Network of wormholes two ghostly white figures in coveralls and helmets are soflty dancing decipherment brain is the seed of intelligence

That's the Carl Sagan lorem ipsum I have for this year's templates, but all of a sudden it fits, no? There's your million monkeys.

Most of the snow has gone, but stubborn traces are everywhere, hard and crunchy like early March snow. Went to the office to file a piece and do some things. I had an unfortunate tuna sandwich. It was a "Red Curry" flavor I've liked before, but today it tasted like soap. Oh no Covid has rewired my mouth! No. It was the knife I used. Good thing I had a backup packet of tuna at the office, and a clean knife.

Sitting alone in the office in an empty skyscraper, exchanging one kind of tuna for another.


   

 

   
   

 

 

 

 

 

Someone on another site castigated me for living in a Nostalgia Bubble, unaware or dismissive or just plain la-la-la-fingers-in-ears about what’s going on.

This was stupid, but it made me think. Might it be true? Took half a second: no. But then I thought, what if he’s right, though? Didn’t I just spend about six hours cleaning up the bygone Restaurant Postcard site?

Who cares?

People who care about history, and small towns, and neon signage, and the old commercial landscape. In other words, anyone interested in what it was, and how it changed, and why. The why matters. The beauty of those old signs, the number of independent roadside cafes, the way modernism rolled through the country in two waves (the between-the-war styles, and the JFK-era styles) - it’s a big story full of forgotten actors. It’s the rise and fall. If nothing else, it’s a reminder: This world replaced one that had as many assumptions as we have. Change is the only constant (besides the constancy of people saying that the only constant is change.) So much has changed in our lifetimes. Sometimes we notice, tote up the losses and gains, wonder if there’s meaning in the changes, wonder if we rode with too many changes, shrugging, because hey, something new: cool.

No one laments the loss of a standard-issue Chili’s. It’s rote Xerox place-less happy-land architecture, mall-region archetypes.

They probably thought the same thing about a 60s sign going down, or a 50s tailfin-era detail shaved off for some horrid 70s rehab.

Are we ignoring important changes and shifts? Of course we are. The Old unravels at the margins of our our attention, we assume the stuff we regard as “of our time” will be around with incremental additions and changes, and we are interested in the new, because we are smart, engaged people eager to be Of the Era.

So everything slides. That happens. But now and then you get the sense that this isn't a normal era of dissolution and reconstruction along the old guidelines, but something else.

   
 

Wrong about everything.

It was fast, wasn't it? The authors were flawed, then the authors were evil, thus the ideas were evil, and there's nothing to be carried forward from their work.

Wrong about everything.

   
  Imagine refracting your political ideology to incorporate freedom of speech
   

Who are they?

Fighting PragerU from the left – on its own turf

We're a crowd-funded organization creating short videos to combat right-wing disinformation and bring left ideas to new audiences.

Oooh Prager U, can’t have that. They can’t take down the videos, so they’re fighting back in the same medium. Fine! That’s how you do it.

Here’s why they don’t like the Constitution: it gets in the way of their pet project, which is . . .

The Legislature of the People is a proposed series of Constitutional changes which would empower American voters to make laws directly through national initiatives, becoming the pre-eminent branch of government. The Institute studies and disseminates information on the transition to direct democracy in America.

So, 51% of the people vote to take the property of the other 49%, reserve for themselves the right of self-defense and free expression, and impose their policies on distant states that voted 100% against the measures. It would be fair, because the people had spoken.

Also:

We live under capitalism, an economic system which engages in the exploitation of billions of people around the world. The Institute advocates creating a more equal and just economy by democratizing ownership and redistributing wealth in America and around the world.

“Democratizing ownership.” What a lovely term. I’ve read a good deal about it, and it sounds all inclusive ’n’ stuff, pro-worker, share the wealth, and if any firm wishes to engage voluntarily in these ideas they’re free to do so. But the Gravelites, you suspect, follow the Jacobin model:

(D)emocratizing the economy means challenging the most important fundamental of capitalist economics: the primacy of private ownership. In particular, private ownership of capital, of all the things — the buildings, the machines, the tools, the hardware, and the software — that we use to make other things. Without a say in how tools are used, workers themselves become passive tools. Being able to actively participate in decision-making and ownership go hand in hand. Democratizing means taking ownership.

Taking being the thrilling word, of course.

So many small unravelings got us here. Took us here. Drove us here. Dragged us to a place where the real Big Picture Thinkers - who super-love America, you know - are, in their wisdom, so over the Constitution.

 

 

 

It’s 1930.

Get a brain, Morans:

     
  They smoked 200 cigarettes while waiting. Have to steady the nerves, I guess.
   

A top-level SOB:

Aiello masterminded several unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Capone, and fought against his former business partner Antonio Lombardo, a Capone ally, for control of the Chicago branch of the Unione Siciliana benevolent society. Aiello and his ally Bugs Moran are believed to have arranged the murder of Lombardo, which directly led Capone to organize the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in retaliation.

Despite being forced to flee Chicago multiple times throughout the gang war, Aiello eventually took control of the Unione Siciliana in 1929, and ranked seventh among the Chicago Crime Commission's list of top "public enemies". Aiello was killed after Capone gunmen ambushed him as he exited a Chicago apartment building where he had been hiding out, shooting him 59 times. After his death the Chicago Tribune described Aiello as "the toughest gangster in Chicago, and one of the toughest in the country."

Not tough enough.

 

Hey, you know what? I screwed up. I combined two papers and a lot of this week's stuff actually belonged in last week's entry. So we're really light today. All I have are some . . .

     
  Cook probably thought that line would never grow old.
   

   
 

We forget how much of the papert was just filled with random stuff.

Something to read while the streetcar rattled along.

   

Tiny cartoon. Took two men to do it.

Ah, the patriarchy.

Some 80s ads to come, and it's a sweet batch. See you around.

 

 

 
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