Tuesday 28 June, 2022

Ultimate Selfies – #2

Albrecht Durer

Quote of the Day

“It is one thing to like defiance, and another thing to like its consequences.”

  • George Eliot

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Paul McCartney | I’ve Got a Feeling | Glastonbury, 2022


This is just one number from the most extraordinary sustained musical performance I’ve ever seen — Paul McCartney’s three-hour marathon at Glastonbury the other night. If you have access to the BBC’s iPlayer (i.e. if you are located in the UK), take three hours off and watch the whole thing. The phrase tour de force doesn’t even come close to capturing it. It was exhilarating, moving, entrancing and unforgettable. And if had this effect on someone watching it on TV, imagine what it must have been like to have been there.

Long Read of the Day

 The Perils Of Smashing The Past

Really perceptive essay in Noema by Nathan Gardels on how aggressive disruption inevitably reaps a whirlwind.

The fearful and fearsome reaction against growing inequality, social dislocation and loss of common identity in the midst of today’s vast wealth creation, unprecedented mobility and ubiquitous connectivity is a mutiny, really, against globalization so audacious and technological change so rapid that it can barely be absorbed by our incremental nature. In this accelerated era, future shock can feel like repeated blows in the living present to individuals, families and communities alike. In this one world, it sometimes seems, a race is on between the newly empowered and the recently dispossessed.

This emergent world appears to us as a wholly unfamiliar rupture from patterns of the past that could frame a reassuring narrative going forward. Rather, the new territory of the future is described by philosophers as “plastic” or “liquid,” shapelessly shifting as each disruptive innovation or abandoned certitude washes away whatever fleeting sense of meaning that was only just embraced. A kind of foreboding of the times that have not yet arrived, a wariness about what’s next, settles in. Novelists like Jonathan Franzen see a “perpetual anxiety” gripping society. Similarly, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, citing William Wordsworth, speaks of “a strangeness in my mind,” the sense that “I am not of this hour nor of this place.”

When Mark Zuckerberg exhorted his engineers to “move fast and break things”, he had no idea of the historical resonances of that idea. Likewise, the Italian Futurists had no idea that their 1909 manifesto would one day lead to Mussolini.

It must be clear by now to anyone who’s paying attention that we are now approaching another one of those major historical inflection points. This essay is by an observer who senses the tremors of the coming earthquake.

We’re the Supreme Court and, Honestly, We Just Want You All to Die

Nicely withering satire by Jessica M. Goldstein…

Hey, America, it’s us, the Supreme Court of the United States. We heard you shouting outside our houses that one time, which was really scary. But we’re ready to have a conversation now, by which we mean, we’re ready to talk and we hope you’re ready to listen.

We understand that you’ve been watching some of these latest rulings come down—overturning a New York law limiting gun use in public, all but stripping away your Miranda rights—and are wondering… what the hell? We realize that we’ve failed to communicate a crucial piece of information to you, one that would make all of our decisions make a whole lot more sense. So here goes: We’re actually trying to kill you.

That’s it. That’s our whole deal. We here at the Supreme Court just love watching people die. Americans, specifically. But also people from other countries. Pretty much everyone. In this and only this arena, we don’t discriminate. We didn’t think we’d need to spell it out for you. We haven’t exactly been subtle about it. Have you seen our outfits? We’re fully cosplaying as the Grim Reaper…

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