Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Stuck Brain

Ever get an annoying snippet of song stuck in your brain and there it stays annoying you for days?  The same thing happend while I was watching the Nova special on building the 9-11 memorial.  The project is huge and impressive, the new WTC skyscraper astoundingly beautiful.  Then therei's the memorial footprint pool.  Quite amazing with the carefully constructed weir's allowing a soft fall of cascading water that flows down into a reflecting pool and from there the pooled water falls down a square hole in the middle. (I gather people can go under the pool and look up out of the hole as well.) The architect who designed the pool wanted to try to create a presence of absence, to create a kind of rememberence of that which is now gone. 

But watching the memorial in action, the water slipping over the weirs and down the walls and heading for the square hole in the middle, I suddenly had one of those awful, unwelcome brain glitches and now here's what I keep seeing everytime I see that memorial pool: Instead of a vast pool the exact footprint of the missing World Trade Towers with the whole vast, unbroken shimmering surface reflecting the sky, reflecting emptiness, reflecting absence, now all I keep seeing is a giant kitchen sink with the ghostly presences all being constantly washed down the square drain.

Which isn't what the architect had in mind and isn't exactly the image you want to present in a memorial.  But there it is, stuck in my brain. Kitchen sink.  Drain.

At Least Michele Bachman Fixed Her Hair   

In the last GOP debate, Bachman was really scary looking.  She's got problem eyes.  They're deep-set and squinty when they're not looking wild and barking mad, and when you add in a giant helmet of hair surrounding those squinty eyes and the piranah-teeth smile, the whole effect is scary.

Thank goodness, in last night's debate, somebody got hold of Bachman's hair and tamped it down and back, which softened her whole face and made her look much calmer and more pulled together. All of which, when you think about it, is weird.  These pols have access to and can afford the best make-up people in the world. (For God's sake, call the folks from "What Not To Wear."  The hairdresser on that show would have whipped Bachman's hair into shape months ago.) But too often, I suspect they just don't avail themselves of that expert advice and the result can be disastrous.

It's all about the visual nowadays, body language, clothes, hair, make up, and not just for women pols either. We humans lead with the gut, that instant judgement that often defies explication, but there it is.   You could have the greatest ideas in the world, have the most impressive resume, but if you're visually too short, too fat, too frumpy, too old, and too wussy and wonky, you're doomed. It's all about the visual, the gut instinct.

Kabuki theatre, actors hiding behind symbolic costumes and masks posturing on a stage, highly stylized symbols, gesturing.  And that's who voters vote for. God help us.

Cap Doff To The Trib

No, honestly.  The Tribune's been running "Fact Check" under its reports on the debates.  Thank you for that.  One of the most frustrating things about these debates is the amount of pure bull crap that gets shoveled out to the audience, none of it corrected or even foot-noted.  Since so many voters don't read, aren't policy or political wonks and junkies, about all the information they get is in media selected "sound bites" and misleading campaign stump speech snippets -- Bulls--t, in other words.  Vast carloads of it.  The perfect environment to create, grow and plant false narratives (see Frank Luntz, the most dangerous man in America) and invent The Big Lies that, if repeated often enough, become received Truth in the minds of the voters. So, more "fact checks," please.

Place Yer Bets, Ladies and Gentlemen

President Obama has sent his jobs plan to the Republican-controlled Congress.  It's his "pass this bill, now" bill and it will pay for jobs fixing schools, bridges, etc. by raising taxes by limiting itemized decuctions for charitable contributions for people making over $200,00, close loopholes for those poor oil and gas companies (who everyone knows are really suffering financially), require fund managers pay higher taxes on certain types of their income (Wall Street fund managers are also poor and suffering, Lord knows), and change the taxing on corporate jets.

So, lay your bets: Will Republicans vote to fix schools and bridges (thereby putting regular, non-rich people back to work so they can pay their rent, buy food and perhaps buy a widget or two thereby causing the widget factory owner to hire a few more widget-makers) or will they stand fast with millionaires, corporate jet owners and oil companies?


Billy Dunne said...

Ann, the question is not whether the Teapublicans will support this plan or not (you know the definition of insanity: doing, or in Obama's case, pleading the same things over and over again but expecting different results). The question is how fast will "The Great Conciliator" start dropping provisions of his plan to appease them. I put the over/under at 5 days. And I'll take the under.

FOGSWAMP said...

It seems that we have lost our way of late and now find ourselves at an important cross-roads regarding whether we will seek to deal with our jobs and debt dilemmas through enlarging or reducing the role of government plays in our society.

Right now as we witness the middle class struggle to hang on perhaps we should encourage our children and grand-childen to learn how to speak Mandarin Chinese and how to read & write with symbols to support themselves in the future.

Churadogs said...

Billy, tee-hee. Yup. place yer bets. And Swamp, yup, it's a rapidly changing new world and right now America is sinking fast.

The really interesting thing will be to find out in November whether the voter will double down and vote in a full TeaPublican Congress and Prez which will then slit the middle class's throat -- kill off any semblance of universal health care, give free rein to the insurance companies (the Paul "Let 'em Die, YEAH!" method), privitize social security and send that money to their cronies on Wall Street (lot of money to be made from that and look how well the stockmarket took care of anyone investing their 401Ks in it turned out), all of which will finish off the middle class once and for all. Then the Fully Owned Subsidiaries of Corporate American (i.e. a TeaPulican Congress) can move even more money upline to CorporateAmerica, all those "job creators," who will offshore it and create great jobs in India and China. We'll then end up with an enclave of the Ruling Class and a nation of frightened, angry, impoverished, sick underclass which can easily be controlled and divided even further into smaller enclaves of warring factions, each group fighting for scraps against the other, each playing the victim card and full of hatred for the dreaded Other, all fueled 24/7 by FoxNoise Ravers.

Ah, brave new world,voted into being by We The People. Quite a show.