In 1927, Johnson taught mostly Mexican children at the Welhausen School in Cotulla, some ninety miles south of San Antonio in La Salle County. When he returned to San Marcos in 1965, after having signed the Higher Education Act of 1965, Johnson looked back:
“I shall never forget the faces of the boys and the girls in that little Welhausen Mexican School, and I remember even yet the pain of realizing and knowing then that college was closed to practically every one of those children because they were too poor. And I think it was then that I made up my mind that this nation could never rest while the door to knowledge remained closed to any American.”
“In his years of working on Johnson, Robert Caro has come to know him better — or to understand him better — than Johnson knew or understood himself. He knows Johnson’s good side and his bad: how he became the youngest Senate majority leader in history and how, by whispering one thing in the ears of the Southern senators and another in Northern ears, he got the Civil Rights Act of 1957 through a Congress that had squelched every civil rights bill since 1875; how he fudged his war record and earned himself a medal by doing nothing more than taking a single plane ride; how, while vice president during the Cuban missile crisis, his hawkishness scared the daylights out of President Kennedy and his brother Robert. Caro has learned about Johnson’s rages, his ruthlessness, his lies, his bribes, his insecurities, his wheedling, his groveling, his bluster, his sycophancy, his charm, his kindness, his streak of compassion, his friends, his enemies, his girlfriends, his gofers and bagmen, his table manners, his drinking habits, even his nickname for his penis: not Johnson, but Jumbo.”
Breaking Bad is good and engaging but the value to time payoff isn’t quite dense enough for me. Some episodes are amazing. Others are suuuuuper boring. I only made it halfway through season two, I think this is generally because I’m not as attracted to stories with a flawed protagonist. Walter should have just taken the job at the company he founded and gotten super rich that way. I also don’t like the way that he lied to his wife so much. Anyway, stories about people who make a lot of bad decisions aren’t that engaging to me.
On a broader note, people seem to develop problematic relationships with substances when they use them as a coping tool. Alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, sugar (my fav!), marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc etc. Those things have nothing inherently wrong with them but using them to cope and escape is when things start to go awry.
Another way to put this is that you should be sober about 90% of the time. I’ll say this again even more carefully, if you find yourself doing some intoxicant everyday, it’s not helping, it’s just making your problems worse.
- Suckers, for painting their grass green during one of the worst droughts in US history instead of cultivating actual interests.
- The Media, for wasting my time with A. any reporting whatsoever on any of Michelle Bachmann’s opinions and B. with reporting about who won the gold medal in skeet shooting.
- SOFEX, forrealls fuck those guys.
- The Authorities, for making it so that 90% of suspected terrorists deemed too dangerous to get on airplanes are legally allowed to buy guns. I mean those no-fly lists are serious bs but like come on, can’t we just agree that terrorists shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns and explosives?
“The Muslim Brotherhood can’t even penetrate the Egyptian government.”
- A Muslim Brotherhood leader, in response to claims that his group had infiltrated top levels of the U.S. government.
I want to put another picture here but the only thing I have handy is this elephant playing at the beach.
When confronted by a competing species of termites, the animals tend to burst, releasing a sticky substance from their backs. However, the authors noticed that a subset of animals had blue stripes across their backs, and were far more prone to bursting with just a bit of minor prodding from an enemy termite.
And, of course, the angry accusations that one person or another is “politicizing tragedy,” unquestionably the worst sin in post-tragedy rhetoric.
This is stupid. There is no such thing as “politicizing” tragedy. James Holmes did not materialize in a movie theater in Aurora this morning, free of any relationship to law and authority and the structures of power in this country; nor did he exit those relationships and structures by murdering 12 people and injuring several dozen more. Before he entered the theater, he purchased guns, whether legally or illegally, under a framework of laws and regulations governed and negotiated by politics; in the parking lot outside, he was arrested by a police force whose salaries, equipment, tactics and rights were shaped and determined by politics. Holmes’ ability to seek, or to not seek, mental health care; the government’s ability, or inability, to lock up persons deemed unstable — these are things decided and directed by politics. You cannot “politicize” a tragedy because the tragedy is already political. When you talk about the tragedy you’re already talking about politics.
It’s easy to understand the impulse to decry “politicization”: politics is necessarily antagonistic, and in the aftermath of a violent tragedy confrontation seems distasteful and disrespectful. No one wants to be accused of using a tragedy for “political ends.” But you don’t really get to escape. The insistence that no one talk about politics is itself a political act. Politics is how we effect change in the systems and structures that govern our lives. To take the stance that tragedies are or should remain “apolitical” or “depoliticized” is to say, essentially, that everything is fine and nothing needs to be fixed; that such an act was random and unpreventable. (In a country with rates of violent crime that far exceed our economic and cultural peers, such a sentiment seems misguided at best.) To demand politics be left out of the conversation is only to hide them.
- This dude I met at a party, for seriously trying to tell me that the heads of the UN were practicing black magic.
- The dude who fucked up the bbq, for injuring a bunch of people at an Anthony Robbins fire walk.
Autistic people are also changing the way in which existing art and culture is appreciated. A prime example are the so-called sensory friendly showings of movies and Broadway shows. These are special showings in which the sound is turned down, the lights are up, and children are free to walk around (which must also be a welcome relief for people with ADHD). These shows are incredibly popular and often sell out — a possible indication that neurotypicals are also keen to take advantage.
I like the idea of a sensory friendly movie quite a bit. I’ve been wanting to start a “sensory friendly” bar for a long time. Someplace where people can get a drink without being blasted by horrible loud music and maybe check their email too.
WHEN I was asked to direct “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” my friends warned me not to go anywhere near it.
The story is so American, they argued, that I, an immigrant fresh off the boat, could not do it justice. They were surprised when I explained why I wanted to make the film. To me it was not just literature but real life, the life I lived in Czechoslovakia from my birth in 1932 until 1968. The Communist Party was my Nurse Ratched, telling me what I could and could not do; what I was or was not allowed to say; where I was and was not allowed to go; even who I was and was not.
Now, years later, I hear the word “socialist” being tossed around by the likes of Rick Perry,Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others. President Obama, they warn, is a socialist. The critics cry, “Obamacare is socialism!” They falsely equate Western European-style socialism, and its government provision of social insurance and health care, with Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism. It offends me, and cheapens the experience of millions who lived, and continue to live, under brutal forms of socialism.
My sister-in-law’s father, Jan Kunasek, lived in Czechoslovakia all his life. He was a middle-class man who ran a tiny inn in a tiny village. One winter night in 1972, during a blizzard, a man, soaked to the bone, awakened him at 2 in the morning. The man looked destitute and, while asking for shelter, couldn’t stop cursing the Communists. Taking pity, the elderly Mr. Kunasek put him up for the night.
A couple of hours later, Mr. Kunasek was awakened again, this time by three plainclothes policemen. He was arrested, accused of sheltering a terrorist and sentenced to several years of hard labor in uranium mines. The state seized his property. When he was finally released, ill and penniless, he died within a few weeks. Years later we learned that the night visitor had been working for the police. According to the Communists, Mr. Kunasek was a class enemy and deserved to be punished.