The later Star Trek series are frequently concerned with the wisdom of command—Picard, in particular, obsesses about choosing the wise path and being a responsible leader. Deep Space Nine and Voyager try to take away some of Starfleet’s awesome power…
BBQ, bad booze, and worse TV on the agenda: Or a typical Sunday evening out here at Dunvegan West. New on the TV schedule, however, replacing HUMANS, is, of course, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD. Moving the TWD setting to L.A.…
In the totalitarian totality of entertainment for entertainment’s sake and no other sake, THE AMERICANS is therefore condemned to a dark corner of television Siberia. Its inhabitants, including its fans as fellow inmates, are left to seek the peculiar victories achievable only there.
Amazing TV. I only give it 4 stars because they didn’t mention the importance of securing it to the wall. My dog was running through the house and bumped the stand causing the device to fall over. Luckily the dog…
(Comment at Crooked Timber, “Wonders of the Invisible World,” by Henry Farrell) Nicely done, though I think the critique of the ending is in its own way as too-neat as the ending itself, or simply recapitulates or re-extends the, of…
Perhaps disappointingly, perhaps necessarily, TRUE DETECTIVE will likely end up having to mean something, and not stand merely as an assertion of the impossibility or pointlessness of assertion – the kind of statement nearly credible, because comical, coming from a character in a Thomas Bernhard novel or in the theater of the absurd: the never believable claim, because destructive of any belief, that it would be better on balance for our hero, for the story’s tortured victims, and for us, never to have lived at all.
Breaking Bad has often exploited this reversal from meaningless to most meaningful, whether for an incidental ironic laugh or for the sake of overarching awe, and always both at once to some greater or lesser extent, but such devices, when over-used, will turn around again. Rather than being converted by the naturalism of scene, dialogue, character, and logic into an image of “fate,” the next incredible plot plot, or one or a few too many, can subvert them under the sign of “fake” – a danger all but the most naive viewers understand instinctively. The over-accumulation of improbabilities risks falsification of the whole, threatening to turn the self-sufficient fictive world into a mere artifact, a collapsed assemblage of meaningless gestures. Put simply, too much contrivance refers us to TV writers on deadlines, not to anything that could possibly matter more.
The very title of the show announces a morality tale, an investigation of “good” and “bad,” with an implicit come-on to enjoy the thrill of “breaking” the rules, before finally being delivered up to the proper message- at which point rather than “breaking to or into the bad,” the show will, one presumes with some confidence, finish “breaking the bad”: Hallelujah! The key challenge for the writers has always been, perhaps until now or next Sunday, preserving the thrill but ensuring the wholesome delivery in a way the morally depraved can accept, for their own good, despite themselves. Medieval morality tales almost certainly worked the same way, but Gilligan and company (probably?) cannot rely on horned demons dragging Walt down to painted flames of Hell – or on a chorus of the dead appealing for his salvation.
He didn’t and couldn’t anticipate the consequences of his actions, which is the main theme of the show, that seemingly rational or “scientific” solutions to immediate problems turn into their opposites due to the complex interwovenness of real life or society: i.e., Crime Doesn’t Pay. Even when it seems to pay, it turns you into an unhappy monster, or someone who has “earned” millions of dollars for his family but is unable to put it to use for them in any way. He can’t even find a way to get a fraction of it to them. They don’t even want it.
What the commercials want to tell or remind us is this: The US Navy is the US global-historical role and purpose objectified, American ideology concretely, defined by a presumption that the two meanings of “for good” become the same meaning over time, are always approaching each other via that arc “bending toward justice” that the President likes to recall in his seemingly most heartfelt speeches.
[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.
So, does Mitchell make any money on the work, which has been shared so many times? He uploaded a high-res image of the symbol and granted permission for anyone to use it personally for free. But for those who want to support his work or simply want something readymade, you can also buy T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and journals emblazoned with the symbol through Threadless.“I really just want to spread the image as much as possible and cement it in history,” Mitchell says. “In all honesty, the amount I’ve made from my Threadless shop so far is still less than my hourly rate, so I don’t really see it as a big deal. If you look at my Twitter, half the replies are people wanting to know where they can buy a shirt. Threadless is happy to help them out with that, and so I’m happy to let that happen.”Now that the symbol has flooded our streets and our timelines, Mitchell just has one request: “Impeach this idiot already,” he says.
This is a Waterloo moment for Trump, the tea party and their alliance. They have been stopped in their tracks not only by Democratic opposition but because of a mutiny within their own ranks. Although never particularly liked or respected, it is now clear that they are no longer feared. The bankruptcy of their ideas and their incompetence have been exposed. Their momentum has been dissipated. Their rejection of political norms has itself been scorned. Our long national nightmare may finally be coming to an end.
An American conservative attitude toward the nature of crime, as committed by individuals against individuals, and as naming specific acts - not "rape is rape" and "no is no," but "only real rape is rape" and "only a real no is no" - may prevent conservatives from saying what they really mean: that in fact they agree about the existence of a rape culture, but disagree as to who the real perpetrators have been and are.
Though the big, slick, expensive sites and services offer many of the things, and better, that ten years ago we went to (each other’s) blogs to find, they are inadequate for anyone seeking more than “the literature of a quarter of an hour,” but not involved in, supported by, or satisfied with traditional commercial and academic publishing. A blog might seem to belong to that species of 15-minute literature, but, once the all-consuming desire for passing interest has been stolen away or stolen back, the blog-as-log begins to disappear, revealing a virtual location: the site, marked by the non- or anti-ephemeral durability of logos rather than log.
As a matter of history, the administrative state, the FDR state, that the Tea Partiers are glad to shut down temporarily, and that some would like to shut down permanently, is the same state that arose contemporaneously with the fall of the Weimar Republic, in relation to common and overlapping challenges, and that was consolidated in political competition and eventually at war with its immediate successor (which technically still functioned under the Weimar constitution). A serious discussion of an actual or potential crisis of liberal democracy in the leading liberal democratic nation-state, and on the system level – the level of basic responsibilities and assumptions of government – cannot help but take into account prior, concretely related crises, even if particular circumstances initially appear vastly different.
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Internal Contradictions of Liberal Democracy in Relation to Islamism (Religion, 3 of 3)
Specifically in confrontation with a decisively unitary politico-religious concept of the state, an unexamined commitment to a faulty dual or dichotomous conception fundamentally compromises analysis, and turns the best political science into simplistic polemics and interventionist propaganda.
Would a truly "exceptional" destiny need to proclaim its independence from fate, or would it leave that task to others? Can such exceptionalism forever exclude or contain the terminal exception of exceptions to its infinite autonomy?
Turning "Add to Any Share Buttons" into a Comment-Sharer
I've wanted to add such a feature to my site for a long time, the idea being to empower and encourage commenters, while closing the gap both between blog-commenting and social media and between commenting and posting.