trump today, I’m dumbstruck by the level of holy-shit-balls-it’s-fucking-nuts these days. I’m fully aware I’m not the only person who is incapable of comparing the events in America to writings by George Orwell.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” goes through my head about once a day.

I scratched my head a bit as to why 1984 sales surged early in Trumptopia’s new regime when I feel like Animal Farm is more àpropos to the conversation.

At the time of this writing, Trump’s only been in the office 59 days8 hours16 minutes33 seconds. Barring screaming from a minority of shouting voices on the left and the right, I get the continued feeling that the self-aware among us are more oppositional to the course we’re on. There are die-hard fans of Trump’s campaign promises and republican so-called ideals that will stand on the poop deck holding on for dear life with this administration as the ship with a gaping hole in its hull descends under icy-cold water … and its captain and his family rides off in safety on a lifeboat. 

So many feel helpless. I too feel that sentiment.

Even more feel hapless. I ride in that boat, too.  Continue reading

Coolest project ever: filmmaker produces motion portraits of Alabamans while reading Walt Whitman!


About the project:

www.whitmanalabama.com
Welcome to Whitman, Alabama.

This is an experiment in using documentary and poetry to reveal the threads that tie us together—as people, as states, and as a nation.

For two years, filmmaker Jennifer Crandall has crisscrossed this deep Southern state, inviting people to look into a camera and share a part of themselves through the words of Walt Whitman. The 19th century poet’s “Song of Myself” is a quintessential reflection of our American identities.

Who is America? The question will always be a difficult one. But if you listen to Alabama’s many voices, you may hear some of the answer.

“For,” as Whitman says, “every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”

Check out different clips at their youtube page.

Seen at Kottke

John Oliver runs down the American Health Care Act with a locomotive, but it’s not going to help you, me or anybody else.


I have little to no confidence that I can hope to have access to decent health care again like I have over the past several years.

It’s so fucking sad. Has no one heard the screams and pleas of real Americans on this fucking topic?

Anybody?

Oh wait, they have ERs. So we’re good. Let’s attack a country!!!

Sean Spicer quotes Trump on jobs growth: “The reports may have phony in the past, but it’s very real now.”


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I’ve mentioned this several times before, but for the past eight years, one of the corporate events I’ve photographed is a summit in Chicago aimed at luxury architects, interior designers, builders and real estate agents. These people are the creme de la creme of local business.

At this event, I get an insider perspective on what these local business gurus are learning about. Much of it is privileged information regarding their very distinct markets. At this event, I’ve listened to all kinds of writers, professors and economics pros speak on all sorts of topics. I’ve heard high end bankers speak about how the economy has grown since the repression/depression in 2009/2010. Every year, I’ve listened in on how well the US economy has become since it tanked thanks to George W.

Continue reading

Genghis Khan’s take on religion


Over at TYWKIWDBI, Minnesotastan posted that he’s reading a book titled Gengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World and quoted the following from the book (emphasis is Stan’s):

“Eyewitnesses report that upon reaching the center of Bukhara, Genghis Khan rode up to the large mosque and asked if, since it was the largest building in the city, it was the home of the sultan. When informed that it was the house of God, not the sultan, he said nothing. For the Mongols, the one God was the Eternal Blue Sky that stretched from horizon to horizon in all directions.  God presided over the whole earth; he could not be cooped up in a house of stone like a prisoner or a caged animal, nor as the city people claimed, could his words be captured and confined inside the covers of a book. In his own experience, Genghis Khan had often felt the presence and heard the voice of God speaking directly to him in the vast open air of the mountains in his homeland, and by following those words, he had become the conqueror of great cities and huge nations.”

I don’t agree with Genghis Khan’s perspective completely, as I’m unsure of an actual supreme being. Hearing the voice of a god or gods is unprovable and likely some kind of hyperbole. But I certainly admire his perspective.

My most authentic “spiritual” experiences are during my morning meditations, during long runs outside in which the brain can do nothing but unfocus and focus at the same time (also happens during long swims) and while at large outdoor music festivals in which the entirety of thousands upon thousands of fans are deep in the fabric of shared experiences that are idiosyncratic at the same time.

That contrasts to those of the church, which I found, even as a child and teenager, to be contrived and not authentic.

I don’t believe in a god or gods (for many many reasons, but) because the existence of god is completely unknowable. One can assume a god exists, but all the evidence to it via biblical or even all around earthly experience, does not lead one to a place of “Yep, there’s an all-powerful, all-knowing dude in charge of it all.” The information the collective “we” of humanity have written in books and have stuffed into the confines of a church experience is too confining for a concept as large as something called “god”.

This is something a religious person will also agree with and explain they too look to nature for their answer, while maintaining that this mystery known as god must be worshiped or believed in. They’re also ignoring the parts of nature that do not indicate a god or gods. The message that belief in said being (or beings) would provide anyone with a reward in afterlife is surely not spending enough time experiencing life to its fullest. And is therefore limited by beliefs.

Once the unknowable is “knowable,” one tends to give up on searching out other unknowns and becomes static in so-called knowledge.

It’s sad. It causes a lack of sympathy and empathy for anyone except those with shared values.