BBC’s Katty Kay Knows Joes

6 10 2010

More Than Muslims, Remember Real Threat Today

11 09 2010

I’m a Southern girl born and bred. So I know a lot about burning — of books and flags and bridges, with passion and anger, repressed resentments and expressed bigotry. In my childhood culture, the resident gods saw everything in black and white and stayed too busy punishing teen sex with babies or at least shunning and damning Yankee carpetbaggers to hell from morning to night and twice on Sundays, to kindle culture war against furriner infidels.

The first book I loved enough to make me hate those who would burn it or ban it, was a bible as worth living by and dying for as any other, by god, the SOUTHERN bible — Gone With the Wind!

You never read it because it’s not your bible? Oh well, maybe you saw the movie, or at least a clip of the ignorant yet self-aggrandizing Prissy “don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ babies” as played by Butterfly McQueen, who as a real woman in real life read from many books and learned not to take its real meaning on faith:

What is the “faith of our forefathers” and how much faith does it have left in what’s right? Which identity is it we’re fighting to save, and which “them” is the real threat to it?

Their first class discussion was about the complex meaning of identity, thinking critically about how (and why) you define who you are as an individual within any society — or mob — relentlessly pressing individuals to conform with (often quite radical) norms.

Stubborn symbolic belief in “who we are” beyond all reason and science is all some folks have, the only story with any power to put them on top of a social group, and so they are willing to turn the sciences of larger society upside down, on the basis of that belief.

On this notorious day as Americans remember, reconstruct and reject both the best and worst of our national identity all at once — because whatever else we the people may be, we’re never easy! — the images of hate in my mind aren’t of burning towers but burning books, burning flags, burning bigotry and yes, burning flesh. Read the rest of this entry »

Thinking and Feeling Risk for 9/11 Anniversary

8 09 2010

What we snooked last election for this occasion applies in this election cycle only more so, and with insane dysfunction:

. . . tomorrow is the anniversary of September 11, after all the Republican leadership’s (to me shocking) cynical exploitation of the overwhelming emotions that day evokes. I grew up in the South where “waving the bloody shirt” has been a cynically successful form of politics by division for 150 years:

The Republican party thus continued to depend upon the bloody shirt long after the war was over, with Lewis Gould noting that in the post-Reconstruction years sectionalism was “a genuine and continuing source of Republican strength.”

. . .Talk about playing to emotion! Must we accept for the next 100 years, then, nine-eleven bloody shirts waved by old warriors every election cycle, to keep our past the most powerful enemy of our future, our own divisions making a dysfunctional mockery of these “united” states? Does that make us safer in a third-millennium world and economy finding new equilibrium without following our lead, or make us throwbacks unable to lead even ourselves?

But think about it — we CAN learn to do better. For example . . . Read the rest of this entry »

Palin Demons Have Possessed the Pope! See His New Naughty Monkey Double Dare Red-Hot Pumps!

3 09 2010

Twins separated before birth as some sort of cosmic joke? Or is it part of some serious divine plan to demonstrate once and for all, that we humans can’t hope to make sense of this world, much less the next?

Not only is he suddenly sporting her shoes now, but they both believe in demons and and exorcisms and witch-hunting. Plus, just as she does for her most overtly bigoted and ignorant (bignorant? lol) public appearances, he’s literally “dressed” all in white! (And so help me FSM, if he’s also wearing Sarah Palin’s favorite freeloader Spanx underneath his white dress, it better not make the news, not with close-up art anyway!)

Whose story can possibly pack more power than his? He’s already a world leader (of Inseparable Church and State) and so his pipeline to god’s will must be superior to hers, and yet — these pictures aren’t photoshopped. Taken literally in the context above, they surely prove He is now deferring to Her.

And RUSSIA is involved, gasp! Seeing it from your house is funny ha-ha but it’s not funny to plot unity with it, in some creepy Christian world takeover plot exposed here.

Lynn, Lynn, what does this MEAN?? What were those signs of the apocalypse again? I’m afraid . . .

Why Educate Our Kids? So They Can See They Can’t See!

21 06 2010

LMAO, doesn’t this just sound like every frustrating conversation we have as adults and what we don’t want for anyone’s kids much less our own. . .unless we’re too stupid as citizens and parents to realize how stupid we are!

If Wheeler was too stupid to be a bank robber, perhaps he was also too stupid to know that he was too stupid to be a bank robber — that is, his stupidity protected him from an awareness of his own stupidity. . .

Their paper, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties of Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-assessments,” was published in 1999.

“When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the erroneous impression they are doing just fine.”

It became known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect — our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence.

[JJ’s note: they’ll surely use a Palin-McCain campaign poster to illustrate this entry in the cognitive psychology textbooks. Or a tea party rally, or Read the rest of this entry »

Why Educate Our Kids? Part Four, Act Two: Power of Story

14 06 2010

See Act One here.

Refreshed after intermission, are we? Good. Turn your electronics back off and re-suspend your disbelief [lights flick and go black.]

Political theatre is truth-telling of telling truths despite individual characters who seldom do the same. And even when it is terrible, it’s instructive to see what wins. We watched the Tonys last night; Zeta-Jones was appalling, literally painful to watch even though her voice was pleasant, because her (over)acting was so incongruous with the truth of the character and song she sang. Then she promptly won the “Best Actress in a Musical” Tony for it, and we swore (both that we’d never watch again, although we were lying even while telling our truth because we always watch, and also we just plain swore! 😉

I think electing a president is not political science but the storytelling of great theatre, done through financial risk, sweat and playacting, chaos and corruption and broken hearts, broken dreams, a broken leg now and then, with a few magical moments so much better than the script, all coming together like Shakespeare in Love: “I don’t know how, it’s a mystery!” That is how political story becomes hi-story.

So I figure theatre criticism is the kind of education that should be universal, if anything is.

Three-and-a-half years ago when Barack Obama’s story hadn’t become a blockbuster yet — never mind Sarah Palin’s! — and Snook was still a playground experiment, JJ was critiquing non-partisan story and theatre for real:

******** Read the rest of this entry »

Sarah Palin Again: THIS is News?

18 04 2010

Sarah Palin criticized President Barack Obama on Saturday . . .

Not news to me! And certainly this fact about Sarah Palin herself isn’t news, except maybe that she is so freely admitting it?

“I don’t understand. . .”

So this next part can’t be news to anyone!

The Republican criticized Obama throughout her speech –

Btw it also is not news that the other Big O in Palin’s newfound fame, you know, Oprah, famously intones: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Back on the first of August 2008, when everything about this fascinating new political persona really was news and we couldn’t get enough about her, JJ wrote:

“I never heard the woman’s name until this morning, so I looked around for clues to her character. Is she indeed Saint Sarah, fresh-faced military mom and public corruption crusader? One thing’s clear, she’s working class and no elite intellectual. . .
[And] never mind what happened to the actual men whose careers were damaged by Palin’s self-justifying actions. Winning is the only thing that counts, right?

She showed us the same thing this week, in this story:

Palin said she hopes the November elections will produce winners

John McCain has showed so many different selves as authentic that I can’t believe any of them any more — except that he’s come full circle now, once again pretty compelling as desperate prisoner feeling the pain who will say anything to save himself — and Palin has been showing us exactly who she is from Day One, so it shouldn’t be any news that I believe that’s who she really is.

But I guess it might be news that even some smart conservative kids are seeing who she is, and believing. And criticizing her publicly for it and cashing in, with or without bendy straws.