08 November 2018

Panegyrical* Poem for Lucy McBath

Rising phoenix-like from ashes of grief,
Teaching the nation the letters of morality
As the Phoenicians taught some complacent Greeks
The letters of their alphabet,

You were chosen and another was not,
You are to represent the rage of every son,
Every daughter, every high school buddy,
To you is given a voice of mighty love.

A seat of honor in a room with gilded fasces,
Dishonored by venality in recent times,
Awaits.  Speak for us there, or be quiet,
As the time suggests.  

Set the course of law with your compeers.
(Remember, American, this will be your art.)


*panegyric   (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary):  a eulogistic oration or writing, also:  formal or elaborate praise

06 November 2018

The best thing about FiveThirtyEight's Election Day liveblog so far has been Seth Masket's takedown of self-flagellating liberal old-guard journalism:
Reduce partisan cues. It’s not enough to say, “Trump says voter fraud occurred, Democrats disagree.” To most readers, that means either side could be right and the parties are just disagreeing as usual. If Trump’s claims need to be debunked, it can be done in an authoritative and nonpartisan manner*.

If Trump does make claims along these lines, there’s a good chance Fox News will repeat and amplify them, which Trump will may then cite the next time he repeats his claims, creating a Trump-Fox feedback loop. But other news organizations don’t have to add to that. And they certainly don’t need to lend credence to baseless claims just to appear unbiased.

*For example:  "The President lied."

03 October 2018

Post-mortem song, ripped off of "That Would Be Enough" from Hamilton

Look around, look around at how lucky we are
To be a playoff team
Look around, look around...

I don't pretend to know
Just how we might've homered
The runs we had all planned on the drawing board

But I'm not a grouch
I know Wade Davis
So long as we play hard and better than the Orioles
That would be enough

We don't have to face the Crew
We don't need Harper

Oh, Gore should be a part of the narrative
In the story the Sun-Times will write
Let our winter break begin right now,
Make our free agent moves,
And I could love my Cubs
We could be the Cubs
And that would be enough

28 September 2018

from the Politics page of the CapTimes-SevenLakesRealNews
(October 1, 2052)


By ----  ------

This year's Senate election has been dominated by the issue of cosmology.  Mera Kohl is a longtime supporter of the heliocentric solar system theory.  But Ron Johnson-Necropotence argues that our Earth is the clear center of the starry spheres.

"Make no mistake about it," Johnson-Necropotence said through a spokesminion last week.  "I just celebrated my tenth undeathday and believe me, I know a thing or two about the secrets of the universe.  Mera Kohl and her thirty-something elitist friends don't think you can handle the truth.  What she calls a 'star,' our Sun, is a cushy and fuzzy ball of goldenrod twine that has always moved in the fifth circle of the heavens

What's more, we need to be investing in exploration of the Hollow Earth Civilizations, which were known to have flourished in the 19th century, so that we can add stonemilk to our energy mix."

17 September 2018

I am confident Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has all the knowledge of the South China Sea that she needs to be an effective Congresswoman:  namely, that it is a sea that is getting warmer and rising.

04 September 2018

Cherry-picked Political Statistic of the Week 

In the states of:  Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Iowa, and Wisconsin (comprising 54 districts, and 50 Republican candidates*) -- a pretty swath of the country, if I do say so, there are exactly ZERO women running for the US House as Republicans.  (I made this determination simply based on reading first names, although I did have to look up Rep. French Hill of Arkansas to be sure.  Gad, what a grifter.)

*The four districts abandoned by Republicans are Oregon 3rd (Portland), Wisconsin 2nd (Madison area), Mississippi 2nd, and Louisiana 2nd (New Orleans).

26 August 2018

Some men decide to let us know that they aren’t jokes. They turn sullen and grumpy, like people out of a Frank Miller comic. Or they turn defensive, a trait I cannot really blame in anyone, in a society so bitterly competitive—I particularly cannot fault it in men of color, poor men, and immigrants, whose masculinity subjects them simultaneously to actual serious threat from white men and to the feminist scrutiny that they, along with the rest of us, warrant. But defensiveness has a well-known tendency to make us behave in ways that are laughable. And then a handful of men try to reconstruct a consensus that has decisively gone. They remind me of Bron, the antihero of Samuel Delany’s science-fiction novel Triton (1976), who so badly desires to revive True Manliness in a polymorphously perverse far future that he undergoes a sex change (which, in the world of that novel, is easily procured, free, and painless). Since he appears to be among the last people in the galaxy who still understand that “what gives the species the only value it has are men,” he will at least find a man who feels as he does, so that they may together revive an ancient sort of love. He winds up alone. Delany’s message is clear: Bron is so silly that he cannot even be allowed the dignity of, in effect, screwing himself.

--Phillip Christman