Monthly Archives: April 2012

Teaching Cartoon: My Knack

The Knack

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Object Lesson in Public Lunacy

One of the interesting features of our contemporary media culture is that groups of (what may be called) very serious people are convened to publicize their willful and shameless individual effort to pretend absolutely no one in the audience can figure out when something amazingly ignorant; or misinformed; archly absurd; or divorced from reality, wanders from his or her brain to all the way out of their mouths.

Paul Krugman is clearly the academic and social scientist and person with a good connection to reality in this unintentionally ridiculous and horrifying confab from Sunday. Here is his post today:

We’re Doomed

Update: So you see what I mean. We have a terrible failure of demand — and Carly Fiorina thinks the key problem is excessive taxes on corporations (our effective rate is actually fairly low). Hey, if only we had low rates like Ireland, we could have 14.7 percent unemployment … oh well, never mind.

As it often happens, practiced ideologues re-version the ‘little boy with the hammer’ by suggesting their favorite clever trick would have just the right positive effect. Such august people do this with a straight face. I am not smarter than Carly Fiorina, yet, I would be smarter than she was on Sunday in my refusal to spout my most ludicrous hunches on a coast-to-coast television show.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Something anyone may do if they choose to do so, would be to investigate a subject matter of our current events. If you possess a modest set of researcher’s chops, it is possible to investigate a subject without either encumbering or over-determining findings by dumbly using an ideological lens, or, otherwise employing the means for doing solely ideologically-flavored investigation.

I did this when I realized it was necessary to do so if I wanted to understand how the real estate and derivatives crisis came about. My investigation required me to sort through numerous ideologically inflected accounts and to offset these eventually with actual academic research; the kind that eventually followed on the heals of the crisis. My understanding ended up being both superficial and weakened by my lack of mastery of technical subjects, yet, it also ends being more secured to the facts of the events than 99% of the pseudo-analysis the public was subject to at the surface of the media’s informational onslaught.

To do this act of investigation is to intelligently inform yourself about a subject matter. The payoff is you might find that you end knowing more about this subject of research than all but the actual experts and the small number of people who have taken the same trouble.

One could do the same were one to want to know more about why we’re subjected to so much public, pseudo-intellectual blather and idiocy, and, let’s face it, also subjected to very very smart and upper echelon elite successful people saying incredibly stupid things.

One of the research vectors could be: why does this happen when, in the equivalent of the emperor having no clothes, there would be any number of persons in the audience who see right through the ‘presentations.’

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Contemplation on Scale


Scale of the Universe Partition a half hour out of your striving and dig this…by far the most humbling experience the inter tubes have provided me.

14 billion years

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Santorum In the Tubes

What happens sometimes is start a post and then don’t wrap it up and then its time ends up having gone by. Kaput. So it was with a post on Rich Santorum. He interested me because of his arch way of hiding under the cloak of his practiced–and daffy–“Catholic-like” traditionalism that he was actually a typical “picker and chooser”. Besides, my now buried riff gave me an opportunity to provide trenchant observations about policing bedrooms, and, rhyme Herman Caine with Maratain.

Still, I work in, today, my collection of jpegs of hippie man light switches. These were also in the old post.

Hippie Man Light Switch

Hippie Man Light Switch

Hippie Man Light Switch

Hippie Man Light Switch

Hippie Man Light Switch

Hippie Man Light Switch

Sense of Humor

h/t to Thinking Outside the Agora

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Teaching Cartoon: Name In Time

Hagar and the Fly

As I’ve mentioned before, only Charles Schultz is in Dik Browne‘s league as a creator of crystalline teaching cartoons. This example is subtle and squares a handy comeback with a didactic undercurrent.

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Sonny is coming up on five months. My niece was visiting and offered that he’s might have some Maine Coon cat in him. He is very lean, very fast, very kinetic, very friendly, and he can climb stuff like a monkey. I mean: he can hoist himself where there’s no place to leap to. Although he is outnumbered by his much older lady roommates, he has established himself in the two spot, of four spots, in the pecking order, on most given days.

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Predicting Iran’s Future

Iran Women & Girls

One day Rabi’a needed a piece of cloth, so she gave a man three silver coins to buy one.

After he’d already started his way, he turned back.

“My lady,” he said, “I forgot to ask: what color do you want?”

“So, it’s become a question of color, has it?” she replied.

“Give me my money!” And she threw it into the Tigris River.

Version of Rabi’a of Balkh; in Doorkeeper of the Heart, Charles Upton

The objective of this exercise is to observe the materials, then contemplate, the most negative possible answer to the following question:

What events could constitute the most horrific unintended consequences of a war between Israel/United States and Iran?.

You might as well own those thoughts yourself; as long as very few less thoughtful people want to indulge thoughts like the kind you could have. Now, of course, it is not like anyone should want to have those kinds of thoughts, but, before the arrival of the terrible bloodletting, it is a point of hope and hope against those dastardly “worse cases/any cases” that at least a self-chosen minority look into a darkened future.

The diverse materials presented here last about six hours.

Hossein Omoumi-Classical Persian Music from John Melville Bishop on Vimeo.

War on Iran? (Part 1 – Larry Everest) from PPJC Videos on Vimeo.

Iran: the danger of war, the role of sanctions and the tasks of Hopi from Communist Party of Great Britain on Vimeo.

War Fever: Iran, the Middle East and the U.S. from Media Education Foundation on Vimeo.

Fareed Zakaria intervista Zbigniew Brzezinski from U.S.N. – R.S.I. on Vimeo.

War on Iran? (Part 2 – Stephen Zunes) from PPJC Videos on Vimeo.

Moyers & Company Show 111: Moving Beyond War from on Vimeo.

Middle Eastern Sacred Song (Piyutim): From Pulpit to Pop Chart from Rothko Chapel on Vimeo.

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More Photo Dada

Meeting the Queen of the Universe
Meeting the Queen of the Universe - scalhoun 2012

Self-portrait, then Photobooth, Photoshop, on OSX.

Part of the series of visual jokes. Susan doesn’t like the precursor in this very short series, so I have to figure out where to hang the framed one.

A Boy And His Dog

See Reunion at My Naive Art

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Close Encounter

Sperm Whale Encounter from Howard Hall on Vimeo.

h/t Howard Hall

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