Why I Don’t Post (see below).

frisk meAm I right in thinking that Glenn Greenwald is a total and complete asshole – ‘Wait till my next big revelation which will totally bring the Evil Empire (aka the US) to its knees, bitchez’ – or am I wrong?

That has happened twice in living memory so I’m prepared to be schooled by Those Who Know Better.

So his BF got pulled over at the airport. Big Fucking Deal. (Yes, I am somewhat testy this morning. Thank you for noticing.) Like the Limeys knows who he is. They can’t even get the one-way street system in Oxford right. You make one wrong town and you have to drive around the whole fucking town again. And yes, there is still honey for tea. There is also KFC.

Of course they can track the BFs of annoying, self-righteous, self-aggrandizing provocateurs (oh wait. Did one tip one’s hand?) if they want to. They have cameras everywhere. BBC America (All commercials: All the time) is now showing Broadchurch, a more than usually annoying whodunnit that makes a feature of the surveillance cameras that are everywhere in the Land of Limes. Indeed, they present the plot point as yet another sign of how hopelessly clueless are the English because, having installed the camera on a handy pole overlooking a remote beach, they don’t then provide the miles of tape needed to catch the essential plot point. To which one can only cry Tape? Are you fucking kidding me? And BTW, I don’t want to hear any crap about how the actors take such a good part. Whodunnits are by definition crap. I don’t care who wrote it, I don’t care if Helen Mirren’s in it, if you have to wait till episode 4 to find out who murdered the town virgin/slut you are watching crap. I don’t care if you enjoy it. And by the by, the character so thrillingly brought to life by David Tennant in Broadchurch is exactly the same character brought thrillingly to life by Ben Affleck in Argo and by Clint Eastwood in any number of crappy westerns. Pass the gin.

Anyway. I got pulled over in Toronto once. Imagine being interrogated by Canadians: they bore the truth out of you. (OK. Full disclosure. They weren’t Canadians. That detail was an example of litotes. They were actually Amerikanskis. One goes through immigration in the TO airport when flying to, say, Boston, where one is earning one’s health insurance by taking part in a production of a Stoppard play of such overwhelming pretentiousness that it takes all of one’s moral fortitude not to run out on the stage and scream “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” at whoever happens to be acting at the time. Only fun event in the run was when the terminally annoying young actor just out of Julliard got dumped by his GF in the greenroom right before his entrance. ((Unfortunately, no surveillance camera to hand. A greenroom is a room backstage in which actors recreate themselves when not on stage. They are never painted green and alcohol is frowned on for some reason.)) Where was I?

Oh right. I passed the touching scene on my way to the stage, observed the snot running down his chin, and her air of smug self-satisfaction and, not actually being as stupid as I look, put two and two together. Imagine my happiness when my cue came to walk out onto the stage in full view of the paying public to announce the arrival of the dumped one and he wasn’t there beside me. ((I was playing a butler: health insurance: pay attention)) Imagine my joy as I walked out on stage, raised one finger, said to my colleagues mid-scene “Hang on a minute,” before walking off again. ((I don’t do improv. Besides which, as a butler, what can one add? “There were no cucumbers in the market. Not even for ready money.”?)) At which point the dumped one arrived in the wings dashing tears from his face, out of breath, hysterical. Trying not to laugh I made him wait to calm down before taking him out. During all of this time there was complete silence on the stage which I would imagine came as a relief to the audience having been subjected to about four hours of endlessly brilliant yappity-yap about Lenin and Joyce and biscuits and only being about half-way through the first act. Which reminds me: Don’t ever buy a copy of Ulysses. You will never read it. Where was I?

Right. Just brewed my second pot of coffee. I’m favoring a Bodum 8oz these days. It makes a perfect cup: hot, fragrant, and flavorful. One can sip it and almost think oneself back on the place du Louvre. Fun fact: they don’t seem to drink bowls of café au lait any more in Paris. Instead they favor a demi-tasse of espresso. The full size cup they call an americano. Where was I?

Right. TO airport. Pulled over. Point being? If one has such a thing? That was the time I told the INS interrogating officer to go fuck himself and not be such a fucking fool. Did I really look like I wanted to be in Boston to take part in a ghastly Stoppard play? Would I really be going there unless I had to earn my health insurance?

Which returns me to my original question: Greenwald. Asshole? Yes/no?

40 Comments

Yes.

I am so thoroughly sick of Greenwald and Snowden, if I could be rid of them from every front page everywhere, I wouldn’t care if the government put a surveillance camera in my bathroom.

Mr. Greenwald has been elected to Never Fly Status.

So why exactly is Glenn Greenwald an asshole? I’ve been reading his articles for almost a decade, and he’s been one of maybe a handful of real journalists to speak truthfully, especially during the nation’s horrendous Bu$h Psychosis that ruined countless millions of peoples’ lives around the world. Our KKKountry’s traditional media is packed to the rafters with despicable, repulsive, pusillanimous a$$lickers who obtusely parrot anything and everything ordered by their corporate and political paymasters. Reading the “news” is an embarrassing farce that would make the publishers of Pravda blush with shame. There is zero real debate in this country about anything more significant than whether the new Kardasian baby is the next Jesus or George Washington. So, again, why is Glenn Greenwald an asshole?

I should add that Greenwald frequently is a lone voice of sanity in a national bedlam of pea-brained, cross-eyed, mouth-breathing, sub-morons, who simultaneously claim that Obama is worse than Hitler while also demanding that the state utilize totalitarian police power to kidnap, torture, and execute anyone that they wish (as long as those people are of the caffe latte skin-colored variety, of course). I’ll turn it over before I have conniptions:

Always remember mornings like these, the next time police officers and politicians demand more powers to protect us from terrorism. They always sound so reasonable and so concerned for our welfare when they do. For who wants to be blown apart?

But the state said its new powers to intercept communications would be used against terrorists. They ended up using them against fly tippers. Now the police are using the Terrorism Act against the partner of a journalist who is publishing stories the British and American governments would rather keep quiet.

The detention of David Miranda at Heathrow is a clarifying moment that reveals how far Britain has changed for the worse. Nearly everyone suspects the Met held Miranda on trumped up charges because the police, at the behest of the Americans, wanted to intimidate Miranda’s partner Glenn Greenwald, the conduit of Edward Snowden’s revelations, and find out whether more embarrassing information is on Greenwald’s laptop.

The Brazilian government has gone wild. (Greenwald lives in Brazil and his partner is Brazilian.) All kinds of people are saying, quite properly, that although they disagree with Greenwald’s politics they defend the right of citizens to hold governments to account.

You might have thought the Met would have been anxious to reply to its critics. You might have thought – expected indeed – that it would angrily rebut the charges, and provide irrefutable evidence that its officers are not like the goons of a dictatorship but remain the conscientious public servants of a democracy.

The Terrorism Act of 2000, which the Met used against Miranda, says that terrorism involves ‘serious violence against a person’ or ‘serious damage to property’. The police can also detain the alleged terrorist because he or she ‘endangers a person’s life’, ‘poses a serious risk to the health and safety of the public’ or threatens to interfere with ‘an electronic system’.

I wanted to ask the Met: Which of these above offences did your officers suspect that Miranda might have been about to commit? What reasonable grounds did they have for thinking he could endanger lives or property? And, more to the point, which terrorist movement did you believe Miranda was associated with: al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Continuity IRA, ETA, Shiv Sena, the provisional wing of the Unabomber Appreciation Society?

Greenwald may not thank me for saying this but in one respect America is an admirable country. In the US, the police reply to reporters’ questions. They may lie, but at least they reply. In the UK, they say nothing. Chief constables could save precious money and protect front line services by sacking every police press officer in the UK. They are useless. Actually, they are worse than useless: they are sinister. They provide the illusion of accountability while blocking it at every stage.

And this:

The problem is less that the state is malevolent but that it is stupid. And that stupidity means that a lack of malevolence may be a matter of luck, not policy. Or, if you wish to be more generous, the state has the power to crush liberties and its failure to do so on a more consistent, wider, basis is a matter of forebearance or inefficiency more than anything else.

It may seem like an over-reaction now, but not after future President Santorum turns the entire country into an apocalyptic prison camp that’ll make V for Vendetta look like a kindergarten Christmas pageant.

I’ve had similar experiences. For some reason the people US Amercia Immigration picks to get the 20 questions is anyone not white. 15 white people get the simple “Where are you going? Who are you going to see? How long? Okay get going” routine. I show up and suddenly they think I’m coming to US Amercia to steal jobs instead of my real purpose to eat In’N out Double Doubles and drink with my friends. Part of me wanted to sneer and say “maybe if more of you white people studied maths” but my smart mouth would have ruined my vacation. After I answer all of their questions I smile at the fat usually white guy in the booth and stroll past. One time, out of the corner of my eye I caught the agent scowling at me. It made me happier.

@¡Andrew!: I agree. But I also love whodunnits, so what do I know?

@¡Andrew!: I say he’s an asshole because his stories are always about his degree of outrage and the degree of everyone else’s lack of spine. Which is OK. But it’s not reporting and I don’t think he’s a reporter. I think he’s a polemicist. And I think his involvement has badly hurt Snowden’s case. Already his father is declaring publicly that Mr Greenwald is only interested in himself. Understandably. It seems that Snowden himself doesn’t share his father’s view. There’s a long and very interesting interview with him in last Sunday’s Times. He’s eloquent and, for the first time to me at least, convincing. Worth a read. The strangest aspect of Snowden’s action seems to be that he went about it in such an old-fashioned way. He’s an IT guy. I would have thought the more efficient way to get everything out would have been to post it on line and send links to the world’s press corps. Also, regarding Greenwald, his self-promotion is distressing, he’s always threatening new revelations which don’t seem to come. Meanwhile we’re all subjected to his moral outrage which, like self-pity, is an easy way out. Plus his hectoring tone makes him impossible to read. The level of outrage is so high I literally can’t understand what he’s trying to tell me.

Being an ex-Brit I know the Guardian and hold it in very low esteem; another reason I think he’s a wanker. The Guardian is sort of Wanker HQ. Full of supercilious Oxbridge types whose main purpose in life is to sneer at the Yanks over pints of bitter in Hampstead pubs of a Sunday morning before toodling home for a drop of roast beef. It began life as the Manchester Guardian and as such, not unlike the Washington Post, acquired a national readership, moved to London and turned to shite.

I think there’s all kinds of wonderful reporting going on in the States. There’s a reason that we’re the envy of the world. The New York Review of Books has the best political reporting, they were all over the WMD fraud in the buildup to the Iraq invasion (Lefty doesn’t agree with me but I do think that as citizens we are all complicit in that catastrophe). They have the best reporting on DC and the political life of the country. Terrific reporting on Snowden with a most original account of how he has been branded as a leaker instead of being the more dignified title of whistleblower. They make a convincing case that that was deliberately done. You can see it at http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/. There’s all kinds of good writing going on from reporters who don’t stand on the sidelines throwing bombs.

@ManchuCandidate: I’m sorry to hear that. I have to say that my own experiences with the INS, apart from a couple of instances, have been amazingly positive. When we retuned here to the States to live I couldn’t get a visa and was on a letter of parole (don’t ask) which needed to be renewed every 60 days. I found the immigration officials wonderfully helpful and unfailingly considerate. The same goes for the consulate staff in London. I thought they were very impressive and I think it’s a pity that Americans don’t see how well we are represented to foreigners. I’m sorry you didn’t have the same experience.

I paid a lot of money for an Amazon Prime membership, you see. And the fact of the matter is that I didn’t buy enough crap to really make it worthwhile the last couple of years. So, I started watching a ton of free stuff that my Prime membership entitled me to. Mostly that consists of BBC crime shows. Lynda LaPlante cop shows. Now, mind you, the first pile of crap was more than palatable because Helen Fucking Mirren. (She’s my spirit animal.) I figured, hey, this LaPlante chick writes a decent serial. That’s why I started watching the next show. The one with the Irish dude who played the Bill Clintonesque character on that American mini-series rip-off of Primary Colors. Yeah, and also the red-headed girl was nice to look at. But she grated. I don’t care to watch incompetent women. Drunks, sure. That’s just good, clean fun for everyone. But the ginger was young, so maybe the next LaPlante serial would be better. Cuz, old(er) lady. Ha! Sucker. Holy shit, The Commander is a terrible fucking show. I can’t for the life of me understand how that thing went on for 6 seasons. The dipshit title character should have been fired the first time she went out on a date with the Earl of Downton Abbey. And yet, she survived for 5 more seasons after having him killed in prison (spoiler alert!). Lynda LaPlante is an embarrassment to Limey Island.

TL;DR – Yes.

@ManchuCandidate: Go ahead and make their day next time. We’ll wait to hear from your attorneys.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: @Mistress Cynica: Check out Broadchurch. It’s a very handsome production and has achieved, I’m told, Downton Abbey hit status in the UK. I still say it’s crap.

@Mistress Cynica: Nothing wrong with crap, you understand. The same was said of Miss Austen. I just find the whole “Oh my God, Nigel, Cynthia’s… dead! Where were you at nine o’clock” style of story telling incredibly lazy. Yes, it makes the reader turn to the next page but you get to the end and the dénouement comes and you think… that’s it? I just read this whole pile of shite and that’s the best you could come up with?’ It began for me with The Hound of the Baskervilles and I got to the end – having thoroughly enjoyed it – and it turned out to be some dog with luminous paint???!! (spoiler alert). Plus, having ‘acted’ in some of Christie’s ‘plays’ I become unhinged when faced with The Mousetrap.

Of course, that’s the brilliant thing Hitchcock did at his best: he hid the reason. You never quite know what the hell they’re all after in North By Northwest. And the same is true in Notorious. You only know it’s something BAD and so you’re spared the disappointment of having Perry Mason lay out the whole plot for you as if you’re the idiot nephew at a family picnic.

@Benedick: I’ve seen two episodes so far. I read reviews praising the show (and noting that it will be diluted and dumbed down for American audiences soon). I’m withholding judgement but so far, it’s just boring. As usual, the female detective is a fucking idiot. What do the English have against lady cops?

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I;m sorry to hear that. I think it’s the best performance. Of course she’s going to be just a tad ineffectual, she is after all female. Brits – by which I mean male inhabitants of the UK who have attended a public school – think there’s something intrinsically silly about women. They’re baffled by them and wonder why they’re not more like chaps. (see My Fair Lady)

They emasculate her at the very beginning by having her demoted to work for the ex-Dr Who who really needs a shave. And a shower. And a clean shirt. And suit. And I’m guessing underwear. He’s brooding and haughty with a mysterious past; she’s somewhat plain and earnest trying to make her way in a man’s world; and we seem to be reviving Jane Eyre. Well it’s a good story as stories go and speaks to my annoyance re laziness. Whodunits, and their idiot children thrillers and police protocols, thrive on cliché. they’re cobbled together from bits and pieces of other works, adding local color via transexuals or foreigners to zhuzh things up. It seems to me that’s part of the fun: to recognize old friends underneath the assless chaps.

I must say, I don’t know how they could possibly dumb it down. Remake it and set it in Sandy Eggo? The locale is crucial: remote yet attractive to townies and various random suspects, à la Christie. Strine tart in bar; bewhiskered complainer about murder causing drop off in sales; pallid priest; unhinged dad; suspicious person of dusky hue. I have a terrible feeling that the ‘psychic’ (only ever a figure of fun for the Brits) has been dragged in as a red herring. Again: cliché. For example, the un-whodunnit of this story might have told it from the POV of the ‘psychic’; is he mad? is he real? did he kill the boy? (spoiler alert), does he love the police woman, does he have 15 budgerigars all named for her, does he wear panties he bought from Victoria’s Secret, is there life after death and if so are there dogs? All valid questions that could lead to something humbling and truly scary. By contrast, the whodunnit assuages the viewer/reader from the first frame/page by making it clear that nothing truly dreadful will happen. There will be crumpets for tea.

Michael Haneke’s remake of the Cape Fear story made over as total horror embraces this assumption to scare the living shit out of you. Funny Games in its original German version is the most frightening film I know (after the A Chorus Line movie. The horror. Why?)

Warning: in Code Unknown Haneke has a horse slaughtered in extreme close up making the viewer complicit in its death. Given such a demonstration of moral idiocy one fears for the dead dog in Funny Games.

It’s the Dorset coast, by the way, west of Portsmouth, a UNESCO world heritage site. Donald Trump has not built a golf coarse there. Yet.

@Benedick & @Mistress Cynica: I also love, love, love whodunits–Inspector Lynley or GTFO (until of course I realized that I really was in love with Sergeant Havers. Why, oh why couldn’t she have had her own show??). I tried to watch Broadchurch. Gorgeous production values and great acting–David Tennant has his scenery chewing somewhat under control at last–but that shit was just too depressing. I need more comedies in my life. I watched these superb French spy parodies on Netflix–they’re sort of like a French Austin Powers from the same team that produced The Artist.

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
OSS 117: Lost in Rio

I only wish that I could understand a word of Le Franch! But this is why the FSM gave us subtitles. I also watched this terrific Mexican rom-com: El Cielo en Tu Mirada. It’s got absolutely fantastic music.

@¡Andrew!: sort of like a French Austin Powers from the same team that produced The Artist.

You know that could just as easily be a slam.

@¡Andrew!: I share your view about Havers who, incidentally, had a small part in Downton Abbey, a show that I will never watch again due to the way they killed of Lady Mary’s hubby last season.

@Benedick: I’ve had the pleasure of missing a turn in Oxford and having to go around the whole goddam city again, driving a rental car on the wrong side of the road with local wankers honking at me and my wife and children expressing strong disapproval of my driving and indeed my personality in general. But I must disagree about Dame Helen — I liked Prime Suspect because it was about her character more than the whodunit plots.

@nojo: One has to admire their audacity in producing these hilarious yet sophisticated films in a way that they look and feel like movies from the 50s and 60s. Still, if the adventures of O-S-S Cent Dix-Sept are not your thing, do check out El Cielo en Tu Mirada (Heaven in Your Eyes). It’s an absolute joy from beginning to end.

@Benedick: From my perspective, Greenwald’s voice is one of principled, righteous indignation channeled through advocacy journalism. With regards to self-promotion, I recall being surprised the first time that he wrote about being gay and in a bi-national relationship that was cruelly threatened by DOMA. I’d read his columns for years at that point and had no idea, so I view his decision to go public on that issue as a positive one since it helped add another human face to our nation’s arbitrary, racist, and just generally fucked-up immigration laws. He hasn’t exactly done himself any favors with the Snowden revelations, since now he’ll face lifelong harassment–including potential assassination–and he’ll never be able to return to the US. I think that we’ll have to agree to disagree regarding his personal motives.

Regardless, this really isn’t about him or Snowden. Humans are fallible, and the sadistic psychopaths that control our country are counting on distracting the public with the whistleblowers’ personal lives rather than the newly exposed amoral, illegal, and unethical behavior that those in power engage in on a daily basis. Let’s not fall for it.

And oh what the hell, with regards to the cop in the photo, I’d stop and frisk that so hard, he’d honk like a goose.

@¡Andrew!: I must check those films out. I didn’t actually get what the fuss was about with that silent film. Les Franch were utterly mystified by its success here. But the OSS ideas sound like fun. BTW. Have you seen 8 Women? It’s kind of marvelous. And of course, if Greenwald speaks to you then that’s great.

@Dodgerblue: That is the only way to deal with the Oxford one-way system. I did the same thing. I was late for a rehearsal. Had a passenger. Made a wrong turn. Got stuck in a great long line of traffic. Saw an opening (as the bishop said to the actress). Pulled out onto the wrong side. Passed everyone. Went through a light still on the wrong side. Got past everyone and got to the theatre. My passenger was all kinds of impressed. Fun facts: the stage door of the Oxford Playhouse is literally 10 ft away from the door to the pub.

@Dodgerblue: R U mahd?
(That’s how they text in Eng-land, right?)

@Benedick: I’ll take his regular handle, plz.

@Mistress Cynica: BTW chica, I’ve been meaning to thank you for the dee-licious wine. Once again, I’ve found myself sneaking out to the recycling bin in the middle of the night with a box full of empty bottles of Daddy’s Medicine hoping not to arouse the suspicions of the neighbors. I expect that another case will be ordered in due course ; )

@Benedick: I couldn’t find 8 Women on Netflix–I may need to make the journey to the video store.

@¡Andrew!: Darling – http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/8-Women/60024959?trkid=1660 – Don’t say I never do anything for you. Generally I loathe camp but this is so wondrous, and the women are so gorgeous, you can’t help but adore it.

@¡Andrew!: Glad you like! I’ll be coming to Seattle in October, so can bring medical supplies, unless you need them shipped before that.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: It’s sensational. The women are gorgeous and hilarious.

@Benedick: You homelanders need a music lesson: It’s Eat the Rich, not BBQ the Swan.

OK. This is vaguely related to the topic. Harrassment of those that speak out, and happen not to be hetero. And it has been preying on my mind. It’s about Chelsea Manning.

What I don’t get is why it is being reported now. Why report it now the verdict is in? Why report it now the sentence has been handed down? Why report it now defence counsel has notified their intent to appeal the length of the sentence? Surely the correct time to have reported this when it was brought up as part of Manning’s defence?

What this stinks of is “Look at the freaks! They are different to us, fear them! They are bad people”. Those that know me well know I am a cynical bitch, but even I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to think some poor Trans-girl in the US is going to get beaten up by some fucking red-neck patriot with their IQ smaller than dick size because “They’re just like that fucking traitor”.

And I guess that’s also part of what pisses me off. It makes me feel afraid. I hate being scared.

@Jenny_F: I was wondering the same thing. My guess about why this is coming to light now is because Chelsea is requesting hormone treatment in Leavenworth. Leavenworth is the military prison to end all prisons. I don’t doubt her need to be herself, which includes her need for proper medical care. I think she’s continuing to expose a fucked up military/government monolith but in a different way. IOW, I think she’s still trying to make things better for people who are abused by the gov’t.

@Jenny_F: My daughter used the word “heteronormative” in a discussion we were having where she was trying to explain to me what “gender queer” means. She knows many things.

@JNOV: I just dislike the way the personal lives become the story, and the affect that may have on others who are GLBTI.

@Dodgerblue: Heh. Well check out CIS-Gendered. Apparently CIS is from chemistry meaning matching or something. And refers to Mind matching Body.

@Jenny_F: I agree. When Chelsea was first arrested, PBS did a short hit piece about her focusing on her personal life from the time she was a child. I was beyond pissed.

Hello. Just checking in. Been suing the hell out of the Navajo Nation (two TROs in two weeks, made easier because they violated the law so blatntly in a couple of instances.) Also have a federal court amicus brief in the works for a state liberal do-gooder pro-hunting organization, sort of a match made in heaven.

Let’s see . . . what else? Kid shooting for early release . .. errr, graduation from high school. Wolverine-like recovery from rotator cuff surgery. 18th anniversary of being straight-married to Mrs RML (who is also doing as well as she can in her dying industry but kicking ass in boot camp and Insanity fitness classes).

Just remembered I told Son of RML I would watch Oblivion. /pops in DVD. Tom Cruise will be an ugly old guy.

Forest fires, drought = forests were closed, so no fishing this summer, but I was recovering from surgery so NBD. I should be well enough to hunt for deer and elk for two weeks in October. Went to big metal festival and one opera this summer.

Kid wants to go to France with a school group next summer so Mrs RML and I might finally venture out of North American and head for Espana and hike some pilgrimage trail while he’s sneaking red wine and looking at art an’ shit. Hook up somewheres in Spain, maybe on a beach, then back to the USA.

Recovered to where I can shoot again. Handguns are looking good in terms of accuracy but I gotta work on my form and stop rearing back with the 9mm and .357. (Just lean into into the shot.) Shotgun was still a little heavy duty, even using a 20 ga with a light load. Might try a rifle tomorrow.

@JNOV: I have a drumhead signed by Lemmy and the rest of Motorhead that I got from the organizer of the Mayhem Festival last summer.

@redmanlaw: :-) I’m supposed to go to Pain in the Grass for the weekend, but I’m not sure I’m going.

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