Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Coupla Things on Summer, Day 1

First, I was happy to see this post:

The patent, plain truth, a truth so true that it approaches the truth we find in mathematical equations, which can of course be derided as a "tautological" truth except with folks who refuse to acknowledge it, is that if you take a random room full of people and sprinkle more and more firearms into that population, you will be more and more likely to eventually have an event of firearm violence. Tired of waiting? Add alcohol, add televisions, add politicians and religious fanatics. Until the national media can literally laugh Wayne LaPierre's ridiculous platitudes out of the hall, we are conducting this horrible experiment in real time. The money shot (sorry): It’s only a matter of time before one these guns accidentally discharges; it’s only a matter of time before someone taunts these fetishists and, because the ammosexuals are stupid and humorless and lack impulse control, one them “fights back” with deadly force. These people need to become pariahs. Yesterday.

Second. Last week the Durham, NC city jail was forced to release a guy who had been sitting in there for two years accused of a drive-by shooting which killed a 10-year-old girl. He was never brought to trial because the NC Crime Lab is understaffed and evidence was unable to be processed. He was released because a judge ruled that his right to a speedy trial had been violated--which seems indeed to be true. One would think that the Damocletian sword of this speedy trial rule would drive any competent body of legislators to be damn sure that the state crime lab was always properly funded and staffed. Apparently our current Legislature felt otherwise. They were too busy cutting taxes on wealthy people and attacking the whole concept of tenure as it applies to public school teachers (so that if some teacher should point out to her students a future failure of this magnitude by a future Legislature, she will live in fear of losing her job, or will in fact lose her job post haste). Oh, did I mention. The guy shot and killed a guy in Chapel Hill a week after he was released. He's been charged with murder:

Third. It's been widely noted this week (around the web) that among the commentators on Hillary Clinton's (in my view) very successful interview with Fox News was Terry Bradshaw, Football Hall of Fame Quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers during their four '70s era Super Bowl victories and now a member of the Fox NFL Pregame show:

Bradshaw said he never has trusted Ms Clinton, and that everyone ought to tell the truth. He thus joins the ranks of genius-level propagandists now working the current "street." As no doubt has been remarked at the water cooler already, we can all await his suit of the NFL for chronic brain injury, which will arrive in the mail the day after he's finally dismissed from his Pregame show for some as yet unimagined indiscretion. But what struck me was that this direct joining of Fox Sports with Fox Political Propaganda is only the most explicit iteration of what has been already in place since Mr. Murdoch bought up the sports coverage rights to most of the most popular sporting events in the United States. You don't have to have a Bradshaw actually talk about a politician, when you've captured the viewers you want to "convince." In fact, putting Bradshaw directly into politics is probably a mistake, a looking behind the curtain so to speak. Possibly people will notice. It's more likely that another statistical truth prevails however: people who notice are such a minority in the American electorate that they can be entirely discounted when designing election campaigns. Get enough dumb-asses to vote and the smart ones can just, erm..., smart.

I guess point the 3rd brings us back to point the 1st. The Hudahenians look out the window into the summer, inscrutable. They watch a squirrel on an oak stump, who scratches a flea and then leaps down to find a moldy acorn. Thank Jesus it's Saturday. Last night we watched Ozu's "Late Spring" for the second time. If it's possible to put poetry into film form, or to actually film a perfect short story, Ozu does it (and more than once). This most elegant of movies can be watched many times. It grows deeper and deeper. It's no wonder Setsuko Hara devoted her professional career to Mr. Ozu, and retired after he died. There was nothing more for her to achieve.

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