In his outstanding commentary for the New Yorker David Remnick writes:
For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-racked constancy. Trump does not afford this. His Presidency has become the demoralizing daily obsession of anyone concerned with global security, the vitality of the natural world, the national health, constitutionalism, civil rights, criminal justice, a free press, science, public education, and the distinction between fact and its opposite.
Fortunately, I have a counter-obsession to help lift my spirits in these distressing times.
Trying Not to Drown in a Flood of Major Breaking News
Our intelligence agencies and their partners must be having one heck of a day thanks to the loose cannon occupying the White House.
[Trump] is thus the all-time record-holder of the Dunning-Kruger effect, the phenomenon in which the incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence. – “When the World is Led by a Child“, David Brooks.
Like an Old Married Couple according to the amusing TV Tropes page on Brian Pern.
Is there a show that’s not on TV Tropes? I even found Cable Girls, the escapist eye candy from Netflix that I’m rather enjoying at the moment.
Just finished reading Robert Harris’s novel, An Officer and a Spy, about the astounding Dreyfus affair and can’t help thinking that I’m living through a similar abuse of power at the highest levels of government. We need the equivalent of a Colonel Picquart to expose the corruption and lies. Two other bestsellers authored by Harris, Fatherland and Archangel, are familiar to fans of Michael Kitchen. If only the Trump presidency were like the Nazi regime in Fatherland — alternate history fiction.
Much of France has something else to celebrate today.
I could have used a handyman and/or a tall, sturdy ladder today.
When the Freedom Caucus congressman representing my district is ridiculed on Seth Meyers’s “A Closer Look” after voting for the Trumpcare disaster.
“Situation in which opposed parties maintain a tense, contentious relationship.”
Seems to be the case more often than not these days.
In The War That Never Ends (1991), a minimalist BBC dramatization of the speeches and dialogue that triggered the events of the Peloponnesian War, Michael Kitchen plays the 2nd Athenian Representative alongside Stephen Moore (Sam’s father). Broadcast in the UK five days before the start of the Gulf War and in the US during the Bosnia-Herzegovina conflict, the play showed the parallels between present-day diplomatic maneuverings and those of the ancient Greeks that led to the destruction of the Athenian Empire. Worth checking out on YouTube if only for the parade of veteran British actors delivering their lines with such skill — and to see MK expertly raise one eyebrow.
Also drawing on history for comparison, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen’s latest is a fascinating piece on Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.
Coincidentally, NPR referred to both the Peloponnesian War and WWI in its discussion this morning on the risk of accidental war posed by the “Thucydides trap”.