• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Zorral

  1. This week I completed the first season of Taboo. It was one of the most immersive, ah-hem, series I've seen in a while. Water imagery, drowning imagery, along with that of dead who sing their siren songs, everywhere. So very Kongo -- people always crossing that kalunga line, which is the water, between the land of the living and the land of the dead -- which is why Delaney knows all. He's crossed and re-crossed that line so many times. This reference to his years of enslavement in Africa is just brilliant writing. It doesn't matter if the watcher knows these things, but if the watcher does know about Kongo religion and practices, it adds a great deal -- particularly to appreciation of the writers. Very different from what was described by the many people who disliked it to some and generally greater degree when it aired last year. Why so many viewers thought that nothing happened during most of it, I don't understand, but then a lot of people say the same thing about season 2 of Jessica Jones (another of the best in a while), which I don't understand either. Maybe I would criticize Tom Hardy's delivery as Delaney as being too much like that of Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinders (one of my all time favorite series, due no little to Cillian Murphy and his Shelby. For those who haven't seen it, in Peaky Blinders, for two seasons, Hardy and Murphy played frenemies, though the enmity as well as the helping hands, were all business, which both of them understood. In Taboo Hardy keeps the grunt, he keeps the low, throaty voice that is hard to hear, never raising its volume, and getting slower and more quiet the more dangerous and angry he is. This latter is shared with both his character Alfie Solomons in Peaky Blinders, and with Murphy's Shelby -- but Murphy started it, in the two seasons before Alfie showed up. Delaney also has that long stare into the distance and the future (during which he's presumably communing with the dead) that Shelby has. There were occasions when I thought I'd been catapulted up the time line to Peaky Blinders. Both of the actors and their characters present such physical restraint and self-control, even while drinking themselves blind -- and both are capable of the most extreme violence and ordering others to commit violence. The difference between Taboo's Delaney though, and the Peaky Blinders guys -- this was business and business only for them. Not so for Delaney. This feels a lot more Count of Monte Cristo than business or organized crime -- and this is the Count's era, after all. From Wiki: One does wish That the show found the viewers to appreciate it via BBC Player allowed a second season. And it has picked up 6 Bafta nominations:
  2. I am sure I missed that! Damn.
  3. Wouldn't you think that monuments built by / for the memorializing of Egyptian pharaohs, with the dates inscribed and so on, are reliable documentation? Now what follows below that, are surely what the pharaoh and / or successors want people to believe. On the other hand, other monuments of female pharaohs, which have their dates and inscriptians chiseled off, even destruction of the wort to remove the 'female' identity, tell us something else that isn't in dispute. Just like the long and many pages about Genghis Khan giving various parts of his empire to various daughters to rule because he saw them as far more competent than his sons -- and then the pages being covered over with ink, with other pages following that have the sons killing the daughters and taking their place. That also tells us something irrefutable.
  4. Well, archaeology and climate studies are opening up huge areas of information to these distant past eras that wasn't available until quite recently. As have genomic and DNA sciences. These are part of the practice of history as a discipline, as are other sciences and technology. IOW, history as a discipline continues to expand its horizons and its knowledge as much as chemistry has since the days of alchemy, medicine since the days of feeding patients dung and cosmology has since the days of God and only God and astronomy. Of course, at the same time, history is as much a battleground and politicized as are technology and science. Even today people will with straight faces say that in all of history women never did anything except be wives and mothers and whores, never ruled, created art, did scientific research, and never fought. These people cite history, science and technology -- and their cites go directly against the evidence of all three. Those who declare that history is nothing but subjective, only stories that we make up are the very people who don't, you know, actually study history or practice it as a profession. Those who do, and those who know those who do, know better. Again, erasing history, falsifying, denying the study of history to any but a favored elite, is the first thing that any authoritarian individual or group does. There are reasons for this. The historically ignorant are so much easier to control and indoctrinate. Look at the rules that the Russian and Austrian empires imposed upon the Polish people -- forbidding them any use of their own language, and writing about Poles' past (particularly how they saved Vienna's ass from the Ottomans, not just once but twice), owning books that included the history of Poland, even singing lullabys and telling folk tales of their culture. Or, for just another example: Robert E. Lee freed his slave and General Grant owned and sold slaves and didn't believe in emancipation. All the documents prove otherwise.
  5. History as a discipline has many varieties of practice. Among those practices are those that deal only with documented facts. World War II is a documented fact. There are documented facts about WWII everywhere on the planet, i.e. see WORLD WAR. World War II is part of history. Those world wide factual documents can be collated and made into sheet of statistics. That isn't subjective at all. Now, those collated sheets of statistics of various matters that took place in the years of WWII can be subjectively interpreted. up to and including those who simply deny the factual events ever took place, such as the holocausts of Jews and many other people, including unmarried, childless women who were white, Germans too, but they were regarded as useless consumers of food and housing, so they too had to be removed from the perfect society of nazi Germany. That subjective interpretation, however, doesn't change the documented facts -- unless, of course, all the documents can be gathered and destroyed, along with all the millions of studies that reference those millions of documents and records. I suppose that one could claim those spread sheet of stats, that gathering these stats, etc. is merely math, and not science, yet they are still unchanged facts.
  6. I heard that too. I also heard at one point, but only one, that he'd ALREADY signed it when he said he wasn't going to sign it. No matter how it went down though, that anyone was surprised that he said he wasn't going to sign it is what surprised me, considering how consistent this is with his standard operating procedure. It hasn't been that unusual for White House officials to end up with a gig in the media. But is this the first time that people from tv end up as White House officials?
  7. He's also the type who at the last moment will always say he's not going to do what people want / expect / need, or at the last moment say is he is going to do what people DON'T want / expect / need, because it makes him think he's the center of the universe as everyone wrings their hands and howls that's he's disrupted everything yet again. He thinks this is deal-making. He adores this, adores this, adores this, lives for this. Thinks it makes him look big and strong and powerful, not noticing it makes him look small and stupid and weak, creating ever yet more contempt and dislike for him.
  8. This is what every extreme movement has done or tries to do -- whether fascists or or white supremacists or the Khmer Rouge or radical religious-political groups calling themselves Dominionists, or Boko Haram, or Zealots, or Breitbart, etc. They are not only book-burning nazis, they actively hate science and facts and the arts and humanities (and women, too, of course, particularly women who do these things). They hate the people who practice science and the arts, who are intellectuals and care about education because educated people know things, about the past, the present and the future and that's a threat to their dreams of a single uniform state that controls everything, in which all have to be the same and do the same and think the same or be removed. This is why genocide, hatred of gay people and women and migrants and refugees-- and those who were born with physical problems or develop them later in life, goes along with authoritarianism everywhere. Hating the educated is always part and parcel of white supremacy and genocide. There's a reason then that educational institutions often are where begins protest to the norms presented by those who hate educated people and everyone else who isn't a dumb thug.
  9. The Science of History is only one of the multi-form approaches of historiography.
  10. This isn't a trend. It's the feature for a long time already. It means that higher education and particularly study of humanties and arts are to be confined only to theose who don't need to make a living, just as it was for most of the history of the world. Except for what weren't considered arts back in the day such as dance and acting, which were mostly slaves back in the day. Higher education was intended only for the elites from the beginning. We're going back to that.
  11. That's why collaborate and complicit are such good words! If people are afraid of collusion . . . .
  12. Colleges and universities, private and public, are investing their funds into sports teams and the infrastructure that supports sports -- and donors go for that. They don't go for endowments that support writing programs or programs that think. Though the Big Alt Right etc. donors do go for endowing programs and chairs that support their agendas. Also salaries for the support of those who chase the Donors, and where they can do it, and places to entertain the Donors. But not every school has any of this. Next week I'll be at a Big Name University in the South and where I'll stay, where I'll be dined, etc. will be very very very nice. Travel is paid, nice honorarium paid. Go out to ------ College -- and they can't even pay the subway fair for me to get there. Which is why ------- College needs us more -- but they can't support us, and there's no one who cares who has the money to help them do so. It's appalling. As for enrollment in Political Science declining -- it's thoroughly clear the MONEY in politics is having the tech - digital skills to run with a Cambridge Analytica etc.
  13. The word "collaborate" is a good one in these circumstance. "Complicit" is also good.
  14. This segment from today's Brian Lehrer program was really interesting, in terms of the private law suits orangeade is facing -- which, btw, will continue, no matter what happens with Mueller investigation. One can listen to the broadcast here in a few minutes -- right now the rest of the two-hour program is still in progress, so it's still live: https://www.wnyc.org/story/presidents-ongoing-legal-issues-reddit-reforms-every-school-shooting
  15. You know, I think you're right. I must have mixed up de Blasio with someone else that the one of my (not close) friends on the local Dem committee was telling me about -- and mixed it up with knowing how much the committee here -- and many old-time / school residents here -- are more than disappointed in De Blasio, particularly his views about how our neighborhood needs MORE development, not less -- and we're so over-developed now that often it's like mid-Town and Times Square with the density of traffic of all kinds from pedestrians to bikes, to scooters to cars and trucks. Gridlock of pedestrians! Not joking.
  16. See body of the text that includes lower case 'blacks and jews' as they -- white people -- would say back in the Roosevelt days, yanno? On nothing but politically correct and forefend to offend anyone -- except when they do -- it's "blacks, African Americans, people of color, poor blacks, high achieving African Americans" and all like that. While uptown it isn't unusual for men particularly, of certain groups to refer to themselves as "African" whether or not they have any relatives who live in Africa. I dunno, referring to some musicians as 'black' in New Orleans -- or in Haiti or the DR -- will be considered a mortal insult (which remains true within the DR community on the other side of uptown), whereas Donald Harrison does use African American.
  17. Nix suspended as CEO of Cambridge Analytica -- but the whole damn shebang is still open for business, so, so what? https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/20/cambridge-analytica-suspends-ceo-alexander-nix What's as least as interesting as anything else in these exposés, is the utter contempt Cambridge Analytica has for the people who hire them, equal to contempt in which they hold the targets they're aimed at -- politicians are all stupid, they say and utterly tech ignorant. CA can do anything and nobody knows and nobody can figure it out, much less hold them responsible. Yet, Hillary Clinton and her people figured it out, but she was called 'sour grapes' and 'crooked Hillary' who was stealing the election. From her book (which I bought and read):
  18. It's because this nation, now and historically, are like him, and they like that somebody is doin' doin' doin' it for them, particularly after 8 years of an African American in the office. This nation hates women getting out of their place in the kitchen and making money -- they particularly hate women in politics. They hate everybody who isn't white, and they truly loathe the poor. They hate immigrants, though most of them were immigrants themselves a generation or so ago. They worship power. hey adore violence, physical and other kinds. They are MEAN. I've just finished a three volume of history of the years between the 1880's and the aftermath of WWII -- and it's shocking all the parallels, and that all the arguments against public anything, and all the hatred proudly displayed, and the terrific support in this nation for Germany and Italy -- not in spite of the evils they were already committing in the 1920's and 30's -- but BECAUSE of the evils. The support ran all the way down from the most wealthy and powerful to the uneducated and poor, out of work whites. They'd rather be homeless, without a job, and have their family die of starvation than live and work along side blacks and jews. And when it came to working WITH women -- just forget it! It's astounding that neither FDR or Eleanor or any of their close cohorts were killed, so virulent was the hatred from these quarters toward them. What saved them -- and the country too of course -- was the opposite of this, the very large numbers of highly skilled, talented and hardworking people who saw things as they did -- and not a few of them had wealth and power of their own, as did the Roosevelts. Even so, FDR had little to no interest in helping African Americans, Jews and other refugees.
  19. There's also the current NYC mayor, who would like to run Cuomo out of Albany. De Blasio is surely not happy about Nixon's run. I'd rather she'd challenge De Blasio for mayor -- and push him further out of the thrall of his real estate cronies. But one has the sense, based on nothing solid at all, merely the way the people I know -- who aren't necessarily representative of the city as a whole, though they are representative of certain groups, particularly downtown -- and uptown too -- that she could have a successful NYC mayorship. One also feels she'd have an effective campaign team, and people she could appoint to various agencies and offices -- she knows a LOT of people, and a LOT of NYers know her, personally, and even more who feel they know her. I like her -- I just am dubious about a successful campaign for Governor, even if she got the nomination. And feel she'd get eaten alive in Albany. The more one reads of Albany in the various political eras -- woo. Eleanor Roosevelt saw it from the inside, as a woman, and is it ever anti-woman -- but all politics are, pretty much. But she's willing to put herself through that to help change it, and change will take far longer than anyone ever dreamed -- even Eleanor Roosevelt, who thought it would take a long time. Cuomo's accumulated a lot ill will via corruption, and a fair number of NYers don't like him. He and the mayor don't get along, but a lot of NYC voters don't like the mayor either, and for the same reasons that Cuomo's been collecting crony corruption baggage. But then, at least when it comes to state politics and politicians the Empire State can't claim #2 for crony corruption and cozy control of the entire pie, and that goes back to colonial days, and even the days when the Dutch owned the colony. Making sense of politics and the history of same requires the same degree of time, attention and digging, digging, digging as do the thousand years of the eastern Roman empire until 1453.
  20. You all have been hearing that Cynthia Nixon, who played a lawyer on TV, namely Sex and the City, was planning to challenge Cuomo for the Dem nomination for governor of NY. Just now she's announcing the challenge officially. She's been progressively more activist in matters of our city, particularly in the fields of education, transportation over the last few years. She's been a guest, and a guest host on the public radio station fairly regularly. As far as I know, she has no management experience of any kind in any field. But then -- that didn't stop the long yet squat orangeade from believing in himself perfectly competent to run the whole USA. She does take public transportation regularly, she has kids in public school, she's deeply familiar with all the issues LGBT and women face. Through her own non-profit and charitable work -- as well as being a part of theater, film-television (both of which are huge industries in NYC), publishing and art circles she does know a lot about organizations and problems of all kinds. Still, I dunno. She knows NYC yes, but the rest of the state is very different than NYC.
  21. Personally? How the [email protected]!! he thought he could even run for POTUS, much less get the nomination from one of the only two political parties we voters are allowed to have? But he did, and he did. And he won. NOBODY ELSE WITH THE WEIGHT OF HIS BAGGAGE WOULD EVER HAVE EVEN CONSIDERED IT, couldn't have considered it, much less succeeded. Before #MeToo already he was disqualified from running for anything. But dumbest tv trumps all.
  22. Ya, YouTube (google) has a lot to answer for as well as Zucherberg: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/business/media/youtube-wikipedia.html? As the article points out, the supreme irony here, is that Google, with billions in resources, is asking a volunteer-built, donation funded, non-profit to help it out with fake news, crazy conspiracy Youtube channels, racism and sexism.
  23. He's right at the point of obese classification, as was revealed via his last potus health check-up. If he didn't have such expensive, skilled bespoke tailoring people would see it a lot more clearly.
  24. There are no words. One is just not surprised. And just yesterday there was a colloquium here in which the principals insisted that school shootings are so rare in reality that students shouldn't worry them. Those guys -- all white guys, of course -- provoked me into fantasies of physical violence committed on their persons.