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Nearly Relevant
Nonsense, Fiction, and Miscellaneous Things

New Blog Site
     That's right.  I've got a new place for this blog.  It's not much different.  Mostly, it is the curated - yes I curated the thing - archives of 'Nearly Relevant'.  I'm planning on posting everything there from now on.
     I hope the design is a little more appealing and, as for myself, I think it will be easier to work with.
     To entice you to visit it, I've published a new post, a review of Chilly Scenes of Winter, by Ann Beattie.
     Here's the link which will lead one to it;

"That this issue was resolved peacefully and efficiently is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure and strong."1

     The problem I have with this 'thank you' is the word 'efficiently'.  Mr. Kerry heads the United States Dplomatic dept.  Let me emphasize DIPLOMATIC, not bureaucratic dept.  Efficiency is related to committment.  Committment is related to choices - because there is never one choice and one choice only.  Once a choice has been made, efficiency in carrying out the committment is helpful. Kabisch?
     The Iranians are a seperate govt. from the competitive mono-capitalist western civilizations.  It is there right to be so; It is there right not because I or western civilization AUTHORIES or LICENSES this right but because they - as any self-respecting enlightened person will admit - have the right.   They are endowed with liberties  - as are all men - and from this is derived the right to self-rule.  Kabisch?
      To shorten this rant, let me just say, in thanking the Iranians for the 'efficiency' of the process Mr. Kerry has established himself - and by extension as a representative of the U. S.  he has also established the United States govt. -  as overseer of the process.  'Efficiency', as I stated earlier being an aspect of 'authlorized bureaucracy'; To put it another way, 'overseer of a suposed 'bureaucracy of international relations'.' 
     In the extreme this mentality is fascist and is what leads to groups like ISIS and their revolutionary nihilism.
      As far as I'm concerned Pres. Obama has been the best President snce Lyndon Johnson.  To stick with just the issue in this blogpost I'll mention his admirable non-interventionist philosophy, as well as the realization that the U.S. is not threatened by every bullet that happens to fly across Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, and then hits somebodies bank account causing the account to lose 2 or 3 percent in value.
     However, apparently, the mindset of the State Dept. is still one of the United States overseeing a bureacracy of international relations.  It harkens back to the 20th century when Soviet nuclear potential was an actual concern.   Nowadays, even an AK-47 in the hands of a non-westerner who is thousands of miles away is quote-unquote; 'a threat'.
      Come on State Dept., you're better than that;  Get with it! 

 1    http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Iran-says-all-10-detained-US-Navy-sailors-have-6755473.php
Rose Bowl Parade



The loudspeakers, which are stationed throughout the parade route, begin blaring an inspiring version of 'New York, New York'© as sung by Frank Sinatra.   2 or 3  elderly adults faint after overexerting themselves while cheering for Buzz Lightyear®.
Political Junk

I.   Muslim family at Gatwick Airport blocked by US from boarding flight to Disneyland

       http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/12/23/Muslim-family-        at-Gatwick-Airport-blocked-by-US-from-boarding-flight-to-Disneyland/3271450873163/

        Okay, the problem of security for the family is understandable - despite it not being their choice - it's understandable.  It's a concern not unike the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, except in this case the subjected are not interned but merely turned away.
     However, the govt. continues to admonish us - apparently 'us' being non-Muslims - to
'go about life unafraid';  to not be beholden to terrorist fears.  Yet this Muslim family, acting in such a manner, unintimidated despite some risks to their personhood, end up being stoppped. 
        The worst part of this story is that the family won't be refunded their expenditure.  I'm fairly certain they didn't purchase, for $13,000, access to the airport lounge as if they would be going to Disneyland and then to be turned away at the last minute.  I can't imagine them saying as they left the airport, "Oh my!  It was worth every penny wasn't it dear?"  Maybe I should correct myself.  The worst part of this story is the lack of a reasonable explanation for keeping their money.  Or, maybe I should correct myself again.  The worst part of this story is the liklihood of some change of mind and the refunding of the money;  As if it couldn't be expected that the businesses involved would treat them as people and customers rather than picking their pocket.

II.    Donald Trump

         This is crazy!  This is crazy!!!  Yea, maybe!!!!!1

III.  The Political Establishment Which
Has Mistaken Itself For A Government 

1 Allusion to Carly Rae Jepson song 'Call Me Maybe', © Universal Music Publishing Group
December 18, 2015
     I know neither the student nor anyone else involved, but I wanted to blog this story for what will be obvious reasons.  The italicized part is not original to the quote but was italicized by me as emphasis. 

"Colum McCann reads like a god. His reading is theatrical, interspersed with slight Irish brogue, emotions coming through like waves as he stresses and de-stresses some words, changing their meaning. One of the excerpts he read was a piece about a dancer in the '80s, and he wrote 40 pages without a full stop. Seeing that made my brain explode. Here we were, not knowing how to write with given structure, and this man sat casually on a stool, decimating every rule with absolute panache. Soffer's reading was more subdued; her clear, quiet intonation reflecting the tightness of her sentences, the sheer structure of her words. Everything counted. Emotions resonated from the words themselves, as she read everything at the same pace. In it's own way, it was as immersive as McCann's.

I left the symposium with nothing; no signed books, no selfies, no ticket stub, no name tag. But in my mind, a tiny dent was filled with possibilities, with ideas and with futures. I wrote well into midnight that night, and signed up for Blanche's non-fiction class the next day."1

     The young man who wrote this - Dec. 24 of last year-  was hit by a car and killed 2 AM this morning.2

1 https://www.conncoll.edu/the-experience/klagsbrun-symposium-and-taking-risks.html#.VnSWq6tunng

2 http://wtnh.com/2015/12/18/person-struck-and-killed-in-new-london/

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