Why are they even allowed to drive at all?
Oops. Misattributed, misidentified photo. Turns out this is really from the Atacama Desert in South America. Point still stands, but I got hoaxed on the identification of the photo.
Even just in cracks in the desert clay.
Near Hanksville, Utah. Alt National Park and Forest Service photo. Atacama Desert, South America.
Hmmm. Too far south, too dry an area for me to recognize the species right off the bat. Anyone got suggestions?
No, I didn’t take a vacation through May and June. Well, we did spend a few days on a trip to a graduation at the University of Arkansas, and to hunt diamonds, but that’s no excuse.
Haven’t posted a lot lately. Working to do better.
In the meantime, remember to fly your flag today, Idaho residents, for Idaho Statehood Day. And remember to post the colors tomorrow, for
Kathryn’s birthday the 4th of July.
When Gerald Ford told the nation in an evening broadcast in August 1974, “Our long, national nightmare is over,” many of us realized we’d been through hell the previous couple of years, and didn’t know it. Now, we know it’s hell every day. God give us another Gerald Ford moment like that, soon.
(I’ll fly the flag for Kathryn’s birthday, too; you don’t have to.)
It was a question asked on Quora last February 12: Why do many British people not like Donald Trump?
Nate White is a London-based copy writer — that is, advertising guy. His Quora profile says, “Drinks coffee. Writes copy.” Nate took a swing at answering the question, and knocked that ball into orbit.
Sadly, for some reason the thread has been deleted from Quora (threats from Trump’s side?) Several people were inspired to preserve it on blogs and in other forms. Ronald Lebow (@RonaldLebow) posted the piece in a series of Tweets, a thread, recently, and I finally found the entire piece from which I had seen only parts quoted before.
Here is Nate White’s answer to the question, “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump.” It’s written so well, so strongly, that I wonder whether an intelligent rebuttal could ever be done.
A few things spring to mind…
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.
I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll.
And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.
There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.
So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think
‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’
is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.
This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form;
He is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit.
His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.
God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.
He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.
And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
‘My God… what… have… I… created?’
If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.Nate White, answering a question on Quora
Quora offers no explanation for why the question was taken down from its forums. I’ve found nothing to suggest Mr. White had pangs of remorse. If you have more details, please let us know, in comments.
I wonder what a similar film of the U.S. would look like? Has anyone done it?
It would probably have to be 400 seconds, at least.
Description of the film from Friends of the Earth:
It’s difficult to get a picture of what the United Kingdom really looks like. Imaginations and assumptions can distort decisions that affect our lives. We often hear the idea that there is simply no more room in the country. In reality, just six per cent of the UK is built on.
‘The UK in 100 Seconds’ is a provocative and thought provoking film that rearranges the United Kingdom’s land into 32 categories and divides them over 100 seconds. Each second equates to 1% of what the country looks like from the air.
Made by guerrilla geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison and filmmaker Jack Smith, the film was made by travelling from Tongue in the north of Scotland to the New Forest in the south of England. Each second of the film covers roughly one metre of Raven-Ellison’s walk through moorland and peat bogs, down a runway and over a dump.
Made in collaboration with Friends of the Earth, the film gives an honest reflection of what land looks like and how it is used in the United Kingdom and raises some challenging questions. A major inspiration for Raven-Ellison making the film is the amount of space that is used for feeding livestock and the question – what if we made more space for nature?
I don’t know where they came from, or who in the family bought them. I think they appeared before 1956 and our move from Overland Avenue to Conant Avenue in Burley, Idaho.
There were two discs, 78 rpm as I recall. Fairy tales, told by a guy with a great baritone and cool jazz playing behind him. Four stories, right out of the nursery rhyme/fairy tale books — but with the conscience of a beat raconteur thrown in.
My favorite: “The Three Little Pigs.”
“Cream of Nowhere!”
Al “Jazzbo” Collins told the stories, according to the label. I think I was in my teens before I noticed the name of Steve Allen, polymath genius, as author. And I assumed that the narration was Allen in one of his characters, and maybe the jazz piano, too.
Later I discovered there really was an Al Collins, who went by the nickname Jazzbo. Two discs by a guy using Steven Allen’s writing . . .
I wish I had those discs now.
It’s almost impossible to do justice to the great beat twists in the stories, from memory. The music was good, and that can’t be retold. To tell the great good humor and joy of those records, you gotta have the records to listen to.
Then I stumbled across “The Three Little Pigs” on YouTube. Brilliantly, this video features an old record player playing the thing. It’s almost like we used to play it, set the needle down on the record and watch it spin while we listened.
They come for but one day.
If one plants enough bulbs, the visits come every day, ephemeral as each visit is.