In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.-- George Orwell
“I would rather be a swineherd at Amagerbro and be understood by the swine than be a poet and be misunderstood by people.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or: A Fragment of Life
The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.
The Oregon countdown clock in my sidebar doesn't confront the story of my approaching dilemma.
The college games started yesterday with the FCS Montana vs. North Dakota State kickoff. I watched the end of that in a local watering hole, and man was it good. Montana drove with a minute left for the winning score in front of a madhouse home crowd, and it reminded me of why I like this game so much.
But here's the ordeal. FBS ball starts Thursday and the weekend is chock-full-O games I want to see before Oregon plays Saturday night against Eastern Washington. Now my usual streaming site, which has treated me well for the past five seasons, has a hella ad (a virus literally) attached to it that is unbeatable. If it pops up, you're unable to click it off like the other ads that cluster on the site like landmines in a war zone.
They're manageable. This one is not. I've had to shut down my computer the three times I've tried to trick it.
This one just destroys the fun and renders the site unusable.
(I'd kill the fuckers responsible for this if I could get my hands on them. I'm serious. They deserve to die. By strangulation.)
So far it has infected the few NFL games I've tried to watch (namely the Titans and Mariota) and I've been forced to Tunein radio.
I'm not a radio guy, spoiled like I have been by television.
I'll give it a shot when the FBS schedule opens, shut down if I have to, figure something out.
But what a drag. I'm a little concerned I may not get my FBS fix. And I don't have the budget to be a sports bar regular these days like I have in the past.
Might have to learn to love the radio again. Ugh...
Oregon's idiot bandwagon fans and uninformed loudmouths are already bitching about the coaching decisions that have left their favorite players off the "two-deep" lineup for Saturday's game against Eastern Washington.
The only seeming consensus is that, based on his career in FCS football and Jeff Lockie's inexperience, all Oregon fans seem to think the choice of Vernon Adams as the starting QB is a good thing.
Oh, and everybody is convinced Royce Freeman is the "real deal." Heh...
That one wasn't too tough.
The two-deep roster, no matter your team, is essentially the coaches' determination of which 44 players can best help the team win a game on any given Saturday. It is not chiseled in stone. Year-long, it is always a fluid thing dependent on the health and performance of each member of the team. It is highly mutable, under flux, and beyond any set notions of the "way things ought to be" as voiced by halfwits.
We're a week out from the start of the Oregon season, and the stupidity of Oregon's loudest, most obnoxious fan base is already getting on my nerves.
How will I survive the season, especially if the Ducks happen to lose a game that the "experts" on the fan sites I read deem "unacceptable" and begin to spew negativity about the coaches and team?
I suppose I shouldn't indulge myself. I'll watch the games and try to tune out the hype, pro and con.
There are examples of the wealthy contributing to longstanding progressive improvements in society. There were wealthy philanthropists who funded many activities focused on the abolition of slavery and obtaining universal suffrage for women. The Civil Rights Movement received substantial financial backing from a handful of very rich families. In addition, numerous environmental groups today are reaping the benefits of wealthy supporters. Nah, take the money they stole from workers and put the oligarchs up against the wall.
“Senator Sanders, we are enthusiastic about your presidential campaign’s strong challenge to corporate power and oligarchy. We urge you to speak out about how they are intertwined with militarism and ongoing war. Martin Luther King Jr. denounced what he called ‘the madness of militarism,’ and you should do the same. As you said in your speech to the SCLC, ‘Now is not the time for thinking small.’ Unwillingness to challenge the madness of militarism is thinking small.” The petition is headlined “Bernie Sanders, Speak Up: Militarism and Corporate Power Are Fueling Each Other.” In addition to signing the petition, about 5,000 of the 25,000 signers wrote individual comments that are posted online as part of the petition.
I figure you probably expect something from me about the murderous dysfunction of the US television industry which has disgruntled former anchormen firing off rounds in the mall of the American mind and gunning down other beautiful people in the business... Well...no I will not go there. All I'll say is if you see someone you know suddenly appear in the studio who shouldn't be there...drop your light meter and run!
Dammit, I'm getting sick of your "plan to take on Wall Street." Where is the plan to shut down the MIC, cut militarism, save the environment, bring the U.S. back to reality and obliterate the hegemony that is responsible for half the world hating everything we stand for?
Where is your plan to legalize drugs, open the borders, cut back incarceration, rebuild our infrastructure and free the American worker from the influence of the mob/corporatism?
Bernie, shut up and tell Hillary and this group of religious clowns running the GOP to quit embarrassing Americans.
Oh, and tell Bibi to kiss off as well. (Fat chance, right?)
You're not getting a dime out of me until you say something that makes sense beyond your little Wall Street and anti-billionaire rap.
Franzen's fifth novel is an existential screwball comedy on an epic scale. It has the whole world on its mind – or, rather, two whole worlds: the physical and the virtual.
This one sounds interesting. Some of the post-postmodernists (or whatever category you slot JF) give me a hard time, much like Joyce did with Ulysses.
I've quit on Pynchon before, I'll confess. And others.
I usually end up going back to read some Bukowski or Vonnegut, or something as equally simple and openly funny. But I'll have to at least give this one a chance down the road.
Pain is not the only unpleasant experience that humans are subject to. What about boredom? Might it serve some useful purpose, too? It certainly has no shortage of philosophical defenders. Bertrand Russell and the psychoanalyst Adam Phillips both spoke of the importance of being able to endure it. Russell asserted that the capacity to weather boredom is ‘essential to a happy life’, whereas Phillips speculated on its developmental significance for children. Friedrich Nietzsche commented on the creative power of boredom and found value in its relationship to art. So did Susan Sontag, who in a brief diary entry suggested that the most interesting art of her time was boring: ‘Jasper Johns is boring. Beckett is boring, Robbe-Grillet is boring. Etc. Etc. […] Maybe art has to be boring, now.’
Boredom is both a curse and necessary, according to this philosopher.
“No book is genuinely free from political bias,” George Orwell wrote, in his essay “Why I Write.” “The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.” The opinion that the canon laws of usage, composition, and style—our unquestioned assumptions about what constitutes “good prose”—have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude. Obviously, it’s easier for you to make out my meaning if the pane you’re peering through isn’t some Baroque fantasy in stained glass. But the Anglo-American article of faith that clarity can only be achieved through words of one syllable and sentences fit for a telegram is pure dogma. The Elements of Style is as ideological, in its bow-tied, wire-rimmed way, as any manifesto. Like any manifesto worthy of consideration, it also contains some truth--but being a person of freewill, you are expected to throw out anything you find objectionable.
Over the years I've found myself adhering to some of its advice, but who hasn't deemed it old-fashioned at times? That noted, anything you write comes with risks and, sometimes, unintended consequences.
US progressives are delighted to see the US administration making some progress on the diplomatic front with Cuba and Iran. We should now clearly define what a progressive foreign policy looks like, and push presidential candidates and other officials to move US foreign policy towards one based on respect, cooperation and diplomacy. Medea Benjamin has a 10-step plan to end militarism.
Yes, I think the election season is a disastrously overlong distraction. If people’s interest in it can be used to get them to ask their heroes to lead on important matters — such as asking Bernie Sanders to rally the Senate for the Iran agreement or against the TPP — then that’s a nice silver lining. If people want to get drunk watching Republicans debate rather than some other poorly conceived tragicomedy on TV, what do I care?
Okay, you've been assigned to read all of them this weekend, but if you can't bring yourself to that level (not blaming you), as least try this short essay by David Swanson.
While a student at Oregon, I made sure not to miss a college football game in the early '70s (even at the expense of not studying on Saturday for a Monday quiz). Since then, I've always followed the careers of ex-Ducks in the NFL.
Since then I've watched the stars come and go, never up close like I did in my college years. I'm not a booster in that sense, don't give money for access. I don't call the coach at home in the middle of the night and bitch about the play-calling or the losing streak.
But I follow the players' post-Oregon careers.
I'm looking forward to watching Mariota try to make his mark in the league this year, just as I have in the past with Fouts, Miller, Akili Smith, Kellen Clemens, Joey Harrington, etc.
None of the others won the Heisman like Mariota, though Fouts is in the pro Hall of Fame. The others didn't have a lot of success, though Clemens has been in the league for a decade.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to read all of it, even if your reptilian mind is incapable of grasping the truth.
Remember, you are not stupid. You're just uninformed. (Chances are you have been conditioned, brainwashed by the lesser media--television, Fox News, celebrity manufacture, Huffington Post, Yahoo, etc., etc. Are you prepared to lose your mindlessness? Raise your hand!)
Then, on Monday, you give me a report. I won't question you, but you should tell me whether you enjoyed yourself or had an unpleasant experience with the material.
Once you've filed your report you may go outside and play. Do not climb on the fence and sit there. Move around, explore, experiment.
My email exchanges with the Bernie campers persist.
They request money, I write back with a poignant reply.
What I say is never acknowledged. What I believe hasn't a chance.
Bernie, You have to start talking foreign policy points. You must get over your support of the MIC. I like you Bernie, but I want more out of you in terms of dismantling the armaments industry, military contracts, drone strikes, and hegemonic lunacy. Needed: a new, moral worldview. Can't help you until I hear more, though I support you. Go Bernie!!
Republicans are the designated whipping boys for Reaction covering a wide swath of political culture, thought, and activity in America. The content is obvious, summarized as the militarization of advanced capitalism as it seeks to maintain its unilateral course of global supremacy, the effort breaking down in a world of decentralizing power relations, and thereby forcing America to ever greater extremes of action in order to keep its place.
Senator Bernie Sanders has sparked a strong grassroots response in his run for the Democratic presidential nomination on social and economic issues. At the same time, he has given short shrift to foreign policy, military spending and war. That approach should change. I’m among millions of supporters who are enthusiastic about the clarity of his positions in taking on Wall Street, corporate power and economic inequality. But we also need Sanders to be clear about what he would do as commander in chief of the world’s leading military power. Amen, brother. Norman Solomon on Sanders and foreign policy.
First, he told Diane Sawyer, his new BFF, that he didn’t like Obama except for one single thing–and guess what that might be!–“He was the first to say ‘transgender,’ I give him credit for that, but I’m not a big fan, I’m more on the conservative side. ” This seemed to completely astonish Sawyer–but it’s hard to see why, after countless Republican politicians have been outed as cross-dressers; Jenner is building on a long and rich tradition there, and it’s fun to imagine her trading fashion and make-up tips with J. Edgar Hoover.
Warning: If you're very politically correct, John Eskow's recent piece at CP might upset you.
Here's a secret about how to live frugally. I'm doing it right now, and a basic lesson in survival is how you prepare tasty food to eat.
(Warning: this recipe is not healthy because its salt content can kill you.)
I'm making nachos for dinner. I've cooked off a pound of beef (chicken nachos or any other variant are for someone else), but the secret is I've seasoned the beef with Weber products, a garlic and herb mix, and Cajun seasoning.
They're the cheapest seasonings on the market aisle, so I make do.
I get fundraising appeals and the scoop from Bernie's team every day because I signed up.
I enjoy the material, because I like Bernie as far as he goes, but when I get an email I always write back to express my POV.
My insane objective is to counsel Bernie to go far, far to the left of his senatorial bliss.
Today, Bernie noticed that Jeb Bush is an idiot and minor-league in terms of women's health issues (the anti-choice propaganda is stewing again, proving the culture wars are unending). Lol, Jeb Bush, silver-spoon shyster (shyster was my mom's favorite name for anyone she loathed, ha!).
Anyway, my response to today's Bernie letter:
Bernie, Bernie, Bernie. We need a socialist revolution. That would include a massive cutback on the MIC, a reinvestment in infrastructure, housing, health, education, and a guaranteed income. You go there, Bern, and you'll get my vote. If you mention throwing your support to Hillary later, I'll write you off as a coward. The Dems and Repubs must be overthrown for anything like equality to happen. I'm broke right now, but I'll get back to you later. Okay? Love ya, Bernie
As more and more grocery shoppers refuse to write-off the origins of their food as some unsolvable whodunit, a network of sustainability minded, locally oriented farmers are working to connect those people to calories from known sources. For such farmers, and those in the communities that support them, the local Grange is a well-established ally. Jay Sexton is Master at Mary’s River Grange #685 in Philomath, Oregon. A member of that Grange for six years, he is also the current director of the Oregon State Grange Agriculture Committee, working to advance Grange policies and promote agriculture awareness. Reminding the general public that we all depend on agriculture for the food we eat has been no small part of the organization’s mission for the last 148 years. “The Grange has an interesting history,” says Sexton, “not just with the ups and downs of membership, but with how closely it’s been tied to big agriculture.”
As small, personal battles are waged against the growing corporate menace and takeover of everything, consider the history and current life of the Grange.
The siege of Knightsbridge is both an emblem of gross injustice and a gruelling farce. For three years, a police cordon around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. It has cost £12 million. The quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee whose only security is the room given him by a brave South American country. His “crime” is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war.
I have "liberal" friends, motivated by who knows what--likely a sense of security in an insecure world--who think Snowden, Manning and Assange are wrong-headed asses and "traitors."
Football teams across the land begin to build for the year, pro and collegiate.
I'll get into the sports pages a little more in the coming weeks.
Of particular concern to Ducks out there, bandwagon idiots (aka those who know better than the coaches if something turns ugly) as well as the experts such as myself (one inclined to accept, indeed can relate to, imperfection)--who replaces Mariota in running Oregon's slick offense?
Terry Simons is the founder of Round Bend Press Books, Round Bend Press Detritus, and an associated writing/editing service to aid and abet renegade authors. He has worked as a day laborer, dishwasher, factory drone, community organizer, journalist, media consultant and freelance writer. He attended the University of Oregon and Portland State University, where he read journalism, politics, literature and history. He is the author most recently of "Along Came the Death Squad: Political and Scattered Notes."
RBP books are available from Amazon and Lulu.
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