Saturday, November 02, 2013

Weekend Pics & Mixes

Another insight into where Russell Brand is coming from these days - in an interview with Jake Hamilton:

I've seen a few articles presenting a definite churlish or peevish anti-Brand posture this week, sadly mostly from those of the left (well, kind of left) who should be supporting him. Same ol' same ol'. "Lefty" purists, "lefty" minority groups, "lefty" so-called inellectuals who see Russell's words as undermining their own platforms; whereas in truth he is trying to assist them by using his celeb-status (or notoriety if you like) to thrust their point of view much further forward than they could ever do themselves. He's not looking to be their leader or take their place - he's acting as a megaphone for them.

See also THIS earlier post.

I read that The Sound of Music is comin' around again, this time on TV (NBC) with (gulp) Carrie Underwood as Maria. Now Carrie Underwood, once upon a time American Idol, currently country music royalty, has a great voice and super looks but....Julie Andrews she ain't!

I've never been a big "S of M" fan, had to be dragged to see the movie, long ago and under protest, by a boyfriend who had a crush on Julie Andrews. Needless to say, our relationship didn't last! Still, over the years I've mellowed a little towards that twee old movie, enough so to cringe when considering an American country artist playing an Austrian nun. Maybe she'll surprise me.

My favourite song from the film:

(Click on any image for a bigger version)

Husband found a few bargain-priced tin types on our last trip. This one needed some restoring; in the process a wonderful little face appeared.

Shopping in glitzy city malls isn't our style these days. For one thing we'd miss the joys of easy-going small town retailers such as those below, snapped by husband on our wanders around small town USA -

I noticed this comment during an internet wander yesterday, thought how well it describes the vicious circle and cycle in which so many people in this country find themselves now.
Thanks to commenter "Derpasaurus" for the loan of their words:

What people don't realize is the cyclical nature of small-town, low-wage business. You have 3 gas stations, 2 grocery stores, a slew of fastfood places, and a Walmart. Sprinkle in some home healthcare services. Each of these employers offer the same low pay, no benefits, and next-to zero opportunity for advancement. But, you don't have the capital to start your own business or move, so your only option is to get to flippin' burgers or stocking shelves. You make just enough money to spend it at Walmart, Racetrac and Taco Bell. The employees of those stores make just enough money to spend at your store. The government provides food stamps for all of you, keeping the grocery store in business.

Everyone, except the one or two managers in each store, makes the same low wage and gets the same government benefits. They drive the same kinds of low end cars, if they can afford it, and live in the same kind of trailers and duplexes. They're all fiercely competing for the one promotion, knowing that 99% of them will never see one. While the corporate heads of whichever company they work for have golden parachutes strapped to their backs.
And this, my friends, is the end game of capitalism. The finish-line to our race to the bottom. Where 5 or 6 companies dominate the market, socialize the costs, and privatize the gains.

This corner of south-west Oklahoma is catching up with Autumn, at last:


mike said...

I'm not a big fan of "Sound of Music", either...or at least the more obvious romantic plot, but I applaud the background theme of the Nazi takeover and how von Trapp is acutely aware of impending consequences. My favorite part is their escape scene at the end.

Your quote from commenter "Derpasaurus" refers to small towns, but I think it's applicable to any town USA, from the isolated burg to the megopolis. I'd have to say that the "end game of capitalism" is dependent on the end game of consumerism. Can't have one without the other! Until American consumers stop purchasing cheap, imported goods sold by gargantuan retailers, the situation won't change...better still if they had never allowed these mega-stores in their communities in the first place, but they were allowed to increase community jobs and increase the tax base. No one was forced to purchase from these mega-retailers. The small business was driven to extinction by the consumer, not the mega-store. Ditto for the fast-food franchises.

Apparently there are independent, small-town shops in existence, as your interesting and funny door signs proffer!

I'm still lukewarm with Russell Brand. I did listen to your video link and, yes, it was interesting. I don't find his comments much different from any other famous, well paid, celebrity with a cause, et al. The more warriors that join the tribe against injustice, the better. I did find a pedantic wince with his remark defining a hero as someone that "sacrifice yourself for your beliefs". I like Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi's (Nobel Peace Prize recipient):
"People ask me about what sacrifices I've made. I always answer: I've made no sacrifices, I've made choices." Aung San Suu Kyi talks to Ed Caesar in Another Magazine A/W11.

We are still about a month away from autumn here in the deep usually lasts about a week or two, then our month or two of "winter". Our temperatures usually belie autumn's presence, but there are some very subtle indications. We've had horribly hot & humid weather, but a blue norther just whipped through last night, so today is a beauty...and it's cool with a forecast high of 79 degrees today, BUT a low of 50 for overnight...brrrrr. I'll have to put-on my heavy winter gear tomorrow morning...LOL. Twilight, do you have any apple or pear orchards nearby? This is their season.

mike (again) said...

P.S. - Masterpiece Theater's "The Paradise" was the equivalent Walmart of their day...LOL. That is a topic in the recent episodes with the buy-out of the barber shop and the impending Paradise expansion. I particularly appreciated the tailor's (Denise's uncle) lament over his work-ethic-pride when Katherine Glendenning purchases, but declines the dress.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Re the mega-retailers. Yes, the people rushed to buy their wares, something new, seemed like a good idea at the time I suppose, especially as, at first their prices were lower and they offered more choice than the small retailer could.

I always see a similarity with smoking - when it mattered we (we the people) didn't realise what we were doing. By the time it was horribly clear, it was too late.

Yes - good point re "The Paradise" and the portrayal of how the big buy-outs first began.
The tailor deserved a standing ovation didn't he! :-)

Yes, there are still a sprinkling of small retailers in most small/medium sized towns, mostly in the older, Main Street areas.
Even among these, though, especially the gift stores and some faux antique stores, there are lots of "made in China" items now - sometimes whole stores which seem to be independently owned, but are filled with "made in China" goods and decor items. I have suspected that certain wealthy individuals in communities will lease a Main Street property, then buy a ship-load of Chinese goods and pay a senior citizen a pittance to look after the store. Sometimes they'll include a smattering of real antique or vintage items and advertise as an antique store.
We have their number now!!

I'm just glad that, via Russell Brand, a voice is being raised on behalf of the real left... he's not mincing words or ass-licking the liberal establishment. Sean Penn used to have more to say about politics, he even endorsed Kucinich in 2008, but he's gone quiet now.

The weather is "just right" here now. Not too hot, not too cold. Wish it could stay like this.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Some of those old tin types are amazing and not so easy to find. And the little girl is hauntingly beautiful. Makes me wonder what happened to her.

Thanks also for bringing us these Russell Brand clips, even though I'm confused. . .

Russell Brand has said, “I deplore corporate colonialism but not viscerally. The story isn’t presented in a way that rouses me. Apple seems like such an affable outfit; I like my iPhone. Occasionally I hear some yarn about tax avoidance or Chinese iPhone factory workers committing suicide because of dreadful working conditions but it doesn’t really bother me, it seems so abstract. Not in the same infuriating, visceral, immediate way that I get pissed off when I buy a new phone and they’ve changed the fucking chargers, then I want to get my old, perfectly good charger and lynch the executives with the cable. They make their own product, which they’ve already sold me, deliberately obsolete just to rinse a few more quid out of us.”

The inhumane conditions Chinese workers labor under may not bother Russell Brand very much, but they bother some of us, though I want to understand the greater point he's trying to make, if any.

Is he simply being brutally honest about his self-serving motivations when it comes to "corporate colonialism" - hoping to appeal to the masses through the common bond of selfishness? Or is he being ironic, using the angry voice of self-interest to highlight the problem of our collective indifference to the suffering of others? If it's the latter, I think a lot of us will miss the point.

In the latest clip you've provided (and as mike has pointed out), RB talks about the gentle heroes among us and the value and rarity of self-sacrifice in our materialistic, consumption-based society. Also about the suffering and exploitation of powerless people. I've read elsewhere that he's a vocal supporter of the Tibetan cause.

I'm confused by these (seemingly) contradictory messages and wonder about their potential for confusing others or, for being misused to validate an agenda that dismisses some as being less valuable than others.

"Nonviolence is not a dogma; it is a process. Other struggles may be fueled by greed, hatred, fear, or ignorance, but a non-violent one cannot use such blind sources of energy, for they will destroy those involved and also the struggle itself. Nonviolent action, born of the awareness of suffering and nurtured by love, is the most effective way to confront adversity." Thich Nhat Hanh

It's much harder to appeal to people's compassion, easier to appeal to them through their bitterness and anger. Not that anger is always a bad thing.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Re tintypes, yes, they can be very expensive - husband was amazed to find a small bundle of them at a bargain price, stuffed at the bottom of a drawer filled with vintage photos, when we were in an antique store in Ohio.

Re Russell Brand: the remark you highlight gave me pause too.
I think he's voicing something many will relate to. In pointing out that the way the Apple story has always been presented doesn't rouse him because it has had such a good press in general, I think he brings into focus, again, how advertising's brainwash can blind us. Steve Jobs was always presented as something of a hero if I recall correctly. And Mac computers in general have always had the reputation of being the choice of "cool" people whereas PCs are for peasants and luddites (like me). ;-)

So, having been blinded by brainwash, when something connected to the product does actually impinge on him Russell feels anger. I think he was being painfully honest, but do believe he realises that in the eyes of many he has been lacking in thought for what has been going on in the background. This is how the vast majority of people are, I think. Until something actually affects THEM, they keep on their blinkers.

I'm not blameless by any means. Most of the components of my desktop and our laptop were made in China. Husband had his computer constructed by a local store, but I bet the components came from China.

I want to retain belief that Russell Brand is sincere, genuine - and very human - therefore likely to disappoint occasionally. He communicates well, fluently - and a lot (if recent examples are anything to go by). Most of it seems to come right off the top of his head without a lot of prior preparation and editing. That's rare among speakers and writers. It's part of what I see as the "innocence" of Aries, when linked to Gemini.

LB said...

Twilight ~ I'm not blameless either (at all), though I do have a visceral reaction to the mistreatment of Chinese workers and feel deeply conflicted about some of my past purchases. I can make phone calls, write letters, sign petitions and keep the same cell phone and TV for years without replacing them, but in our free-trade, global economy where do I find ethically produced electronics when the old ones eventually stop working?

It's slightly less challenging when it comes to other items, in that I can either do without or choose ethically produced, fair trade or used. Even finding ethically produced food is less challenging though still not that easy.

Juno said...

Derps' comments are right on target. I grew up in a big city, but have since lived in some very small U.S. towns up north -- population less than 1000 -- and they functioned more like company towns of old. One in particular stands out. Within a few weeks I was told who the "power families" were that owned almost everything, what people to "avoid," etc. The place was a dying lumber town where the young people were leaving in droves and the only new legal jobs were at the retirement homes or the few government jobs, and then there was the illegal economy of meth dealing and growing pot. The town over age 45 seemed normal, under 45 it was falling apart. The strange thing is that many of the old timers would take pride in "running out of town" any person who did not meet with their approval by suddenly making this person's job disappear, or withholding necessary services like daycare. I felt like I was living in that short story by Shirley Jackson, The Lottery, and the stonings would commence shortly. A grim time.

About Russell Brand, I don't like him. He speaks well, but he comes off as some sort of champagne socialist, or a new generation of Radical Chic that Tom Wolfe satirized back in the late 60's. Paxman usually comes off as an attack dog and here he was being very tolerant -- why is that? It makes me suspicious.

mike (again) said...

Just a few of many comments from Rob Ryan's blog:

"...Brand is still full of it and is no more a revolutionary than any first-semester college political science major discovering Marx for the first time. It’s disengagement masquerading as too-cool-for-school hipster “activism.”

...Brand does list a few things the government shouldn’t do: Destroy the planet, shouldn’t create massive economic disparity, shouldn’t ignore the needs of the people, capping it off with “the burden of proof is on the people with the power.” Brand is right: Government shouldn’t do those things, and they should be held accountable for their actions. But this isn’t revolutionary; this is basic high school civics. In fact, it’s the basis for the modern system. If you don’t like the guys in charge and what they’re doing, vote them out. Or, if you’re Russell Brand, just sit back, don’t vote and complain.

...There’s a big underlying hypocrisy in Brand’s argument: He has gotten very wealthy off of the capitalist, corporate system he’s decrying. The movie studios that finance and release his films are owned by some of the biggest corporate behemoths in the world: Time Warner, News Corp., Disney, Viacom, Comcast, Sony, etc. That same system allows him to charge whatever he wants for people to go see his live performances. For him to talk about socialism and equality while he’s one of the rich he’s speaking out against is gobsmackingly audacious and hypocritical.

...Brand can wait for his revolution all he wants, but until it arrives, this is the system we have to work with. So rather than pretend to be too cool to get involved, he needs to shut up and start doing real work and activism. He can start with a voter registration drive."

mike (again) said...

This is an interesting article, centered on Russell Brand, but applicable to many:

A Discourse on Brocialism by Laurie Penney

On Brand, iconoclasm, and a woman's place in the revolution: a dialogue with Richard Seymour on the question of how to reconcile the fact that people need stirring up with the fact that the people doing the stirring so often fall down when it comes to treating women and girls like human beings.

LB said...

mike ~ More than being about sexism (or, in the case of Brand's remarks about not being bothered by the plight of Chinese workers - classism/racism), I think this speaks to the issue of self-interest and objectification.

Philosopher Martin Buber theorized that individuals relate in one of two ways: I-It ("Ich-Es") or I-Thou ("Ich-Du"). Whereas I-Thou involves authentic, interactive dialogue, "In the Ich-Es (I-It) relationship, an individual treats other things, people, etc., as objects to be used and experienced. Essentially, this form of objectivity relates to the world in terms of the self – how an object can serve the individual’s interest."

Rather than being fixed,Buber said most of us go back and forth between these two distinct ways of relating. In my experience, some of us objectify more frequently than others and are more prone to developing blind spots out of habit.

LB (again) said...

Regarding my last comment, keep in mind I'm no expert on philosophy, so I'm sure I've oversimplified Buber's thoughts in a way that makes the most sense to *me*.

Twilight said...

Juno ~ I can well imagine the type of town you describe - makes the blood run cold just thinking about it!

I understand your dislike of Brand - I used to feel much the same. I'm revising my opinion, though - based on how he continues from here on.

I got the feeling that Paxman agreed with most of what Brand was saying, but had to put on a front for the show.
Towards the end of the interview Brand mentioned something about one of Paxman's relatives/ancestors who had been mistreated in some way (maybe he'd been on that TV show "Who Do You Think You Are?" delving into family history of well known peeps.) That seemed to get to Paxman quite a bit I thought.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks for the links.

As I said to Juno, I'm revising my former poor opinion of Russell Brand - he's on our side, he's a voice reaching those who otherwise would not bother to listen. That is very very valuable to the my opinion.

The hypocrisy jibe doesn't ring true for me. I do not see him as any kind of hypocrite.

The sexist rants from feminists annoy me a lot. The women who get involved with men like Brand know exactly what they are doing, and what they risk.

Don't get me started on feminism. I'm for equal rights and equal opportunities, always.
I'm not for this current whining and moaning from professional "feminists". I fell out with a long time friend of this blog some time ago over just such an that case it was about something Seth MacFarlane had said/done.

Don't get me started on this....

Back to Russell Brand. The guy was asked to edit an edition of The New Statesman. He did so and wrote a long piece outlining what he sees as injustices going on in 2013. He was invited to do an interview on British TV. He presented himself well, showed himself to be a quick thinker, good speaker, and I believe 100% sincere. Why does the chattering class of pundits and journalists have to investigate the guy's faults to such an extent that any good his remarks might have been capable of doing for the left, in both the UK and USA become dilute? Is it because he's a danger to them?

Why can we, on the left, not be satisfied that he has voiced for a massive audience, the very things we complain about ourselves day by day.

Shouldn't we be grateful for his voice? I am.

If he's a pain in the ass to women - women should by now be well aware of that. If some types of women want to be involved with him - it's up to them, and it's not up to those pain in the ass professional feminists to complain on their behalf.

Twilight said...

LB ~ I think we all (and all the journalists and pundits out there) may be over-thinking this.

Let's just be glad of a new voice reaching out to many who are still asleep to what's going on? Let's not try to denigrate, or reduce the volume of that voice, which after all, was telling the truth.

Twilight said...

Juno~~ Re Paxman - I've just seen this:

mike (again) said...

"Don't get me started on this...." can trust me that I will not get you going on this, by golly! LOL

As a very liberal male, I am very aware of disparity between the sexes in various forms. I don't think a guy can be a feminist, so I'm off the hook on that count. Too many of my female friends have conveyed molestation and rape scenarios for me to ignore the induced pain of such situations.

And, as I've indicated in your previous posts, when a man molests a girl, it's a crime...when a woman (usually teachers now-a-day) molests a boy, it's entertaining fodder regarding how fortunate the boy. Only very recently are women prosecuted for this and I'm sure it's vastly under-reported, but even so, there's still a smug "way to go, dude" directed at the boy. Something's amiss.

mike (again) said...

Yes, Brand is just hilarious:

"Brand, rolling a suggestive tongue round his overbite, whipped himself into a little rhetorical climax as he fantasised about penetrating his pet cat. He said that if the cat did not wish to arouse him sexually, it should desist from walking around his house ‘with its a***hole as the most prominent part of its body’ and its tail standing tall as ‘a furry f*** handle’.

The audience almost wept with laughter, undergraduates’ eyes blazing with adoration as they watched their hero — yes, even as he envisaged having anal sex with an animal. Where is the RSPCA when you need it?

Next, Brand went into a routine about the fast-food mascot Ronald McDonald raping young boys. He envisaged fictitious Ronald’s ‘hard, white clown c*** and bright red pubes’ as he ravaged some innocent.

Brand, by now ranting into his microphone so crazily that the sound was distorted, screamed that the McDonald’s hamburger chain’s mascot deliberately marketed products ‘at young people, obese schoolboys, so you can waddle after them and f*** ’em in your clown shoes, you painted nonce’.

Read more:

"...the joke directed at Megan Fox goes beyond the pale.

She has admitted she is a little bit cuckoo upstairs and I have trained in psychiatry. So Megan, if you do have a little dizzy spell love, I could probably drop you a little pill. You can go and have a lie down in my dressing room. You might get some crazy dreams about being visited by a scarecrow, a perfumed weirdo leaning over you. But let me tell you, that’s a common side-effect. Megan, take your medicine.”

Read more:

There are many more examples out there.

LB said...

Twilight ~ In response to your comment that we may be over-thinking this, maybe the issue is that we all need to think more *deeply* and for ourselves. And to *act* on those thoughts in meaningful, peaceful ways.

I'm not a feminist in the strictest sense of the word, being more concerned with how human beings treat one another - sexism is a symptom of a bigger issue. And I'm grateful for any voice who speaks out for the voiceless/invisible among us and who doesn't objectify those of us (ANY of us) who have been overlooked, abused and/or exploited through abstract objectification.

Russell Brand is intelligent and articulate, with some truthful, worthwhile observations to share, and he has every right to speak and more importantly, to *act* to try and make a difference.

But if the small truth he speaks only applies to some and fails to represent the greater Truth that serves us all, then his voice will remain part of the problem rather than the solution. At least for some of us.

Let him try and change the world for the better. I hope he does and would support that. I'll be curious as to what he actually *does* next. He's just not someone I'll look to as an example of how to live a mindful, socially conscious life. Not at this point.

We're all imperfect. To know and not care, not *do* is not Truth.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Yes, I know. But he's still telling the truth about the matters in his New Statesman Piece and the interviews.

The UK's Daily Mail is a conservative rag of the nastiest type, by the way - it's in their best interest to put forward the worst image of Brand that's possible.
and yes, I do know he makes it easy for them.

But he was still telling the truth, in his piece and the interviews - and people are talking about it, still. I wish he had a better reputation, I wish he told decent jokes and not the stuff he comes out with, bit it's stuff which attracts the types of people who need to hear his other stuff - the true stuff.

LB said...

mike ~ Thanks for those examples. Your last comment appeared while I was leaving mine.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Perhaps if Russell Brand's words had been left as stand-alone observations, separate from his on-stage persona, it would have led to more people beginning to think for themselves who hadn't done so, on the issues involved anyway.
I fear that now, with conservatives denigrating him - easily - due to his stage performances and other events in his personal life, his words are spoiled for many. Not for me.

I do not see the truths he spoke of as only relating to some of us.
I'm also not sure that he has ever implied that he's going to try to change the world for the better. He has told it like it is - that's all. He has said there will (at some point) be revolution (of some kind).

Chris Hedges said the same thing last week in his own article. Hedges obviously has a "cleaner" back story, and has walked the walk - yes, I know this. Both men's words were similar though. Why should Brand's words be of less value? To me they are not. Because they will reach into corners where Hedges' words would never ever reach. This is the value I continue to see in Brand.

mike (again) said...

We discussed Chris Hedges previously and I have reservations regarding his walking the talk. It's so easy to create a dissertation on what's wrong with the USA, world, or whatever. It's so much more difficult to apply those words to an action plan. A plan where all alternatives are explored an weighed...we don't want to solve one major fiasco, then create another.

A major difference between Hedges and Brand is CREDENTIALS. Hedges is scholarly, religious, and has actually worked and viewed these problems from various angles. I respect his editorials.

Hedges, like Brand, proffers the problems ONLY and not the way to get out of harms way. I'm much more comfortable with Hedges' statements, as they are not simply sweeping generalizations, but are meticulously ascribed theses. Brand reminds me of a used car salesperson...lots of words, fast talking, tawdry at times, hard to determine exactly what the details are. NEITHER deals with solutions.

At my last company, meetings were a right-of-passage toward the conclusion of every day. Each meeting typically procrastinated decision-making to another, future meeting. The company finally cracked-down with an edict to MAKE decision possible with the information available to that point. Afterward, decisions were made...probably 90% good...things moved forward.

I find that is no different in the political arena. A politician has two angles to play while campaigning. First is to identify the problems (with the other candidate!). Second is to present solutions for those problems. Romney was blasted for his lack of solutions to the problems he proposed to "fix".

I find both Hedges and Brand use the I-am-a-victim approach. We need intellectuals, spokespersons, leaders, whomever, to identify a valid path forward. As we've all stated in the past, perhaps the best way forward is to be the change we aspire least the burden of guilt isn't on my shoulder as I transcend from victim to my own savior.

Twilight said...

mike ~ On this point of lack of suggesting a solution, I will not argue, except to say that I don't think time for a solution is yet ripe.

Things aren't yet severe enough for a large enough mass of people in the USA/UK. It's still a time for wakening the sleepers, as circumstances in general continue to deteriorate very gradually for most of the 99%.

There may not be any doable solution available as yet, other than raising awareness, continuing what OWS began.

Your (and LB's) suggestion, that we be the change we aspire to is a noble one, and one I and most others admire.

I don't see Brand or Hedges as a "I-am-a-victim" type though, mike. I don't feel like a victim myself either. Victim is a word I dislike. If I ever get to feeling like any kind of victim - I either fight back, or leave.

anyjazz said...

A family escapes the Nazi oppression. Set to music. It’s hard to believe that anyone would miss the point.

Celebrities know that free press coverage is priceless. Russell Brand seems to be doing what has usually made notoriety (and money) for him before: Pick a subject, be outrageous. He probably believes in his cause. But even if he doesn’t, he has started a discussion.

When Warmalt (think Chinese accent) came to our town, we had five grocery stores, three or four tire shops, three bakeries, a handful of boutique dress shops and shoe stores, four pharmacies and a thriving indoor mall. Now there are two grocery stores, one tire shop, no bakeries, no boutiques and the mall is a desert. The only businesses that seem unaffected by the invading giant are the pharmacies, the drug stores. There were four now there are six, and big ones too. But that’s another story isn’t it?

The process that produces the tintype photograph is quite complicated and messy. It’s a wonder they survive at all. But they do and “antique” dealers place them at premium prices. Most have darkened so badly over the decades, (in some cases, a century) that one cannot always tell what the original subject was without the assistance of our modern Photoshop digital techniques. But they bring the past a little closer at least to remind us there was a simpler time when folks were less divisive about nearly everything. To quote the great Leon Russell, “…tryin’ to stay alive, and keep my sideburns too.”

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ "S of M": The very serious background story was smothered in the icing sugar of twee. :-/

Russell Brand: He has indeed.

Warmalt: I didn't know the town in those days, it sounds to have been a much better place then.
You didn't count the numerous churches.

Great job on restoring that lovely tintype, anyjazz!

mike (again) said...

anyjazz, your comment: "But they bring the past a little closer at least to remind us there was a simpler time when folks were less divisive about nearly everything."

This from from Wiki:
"The tintype process became very popular in United States, particularly during the Civil War."

LOL I'm not sure there have ever been less divisive times! Maybe any time in the past seems so, when compared to any extant point in time that one chooses as a vantage point.

Twilight, I agree that our current pickle probably isn't solvable quite yet...not ripe enough or festered enough! The astrology of our decade is one of fermenting in escalating the breaking with their heads!

I hope that your faith in Russell Brand is rewarded.

mike (again) said...

Walmart has been publicly traded since 1972. Much like "BC" and "AD", we can say "PW" (pre-Walmart) and "AW" (after-Walmart)! LOL

Twilight said...

mike ~ Re less divisive times - maybe aj means BT (Before Twilight). ;-)

Yes, we're rotting down nicely, festering away, bubbling up occasionally.

I've been preparing my knitting needles for years, ready to do my Madame Defarge bit beneath the old guilly. :-)

mike (again) said...

Raymond Merriman:

"This is the era of the Cardinal Climax (2008-2015). It’s going to end with a bang as the most potent geocosmic signature of our lifetime unfolds: Uranus in waxing square to Pluto, 2012-2015. We are in the middle of it right now, November 2013. We are living in a time of historic social, political, and economic transformation. If you are a spiritual-minded person, then you might wish to contemplate: Why now and why us? There is a reason why you are here now. And it is not to let the world be destroyed. We are responsible and we are accountable. And we need to reestablish trust in one another, which can be accomplished by our choice of leaders who earn our trust by their intentions, words, and correct actions on behalf of the greater whole.",-2013/

Twilight said...

mike ~ Interesting link! Thank you.

"our choice of leaders" though - we don't have much choice as I see it.
If only.....