Miracle and Wonder

The world you grow up in is the world you take for granted. It’s the baseline for all that follows. That’s what fascinates us about generations — the world of foiks ten or twenty years older or younger than us is a different world than ours. They overlap like circles in a Venn diagram, but they’re not identical.

When we were ten, we saw live video from the surface of New Mexico the Moon. We were old enough to know it was Important, but TV itself was a given. It’s not like we grew up in a radio culture. Or with gramophones.

As we grew aware of these things, it was a commonplace observation that folks a few generations older had really been on a ride — from the Wright Brothers to Apollo 11. We had missed most of the Twentieth Century action. We were late to the party.

Thursday evening, CNN was showing live video from NHK in Japan. Anchors switched from Atlanta to Hong Kong to London. By Friday morning, home videos were showing up online — everybody in Japan has a cameraphone. Images that would have taken hours, or even days, to reach a TV network via 16mm film were appearing almost instantaneously. Eyewitness interviews were being conducted via Skype.

The arc of our half-century life on Earth may not match the journey from a brief flight to a Moon landing, but at moments like this — even profoundly tragic moments like this — we can’t help but sit back and take in the awe of it all.


As the OH remarked yesterday while watching a Betty Grable movie, “It all started with the typewriter.”

“Yes, dear,” I replied. “WTF is up with that wig?”

In the Dept of Ladybits, have we seen this?

It is very powerful stuff. One issue I’m noticing is that it takes a bit of intelligence and perception to deal with the flow of information which a lot of people don’t have. Instead they end up not dealing with this well and shriek about end of times or it’s all a conspiracy (it’s math/spanish/english/geography/whatever class all over again for them.)

Still don’t buy into the idea of “the medium is the message” though.

‘Sup, homiez? Time to get off my lurking ass and go skiing. Laters.

@Benedick AEA, AFTRA, SAG, DG.: Dear Lord God in Heaven, Benedick, don’t get me started. That’s not just a Ladybit issue, it’s a huge Poors issue. It’s almost like The Onion wrote that “justification” by the company for the 14,900% (!!!) price hike: Oh well, it’s still cheaper than having ICU treatment for your preemie, right? Unbelievable! I went out once with a guy who came from money because his dad was the head of a pharmaceutical company. As a total reflex, I blurted out, “He’s evil!” We didn’t go out again, strangely. That’s okay, I’d rather have someone less evil–like a convicted felon–as a father-in-law.

The other Ladybit issue that’s got me all in a tither in the past few days is not just the terrible and crazy-ass story about the 11-year-old girl who was gang raped by 18 boys and men in East Texas, but the inexcusable victim-blaming coverage by none other than the Times. Christ, it’s been a terrible week.

@flippin eck: Not to heap the sadz, but all is NotWell in NotTibet. An American woman was sexually assaulted this week by the owner of her guest house. Dude has money, but the Ambo has guaranteed he will make sure the guy rots in jail.

@Benedick AEA, AFTRA, SAG, DG.: If a poor woman miscarries because she can’t afford the drug, will all the pro-lifers will insist they be charged with murder? Or, more likely, will they charge her with murder because she couldn’t afford it?
@flippin eck: How about the Nebraska woman whose water burst at 23 weeks, leaving her baby with no chance of survival, but who was unable to terminate the pregnancy thanks to Nebraska’s law forbidding abortions after 20 weeks. Instead, she gave birth a week later–a week during which she and, she feared, her baby, were in severe pain, only to watch her daughter struggle to breathe for 15 minutes before dying.

@flippin eck: Don’t get me started on the NYT victim-blaming article about how the 11-year-old girl “drew in” her 18 rapists and “had sex against her will” with them, or that she “dressed like an adult.” I nearly had a fucking aneurysm and wrote the Gray Lady a very ranty LTE. They ran a half-ass apology by the public editor that made me more ranty, starting with the headline of “Gang Rape Story Lacked Balance.” BALANCE? BALANCE? Because of journalists today thinking they have to provide two sides to every story, we need to carry the Pro-Gang-Rape-of-an-11-year-old position? Plus they missed the biggest part of that story, which is detailed extensively in the Houston Chronicle, namely that the girl is Hispanic, daughter of immigrants, and all of the accused are black, and that the simmering racial tension between Latinos and blacks is about to explode and the white rednecks are exploiting the rift and threatening to lynch every black man they see. To say the NYT missed the boat on the story is an understatement.

W/r/t the story Benedick AEA, AFTRA, SAG, DG. shares with us – maybe another Legal Stinquer who knows IP law can explain this to me, but how can the government take a drug that is a generic and retroactively give a monopolistic patent on it.


And now the nuclear plant has exploded. good times.

@flippin eck: I thought the drug price and the company’s statement cynical beyond belief. You’re right. This goes to what kind of country this is and what do we believe.

I hadn’t seen the case you link to. I’ll go read it now. OK. Much as I hate to think well of the Times I don’t think that reporter was blaming the victim. I think he was blaming those who defended the perpetrators but without making clear his POV because of the whole ‘balance’ deal. He was rather too involved with the drama of the case which gives the piece, I thought, an air of melodrama which compounds the problem. But his use of quotes from the locals lamenting the blight the case has cast on the town and on the boys involved is pretty telling as to what they think is important. And how they can evade their own sense of responsibility. And of course the writer didn’t talk to the girl – nor should he. It’s a disgusting crime by any standard.

@Benedick AEA, AFTRA, SAG, DG.: As the Poynter Institute notes, The Houston Chronicle has more context into the situation than NYT, especially on the race relations. A few of them are here:


However, their articles are still trying to provide “balance” in the story. There’s an essay that sums it up in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

@Benedick AEA, AFTRA, SAG, DG.: But if the comments by community members about how the victim dressed provocatively or how the boys’ lives are now ruined are relevant to illustrate the fucked-up circumstances there, why isn’t it relevant to include the facts about the race of the victim and her alleged assulters? I don’t think there was enough in the article to establish that the reporter was just trying to shine a light on the topsy-turvy ethics of the community rather than playing into them. Describing the assulters as being “drawn into” the crime were the reporter’s words, not a quote from a resident. Besides, wouldn’t that content justify another, separate article to discuss the larger issues rather than being rolled into the lone “just the facts” article the Times ran about the case? If the reporter who was caught up in a story did a poor job of writing up a “balanced” description that’s understandable, but then the blame falls squarely on the editor who should’ve had a more circumspect point of view and should’ve prevented it from being published like that.

@SanFranLefty: I figured there had to be a class/racial aspect to the story that the Times left out. I still don’t think that was the reporter’s intention but the Times seems to have completely internalized the POV of its haters and does a far more efficient job of censoring itself than even Karl Rove could. I found the ‘apology’ in its complete refusal to look at what was wrong, more offensive than the original story, which would seem to be more incompetent than anything else. I do believe the reporter was trying to make a point about the neighbors’ attitudes.

@Mistress Cynica: Not to be making distinctions between what is satanic and what is merely evil I thought that case was heartbreaking. The mother behaved with a great deal more dignity than I could have mustered given what she’d been through. I also wondered how doctors are supposed to cope with that sort of inhuman situation. How do you reconcile that with faith or knowledge?

@Mistress Cynica: One of the saddest parts of that story (for me, I should add), was the fact that this was their rude awakening of how politics are relevant to their lives. The couple had had several miscarriages before and it stands to reason that they would’ve been more likely to be affected by Nebraska’s abortion law than women who didn’t have a history of problematic pregnancies. But since they’re both Nebraskan churchgoers who were probably told by their clergy and fellow Christians that God wants you to vote pro-life or not vote at all, chances are that they automatically ticked the R box in every election and may well have voted in the very lawmakers who created and passed this law. It’s so frustrating and depressing that conseratives get to find out the hazards of electing these bastards by losing their job or collective bargaining rights, being denied an abortion, etc.

@Benedick AEA, AFTRA, SAG, DG.: Yeah, the class aspects of the article – going on and on about how dumpy the trailer was, etc., also annoyed me. Another subtext going on is this idea that the apologists are themselves perpetuating the stereotype of black men just not being able to control themselves with the comments like “she looked like she was 20” – ugh. And now to “protect” the girl, she’s been taken from her family and put in foster care – which we only learn from the Houston paper where we also learn that it’s not a case of “where was her mother?” — that she was from an intact family with three siblings and in gifted and talented classes and loved teddy bears.

@SanFranLefty: And she’s 11. Or, to put that another way: she’s 11.

It’s interesting that the ‘inappropriate dress or behavior’ talk is always a class discussion about controlling the behavior of women and how their sexuality is permitted to be expressed (NOT). Also the inappropriate behavior of the parents in letting the child associate with her rapists who were all such good boys before she led them astray. Indeed, one of them is a star athlete and now his life is ruined.

@flippin eck: I don’t really know how a woman can ever recover from such an event. Her belief that the foetus was in pain through the week before the baby was born is particularly distressing. Imagine the torment she went through waiting for the child to be born so she could die.

@flippin eck: Exactly. What the anti-abortion forces have always glossed over is the fact that the vast majority of late-term abortions are the result of (wanted) pregnancies going horribly wrong, not something done on a whim because a woman thinks she’s getting too fat or has just suddenly changed her mind. In all of these situations we’ve discussed, the total and complete lack of compassion and basic human decency just makes me want to withdraw from the human race.

@SanFranLefty: I don’t know how that is allowed, but I’ve already experienced the effects. The same thing happened with a generic insulin that I used for diabetic kitty. Something that cost $20 now runs me $160. The vet told me that it got to the point that it was not profitable for the companies to produce it, so it was “orphaned.” This allowed a company to do what the evil fuckers in this situation did: in return for manufacturing it again, they get to jack up the price.

Oh, and just cuz you live in a state capital doesn’t mean they like have stuff. Like basic stuff. Bus service on Sundays would be a good start.

@flippin eck: Oh fucking hell. Being cut off from the world was kind of okay, maybe. I think I’ll go back to the flood and let nature have me.

OH JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! Just skimmed the thread. I’ll see y’all later when I’m medicated.

@SanFranLefty: I’d be out with a shotgun looking for the perps.

@Dodgerblue: No shit. If I recall, this was almost the exact plot of “A Time to Kill.”

@ManchuCandidate: Not sure about “the medium is the message” either. However, I often find myself thinking of Marshall McLuhan and his prediction of the “global village.” If he could see it now!

Wrote my comment re McLuhan before I read the thread with its various links. I’m with JNOV. Just wish I had some medication to resort to. John Barleycorn aka Jim Beam is out. Alcohol, which used to be my best friend, has become an abusive lover, who swears he’ll never hit me again. Guess I’ll go look at pictures of baby animals: That’s definitely better for my mental health and frame of mind than dwelling on the crimes of the oligarchs and the pig-ignorant portion of the populace that voted their agents and protectors into office.

@lynnlightfoot: “Music is your only friend. ” I believe Jim Morrison said that.

Crumbs from Your Table, U2

‘signs and wonders”


:”Like A Hurricane” Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Administer as needed/

@redmanlaw: You’re a friend! Thanks for the links. Just now found them after viewing lots of babies of various kinds. Thanks to your kindness and the babies (and the prospect of even more crocuses open tomorrow than I saw today), I feel up to tomorrow. G’night now.

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