TayNYC

Are we in the clear yet?

  1. On some Sky Ferreira shit: gauzy and incandescent.
  2. The shouty backing vocal: “Are we in the clear yet GOOD”
  3. Monsters turned out to be trees, oh Tay. (EDIT: omg lol)
  4. Late ’80s pop like Dream Academy, right.
  5. No real hint of Jack Antonoff thank fuck
  6. "The rest of the world was black and white but we were in screaming color" A+++ very good lyric, and also seems the color motif of Red has become a Taylor Thing.
  7. Also I choose to interpret the Polaroid line literally: our Taylor selection today is magical-realism Taylor.
  8. "Last December, we were built to fall apart." Still going back to December, yes.
  9. Moving the furniture to dance is a bit “dancing round the kitchen in the refrigerator light” but “two paper airplanes flying” is a classic for the ages.
  10. Sing it in all caps: TWENTY STITCHES IN A HOSPITAL ROOM. So very Taylor and so very effective: simple and declarative; observation as image as icon, like how has she only now just picked up the Polaroid as a signifier? The object as synecdoche for not just a person but an emotion or an experience, since “that little black dress.”

GOOD.


They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.

Ronald Reagan (1964)

I don’t know if this was the actual inspiration for Kang-disguised-as–Bob Dole’s declaration on The Simpsons: “The politics of failure have failed. We need to make them work again.” But then again, “twirling towards freedom” is something Reagan could have come up with too.


Post-partisan America and Obama

Something real quick on a thing I’ve thought for the past six years and am amazed folks keep missing.

Here’s Ezra Klein talking about the gap between what Obama promised for his presidency and what (and also, especially, how) he achieved:

From 2009 to 2010, Obama, while seeking the post-partisan presidency he wanted, established the brutally partisan presidency he got. Virtually every achievement Krugman recounts — the health-care law, the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, the financial rescue, the stimulus bill — passed in these first two years when Democrats held huge majorities in congress. And every item on the list passed over screaming Republican opposition. The first two years of the Obama administration are the story of Obama being haunted by his promises of a postpartisan presidency, and choosing, again and again, to pass bills at the cost of worsening partisanship.

Like, accurate, but also completely missing the point.

Yeah, I know, Obama promised to be post-partisan and to bring America together. Just like George W. Bush said he’d be a “uniter, not a divider.” Obama said it in his first national speech, his most famous address, perhaps his best oratory of his life:

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.

There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?

Let’s be clear. Obama had — at the 2004 Democratic National Convention — just read off a laundry list of liberal priorities: health care, education, the protection of constitutional liberties. And now he was telling us in (a way that was accurate culturally but incorrect electorally) that Americans were despite all evidence to the contrary, a united people. (Americans are desperate to hear that they’re united. It’s such a fragile part of their psyche that they put the word united right into the name of their country.)

And now he proves that by saying that liberals like innocuous things like baseball and god (duh, says every liberal listening — or, more like, that’s right!) while conservatives like gay people and freedom from surveillance. (In 2004, this wasn’t so: there’s a fair argument that ballot measures opposing gay marriage drove conservative turnout to a great enough extent to ensure Bush’s re-election; the GOP was zealously promoting the PATRIOT Act during the years prior to this speech.) And that bit about patriots who support and patriots who oppose the war in Iraq? This was only radical for the use of the word “oppose”: liberals were terribly stung by Republican accusations that their opposition to the war amounted to an opposition to America. Why do you think they endorsed a Vietnam War vet as their presidential candidate?

Or look at Obama running for the Democratic Party nomination in 2008:

Because at a time when so many people are struggling to keep up with soaring costs in a sluggish economy, we know that the status quo in Washington just won’t do. Not this time. Not this year. We can’t keep playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expect a different result — because it’s a game that ordinary Americans are losing.

Here’s the thing about that status quo: it was Republican. When the Democrats listening to this speech heard about “the same Washington game with the same Washington players,” they were thinking about seven years of Republican governance, of tax cuts and deficits and disrespect. 

The Obama campaign talked about bipartisanship, about changing the way Washington works, but its genius lay in the way it imparted two messages at once by doing so. To its liberal supporters, it promised a bipartisan America where conservatives would realise that they supported Democratic ideas all along (“we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states … we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.”) Not, note, a bipartisan America where Democrats and Republicans would draw together to compromise over tax reform or single-payer health care or a stimulus. Obama proposed to his liberal base that bipartisanship should mean an embrace of liberalism.

(This is radical, really, because liberals, hairshirted pricks that they are, love to tell one another about how removed from the American mainstream they are. Foolish promises that America believes in the same ideas you do is usually for conservatives. Obama convinced liberals that they might actually be America.)

That wasn’t what you heard if you were a disgruntled Republican or a disengaged independent. You heard a president saying things about bipartisanship that stirred your American fondness for national unity.

Same with the bit about changing the way Washington works. Liberals heard that the way Washington works would change in the most important way — Republicans would no longer be in charge of it. The rest heard bromides about bipartisanship.

Obama knew who he was talking to. He was talking to liberals. So let’s not pretend like he ever promised a golden age where through sheer force of personality alone he could bring Democrats and Republicans together under the spirit of compromise. He tried to enact his ideology on the grounds that it is what the nation wanted. It’s what politicians do.

The fact that people are still convinced he really wanted moderation and compromise speaks to his political success, really.

Obama told liberals that they could be the American mainstream. He was smart enough to do it in a way that even made conservatives think he was saying he would govern through consensus.


#i am not a fun run.

#i am not a fun run.

6
Oct 10

the-metres-gained:

bowtiesandginghamshirts:

thranduskul:

bowtiesandginghamshirts:

asheathes:

WIZARDING SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD: NEW ZEALAND

The New Zealand Academy of Spellcraft is situated in an undetectable location in the bush lands of South Island so incredibly difficult to find due to its surroundings’ constant changes in appearance that even repeat visitors often have trouble finding the school. Muggleborn students are raging fanatics of the All Blacks, and they have slowly converted the rest of the student population who used to thumb their nose at the mention of rugby. However, quidditch remains immensely popular, with students often sneaking out under the cover of night to play matches in the dark because it is “more challenging, and therefore, more fun,” despite the drastic increase in the number of injuries and dents in trees due to rogue bludgers growing slightly panicked in the dark. The school prides itself on its large and prestigious herbology department; international witches and wizards often take on extended environmental studies at the academy, so students are always on the lookout for lost foreigners stumbling around. When students graduate, they are presented with Pounamu ornaments that are embedded into the handles of their wands as a reminder for them to always be at peace with their surroundings.

This is cool, but it’s not utilising possible Maori cultural/spiritual parts. Like imagine having a school lake but instead of a giant squid we have a Taniwha, and Tiki’s placed in front of the school and around it that move and talk and stuff, I mean the possibilities are awesome :)

SCHOOL TANIWHA YEA HIDING THE SCHOOL & MAYBE WANDERING AROUND IN HUMAN FORM OCCASIONALLY & TALKING TO STUDENTS OUT BY THE LAKE AT NIGHT & THEY SLOWLY REALISE THAT HEY IT’S A PRETTY SMALL SCHOOL WHO WAS THAT NICE LADY BY THE LAKE WHO REASSURED THEM THAT THEY WOULDN’T FAIL THEIR NEXT EXAM AND TO KEEP TRYING BUT WHO MAY HAVE EATEN THE SNACKS THEY PUT DOWN ON THAT LOG I SWEAR THEY WERE THERE A MINUTE AGO ANYWAY I’VE NEVER SEEN HER BEFORE AND NOBODY KNOWS WHO I MEAN 

FUKIN FIELD TRIPS TO THE MOUNTAINS TO SEE DESCENDANTS OF POUAKAI WHO PASSED UNDER THE RADAR OF LEGEND & MUGGLEBORNS GOING NUTS ABOUT THEM BEING THE EAGLES FROM LOTR BUT REALISING PRETTY QUICK THAT THESE THINGS ARE ONLY TEMPERED FROM SNACKING ON STUDENTS BY THEIR FIERCE INTELLIGENCE AND ARE NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH

THE TIKI’S ONLY SPEAK MAORI OBVS BUT HALF THE SPELLS ARE IN MAORI SO EVERYONE LEARNS IT PRETTY QUICK & IT’S AS WIDELY SPOKEN AROUND THE SCHOOL AS ENGLISH IS IF NOT MORE

THE WALLS ARE COVERED IN CARVINGS WHICH ARE OFTEN OVERLOOKED AS SCENERY BUT THEY REMEMBER EVERYTHING THAT PASSES IN THE SCHOOL AND COME ALIVE WITH MUSIC AND WHEN THERE’S A POWHIRI FOR IMPORTANT VISITORS EVERY ONE OF THEM JOINS IN THE WAIATA AND PAINTS A HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL

NZ MAGIC YE A H

Jim improved my idea :P

I bet Australians go too. 

Coooooooool.


If the appearance of “problematic” does not always follow the letter of academic English, it certainly follows the spirit, which is obscurantist. Academic English etiolates cause and effect. Nominalization and passive sentence construction both muddle academic writing’s waters, which is how “John Smith manages hazardous waste” becomes, through the lens of a professor, “hazardous waste is managed.” This is where “problematic” becomes really useful. “Problematic” will tell you what is problematic—usually race or gender—but it won’t tell you who did what, when; there are no finite verbs. Take this thinkpiece on #CancelColbert, from Salon: “To grow up in America is to receive racially problematic and stereotypical ideas about people of color almost by osmosis.” What is problematic? Ideas! About people of color! But cause and effect are abstruse, the author even casts her personal story in the infinitive, “to grow up in America.”

Johannah King-Slutzky, “The Internet Has a Problem(atic),” The Awl, September 25, 2014

Yes.

4
Sep 29

Tom on "...Baby One More Time" at Popular
79
Sep 29

Some thoughts on Harry Potter as a dystopia.

Got the idea into my head that I could buy a t-shirt dress and wear it as a t-shirt, and now I’m strongly considering this thing? I think it might work.

Got the idea into my head that I could buy a t-shirt dress and wear it as a t-shirt, and now I’m strongly considering this thing? I think it might work.

2
Sep 28


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