Happy Illusions….

I’m not quite sure what to make of this.

I like and prefer being around women. Not because of attraction, or even friendship or anything quotidian like that, but because the level of misogynistic commentary is reduced to nearly zero. And of course, there is no macho posturing.”

On the one hand, yes, macho posturing and male misogyny that periodically erupts when men are together is truly gross, I mean just disgusting and nasty. On the other hand, I’m not sure if the author realizes that female misogyny is a thing and that when men aren’t around it can erupt and male male misogyny look tame or if he’s just so disgusted by some male behavior (very understandable) that anything else seem okay. Female sexiam and misogyny and intra-sex posturing are not necessarily sexualized or violent, but they are there and can reach dizzying heights of viciousness.

This reminds me of how Florence King once mentioned how frustrating it is when female misogynists tear other women to shreads in mixed company and the men….. DON’T EVEN REALIZE THAT’S WHAT’S GOING ON.

Many years ago I worked in an office where I was the only man, but my desk was kind of cut off from the others and they often forgot I was there…. It was very informational (both on how women tend to talk about other women and about men) and quickly relieved me of lots of lingering illusions. It was very different from the way men interact but it was not what you’d call an edifying experience

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Good Job, Good Intentions!

After WWII Europe accepted a lot of very well-meaning yet unrealistic ideas about how to deal with refugees and has steadfastly stuck by them even as developments such as increased cheap travel and human smuggling networks began overloading the system with non-refugee economic migrants.

The US took on the well-meaning job of deposing Qadaffi in Libya in order to further ‘democracy’ (for some meaning of that word) and the chaos that ensued made it the logical point for African economic migrants to re-route their human products toward the Mediterranean.

NGO’s took it upon themselves to aid and abet the movement of Sub-Saharan African (and some other) migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe expending huge efforts in ‘rescuing’ migrants on unseaworthy ships.

Europe, the US, NGOs and a variety of others had nothing but good intentions and the desire to support and strengthen human rights and human dignity……

And now the result, slave auctions are apparently now a regular occurence in Libya.

Good job, everybody! Keep up those good intentions and the Arab Slave Trade could be revived in full before you know it!

 

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Who Deserves Apologies?

This is the kind of thing I don’t understand. Why does this author care about the content of public apologies of people who did not assault her? The only people who deserve apologies from Weinstein, Spacey, Louis CK and today’s revelation de jour are those who were actually assaulted by said perps. And they almost certainly won’t get them because apologizing would surely lead to very expensive law suits.

No one else is entitled to any kind of apology and wanting or demanding, not to mention critiquing, ‘public’ apologies is pointless. I can’t help but think that it’s very mentally unhealthy to want people to apologize to you for things they did to other people.

What I think is going on is that the statue moral hysteria of the summer burnt itself out (though the lack of enough statues to topple without causing backlash) long before the moral hysteria that had fueled it had burnt itself out. The revelations of sexual abuse and immorality in the entertainment industry made a convenient new target. Since sexual hypocrisy is close to an unlimited renewable natural resource expressions of moral indignation (the real purpose of the jihad against confederate and then other statues) can continue for as long as needed before people get bored and move onto something else.

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Cheikha and the Groove

I’ve always loved listening to music from different places and cannot for the life of me understand people who think that the best thing to listen to is what 80 milion or more other people like… Youtube has become my music delivery vehicle of choice and I like randomly searchng for music from different places from all over the world.

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Algerian music. In terms of the Arab world I think I find North Africa to be the most interesting culturally and politically. I don’t know enough Arabic of any kind to have any idea what a lot of the music is about but it’s tremendously enjoyable in ways that most Western music has long since lost.

In Algeria the terms cheb/chaba (kid/girl) have long been used as nicknames for singers, especially (mainly? only?) in Raï music from Oran. More senior performers get to use Cheikh/Cheikha.

This song is a new favorite with a hints of Sub-Saharan Africa (that horn section) and her husky voice floats over and through the easy danceable groove, just right for a long wedding party (in the Arabic-speaking world commercial recordings mostly function as advertising for performers who make a living through live appearances, especially at weddings). Raï music is also famously risqué so if you know any Algerian Arabic speaking kids you probably don’t want them listening….

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Feel Like I Been Taking Crazy Pills #429

Okay, this is just weirdo a doodle flapjacks time. I can think of lots of ways of thinking about the 2016 campaign, especially in terms of globalism vs nationalism (or diversity vs solidarity) or policy vs celebrity or probably a few others. It would never occur to me in a million years to think of it as “a referendum on how this nation values women” because what does that even mean? The only thing I can imagine is that by not electing Clinton the country was giving a big fat ole thumbs down to valuing women? Hoooow?

If there was a single defining issue in the campaign is was large scale immigration. Trump was the only candidate in years who campaigned on limiting immigration and it got him into the Oval Office.

I supported Clinton in 2008 but by 2016 she was no longer a really viable candidate for lots of reasons including her health and general lack of charisma (honestly I think a dead catfish could engender more enthusiasm than she did).

 

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania hillary clintonZnalezione obrazy dla zapytania dead catfish

I’m really excited by one of these candidates!

I’m also wondering how the author of the post squares the Hillary worship with Clinton’s record of enabling her husband’s sexual… excesses (I don’t necessarily believe every allegation out there but he clearly has a record of shitting where he eats as they say). I’m sure there’s an answer coming there eventually, the level of mental gymnastics needed to turn HRC into a political ideal is such that justifying her enabling of her husband’s behavior should be childs play.

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Digital Damascus Steel

Anyone wondering how and why technology (like Greek Fire or Damascus Steel) becomes lost need look no further than the digital world of home computers and the internet.

As I keep compulsively saying, the digital experience for working laymen (that is non-technoheads like myself who use computers daily for work) reached it’s peak at around 2006 or so (give or take a year for different parts).

I can’t think of a single innovation since then that has made computers or the internet more productive or easy to use for either writing or creating original content. Not a single one. If anyone has counter-examples I’d love to hear them.

But every version of Word since 1997-2003 has been a step backwards in terms of making and formatting original content. After the latest update in Windows 10 the mouse is barely working and highlighting what I want to highlight (versus what the deranged pig-fuckers who created it think I want to highlight) has turned into a major ordeal rather than a simple reflexive action. My guess is that this is because they’re trying to make everything as touchscreen compatible as possible and ease of mouse use is simply collateral damage in their quest to turn all interfaces into inbred mouse-brained junk that cannot generate anything like original content beyond a few simple misspelled words and cupcake emojis. I’m assuming that within a few years they’ll go back to black screens with green or orange letters and no ability to format whatsoever.

I hope some people are studying and documenting this which is probably the largest technological decline in modern history. If it weren’t so disheartening it would be fascinating – an entire industry devoting itself almost exclusively to destroying its own product and debasing itself and its customers in the process and it’s all being done in the name of ‘convenience’.

 

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Notes on Malta

Funny place Malta. Just go back from my second trip there this year and have these trite observations.

While it’s really small it feels much bigger on the ground because it’s crowded with people which makes it much longer to get around. Most tourists use the local bus service which is designed for local people which means (as my mother used to put it) “you have to go around your ass to get to your elbow” which means a two or three mile trip (as the crow flies) suddenly takes a half hour or more. It’s also suprrisingly not crowded everywhere but has some open greenish spaces and lots of small farms (which makes the populated places all the more crowded).

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania sliema

Half of Malta looks kind of like this….

People drive like maniacs and every day you witness at least a dozen or so near misses (and very many local cars have dents in them). In a bus it isn’t so scary but the car ride to the airport was pretty hair raising. The terrible driving is one reason the bus service doesn’t work better as a local lady told me at the bus stop – they can’t find enough drivers because driving on the narrow roads full of aggressive speed demons is too stressful for the money.

Despite the crowding there’s lots of empty houses and buildings. Apparently inheriting living spaces is complicated and so after the owners/residents die they can lay fallow for years. Prices in realty offices are very unrealistic and I think the British have worked their ususal speculation magic to hike up prices.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania maltese farms and countryside

But a lot of it is like this too….

It was a British colony at one point so in addition to driving on the left side and awkward weird British electrical plugs English is an official language. The Maltese overwhelmingly use Maltese (very cool language) among themselves (with English bits peppered in here and there) but most public signage is in English and when they do speak English but they sound more like fluent second language speakers and not natives (I’m not talking accent but modes of expression). In some ways at some times it seems like a large immigrant community that is still in the assimilation process. For decades Malta was an emigration country (there are a lot in Australia apparently) but now in the EU there are also a lot of non-Maltese people, especially in tourism and running small stores and help wanted signs are all over the place.

There’s not much in the way of beaches and the tourism infrastructure seems to be mostly from the 1970s and 1980s so it’s a bit like going back in time which has it’s good parts (fewer small children in ‘family’ hotels) and bad (generally older and on the verge of breaking down). Sea views are harder to come by and I think that traditionally the Maltese more huddle away from the shore (the path of various invaders over the years). The sea is a silky sheer blue with occasional streaks of turquoise or azure. The water is super clear when it’s calm but there’s lots of large crashing waves too.

It’s weird to be in a Maltese Catholic church and hear the first words “O Alla”. The Catholicism is a lot more…. carnal than Polish Catholicism, I’m not sure if this is Italian or Arab influence. The figures on crucifixes are noticeably more bloody than Poland and even Mary is often shown with a dagger in her heart with blood dripping. Many houses have little ceramic plaques embedded in the walls of Jesus or more often Mary (somtimes both). And many houses have names written on the walls, a kind of odd Anglo-Italian syncretism?

Podobny obraz

Harrowing Catholicism…

The Anglo-Italian syncretism seems to be run to the street food as well with lots of different kinds of meat pies along with things like arancini. Oddly there aren’t many traditional Maltese restaurants around though middle Eastern restaurants are pretty common. There are tons of small Maltese places with snack types of food like ftira (a local type of sandwich). There might be six or seven places to sit and locals stop by to meet and talk.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania gustizza

Justice – a protest about Daphne Caruana Galizia, but liquid capital doesn’t play that game.

Malta is also very much in the thick of all the nasty things that can be done by manipulating money, which is probably what got the heroic journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia killed, more specifically her role in investigating the Panama Papers. It’s a small, seemingly insignificant little island country in the Southern Mediterranean but now it’s also floating in the waterworld of liquid capital and could easily sink…

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