The Maldovarium

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  • #54961
    Missy @missy

    Thane15 and Puro.

    A very happy new year to both of you.

    Missy

    #54964
    ichabod @ichabod

    @thane15  I’m glad to here your mum is feeling better, sorry to hear that you’ve been sick — don’t be a bag of bones!  Eat stuff!  Feel much much much better, both of you, and a happy new year!

    Ichi

    #54967

    My not-entirely-temperate take on the year: Death, the people and journalism: the year of stupid.

    Enjoy, if that’s that’s the word.

    #54968
    Mudlark @mudlark

    Just dropping by to wish everybody a Good New Year;  may if bring happiness to all.  Even if the wider world appears at the moment to be heading for Hades by the shortest and fastest route, at least we have a new series of Doctor Who to look forward to in 2017 and can hope for personal triumphs and joys.

    @thane15  Very sorry to hear that your trip was marred by your getting sick; it sounds to have been horrid and you have my sympathy.  I am glad, though, to know that puro is feeling somewhat better – she has been very much in my thoughts these past months, even though I have not been in contact lately.

    I cannot comment on the Special yet, as I haven’t had an opportunity to watch it, but I plan to do so later this evening, with a glass of champagne to hand and possibly a few nibbles involving smoked salmon.  I spent Christmas with my brother and his family in France, and only got back late on Thursday.  No Doctor on French television, of course – in fact anyone who criticises the standard of programmes on British TV should be forced to spend a week watching what is available there.  Not that it really mattered, as my brother lives on the outskirts of Paris and there was plenty on offer to divert us elsewhere.

    Since we are in the pub, I raise a glass to you all, and will see you again (virtually speaking) tomorrow or the day after.

    #54970
    Whisht @whisht

    Hey @Thane15 – great to hear you’re back safe and sound.

    And getting sick? There’s a lot of it around unfortunately, but seems like you managed to find a good cabbie (though it may not have felt like that!) and your dad did recognise that Londoners will ignore everything as well as care for people as best they can. Usually Londoners are characterised by their not caring, so you saw the better side (though it took some vomit on your side!).

    Hope you had enough of a taste of things to want to travel more in the future!

    (you won’t always be vomiting but illness is an expected hazard!)

    ;¬)

    #54972
    Missy @missy

    @mudlark:

    The human race seems set on wiping itself out doesn’t it. I hope you enjoy the special as much as the rest of us. Oooooh! Champers and smoked salmon, what a spoil, may I join you? As for french TV, and at the risk of being jumped on from a great height, OZ TV is nothing to write home about either. Three quarters of the programmes are American and violent. Apologies to our American members, but it’s true. *sigh*

    @whisht: Hey, I’m a Londoner! 🙂 The last time we were there we were impressed by just how helpful the ones we met were. It’s heartening to hear that thye still are. I don’t really blame the Taxi driver, and he did take them after all.

    Missy

    #54973
    Missy @missy

    @thane15:

    I meant to say. You poor poor thing! You have my sympathy. any idea what caused the ‘lurgy?”

    Missy

    #54977
    winston @winston

    Happy New Year to you all. I hope 2017 is a good year for everyone.

    #54978
    Anonymous @

    @whisht

    …will ignore everything as well as care for people as best they can. Usually Londoners are characterised by their not caring,

    Really? I actually found out the opposite. 🙂 But I was there, in total, for 4 & a bit weeks. Even on the trains, nobody was pushing on the lines. It was really polite all the time? When I saw Les Mis people just started up a convo? It was really interesting. They were asking me about my ‘redlion’ sweatshirt (I didn’t have many clothes -I actually don’t like spending chunks of cash on clothing & shoes)  & I was explaining where I was from. They all said “Oh you must really hate the cold!” and actually I thought at 6 -7 degrees it was really nice. Also, I saw that you were worrying about your work, Mr Whisht? I really hope that gets sorted and your skills (which are awesome) are appreciated by someone who recognises that. I guess that’s something we al want.

    One of our A/C at home is stuffed at it was 37 here. We’re all cramped in one room where the air con and telly are!

    @missy @mudlark @ichabod

    Oh No! It sounded like I was complaining! No, but thank you for your well wishes. Actually, I pushed on. The vomit part was gross -mainly for everyone else. But “vomit happens” so, hey, gotta keep on sightseeing whilst making sure I was wearing a mask so I didn’t affect anyone else. It was only the last 3 days that I couldn’t get out of bed so as soon as I got on the plane I fell asleep for most of it. I mean I’m young so I’ll get over it. I really didn’t want to sound like I was whinging considering there’s much worse sickness out there and this happened to  a lot of the tour due to us being rundown. One night we played in -4 degrees and didn’t warm down properly. The next day the kid at the front of the bus chucked up and then…pretty much everyone else got ill from then on. Mum warned me about this.

    I don’t  think I listened 🙁

    Happy NY and best wishes to all people here and …not here.

    Miss @mudlark. Mum was thinking of you too and hopes you are well. Also? I agree about French TV -fortunately Dad and I were out most of the time but, it was weirdly awful. The day we climbed the Eiffel was just before they went on strike. 🙂

    Thank you every one.

    From Thane15

    #54981

    @thane15

    It depends very much on the part of London and the time of day. Many (many) moons ago I lived in Shoreditch, before it got trendy, and had to get a bus from Liverpool Street Station. I was leaning against the bus stop near midnight watching a bloke working his way up the other stops talking to people and moving on. I thought “Uh oh! Nutter alert”.

    When he got to me he said, in a rather thick Geordie (Newcastle) accent: “‘Scuse me mate can you tell me how to get to Hoxton.”

    “Yeah, no prob. Get the next bus here and it’s two stops”, I said.

    To which he said: “Thank Christ for that. You’re the first person who’s spoken to me!”

    We than had quite a fun chat about alienation and preferring a smack in the gob to being blank (his view, not mine).

    But London is many things:

    • It is hectic and, these days, much like New York never sleeps (it did in my student days, so people had to rush for last Tubes/ busses);
    • It is busy on a truly epic scale (the population of the Square Mile (The City of London proper, and the main financial district) goes from around 8,000 at 5am to around 300,000 by 9am. The West End is less extreme, but not by much;
    • It is diverse – one of the most diverse cities in the world. But the Geordie accent is still a fucker to understand (I had Geordie friends – it helped);
    • There are a lot of “street people”, one of the criminal shames of the past 40 years and they, right or wrong (ie wrong), make people edgy;
    • It is a matter of fact that people who try to hold conversations on the tube are weirdos. Or foreigners 😉 ;
    • Every central London workers nightmare is getting caught behind a tourist in the rush hour. There’s actually quite a lot of pushing, but regulars know the drill and don’t let it stress them. Tourists mess this up;
    • I wouldn’t trade my time in London for anything (I went to LSE for fuck’s sake!), but I couldn’t live there now, even if I could afford it (it is horrifically expensive now).

     

    #54985
    Missy @missy

    @thane15:

    Hey there, no one thought you were complaining, especially not me. It’s rotten to feel and be sick.

    “I don’t  think I listened :(”   *giggles* A lot like the Doctor then.

    @pedant:  I have always loved London (my city) with, as they say, warts and all. Can’t say it’s the best city in the world, because I haven’t been to every other city in the world. On the rare occasions that we hear Big Ben (courtesy of the BBC) I become quite emotional. 🙂

    Spare my blushes, but what or where is LSE?

    Missy

     

     

    #55000

    @missy

    Spare my blushes

    The London School of Economics & Political Science.

    #55008
    Anonymous @

    @pedant

    Wow! That many in the city moving between just 3 hours?

    I mean I saw it -King’s Cross, even St Pancras -I haven’t seen so many people except when we saw a game and we’re in the first row behind the goal!  The players came up and spoke to us -but the Burnley dudes were scary as shit!

    Anyway, I really loved London -the smoke and the smokers not so much. Also, seriously the food? Great piles of steaming brown food with gravy and chips. Chips is like: “you want chips ‘right” or “chips, innit?”

    I needed a translator for odd humour. My uncle has a son whose wife is heavily pregnant. And it was “you want a cuppa tea love?”

    She says: “sure”

    He responds with:  “I was going to say ‘get it yourself’ but you’re too slow and I don’t think you’ll get out of that chair.”

    Totally dead pan. I thought “man, serious sexism” and then my Uncle (who is your Cockney rhyming slang key seller from back of van type) whispered to me: “it’s a joke lad. Won’t ever get tired of it. Innit?”

    #55009
    Anonymous @

    @missy

    totally like the doctor -but I don’t have his age, wisdom or “clever-things”

    @pedant good that you helped the guy. I also find that accent pretty hard to understand. I first heard it (not counting when I was 5 and didn’t even know what country I was in) was on Michael McIntyre’s comedy shows?

    Good fun.

     

    #55023
    Missy @missy

    @pedant: Thank you. I should have known that. *rolls eyes*

    @thane15:

    He responds with:  “I was going to say ‘get it yourself’ but you’re too slow and I don’t think you’ll get out of that chair.”

    Totally dead pan. I thought “man, serious sexism” and then my Uncle (who is your Cockney rhyming slang key seller from back of van type) whispered to me: “it’s a joke lad. Won’t ever get tired of it. Innit?”

    .Comforting to hear that nothing much has changed then – humour I mean.

    The last time we were there, everyone called us “love.”

    Missy

    #55038
    janetteB @janetteb

    Hi all.

    I have been AWOL but back now, starting to catch up. Have only managed to read through this thread so far and enjoying the discussion about London. I spent over two years living and working either deep in the heart or or on the peripheries of London and love and hate it. It is the portal through which the world passes, an ancient city, a modern city, a pressure cooker of all that is good and evil in human nature. (Unfortunately I encountered several examples of the later while living there.) I have written a novel about the experiences of two young Aussie backpackers who become enmeshed in the city drawn on some of those experiences. (Still a work in progress)

    Though belated

    Happy New Year to all.

    @Thane15 I am glad to hear your Mum is doing ok. Please pass on my regards. She had been in my thoughts these last weeks. Also as far as I can tell we suffered no damage from the storm. I was not at home and didn’t even hear it but everyone was talking about it. Most seemed to blame it on the government (state) grrrr. People’s stupidity really is so maddening.

    #55044
    Missy @missy

    @janetteb:

    Welcome back. London, as you say ancient and modern – like the Tardis? C.A. Magnussen described it – well England – as a petri dish.

    I loved it, the hustle, bustle and history, mixed with the nasty bits that you get in any big city.

    Missy

    #55137
    Anonymous @

    @janetteb

    A home without pets is just a house

    @missy @ichabod

    We don’t have pets. But its home.

    Grandma had a dog but she gave it away because in the care home she couldn’t have pets. Grandpa, years ago, had a Pekinese but it was stolen and Mum had a cat -it was the neighbours -but it came to be around her house and then it vanished. I had a fish. But it died.

    There’s a pattern.

    Cheers,

    Thane

    #55139
    ichabod @ichabod

    @thane15   Hmmm.  You have a point there . . . I had newts, once, when I was a kid.  They got free and ended up as dried up little mummies behind the radiators.  Dogs and cats did much better.

    #55145
    MissRori @missrori

    @missy I loved London too, the two times I visited (1995 and 2014).

    How’s everyone in my country (the U.S.A.) handling all this icy weather, huh?  🙂

    I’ve noticed a lot of anxiety for this year to come everywhere, including on these boards.  I’ve been feeling it too — I was heartbroken by the presidential election.  I’ve noted before that I’m an autistic woman.  I live with my family still; I don’t drive but they carpool me to my job and elsewhere.  “Real world” friends are hard to find where I live, due to a lack of support groups for autistics — or even clubs I would enjoy.  It wouldn’t be so frustrating right now if not for the fact that my family holds different political views than I do, and was happy with the election results.  I’m too sensitive to hold up in an argument with others, so I have to bottle up my emotions.  I’m even hesitant to bring them up online.  And forget about doing any volunteering to help causes I care about.  (Who would take me?)

    It’s disheartening to see how vitriolic the various sides of all these ideological conflicts are becoming both on and offline, and it’s hard to hold out hope for the future.  Every day seems to bring more bad news from every side, even in the world of entertainment.

    One reason I love Doctor Who is how it prizes brains over brawn, compassion over cruelty, but right now it’s hard to be inspired by Twelve’s struggles.  He was raked over the coals at the end of Series 9, after all — the bad guys, the torturers and their enablers, effectively won…while he was abandoned, mentally ravaged, and denied his hard-won happiness.  And I think, how much happier would he have been if he hadn’t been so determined to save others?  If he hadn’t saved Gallifrey?  If he hadn’t saved Ashildr?  If he wasn’t a Doctor?

    This struggle is turning up a lot in the real world.  Those who show and encourage compassion are mocked and shunned, the needy and small are neglected, no one can be trusted, and the bullying and powerful always win in the end.  If it is good to do good, to be a Doctor, why is it those people who get the short end of the straw?

    #55148
    Anonymous @

    @missrori

    You have US!

    I am also (we) are miserable about the U.S. situation. In Brisbane there’s a ‘walk against Trump’ next Saturday. People here are pretty much screaming. The Church I go to? Also screaming. There’s petitions and all!

    You’re not alone.

    Thank you for being very open about your struggles. Also you write very very well.

    In your last paragraph you said “the needy are neglected”. True. I think the meek’s time will come.

    I realise that didn’t make a lot of sense. What I mean is: the meek and the lonely will come forward eventually.

    I hope. Cheers and thank you for your openness.

    Thane and Puro.

    #55162
    ichabod @ichabod

    Strange developments are beginning to unfold here.  Trump supporters have begun to realize that “the ACA”, the medical programme that is maintaining their families’ health and lives, is in fact the exact same thing as the hated “Obamacare”, so when Trump & co said they’d dump Obamacare, it meant “We’re taking YOUR benefits and supports, you idiots, and giving them to the rich as tax breaks, because you’re too damn stupid to live and also f**k you.”  Easily hoodwinked people (who allowed themselves to be led this way by Fox and other Thug lie-spinners)  are not pleased they aren’t just *told* what fools they’ve been, but realize that the pirates they’ve elected will stop those checks coming to them in the in the mail, those automatic pay-outs of medical bills gone.

    I have a feeling this is going to be a *way* more bumpy ride for the Trumpets than they imagine — there are already stories of Republican legislators making public appearances and then running away because of the rage of the crowds who show up — crowds made up largely of their own enraged supporters.

    “Look over your shoulder, look us right in the eyes — and tell us why everyone lies — ” to (mis)quote a wonderful song by, I believe, an American band called Calexico).  Yes.  Tell us.

    “This is far from over . . . ”  Damn right it is.  I see — let’s say, bracing times ahead here in the US, and the rest of the world looking to its own quarrels, because no one is exempt.  This upheaval is massive and all embracing, and the changes required — if we are to survive — are epic in scale, and probably mostly slow (but not all).  And only some foreseeable.  And mostly not fair.  I don’t expect to see an identifiable resolution in this lifetime.  Tough.

    Meantime, I’m getting old.  I don’t need so much food, and I remember how to do all right with less.   But, that said, I’m just as scared, angry, and outraged as the rest of us.  But it does please me to know that the Stupid Vulgarian in Chief is trying to bribe people to come to his Inauguration on Friday, and nobody sane wants to perform for his festivities.  In my State, New Mexico, the Republican Party is so embarrassed and horrified by this sub-simian clown-dog and his gang of jackals that they are not having the usual Inaugural party in Santa Fe.

    @missrori  I feel for the misery of your situation, and wish I could help.  I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Are you anywhere near here?  Might it be helpful to talk on the phone?

    #55164
    Missy @missy

    @missrori said:

    “This struggle is turning up a lot in the real world.  Those who show and encourage compassion are mocked and shunned, the needy and small are neglected, no one can be trusted, and the bullying and powerful always win in the end.  If it is good to do good, to be a Doctor, why is it those people who get the short end of the straw?”

    I can’t answer that my dear, but it does seem to be, for the most part, a fact of life. The one thing that I do know is that sooner or later these dreadful people do get their comeuppance. It may take years, perhaps not four and a half billion, but they will pay. I hope that there is someone you can talk to, but if it helps we are alwyas here, if only to listen.

    Missy

    Everyone has to pay the piper – eventually

    #55170
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @ichabod

    Yes, I’ve been reading of those town hall meetings where Republican representatives have found themselves heckled and shouted down by voters. I gather that the response now is to stop having public meetings, unless with a carefully selected few!  I gather, also, that the unpresidented (sic) President elect already has an exceptionally low approval rating for one coming into office.  With some bookies the odds are even that he won’t last a full four year term, but it’s going to be a bumpy ride whichever way you look at it.

    On this side of the pond we have our own worries, but it is even more disturbing to see the Orange One’s nominations for his cabinet; for every poultry yard it’s own specially selected – and all too often supremely ill qualified – fox, and where environmental issues are involved, that has global implications.

    I don’t think that I have ever felt so angry and frustrated and pessimistic about the way the world is going, and there is so  little I can do other than sign petitions and write emails and letters.  Grrrr.

     

    #55171
    AlexWho @alexwho

    @missrori: Sorry your bummed about Trump and everything he stands for. But you and everyone else are definately not alone. I was feeling empty on election night and was in denial for about 2 weeks after. But I decided I would rebel against the vile bitterness of the next few years by committing everyday acts of kindness.

    I suppose like Sisyphus in Camus’ essay, we must take comfort in the struggle. And if all else fails, the Dude Abides!

    #55173
    MissRori @missrori

    @thane15 @missy @alexwho  Thank you for your kind words.  @ichabod, I’m afraid I live in the middle of Illinois, so I don’t think phone conversations would be feasible.  But being able to talk about things here does a bit of good in and of itself.

    Yeah, I am trying to do kind and charitable things — not always easy under my circumstances — but it’s not like I wasn’t already doing them anyway so I just keep on keeping on.  I’ve signed a few petitions, but I haven’t graduated to the “nagging the congressmen/representatives” stage just yet.  It’s just hard not to feel helpless.

    #55174
    janetteB @janetteb

    @missrori  The feeling of helplessness is a big problem for all of us and not without reason. We have been made to feel helpless, over and over. Everytime there is a mass protest movement that achieves nothing another generation throws up its hands in despair. Back in 2003 when thousands turned out to protest the Iraq war there was a real sense that the voice of the people must be heard but it wasn’t. Politicians just ploughed on fingers firmly fixed in ears. That sense of helplessness however makes us helpless. We must keep up the fight which is why sometimes I venture BTL on the Guardian. The voice of reason must be heard though the crazy right are trying their hardest to drown it out, whether it is dishing dirt on anything produced by the BBC like Who and Sherlock or dismissing Climate change as a myth. It is all part and parcel. Today I see that Fox News in Britain has employed Nigel Farage as a new commentator. We have to make more noise, somehow.

    Recently in hospital I had the misfortune to be in a cubicle with three of the most stupid women on the planet. They actually blamed our State government, which has done a lot to shift the state to renewable energy,  for the storm. One woman also thought it was the current government that privatised our energy provider. I was so angry I shouted at her. I told her to go home and do some research. (No doubt it is Murdoch press happy to blame a left leaning government for the mistakes of their right wing predecessors)

    One thing is that having an extreme right leader will galvanise opposition and give voice to the left so don’t despair and his own supporters will quickly see that he is all noise and no substance. As one promise after another is broken the anger will rise. Above all don’t loose hope. It is all we have sometimes. It is also why stories matter. In stories good wins over back and justice is served. We need those kind of stories. They give us hope enabling us to keep trying.

    Cheers

    Janette

    #55176
    Missy @missy

    Janette:

    Hear, hear, I agree with everything you say aboce- except  on the matter of climate change. Of course it’s changed, the same as it’s changed for thousands of years, long before human beings arrived, but that’s my opinion and I’m not interested in starting a debate. *gins*

    As you say, stories are what we need. As a certain doctor said, “they nurture the soul and heart.”

    Missy

    #55182
    MissRori @missrori

    @janetteb  @missy (hmmm)  Thinking back on the Doctor’s story in Series 9, it’s hard to see what lesson to take from it that can apply to me in these grim times.  As Missy tells Clara, and Clara points out to the Doctor later in that season, the Doctor always wins in the end because he goes into situations knowing that the way to win just needs to show itself.  Go into the situation believing you will win, and you will, no matter how impossible it may look at first.  It’s that attitude that helped him save Gallifrey, among other things, the simple belief in his own abilities.

    So the Doctor does just that in “Heaven Sent” and “Hell Bent”.  He goes into the situation with winning in mind — saving Clara and at least giving her a peaceful, happy life alone, and at most happiness with him — perhaps forever.  He’s righting the wrongs that were done to her and to him by fighting fire with fire instead of reasoning with the unreasonable, because he knows from experience that’s doomed to failure (after all, would Rassilon have repented or the Time Lords have resurrected Clara if he’d just asked them?).  But everybody throws him in metaphorical chains and tells him he can’t.  The thing is, given his previous “impossible” feats,  he could have given everyone a perfectly happy ending if they’d simply shown faith in him.  They just don’t all of a sudden, not even Clara.   In the end everybody wears him down, treating his suffering as insignificant compared to the greater good.

    He decides — again — it’s better to serve others than himself, so he gives up, loses, and is deprived of even his right to grieve losing her.  And he gets no reward for sacrificing the happiness he worked so hard for.  No one hangs their head in shame at this act, one perhaps far nobler than any they ever made.  Of course, he has to keep being a Doctor, even though everyone failed him when he needed them the most; even though he has apparently nowhere to turn for comfort because otherwise wouldn’t that have been shown?  It’s just who (or Who) he is.  It’s terribly noble, but for me extremely depressing right now.

    It feels kind of like what I’ve been going through since the election — watching the “bad guys” rise to power and proving as incapable of humanity as I suspected, and constantly being told that no, I can’t change it by being good or bad.   Like the Doctor I feel a compulsion to keep being good and helping others, no matter how futile it probably is.  But unlike the Doctor, I have no happy “ending” on Darillium awaiting me come Christmas…

    #55183
    MissRori @missrori

    (whew)  All that ranting aside, I have found out through Tumblr that Peter Capaldi was at the London “branch” of the massive women’s rights march yesterday (Saturday), along with Elaine.  😉  See, the Doctor is on our side!

    #55184
    winston @winston

    @missrori    Being a Canadian I have watched  the U.S.  election closely without having a say in the results of course and it was very frustrating to watch Trump win even though he was such a …….lets just say “bad choice.” It must be so much worse for the Americans who did not vote for him. Also there is fear and uncertainty about the future. I have no words of wisdom except to say that if yesterdays marches across the world and in many U.S. cities say anything it is that we will not let our decency and humanity go without a fight. Just like the Doctor and his many companions.It makes me pretty happy to know Peter Capaldi was marching so thanks for that.

    #55186
    Missy @missy

    @winston: Good to hear that PC marched too. If only he could have ‘seen DT off” as the Doctor would. *sigh*

    Missy

     

    #55187
    Anonymous @

    @missrori

    I understand there’s a lot to be concerned about with Trump -Mike Pence is the evil genius behind the trumpeter.

    I think that the Doctor does indeed grieve -he’s aware (of a blank space?) and moreover he isn’t always let down. There were some successes and ‘thank yous’ for the Doctor. River had 20 -odd years with him (not bad), he had little ‘noodle’ (nardole) with him and Grant this year. He’s stronger than we might think, maybe?

    Certainly many try to block Doc’s plans -although his plans sort of unfold. It would be great if we could have his brains -or maybe not? I could do a lot better in science for sure.

    We had a march against the dimwit too in Brisbane on Saturday. Awesome.

    But youtube is filled with right wing supporters. It’s like the greasy underside of a whale (not the space whale -other whales. Although I feel sorry for whales then!).

    I guess we might need to walk tall? Or try to and it’s great that you keep doing good work no matter the final result. It’s in the hoping and the doing. In the actions Buffy said. I mean in the hope and wish.

    #55188
    Anonymous @

    @janetteb

    Mum agrees with the anti clim change eejits, btw. They’re here in Brisbane -very conservative state she says. Apparently it always was with Jo(h)?

    Crazy dude. Basically a fraud and felon.

    #55190
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @thane15

    Mike Pence is the evil genius behind the trumpeter.

    I’m not so sure about that.  In reality things may be even more worrying because, according to my reading, the one really pulling the Orange One’s puppet strings is more likely to be Steve Bannon – formerly executive chair of Breitbart News and one of the principal drivers of all that is repellent in the so-called alt-right – racist, white supremacist, anti-Semitic, you name it. He was T’s chief strategist during the latter stages of the presidential campaign, is now one of his principal advisers, and is said to have had the chief part in drafting that deeply troubling Inauguration Address.

    As regards Pence, one plausible theory I have read is that he is the real choice of the Republican Party and, having manoeuvred him into the Vice-Presidential office, they are just waiting until Trump implodes and/or it becomes obvious that he is totally unfit, so that their man can succeed to the presidency. If that is the case, it is a very risky strategy, and in any case Pence would be nightmarish in his own way, if not such an alarming threat to global stability.

    The one ray of hope is that this desperate state of affairs will be the stimulus for a resurgence of  Left and Centre Left organisation and opposition, and that the marches across America and worldwide on Saturday are the first sign of this and not just a gesture with no follow-up, of the kind @janetteb referred to. In that respect I think there may be slight grounds for optimism.

    What is really depressing in all this, reading comments BTL in various news sites and forums, is how many people seem incapable of critical thought and analysis, and how many are prepared to swallow the most blatant propaganda and the most obvious lies if it fits their entrenched views.

    #55194
    winston @winston

    @mudlark      I agree that some healthy scepticism and critical thinking would help the world wade through the age of fake-news , sosial media, alternative facts, trumpisms  and out and out lies. My old dad used to say “don’t believe anything you read and only half of what you see ” in other words find out for yourself, do the research and don’t speak till you know the facts.

    #55195
    AlexWho @alexwho

    Finally some good news!! New Star Wars title dropped.

    The Last Jedi

    #55196

    On the other hand, we did get to see a Nazi get punched live on telly.

    There are no circumstances where it isn’t right to punch a Nazi. There are absolutely no circumstances where a Nazi could have the moral high ground – it is an impossibility.  The whine of the fascists (f.a.s.c.i.s.t is, by the way, the correct spelling of alt-right – which was a PR term dreamed up by fascists) was a joy to behold. If there is one thing Nazis fear more than anything it is being made to look weak.

    #55197
    Missy @missy

    We watched a programme called Hitler’s Secrets last night. The resemblance to the rise of Trump, was rather disturbing.

    Missy

    #55199
    Missy @missy

    Just read this – toerag!>

    Donald Trump set to ‘eliminate arts funding programs’, cutting off NPR and PBS.

    He is notoriously not fond of broadcast media

    Missy

     

    #55201
    Anonymous @

    @mudlark

    It’s Mother here (taking over Thane’s account -I can see straight so no bad language to  follow!).

    You’re absolutely correct, in my opinion. It was an interesting speech, wasn’t  it? Speechwriters for Kevin Rudd, Hawke or Keating were verbal about Trump’s “I am King, you are my people.”

    Part of the Republican Right support Bannon. And Pence is wayward -swimming between right and far right parsing his reference to, “so-called women rights” and an anti-Just. Scalia, “program.”

    Robert Manne has been vocal in various journals about both.

    Frankly, I’m satisfied that Thane has some knowledge of the political landscape as well as a new found interest in economics. I’m always one for social politics first.

    A conundrum. Several people have put me straight on this element: I was always frightened of economics, or nervous of the understanding of it, perhaps.

    That must change. 🙂

    I hope you’re well; enjoying your afternoon naps. Thane had no clue what a dormouse was!

    @janetteb  -you were in hospital lately (I note). Hence discussion with pro-polluters? I also wish you a good year: of better health. You’ll have just started the school run? = endless packed lunches, water bottles, filling dinners (or ‘teas’ for our UK readers). Actually, do z’English use the word ‘tea’ for an evening meal anymore? @mudlark, resident archaeologist/historian could shed light on this. @janetteb -you also have an avid interest in, and knowledge of, such social history.

    Thane referred to “Jo(h)” he meant Joh Bjelkie -former QLD Premier and thief.

    @missrori you’re a wonderful person. It IS hard trying to be positive but continuing to help others, as you do, is fantastic (Thane attempted to explain this; became a tad confused). For what it’s worth, I tend to go hour by hour. And when that fails, minute by minute. One step in front of the other.

    Kindest,

    old Puro xx

    #55203
    ichabod @ichabod

    @thane15   And, in this case, his excellent mum — moment by moment is good.  I think a solid dose of zen-style current awareness, on the one hand, plus a vast time horizon looking both past and future around these awful events, is a workable approach to enduring the storm.  I don’t think anybody needs to feel badly for being depressed and even hopeless — how could I?  Like any sane, relatively balanced person facing a tsunami (and maybe more than one, or two, or three) of passionately irrational craziness and unrestrained Id at work, have my moments of despair.  I hate to see my country yanked down to its lowest common denominator in literally every respect.  The frauds and the felons ride high in times like these.

    But.  Time doesn’t stop for anyone on the physical plane, not even for a gold-plated, knuckle-dragging, tantrum- prone imbecile whose ravening inferiority complex is the most authentic aspect of him.  Events continue to unfold, and the Law of Unintended Consequences never keeps things lively.

    Or maybe that’s just “Dutch Courage” talking, derived from red wine, not hard spirits.

    #55204
    nerys @nerys

    Commiserating and seeking solace with my fellow Whovians over Herr Trump. I had no idea there might be a literal link, not just a perceived one, between Brexit and Trump, but this article posits that unsettling bridge via Big Data:

    Trump Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself

    #55205
    MissRori @missrori

    @thane15  @missy  @mudlark  @winston  @ichabod  Thanks for all your support.  (hugs)  I wish I could do more than sign petitions and give to local and not-so-local charity groups.

    #55207
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @missrori

    ((Hugs)) in return.  I hope that you know and feel that here, at least, there are people who are sympathetic, and that you have a space to vent, along with the rest of us 🙂

    @thane15   (puro) good to see you here.  I am reasonably well, despite SDS (seasonal dormouse syndrome), and an alcohol intake that is greater than strictly prudent in my efforts to numb the impact of events in the external world.  I had cataract surgery on my left eye on the 5th of this month, with a toric lens implant to correct astigmatism, and from that eye at least can now see more clearly than I have been able to since I was in my late teens. I can even watch TV without having to wear glasses.  The right eye is due to be done in the next three to four weeks, though I don’t have a firm date yet,  the ophthalmic surgeon having swanned off on holiday.  In the meantime things, visually speaking, are a bit weird because I am still very much aware that vision in the right eye is blurred and colour values distorted, so I have a dual perspective on the world.

    @pedant

    f.a.s.c.i.s.t is, by the way, the correct spelling of alt-right

    Understood. You will note that I did qualify my use of the term.  Trouble is, ‘fascist’ is an epithet that now is flung about  indiscriminately by people who appear to have little or no understanding of what it actually means, and its currency has been devalued.

    Trump may not be a re-incarnation of the man with the little toothbrush moustache*, or even of Il Duce , but even four days in, his administration is indeed beginning to display many of the hallmarks of nascent fascism in the true sense.  He himself appears to have no particular agenda beyond what benefits himself, and I get the sense that as long as he is in the spotlight and his ego is being stroked, he will happily sign whatever is put in front of him.

    As for punching Nazis, I can see your point; the drawback is that violence brings us down to their level. I was brought up a pacifist and suggest that at this early stage, when they have no organised freikorps or brown shirts and they can be confronted individually, overt, strident ridicule is an effective weapon in cutting them down to size.

     

    *Though some have taken to referring to him as Twittler, which seems apt.

    #55209

    @mudlark

    Understood. You will note that I did qualify my use of the term.

    True, but if it squawks like a fascist, struts like a fascist and acts like a fascist that is what it should be called. Alt-right was invented by them as a PR ruse.

    the drawback is that violence brings us down to their level…. that at this early stage,

    It is not an early stage. They are in government: overt, unashamed white supremacists, militarists and nationalists.

    They don’t care about ridicule (there was an awesome satirical and highly camp club scene in 1930s Berlin, until well after the Nazis were elected. Then, suddenly, it was too late). You do not defeat fascism in the pubs and clubs, or on Twitter. It is that faith in, and desire for, law and order that leads to the Good German.

    Remember, people who voted for him want to keep the Affordable Care Act, but scrap Obamacare.

    But the one thing they fear more than anything is being made to look weak.

     

    #55213
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @pedant

    The cabaret scene in early 1930s Berlin was against a background of organised gangs of communists and Brown Shirts fighting in the streets, and things haven’t reached that stage (yet).  I wasn’t suggesting that ridicule in clubs, newspaper cartoons or on twitter can have any real effect against those now in power – only organised, mass opposition has any hope of that – but it’s effectiveness against Trumplethinskin himself has been amply demonstrated already, and on an individual basis it can cut the  ‘little hitlers’ down to size, if there are there are enough people prepared to do so in direct confrontation. Public mockery, too, can make people look weak.

    #55214
    Anonymous @

    @mudlark  @pedant

    Mother of Son here. The eye situation sounds intensely painful! And those pesky specialists who “swan” -here I find they have large photographs of themselves with an overly large water animal on a yacht. I love yachts. Ones you have to really sail. But these are motorised and keel-adjusted and it’s ….just not pure  🙂

    When you  get the sister eye repaired -no more dizziness and confusion on the TV.

    As for trumpeter I’m inclined to passivism -and then I’m not. His power is defined. As commander-in-chief he can almost do what he wishes. His concept of ANZUS is a far cry from the 1960s and (our) Friends in High Places (Macmillan or UQ Press).

    Our opposition leader derides him as often as possible but our PM’s spineless.

    Puro.

    #55216
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @thane15

    puro  Not painful at all, actually.  For a few days there was mild discomfort, no worse than that I experienced when many years ago I first tried using contact lenses – and I abandoned those fairly quickly; contact lenses don’t react well to dust on archaeological excavations.

    The surgery itself was no problem; I had a local anaesthetic in the eye  and my face, apart from the eye, was covered by a mask, so all I could see was the light they were shining on the eye itself.  They were chatting to me throughout, and there was even background music – a 60’s medley which I suppose they thought was appropriate for one of my years.

    #55217

    @mudlark

    organised gangs of communists and Brown Shirts

    Because there was (as JK Galbraith would call it) a countervailing power. There isn’t now. They have a free hand and regard the constitution as something to be swerved around.

    Black Lives Matter;

    Voter suppression;

    Gerrymandering taken to new depths;

    Organised internet hate squads.

    Same meat; different gravy.

    They almost have enough State senates to get constitutional change ratified (how long before Trump calls for a national referendum on something or other on the pretext of ‘going over the head of the elites’? There is a reason they are banned in Germany, a reason we failed heed.)

    It is not a new playbook, and decent people fall for it. Every. Fucking. Time.

    It is not, in any way, a coincidence, that this is happening as WW2 goes out of living memory.

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