Month: March 2018

Towards a Politics of Stupidity

“Trust me, I’m like a smart person.” – Donald Trump, 01/21/17 “[unintelligible]” – Donald Trump, AP Interview, 04/21/17 If, as Marx remarks somewhere, historical events and individuals always appear twice, first as tragedy and then as farce, the past year has shown the precise reversal: farce first, tragedy later. Such a reversal clears a space for further reconsideration. In a time of “post-truth” and “alternative facts,” both the Left and the Right are beginning (or continuing) to rethink longheld assumptions about truth, politics, morality, and decency. What then to do about the politics of post-truth? Thinkers like as Hegel,...

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Rock’n’Roll Don’t Pay the Bills

A couple of weeks ago, the Boston indie band Buffalo Tom released a new album.  They were one of my favourite bands back in the day.  Buffalo Tom’s 1992 barnstormer, Let Me Come Over remains, 26 years on, one of my favourite albums of all time.   Unlike so many bands of my youth, Buffalo Tom never broke up, never went away.  They’ve steadily released albums since the early 90s, except for a 10 year period between 1998 and 2007 (ok, 9 years).  They never made it big, they remained a cult band. Music is not the means to financial...

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Wither Nos Amours

Rusty Staub died yesterday.  ‘Le Grand Orange’ was the first franchise icon for the Montreal Expos.  The Expos, in hindsight, were a star-crossed franchise from the getgo.  Staub arrived in Montreal in the winter of 1969, just before the Expos inaugural season.  He was dealt away in 1972, to the New York Mets.  Social media today in the United States remembers Staub as a long-time Met.  In Canada, he is an Expo. Staub was before my time, he was traded away before I was born.  But I grew up knowing the story of Le Grand Orange, the greatest player in franchise history when I was a kid.  He did return to the ‘Spos, as we called them, in 1979, though he left again in 1980 for Texas.  His #10 was the first number retired by the Expos. His death got me to thinking about the sad history of my first baseball team.  The Expos lasted from 1969-2004, before moving to Washington.  They weren’t a great team, to be honest.  They had their ups, but had more downs, and they left town with an historic losing record.  They won the NL East once, during the 1981 strike season, but then they lost a playoff to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Rick Monday hit the homer that crushed my childhood dreams of a World Series for the ‘Spos.  That day is still...

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Meteorite from Saturn and Blind Spot by Leah Mueller

Installment 17 is a white-knuckle meditation on luck and its aftermath. Leah Mueller’s two poems dramatize the strikes we never see coming, and invite us to feel those misses that were nonetheless very near.  *** METEORITE FROM SATURN The objects that strike from above are always the worst. Driving my Toyota Corolla down I-5 in a 9 PM Pacific Northwest rainstorm, a few miles north of Everett. Raining so hard I can barely see. Traffic like angry bees escaping from a damaged nest. Radio off so I can concentrate. Suddenly, the heavy crash of impact so loud the entire...

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“Entirely Consensual”? Stormy Daniels’ #MeToo moment 

 “A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,’” Stormy Daniels told Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes Sunday night. It was 2011 and she was in a parking lot. Her baby daughter was in the car seat and she was on her way to the gym. The man then “leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’” The threat worked: Daniels was “rattled.” The scene is straight out of one of those movies where nothing good happens to...

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