Diary 6/5 to 6/7/22: Shocking not shocking; Russell Brand; Matt Taibbi and Russiagate; adults with ADHD; Chris Hedges on our “evil souls”; Spectrum Wi-Fi; Troilus and Cressida; popcorn; hot-air popper; bizarre Nature; food recalls; Beirut disaster.
Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved
Shocking and not shocking: MSNBC can find no room for the progressive point of view. The shocking part is obvious, I hope. What’s not shocking is that giant corporations don’t want to support opinion that is against giant corporations. So, while it was on, I watched RT Today, a channel that makes people foam at the mouth, more or less. Now I must be content to seek Chris Hedges, Jesse Ventura, Lee Camp, and other progressives on the Internet, particularly YouTube [6/6/22: Hedges and I think others have lost huge numbers of older videos from YouTube recently, deleted without warning or explanation; here’s an article dated 3/30/22]. Even Noam Chomsky can’t get a hearing. Giant corporations and the “morbidly wealthy” have been winning the class war for decades, most of my long life, if not all of it. It is hard to know whether this is turning around or not. Hope is fragile—I’d best not talk about it.
I watch Russell Brand on YouTube occasionally. Here’s today’s short one, if eighteen minutes is short, “Trudeau’s New Tools” for censorship and stuff. Brand is an acquired taste—rather over-the-top, but sometimes hilarious and sometimes on target. Here he points out (it’s an aside, not the point) that calling something “right-wing” is a way to dismiss it from further consideration.
Here’s another from Brand that is mostly just a spoon-feeding of a column by Matt Taibbi on Russiagate and an ongoing trial of (some guy) of the Hillary Clinton campaign, revealing Clinton’s role in spreading lies about the Trump-Russia collusion; from May 31. I wouldn’t recommend it in general because it relies so heavily on Taibbi’s work, but Brand’s spin and jokes are worth hearing. However, it’s unfortunate that he says “Democrat party” repeatedly. Here’s a link to Taibbi’s piece, dated 5/27/22, “Shouldn’t Hillary Clinton be Banned from Twitter Now?”
Adults with ADHD won’t find a solution to their problems (except “medication”) in this TedX eight-minute presentation on YouTube, but the description of symptoms is interesting. Here’s the link.
Chris Hedges: “‘The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer,’ D.H. Lawrence writes. ‘It has never yet melted.’” This is at best a half-truth. That Hedges offers it without qualification, suggests something unsavory to me about Hedges. I usually agree with him almost completely; here, perhaps, his Christian upbringing and education—he’s an ordained minister—is showing through. I have never been of the opinion that human beings are “born evil” or “inherently evil” or even that we’re more than 50% evil. This is not something I care to argue about or offer evidence about, but I’ll say this much: most parents are good to their children, thereby demonstrating their altruism and moral goodness. If this were not true, the species would have died out long ago. Human babies require extreme amounts of care, as any involved parent can verify. To me this provides a truer picture of “the inherent human soul” than does Lawrence’s quote.
To make a “killer” out of a human being requires, first, a sick society, and second, a lot of education in hate [my opinion]. In America we have a lot of killers; this says nothing about “the essential American soul”—which is a dubious concept to begin with. The piece by Hedges, “America’s Gun Fetish,” which I have yet to and may not read, is available here.
Spectrum has raised their rates for my Wi-Fi; I’m now paying $84.98 per month; it had been $82.98 two months ago. No notification. [They said it’s “increased taxes.”]
Called Spectrum after failing to get through their website. About forty minutes later, account is updated and other stuff. Getting $4 back.
Despite my prediction, I have started reading Troilus and Cressida. So far, the [Marjorie] Garber essay is more interesting, but I’ve only read Act One. The play didn’t get interesting until Ulysses and Nestor talked about tricking Hector in order to attack Achilles’ pride.
According to Strunk and White, I should have written Achilles’s, but I no longer follow that bit of advice.
It’s hard to imagine a snack that’s nutritionally better than popcorn: two tablespoons, unpopped, 110 calories, one gram of fat, 6 grams of fiber, and four grams of protein.
About three months ago I bought a hot air popcorn popper to replace the one I had which had stopped working. Today I tried it for the first time. It turns out that the replacement is somewhat inferior, though it does add an on off-switch and a longer cord. The cooking takes longer than I remember, and the popcorn does not get ejected. In addition, the plastic chute on top almost blew off once. Still, it got the job done, despite my having neglected to remove the sheet of paper in the cooking chamber; fortunately, I saw it before the process was complete. The popcorn tasted fine, even though I don’t add butter or salt—though next time I might, assuming there is a next time. Unaccountably, I don’t seem to have the box the machine came in but it is labeled “Nostalgia.”
Bizarre item from Nature Briefing: “Long-lived T cells patrol the cornea: Live-cell imaging of the eye’s transparent cornea has revealed a surprising resident — specialized immune cells that circle the tissue, ready to attack pathogens. ‘We thought that the central cornea was devoid of any immune cells,’ says clinician-scientist Esen Akpek. The cornea has a dampened response to infection, in part because aggressive immune cells could damage the clear layer of tissue and obstruct vision. But microscopes reveal that long-lived immune cells, known as T cells, do reside there.”
Food recalls alert from StopFoodborneIllness.org (for more details, follow the link):
- Recalled: Urban Remedy brand Organic Revitalizing Tea Tonic Strawberry Hibiscus Rose
- Recalled: Irvington Seafood brand Crabmeat: Jumbo, Lump, Finger, and Claw meat
- I have been unable to capture the text from the next item; here’s a screen capture:
The following is the text of an email I sent today to a few friends:
If you are planning to watch the Committee hearings to be broadcast starting Thursday, 6/9/22, you might care to take a look at this:
The Brookings Institute was kind enough to assemble a highly detailed primer for Thursday’s events. “The report covers key players in the attempt to overturn the election, the known facts regarding their conduct, and the criminal law applicable to their actions,” according to the executive summary. For those who wish to be fully prepared for Thursday, it is an indispensable document.
The quote is from an op-ed from Truthout.com, a web site that I consider reliable (politically progressive). The link opens a 104-page document, but the first six pages are an “Executive Summary,” rather more digestible, I presume. Here’s a link to the op-ed: Damning Leaks Provide Grim Preview of Thursday’s January 6 Congressional Hearing (truthout.org). It requires a ctrl-click [correction: just a normal click] to open the link…not quite what I was expecting, but I don’t seem to be able to alter it.
For those attending the Hemlock Club on Saturday, I’ll have printouts of the Executive Summary available.
Watched a “Foreign Correspondent” on Link TV regarding the ship explosion that leveled half of Beirut, Lebanon, two years back (“half” is my impression). “Blew my mind” as well. Moving stories, shocking footage.
Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved