Thursday, August 18, 2016

Parliamentary Communities - Cinema of Kino: Acting Wisely

Water flows through literature. There is the recurring motif of yearning for rain as the farmer looks at his sun-baked field and his hungry family. There is the intimate relationship of an individual or a community with a particular river or sea. But water in literature is also as a persona larger than a single entity. There is the beneficent life-giver, the nurturing mother-river in stories of fishing villages, and people who live off the sea or river as others live off the forest. To them, the water body that is an intimate part of their lives is not only the wise and generous mother, but also a goddess — complete with unpredictable whims and tantrums. She has to be propitiated with ritual, prayer, respect, fear, sometimes a life or two. But she also receives, without complaint, the burden of human imagination and the words and actions that spring out of it. Whether it is the water-myths peopled by both benevolent and malignant creatures, or the waterside ambience of human love (the season of amorous behaviour always rainy), or the ashes of a human body, water is big enough, and complex enough, to take it all in its flow. Lives in myth and literature emerge half-formed or fully formed from water. They also, at the end of their lives, often cross a body of water to the afterlife.
~ Second Thoughts Githa Hariharan

The Psychiatric Question: Is It Fair to Analyze Donald Trump From Afar?
In the midst of a deeply divisive presidential campaign, more than 1,000 psychiatrists declared the Republican candidate unfit for the office, citing severe personality defects, including paranoia, a grandiose manner and a Godlike self-image. One doctor called him “a dangerous lunatic.”

The line between impartiality and responsiveness remains unclear. A time to be silent

ABC on parliamentary orientation 1 out of 5 is new MP: On Tuesday, 16 August 2016 AD 39 new federal MPs will descend on the nation's capital for a two-day orientation  on their roles in the House of Representatives. Some know the game, others played a similar type and at least one excelled at a different game with a ball. Fresh-faced MPs head to Canberra
Is the Westminster system on its way out? If you read letters to the editor or listen to opposition politicians, you'll be in no doubt. All agree that the Westminster system is dead or dying. In fact, the Westminster system and principles have been in this terminal state as long as I can remember.  Goodbye, Westminster: is our political system dying or just evolving?

Sheep and Community of Common Sense 

New, much-anticipated documentary Can We Take a Joke? When Outrage and Comedy Collide [on demand, Greg Lukianoff] More on the fining of comedian Mike Ward by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal [Guardian, earlier

Among the most unusual literary adaptations of recent years has now come out: the movie version (if one can call it that) of The Anarchist Cookbook (see the official movie site). We admit we're amused by the mere idea of a cinematic adaptation of this very odd (and by now quite old) work -- though, like most film-adaptations we can't imagine it to be a great success (at least in terms of being faithful to the book itself -- which would, in this case, admittedly be quite a tall order anyway). For some early reviews, see those collected at Rotten Tomatoes.
       For more information about The Anarchist Cookbook itself, see the Anarchist Cookbook FAQ, or get your own copy from or

·     Meet the Guys Turning Old Graphic Design Manuals Into Kickstarter Bloc

Policy in the data age: Data enablement for the common good By Karim Tadjeddine and Martin Lundqvist
“The tremendous impact that digital services have had on governments and society has been the subject of extensive research that has documented the rapid, extensive adoption of public-sector digital services around the globe. We believe that the coming data revolution will be even more deeply transformational and that data enablement will produce a radical shift in the public sector’s quality of service, empowering governments to deliver better constituent service, better policy outcomes, and more-productive operations.” 
Improving Community Connections – August 2016

Jednou ráno
přišel vítr
vzal si střechu
i s pokrývačem
i s klempířem
i s kominíkem
jenom dlaždič
zůstal dole

Zůstal dole
chodník dláždil
plival na zem
a byl sprostý
někam letí
a on tady
musí klečet
a on tady
musí klečet
a on tady
musí klečet ...
One (Absurd) Morning ... via Slavic Slave Noro 

Love Must Hurt and The Bottom Must Smell ;-) 

NAB. Through our research on wellbeing Australians have told us that they believe it is important for them to feel “connected” with their local community. But how connected do they really feel and what would they change within their communities to improve their sense of personal wellbeing if they could? In this special report, NAB addresses these two important questions. Improving Community Connections – August 2016

Cyber-fan bullying makes us scared about who the audience really might be… It’s not enough to “reflect” diversity of a community to be diverse… If you want to build an audience try investing in your community… Pay-as-you-wish ticket schemes seem straightforward but they’re not… Are the arts failing at delivering the audience experience? President Obama’s Emotional Spotify Playlist Is a Hit

Female thinkers have rarely been cinematic subjects. But recent films about Hannah Arendt have raised the question: How should a woman in philosophy be portrayed? Portrayed! 

To get the sense, at least from reading the New York Times and listening to reports about the growing numbers of “alternative-to-incarceration” courts around the country, that we’re settling into a kinder, gentler period of criminal justice.  Criminally Yours: There’s No Such Thing As Wiping The Slate Clean  Above the Law

Werner Herzog on the Books Every Filmmaker Should Read 

  The American White House has released The President's Summer Reading List -- five books President Obama is apparently reading this summer.
       The only one of the five titles under review at the complete review is Neal Stephenson's Seveneves -- noteworthy because it was also recommended by former Microsoft man Bill Gates earlier this year.
       A solid little list -- but only five books for summer reading ? Come on ! 

“The rise of the self-published author as a commercial force, the growth of the ebook market and the willingness of traditional publishers to loosen contractual reins have given rise to the phenomenon of the “hybrid author,” who can either publish traditionally or self-publish. These writers’ relationships to their publishers can resemble open marriages.” Hybrid writers get the best of both worlds

Without a doubt: Hollywood still officially bankrupt of new Cold River Ideas  Rebel Wilson to Star in Gender-Flipped ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ Remake

“Pleasant breezes, glorious vistas: The heart expands and the intellect is activated.”

Lovers of trashy films are highly educated cultural omnivores

Jasper Milvain, hero without scruple of George Gissing’s New Grub Street, is a hack’s hack. "It is my business", he smugs to his sister, "to know something about every subject – or to know where to get the knowledge." This passing acquaintance with any and all subjects is then profitably flogged round Fleet Street. He writes a book review – three quarters of a column for the Evening Budget – after breakfast and a Saturday "causerie" for the Will-o’the-Wisp before lunch. Then a sketch – to be finished tomorrow – for The West End. Between tea and dinner, he reads four newspapers and two magazines, and he finishes an essay for The Current before bed.By such industry does a man make a living by his pen The journalist in fiction and film 

 I  say blame the voters but still there is a grain of truth to this.  Still, the ethic of individual responsibility should be paramount here, and that leads us back to the voters 

A Short Endorsement of Anton Chekhov for Your Next Beach Read
      Via I'm pointed to Isaac Stone Fish's article in Foreign Policy, arguing: 'Why apocalyptic fiction and film haven't caught on in the Middle Kingdom', The End of Days Is Coming -- Just Not to China
Dragon slaying no longer has to be interrupted by blogging ... A dragon at their feet, an iron castle in their sight What elemental dragon are you?  

Well you can be milk-white and just as rich as cream   
And buy a solid gold carriage with a four-horse team
But you cain’t keep the world from movering round 
Or stop old Nat Turner from gaining ground  

“Over 250,000 images of London from the collections at London Metropolitan Archives and Guildhall Art Gallery. Collage is owned and managed  by London Metropolitan Archives  on behalf of the City of London  Corporation.” Users may search the site or browse by subject (People, Places, Historical Events etc.), word/phrase; collections; picture formats. Lines out of Great Cinema

The fiscal year 2017 budget lawmakers sent to the governor’s desk in July included $14 million for arts, humanities and sciences programsK through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. But Baker vetoed $7.7 million, bringing the total figure down to $6.5 million, a 55 percent cut the agency called “devastating.”
 Mass Live

“People know what it means in here and you should make word choices to grab your audience ... Learning to be free while sitting in a maximum-security prison.
Humanities behind bars

A friend finds reassurance in Anthony Hecht’s “Rara Avis in Terris” (The Light and the Darkness, 2001). This late poem, he says, “affirm[s] the almost forgotten sweetness of life, the elegance of the `monogamous songbirds.’” This will surprise some. Hecht isn’t shy about taking on grim subject matter, including the Holocaust, grimmest of all. Nor is he, in this poem and elsewhere, happy with the drift of Western culture, the breakdown of values and contempt for our inheritance. “Rara Avis in Terris” seems particularly pertinent during this presidential season:
`Cold Eye and Primitive Beak and Callused Foot'  

IN HIGH SCHOOL I WAS HIRED BY A LOCAL FARMER at a "personnel auction" as a fundraiser for my senior class. He was a customer of the bank and he hired me for a few days to clean out some barns on one of his places. "How bad can that be?" I thought. I do a lot of physical activity, I've hauled a lot of hay, and-yes-I've shoveled some s-t from time to time. Armed with a heavy pitchfork and shovel, I showed up to my charge. What he failed to tell me is these four barns were purchased from a long-since-retired hog farmer. Those of you familiar with the various strains of manure know that a hog produces a certain kind of ammonia that even a bottle of "Mr. Clean" could not reproduce. What I didn't know is that it is virtually undetectable through the first few years' worth of material. I thought this was going to be a snap and I would be done early. However, when I got down to approximately 1965, the level of ammonia present was as pungent as the day it was deposited. After I was able to gather my wits and get a handle on my gag reflex, I finally got the required task completed. I don't recall having any issues with my sinuses for the next several years, and to this day, chopping up a bushel of onions just doesn't seem that bad. Lesson learned: You most certainly cannot judge a book by its cover-and sometimes after a perfectly good loan goes bad, you never get a full appreciation until you peel offenough layers to get to the real odor!
-CRAIG MEADER is chairman and CEO of First National Bank nf Kansas, Waverly, Kan.

In Unreliable Memoirs (1980), Clive James recounts his year working as an assistant editor for The Sydney Morning Herald. Mostly he was a proofreader:

“. . . writing is essentially a matter of saying things in the right order. It certainly has little to do with the creative urge per se. Invariably the most prolific contributors were the ones who could not write a sentence without saying the opposite of what they meant. One man, resident in Woy Woy, sent us a new novel every month. Each novel took the form of 20 thick exercise books held together in a bundle. Each exercise book was full to the brim with neat handwriting. The man must have written more compulsively than Enid Blyton, who at least stopped for the occasional meal. Unlike Enid Blyton, however, he could not write even a single phrase that made any sense.” `A Matter of Saying Things in the Right Order'

Propaganda art is crude, primitive, and inferior to real art. Except, of course, when it isn’t. Consider the career of Jacques-Louis David Propagandist

Knoxville Couple Find Guns, Condoms In Recovered Vehicle

“If you go to most other independents, they will have a section of African-American books. But a whole bookstore filled with books on African-Americans? That’s something that people should see.” Diversity In Book Publishing Isn't Just About Writers — Marketing Matters, Too

“Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness. But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer.”
As I was reading those words, I remembered something very similar from Warsaw poet Zbigniew Herbert – a writer who, as Seamus Heaney said, “shoulders the whole sky and scope of human dignity and responsibility.” In his essay, “The Mercy of the Executioner,” Herbert describes the execution of the statesman Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt, who had “defended his honor rather than his life” at trial:
When they brought in the condemned man, the crowd fell silent. Van Oldenbarnevelt was hurrying toward death: ‘What you must do, do it fast,’ he urged the executors of the verdict.
Pauline Hanson hits back after Party for Freedom's anti-Islam church stunt 

It's just a toilet': Multicultural chief questions Hanson's squat toilet outrage 

The Japanese lifestyle retailer is seeking feedback on its new living space designed to create a balance of natural light and air
Walter Benjamin believed that great art contains an inexplicable "aura," an element of mystery. Now forensic science is ruining the romance of art history  ...