TUNDRANAUTICA

Bringing Home the Freshest Kill

Posts in the New York Times category

Lying is Good

An interesting read from the NYT on the importance of lying to the one you love.

Excerpt:

Love is a greater good than the truth. No marriage, no parent’s love of a child should be scrutinized like a pathologist examining his cadaver. Save your ruthless pursuit of the truth for the laboratory; we lovers would rather be like Shakespeare: “Therefore I lie with her and she with me / And in our faults by lies we flatter’d be.” Don’t worry so much about ferreting out the truth. Take care of each other instead.

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Official seal of Green Bay

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Free Pussy Riot

Yesterday, some odd news came to light when Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev announced public sympathy for the imprisoned Pussy Riot girls. According to the New York Times, my favorite newspaper ever:

Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev said Wednesday that he believed that three female punk rockers jailed for a profane stunt in Moscow’s main Russian Orthodox cathedral should be released rather than serve out their two-year sentences, weighing in on a case that has drawn widespread condemnation in the West.

Sounds good. Those of us who consider ourselves free speech absolutists have reason to celebrate, right?

Wait! Not so fast.

A common theme in news stories and blog posts is that the Pussy Riot girls are brave iconoclasts, spitting in the face of an oppressive culture and government.

But as Daniel Kalder pointed out last spring, there’s more to consider here.

For one thing, the church — i.e. the place that Pussy Riot infiltrated — occupies a much more important place in the minds of Russia’s downtrodden than we American observers might understand. Wrote DK (emphasis mine):

Pussy Riot managed to offend both the powerful and hundreds of thousands of others who are weak, marginalized and powerless. I was present in Russia during the great die-off of the 90s and early 2000s, when millions were chased to the grave by poverty, despair and squalor. An entire generation was written off as collateral damage by both the Russian elite and the well-fed Western consultants who parachuted in to dispense advice and bang whores in luxury hotels. Having grown up in an open air prison, many old people were essentially expected to hurry up and die. The church was one of their few consolations, and so it remains for those who are not yet dead. And indeed, in Pussy Riot’s Youtube clip you can see several old ladies who look horrified. Nor is sympathy for the church restricted to the old- among young adults in Russia, only 5.9% say they have never believed.

In that light, Pussy Riot’s act seems like little more than juvenile provocation. And cruel provocation at that.

But again, this is a strange story — it’s messy and can’t be neatly characterized. So maybe the words of a Ukrainian loved one can shed some light. From an email conversation yesterday:

pussy … did you see what they did before? they fuck in museum, they was warned a lot of times already, i think they deserved what they got,,, and they got what they wanted- got famos 🙂

So the message is clear — if you engage the crimson fists of Mother Russia, expect to have your face pummeled. Or as Vlad Putin once said when quarreling with some non-compliant protesters:

You must receive permission from local authorities. If you received it, go and demonstrate. If not, you don’t have the right. If you come out without the right, you will be beaten on your skull with a truncheon. And that’s that.

Russians remain my favorite people on Earth.

xxx

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  • Glenn Garvin: “Obama has launched over 250 drone attacks during his three years in office, more than six times as many as the lawless yahoo Bush ordered during his entire presidency. And to say Obama launched them is not merely a figure of speech; a lengthy New York Times story last week detailed how the president personally approves the target of every attack at cozy little White House meetings known as Terror Tuesdays.”
  • Jack Shafer: “The failure of the press to think clearly and report soberly about illicit drugs and illicit drug users probably goes back to the invention of movable type. Perhaps the press does such a shoddy job because it doesn’t have to worry about any organized, militant constituency of drug users keeping them honest. Stoners are like that: I’ve never met one who was a good press critic.”

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1697 Red Hell

AMOROUS EPHEMERA

AURAL LIFE

  • Frank Zappa’s congressional testimony re: the PMRC — now on CD
  • Microtonal music is “”music using microtones—intervals of less than an equally spaced semitone. Microtonal music can also refer to music which uses intervals not found in the Western system of 12 equal intervals to the octave…
  • Satan’s Violin Lesson
  • Spectral Musicis a musical composition practice where compositional decisions are often informed by the analysis of sound spectra. Computer based sound spectrum analysis using a Fast Fourier transform is one of the more common methods used in generating descriptive data. Using FFT analysis, features of a particular sound spectrum can be visualized using a spectrogram. Spectral composition focuses, then, on bringing out these features, interconnecting them, and transforming them.”
  • Tipper Gore and the danger of anal vapors

BACK HOME ON THE FARM

BIG MONEY

  • The New York Times knows nothing about “the rule of law”
  • Gail Collins in the New  York Times back in April: “Paying a lot of taxes should be a badge of honor. It proves you made it into the league of big money-makers, not to mention the fact that you’re supporting the upkeep of the Grand Canyon. If the I.R.S. had been doing its marketing properly, little kids would dream of growing up to become really big taxpayers.” Umm…is Gail retarded, or simply another journalist with horrible observational skills? Her last sentence reeks of out-of-touch, imbecilic clod. (Gail — please come visit Portland, Oregon. EVERY person under 40 here acts as though being governed and paying an exorbitant amount of taxes is awesome.)

COSMONAUTICA

National Library of Belarus (Национальная библиотека Беларуси)

DEEP-FRIED DYSTOPIA

DIVINE ILLUMINATION ON DEMAND

DWELLING ON THE THRESHOLD

GURGITATE TO EMANCIPATE

LOVE: A MANY-LAYERED QUILT

MOVING PICTURES

  • Is it just me, or does Karin Longworth’s Village Voice review of Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood come off as snooty, ignorant and arrogant? An excerpt (BTW, I implore you to imagine Longworth’s words as spoken in an upper crust, Cape Cod/equestrian debutante voice): “…this Robin Hood preaches about ‘liberty’ and the rights of the individual as he wanders a countryside populated chiefly by Englishpersons bled dry by government greed.” Ha ha, indeed Ms. Longworth, indeed! How primitive and unsophisticated for one to value individual liberty. The untamed, teeming and savage middle class requires taxation and governance, ASAP. Any lunkhead can see that! Pip ho, equestriettes!
  • Sly Stallone’s porn film

OREGONIAN PERMUTATIONS

  • Has Oregon caught California’s disease?
  • The ghouls who terrified a young girl in Troutdale in May received fluffy, light bullshit sentences on Friday (BONUS BITTERNESS: I posit that these felons are the same pieces of dog-shit that burglarized my own home 30 minutes earlier that same May day, though the Troutdale and Portland police don’t really seem to give a shit). And a quick note to the incarcerated cum-stains — in the future, I’ll be watching your “careers” with much interest.  I’ve got my Google alerts readied for all three of you. Got that, Mr. Colindres-Munoz — ye of the Fake Door-to-Door Salesman bit? I remember your rodent face quite well — satellite dishes, wasn’t that your shtick?)

TRANSGRESSIVE GRAMMAR & UNMITIGATED VERBOSITY

VOID WANDERING

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