From Douglas Mcgrath “We have a serious problem” New Yorker 18 January, 2016:
Trump: Excuse me? You’re telling me I gave the Mexicans-are-rapists speech, which was one of the worst pieces of out-and-out racism ever uttered by a non-Southerner and my numbers have gone up?
Jeff [Trump aide]: by a lot
Trump: Let’s review. I said that Megyn Kelly was menstruating. I insulted Carly Fiorina’s face. I did a routine about Ben Carson’s’ belt that should have provoked a psychiatric intervention. I proposed internment camps for Muslims already here, and then I said we should bar all other Muslims from entering the country. And you’re telling me that my numbers are what?
Jeff: the highest ever
Trump: we have a serious problem. I might win.
From Jason Shaltiel “Rudy slams Beyoncé” AM 9 February, 2016:
Former mayor Giuliani blasted Beyoncé’s super bowl performance for its ‘black power’ references. Beyoncé donned black panthers-styled berets and formed an X with her dancers.
Giuliani: I think it was outrageous… I don’t know what the heck it was. A bunch of people bouncing around and all strange things. It was terrible…this is football not Hollywood, and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive…
Giuliani also cursed Tarantino last month over the director’s stand against brutality, saying he will boycott his movies.
From “Trump, Bush tussling” AM 9 February, 2016:
Donald trump on Jeb Bush: This stiff, Jeb Bush, he’s a total stiff…He’s like a child. A spoiled child.
We call Bush a child for not insulting women. We criticize and berate Beyoncé’s song for its supposed “indirect” political message, but we let Trump rave, rant, alienate, hate, insult, call names, pull out of debates, push women back to 100 years ago. We vote for him.
Presidential run speeches vs song. One directed towards all Americans and everyone else on Trump’s hit list and the other, a song sung by one person for herself, for entertainment, even if it has a message. Hasn’t there been a bloody fatal spate in police shootings of innocents and unarmed black boys & girls and men? If Beyonce likes her negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils, who does that offend? It’s on her own person, not impinging on anyone’s existence or rights; NOT a direct address or harmful to others – women [American or otherwise], good police officers, foreigners, Americans of different faiths- as Trump’s twitterature proves:
Beyonce’s message for trigger happy police is publicly criticized. Her platform, was Superbowl. Trump’ s winning New Hampshire is not seen as problematic. His platform is all of America.
We have a serious problem indeed.
Fashion used to be shot in contrast. The clothes and accessories [bags, shoes, jewelry] were clearly the foreground and in the foreground. Everything else was relegated to the background which itself struck a harmony with what was being highlighted. It was the photographer and the designer who decided what to pay attention to and what should stand out.
But lately, there seems to be a battle of the images, a battle of the foreground over the background in fashion. My eyes have never been so busy. Nor have they had to compete for attention or to figure out what is the thing being advertised.
Allure [November 2015] has images where not only the bold colors compete, but ideas compete, too, and the eyes need to look hard to see the details of the centerfold, because there are so many other details around what’s being highlighted. There’s a kind of chaos and clutter to these images, which make it a bit difficult to settle on the clothes. and hopefully i did see what they wanted me to see. Clothes, right? Or is it bags?
Marie Claire [January 2016] features ads with colors so heavily saturated in the entire image that it is easy to see everything together, or everything else first, then the item being advertised. Then suddenly you realize ‘ah! it’s a shoe or a bag they’re advertising! Not mini figures of characters of games.’
New York Times Style magazine [6 December 2015] had a similar idea where contrasts are all on the heavy side; no longer is there lightness against darkness, and no longer does the jewelry occupy frontal space but here it occupies a small space and everything else, the majority of the space of the whole image:
It is a very different way to shoot, photograph, edit or put images together, especially when your eyes have been trained to see the clothes and accessories being advertised easily. This new way to shoot images for magazines seems to imitate the era in which we live, a fast-paced technological era, where there is so much going on that is vying for our attention that we have to really focus on what we should see. Art imitates life!
In Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia,New York, Connecticut, Georgia, Fort Gibson, Minnesota and far too many other places to mention in a little blog, school shooting has become as American as apple pie. And like apple pie, it can be had anywhere: gurdwara, planned parenthood, colleges, elementary schools, high schools, cinema, driveways, streets, church, malls, lawns, disability centers, military base…has any place been left out?
Guns are banned in schools yet most shootings occur inside and around elementary and high schools and universities. A weird thought shot to my mind as I write this: the terrorist group, Taliban, shot Malala Yousafzai in school. Yet our shooters aren’t called terrorists. Our Land of freedom is quickly becoming the Land of fear, and soon to be Land of guns. Barely 3 years after Sandy Hook, which took 20 lives of 5 yr olds and 6 adults’ lives, 142 more shootings have occurred. And each time a shooting occurs in America there’s a kind of ritual:
- NRA heaves it chest, characterizing and normalizing it by calling it “an act of a lone madman”
- America’s power figures solemnly go on air, offer prayers and condolences to/for gun victims & their families then callously and fearlessly reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killings.
Even though an astounding 40 percent of guns in America are acquired without a background check as New Harvard research between 2004 and 2014 show. And more than 2,000 terrorism suspects purchased guns in the United States [Nicholas Kristof’s “on guns we’re not even trying” nytimes.com 2015/12/03]. The Senate allows people from the terror list to buy guns, but block them from boarding planes, and the NRA & its republican allies distract us from the real problem of guns, with the word ‘terrorism’.
Yet, all the senseless shootings by killers are nothing but acts of ‘preventable’ terrorism.
America is fighting guns at home while the rest of the world is fighting ISIS. Our own guns, our homegrown terrorism which we perpetuate, by our own people whom we humanize after they shoot to terrorize and kill. We get into the past of these homegrown, overwhelmingly white radicalized shooters and publish histories of their loner status, how they were ostracized, bullied, isolated, intimidated, disrespected, picked on etc. But we dissociate their brutal acts from terrorism and continue to conflate terrorism with only those having Muslim names while never calling the shootings of the white majority American shooters a terrorist act, thereby skirting the whole gun issue while the ‘terrorism’ issue rages on. But whether it’s a school shooting or Planned Parenthood or a community college or San Bernadino, it’s a shooting by guns as the unrelenting average of 92 gun deaths per year in America proves [Kristof’s “hysteria about refugees but blindness on guns” nytimes 2015/12/06].
To say that shooting continues in America because gunners have guns is simplistic. Gunners have another strong weapon to fight gun control & violence which they brandish like a sword every time the gun control talks come up: the Second Amendment. They cite a constitutional document written hundreds of years ago when gun shootings didn’t yet exist among civilians, and when Internet & social media didn’t make it easy to buy guns or gun parts online and assemble guns to kill.
America has proudly come a long way in creating change for our own good: we are now told what and when to eat because eating became uncontrollable and they had to ban foods with TFAs and huge sodas etc before we kill ourselves. They had to remove candy machines from our schools before we kill our children and they’ve instituted change in areas where other ‘first world’ countries like France lag far behind: affirmative action. They’ve even been able to remove the stigma of behind non heterosexual unions and told us we can marry into the same sex, but they can’t curb their trigger fingers. We’ve abolished slavery in America, but we cannot let go of that second amendment clutch to create SAFETY for all peoples. We cannot let go of that ‘right to bear arms’ even if those arms are in the hands of psychotic killers. We cannot forego that ‘God-given right’ to protect our homes, families, and lives. All that this tells us is that no right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation or doubt.
Perhaps the shooting spree we’ve been living – or dying for – should be given more life in areas like presidential races. Not the Jeb bush kind where “Islamic terrorism that wants to destroy our way of life, wants to attack our freedom” Or “they’ve declared war on us. We need to declare war on them”. We must declare war on our fascination with gun violence, on our mostly white male, suburban gun owners and shooters. War on our toxic culture of masculinity that fosters the destructive narrative of one winner and a whole lot of losers. It behooves America to look at the other countries which have been able to curb or eradicate gun violence. In 1996 in Scotland a gunman shot 16 children at school, and the public outcry the following year made the British gov’t ban private ownership of automatic weapons and handguns on British mainland. In Australia of the same year after a massacre by guns, sweeping gun control laws were passed. In such places, although the natural instinct is to arm oneself, self-defense does NOT count as a valid reason to have a gun, post 1996.
If our constitution requires everyone to bear arms including psychos, mentally ill & other criminal minds , then we need a new one, like Australia & Scotland. Vigilantism is not a constitutional right, and when someone loses a child or any loved one s/he doesn’t care about people’s sympathy or eulogy; s/he just wants those who can do something to get to work and do something!”
Thought of the day: if your constitution requires psychos/criminals to bear arms and kill, then you need a new constitution because guns kill. Alllivesmatter.