Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sensible Bourgeois Wild-Cats Working with Furred Impudence of Those Who Don't Pretend to Be Other than Whores

  • Charlie Parker was born 93 years ago today. Playlist graciously provided by Hamster.
  • The payload in Wednesday's launch is thought to be "a $1-billion high-powered spy satellite capable of snapping pictures detailed enough to distinguish the make and model of an automobile hundreds of miles below," the LA Times reported.
  • US remaindered clusterbombs sold Saudis.
  • Interesting coincidence, just days before bombing Syria, the announcement of that arms deal.
  • If this is true: One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity "just muscular enough not to get mocked" but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia, it would tend to suggest a friend's belief that Obama isn't evil, he's a wussy playground bully, though of course it's not an either/or.
  • This would support that contention, though I think we all can agree Obama just follows orders.
  • Has got the NSA off the front page, the bomb Syria debate, yes?
  • UPDATE! Scratch the above, cause BOOM! and by BOOM! I mean it's back on the front page.
  • David Cameron's go-to-war checklist.
  • It's not a bug, it's a feature.
  • Me: Reads this obamadoration, sputters furiously, incoherently, points, See? See?
  • UPDATE! Indeed, if we are -- as the president asks us to be -- honest with ourselves, we will see that we have elected a president who claims to oppose racial profiling one minute, and then flirts with inaugurating the country's greatest racial profiler the next. If we are honest with ourselves we will see that we have a president who can condemn the riots as "self-defeating," but can't see his way clear to enforce the fair housing law that came out of them. If we are honest with ourselves we will see a president who believes in particular black morality, but eschews particular black policy.
  • UPDATE! How Obama demobilized the anti-war movement?
  • Trump University. As opposed to fraudulent, legal, deceptive conduct.
  • Fired by Starbucks for eating a sandwich out of the garbage.


Thom Gunn

Cats met us at
the landing-place
reclining in the sun
to check us in
with a momentary glance,
of a grassy island.
(Attila's Throne,
the Devil's Bridge,
and "the best Byzantine
church in the world",
long saints admonitory
on kiln-like inner walls.)
And lunch in a shady court
where cats now
systematically worked
the restaurant, table
by table, gazing into eyes
pleading "I'm hungry
and I'm cute", reaching
front paws up to knees
and always getting
before zeroing in
on the next table, same
routine, same result.

Sensible bourgeois
wild-cats working
with the furred impudence
of those who don't pretend
to be other than whores,
they give you not
the semblance of love
but simply
a look at their beauty
in return for food.
Models, not escorts.
They lack, too,
the prostitute's self-pity,
being beyond shame.
And we lack
what they have.        


  1. gunn's "cat island" is torcello, near venice

    pictures at

  2. Sputter all you want, it was a good speech.

    1. We get nice speeches. Banksters get big bucks and get out of jail free cards.

  3. Not getting the problem with the Starbucks thing. If your manager chooses to go to HR about something like that, you've got a problem with your manager, and the problem may be you. It may not. But it may, and there's absolutely no evidence one way or the other there. Do all your 20-year-old employees think you're a right guy?

    1. You mean besides the getting fired for eating trash part?

      It also reminded me of working at Crown - to redeem unsold mass markets we'd tear off the cover to return to publisher then throw the book into the dumpster. I told my employees to help themselves, and my district managers (including both Johnsons, the one with the tight pants and her husband who had a crush on you) were all OK with that until I transferred out to Annapolis when we lived in Deale. The DM (I can't remember her name, she was visiting the store and heard me tell my employees to help themselves and she flipped out and called it theft. She hated me only slightly less than I hated her and I soon left, so there may be that unexplored option in the manager's firing the guy for eating trash.

  4. Do you want your food server reaching into the trash and pulling stuff out to eat? I understand that, characterized as "fired for eating trash," it sounds pretty awful. I'm utterly unconvinced that there's not more going on, and "fired employee insists" is probably not a story you'd buy so easily as the real tilt in real life, either. I understand you're angling for corporatey corporations doing corporatey things. This one's pretty effing weak. Which doesn't mean it's untrue. But it's not passing my smell test, and I strongly suspect that the fired employee has other issues. I note that you didn't answer the question (although you acknowledged the possibility of other issues), which I'll take as meaning the answer was self-evident.

    I think I got rid of all the strips you gave me. Not that I didn't read them.

  5. btw: Happy belated b'day! Just a couple weeks after my own.

  6. there are a couple of important differences between stripped books and stale sandwiches

    1)books are entertainment (broadly speaking), sandwiches are the staff of life - a reason to be merciful to the sandwich thief

    2)the party potentially deprived of property is at a further remove in the stripped book case - i.e. the publisher, off premises, versus the food purveyer, who is also the employer - so if a misappropriation occurs, in the latter case the harm is done to the entity who is in a position to do something about it - that is, fire the sticky-fingered miscreant - a reason for strict enforcement of procedures designed to protect property

    all in all, i think the manager did what she had to do, and it was the hungry guy who caused the trouble by getting caught -

    in a former time, those who stole bread were hung by the neck until dead - now they are only deprived of their ability to work at a particular place for more bread - progress, right?

  7. I personally believe that the publisher suffers the greater financial harm than the Starbucks (which plans for spoilage/waste). And I'm not suggesting that the crime of stealing food from the trash is by any means heinous, and yeah, I get the connection that Starbucks uses hours as a weapon with some employees. I suspect that those are employees who've given their managers reason (justifiable or not, and most likely both) to dislike them.

    What I'm not seeing in the story BDR linked to is anything that makes me affirmatively suspect that the employee was really wronged. It's a one-sided effort that uses a standard and sensible practice (of course they can't comment on the employee's record or termination) to imply some wrongdoing on Starbucks' part. That's crap, and it's shitty and slanted journalism.

  8. .."those who stole bread were hung by the neck until dead " .. from the waste bin ..?

  9. anne - the issue, from the point of view of the employer, is how the bread gets into the waste bin

    in a situation like this, the sandwiches are pre-made, and then discarded after waiting too long to be sold

    from the point of view of cost of raw materials, ideally one wants to always sell EVERY pre-made sandwich

    however, this would involve a certain number of customers who would have wanted to buy a pre-made sandwich being turned away - "sorry, all gone"

    i've never worked at a starbucks store, seldom patronized one, but i imagine the sandwiches are made during non-peak periods, and during peak periods the sandwich makers are busy with other tasks - hence the necessity of pre-making the sandwiches

    to avoid losing the opportunity to sell a pre-made sandwich, one makes "enough" - an estimate which includes a margin of error, and thus the discarded sandwiches

    from the news account, it is clear there are two categories of sandwich - "available for sale" and "trash"

    what happens if there are three categories - "available for sale", "no longer on sale, but available for free distribution to employees", and "trash"?

    then there is an incentive for those in charge of deciding how many sandwiches are made to make too many - because those unsold are transferred to themselves or their friends

    this is bad for the bottom line - and since income must more than cover expenses, this threatens the very existence of the business

    hence the necessity for a rule against stealing sandwiches that are going to be thrown out

    and the necessity for the store manager to fire the guy who was detected doing so

    it's nothing personal - it's just business

    in a better world - but as the optimist said, "this is ALREADY the best of all possible worlds", and as the pessimist replied, "i'm afraid you may be right"

  10. mistah , now i see where your mind was with that line .., thank you