I understand that living inner city, as I do, means noise. But some of it is so offensive and unwarrantedMy attention was drawn to this by this review
I understand that living inner city, as I do, means noise. But some of it is so offensive and unwarranted that it beggars belief. Sitting in the most beautiful garden restaurant at 8am for b/f. Yes, we are surrounded by roads and that means cars and THAT means offensive mechanical noise. But we can call that 'unavoidable' within our normal expectations of how to live. But when, at 8.01 in this ambient setting, a chap starts his job and it is blowing leaves from one spot to another with a leaf blower. I'm sorry, but this is unfuckingbelievable.
We have a busker who frequently begs outside our apartment building. Busker, even when dreadful, is one thing. Electrified and banging an appalling home made drum is quite another. As for the people who think they can take ghetto blasters down to the lake and invade everybody's space with them.
A charming premise for anybody interested in knitting: apparently the nurse, while threading the needle to darn a sock, children gathered around her,A charming premise for anybody interested in knitting: apparently the nurse, while threading the needle to darn a sock, children gathered around her, would look back through her memory for a story that would fit the hole.
Oh and pics by Edward A. What more could one ask for? I loved Farjeon when I was little, but I can't recall having read this....more
There is this idea we have, about California. It's about 'Hey, it's this so amazing place where they have sushi? And like wine that's better than FranThere is this idea we have, about California. It's about 'Hey, it's this so amazing place where they have sushi? And like wine that's better than France?' Judgment of Parishttp://www.goodreads.com/book/show/89.... It's about 'The music is so amazing, it's like Dancing on the Streets.' California Dreaminhttp://www.goodreads.com/book/show/75... You know. Mamma Cass.
It's about admiring people who get really rich really quickly. It's about hey, it so isn't like the rest of the US. Come ooonn!
I had an idea California was something else. Not least because, as I was reading something Manny wrote here recently which referred to the idea that gaol in France isn't so bad as the protagonist has expected; I was remembering a friend who has just come out of Californian gaol. A privatised concern in the middle of the desert, prisoners shackled together as they shuffle along. This was the view that confronted his children when they came to visit.
So when I came upon JEH Smith's piece lately, I was relieved to discover that California isn't actually Mama Cass and Silicon Valley and red wine and film stars living in houses that are too big. Not only, at any rate. It is this:
To be of European descent and from California, by contrast, is somewhat more like being from South Africa. California was simply left blank on early modern maps of the New World, and it remains one of the earth's extremities. Here, just like the Cape, is where one runs out of continent. The fact that the 'Californians' to whom Beattie refers were annihilated, while the 'Hottentots' and other Southern African groups were only subjugated, doesn't make a crucial difference. Like the Boers, most white Californians are descended from people pushed by desperation to the edge of a continent, and, once there, pitted by a white elite against the other races they came across, either as a result of autochthony or through a parallel process of migration.
California generates and sustains its own permanent criminal underclass, largely, it seems, in order to make a perpetual spectacle of cracking down on it, of being tough on it. The criminals are Hispanicized Mestizos, descendants of slaves, and of Dust Bowl migrants (locally dubbed 'Mexican', 'black', and 'white', respectively). The prison system extends far beyond prison walls and into the domestic lives of parolees, of men made to wear signal-transmitting anklets, of everyone whose neighborhood is under constant police supervision not for their own protection but rather in order to keep them thinking of themselves as policed, to keep them conceptualizing themselves in polizeiwissenchaftlich terms as members of a problematic group.
Being policed makes a person into something at once more concrete and abstract: a 'Caucasian individual', a 'black male suspect', and so on. It transforms cars into vehicles and women into females, and generally distorts reality in the name of a supposedly scientific and dispassionate deployment of language. It makes convenient phenotypic identifiers into the outward signs of membership in real kinds: nowhere is race more reified, nowhere is it experienced as more real, than inside a prison, where personal security and survival often can only be assured through membership in a race-based fraternity.
It is true that the California prison system punishes the non-white lower classes with gross disproportion, and even, perhaps, that its very reason for being is to perpetuate, even into the post-Civil Rights era of legal equality, the disenfranchisement and diminished citizenship of African-Americans. But this principal reason has an inseparable corrollary: that it will also perpetuate the perception, among the Harvest Gypsies described by Steinbeck, that they are white and that this comes with certain natural advantages. That these advantages are never quite delivered as promised is the basic betrayal that structures the lives of the Americans I know best. http://www.jehsmith.com/1/2011/06/in-...
It is a very moving piece. Read it! It took me to goodreads, no surprise there, and looking around found this book. This took me to Richard's review http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... which gives links to a whole series in The Economist on the subject. What an unmitigated disaster. I had no idea. The more one reads about the US the harder it is to believe it can extricate itself from the mire. And yet there is still that hope, isn't there?
As the blurb for this says, of the entire Coalition of the Willing, he was the only Intelligence Officer to resign, let alone spill the beans. This isAs the blurb for this says, of the entire Coalition of the Willing, he was the only Intelligence Officer to resign, let alone spill the beans. This is the story of the hows, wheres and whys of the fabrication of the reasons for war with Iraq.
He has subsequently become a federal MP, one of the Independents whom Gillard must charm to stay in power. It isn't working all that well. I'm most uneasy about his present crusade which threatens to bring down the government one way or another. The principle is admirable: to save gambling addicts from themselves through an assault on poker machines. If he were willing to go all the way: ban them completely, I can see that might work. But nobody, not even a man so innured to hostile opposition as he is, is brave enough to try that on, in a country which I think has the highest rates of gambling in the world. Those making the money from gambling addiction wield much weight.
Meanwhile, Gillard has a deadline, having agreed to Wilke's demands in order to set up government. She is truly between a rock and a hard place....more