Saturday, January 29, 2022

Are We Still a Democracy?

Take your pick of indications of chaos.  Threats by Russia in the Ukraine, the Tennessee school board banned Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel 'Maus' from Holocaust curriculum, Ron Johnson declaring that it's not society's job to take care of children, Gov. Youngkin of Virginia setting up a snitch line for parents to report the teaching of "inherently divisive concepts" such as racism, and on and on.  This is my pick for today:

From Hullabaloo, (Downgrade) a report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace rates our increasing polarization. "On a polarity scale of minus 10 (authoritarian: North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain) to plus 10 (democracy: Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada), the United States, for several reasons, saw itself downgraded in 2016 from the plus 10 it held for decades to a plus 8."

Polarity is no longer between Democrats and Republicans. Ms. Walter, a University of California professor and expert on civil conflicts asserts:

"The groups that tend to start wars, especially ethnic wars, are groups that had once been dominant, and have either recently lost power, or they see themselves losing power demographically over time. They’re the ones who feel this deep sense of loss, loss of status. They feel this deep sense of resentment. And importantly, they truly believe that the country is theirs, that that the country should look like them, it should practice their religion, it should be based on their culture, because it’s always been like that."  More at Alternet.com anocracy



Wednesday, January 12, 2022

A Movie Review!

Our SPARTA president has no time for TV viewing or sitting down in general, so it was somewhat shocking that she mentioned seeing this Netflix movie and suggesting that movie reviews during this LOOOONG covid time might be a good idea.

The movie she saw was "Don't Look Up."  In short, it's a satire/spoof/comedy/tragedy about scientists discovering a comet about to hit the Earth, and their attempts to warn authorities.  Many see it as an allegory about climate change, still others see it as a metaphor about covid.  Whatever the topic, it's a thinly disguised, very liberal interpretation of current affairs.

I enjoyed basking in a viewpoint that shared my own villains.  The movie was funny. but too close to the truth.  Throughout the movie, little snippets are shown of the other beings that share this planet: polar bears, bees, forests.  These are extremely touching and remind us of the real tragedy that we're about to face.  The final lines delivered around a family dining table might be our epitaph:  "We really did have everything, didn't we?"


But sit through the end credits.  Revenge is sweet, even 22,740 years later.

A better review can be found at DailyKos: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/1/11/2074128/--Don-t-look-up-Its-creators-say-it-s-a-satire-To-me-it-was-too-real-to-be-a-satire

(You'll have to copy and paste the link.  Their warnings about linking scare me a little.)

To be fair, there are loads of reviews panning this film.  Rotten Tomatoes scored it at 54%, audience scoring 78%.  Roger Ebert disliked it, even Huffington Post deemed it too heavy-handed. 

Satire is dead.  Real life is now beyond satire. 


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Newsletter, January 1, 2022

 Go to "pages" on the sidebar and click on 2022 January newsletter.  No graphics are included, since transferring a pdf or word document to this platform is a trick that hasn't been mastered yet.



Monday, January 10, 2022

The Center for Media and Democracy

If you are looking for news of the hidden workings behind the headlines, check out the Center for Media and Democracy.  Many thanks to Joyce for passing along these articles:

About war against Science in the war against covid:

 https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2021/12/22/how-the-koch-network-hijacked-the-war-on-covid/

The war against public education:

https://dianeravitch.net/2022/01/03/who-demoralized-the-nations-teachers-readers-respond/

These folks are out of Madison and give a different perspective.