Friday, August 12, 2016

Gamer's Thumb

We scoured the map and found one mountain we hadn't climbed, an out and back, not a circuit, and circuits first always, the most popular mountain other than Cadillac (which can be driven to top) because Bar Harbor vacation residents can hike to top from town, Champlain Mountain. Hubris: Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday past hikes with barely a break on the difficult ascents beyond the occasional and necessary water gave each of us a sense of rediscovered strength and endurance: Champlain, the west ascent, brought us both close to vomiting. Straight fucking up, straight fucking down, lots requiring hoisting and dropping our fat asses over boulders, using spruce roots as hand holds. The day off we took to go to Stonington Wednesday, thinking a day off would un-knot quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves? Nope. Fine metaphors abound. Spectacular hike.

One last hike today, a back route to a mountain we've already climbed via a path along a lake we haven't yet. Lake hikes here are obstacle courses, no stroll on flat pine-needled, shade-covered walkways while ducks quack for bread crusts. We're talking about doing Sugarloaf's five mile tough circuit Sunday to compare us on it now, post-Acadia, versus the last hike there before vacation. Hubris: we've learned nothing, though my ass is slightly less fat now.

  • How Clinton enables the GOP. Her ability to maintain the -.06% less-shitty ratio against Trump - be honest - awes: We’re now seeing the fruition of that campaign, as Clinton rolls out one endorsement after anotherJohn Negroponte, enabler of death squads in Central America; Michael Hayden, the man who, according to Jane Mayer, made “living on the edge” the motto of US foreign policy after 9/11; and, if Clinton can land him, the biggest prize of them all: Henry Kissinger, of whom Kissinger biographer Greg Grandin recently wrote: “He stands not as a bulwark against Donald Trump’s feared recklessness and immorality but as his progenitor.” All of these men are among the most bloodthirsty elements in the right-wing firmament. But now they’ve been re-branded as “center-right foreign policy voices.” Also ▼
  • I'm tempted to think Hillary Clinton's sole consideration in everyfuckingthing is that she wants to be president, fuck everyfucking thing else: There is plenty more to say about how Clinton and her surrogates have taken this election as their opportunity to attack leftist activists, positions, and priorities, but her campaign's relationship with down-ballot candidates is the clearest indication of how she will wield power. Given the opportunity to win back the House and Senate, overcome Republican obstruction, and advance an agenda - not just a leftist or progressive agenda, but an agenda of any kind - Clinton has chosen instead of consolidate her power and maintain the political status quo. She is not only leaving down-ballot candidates to fend for themselves, but is actually placing them in a weaker position by refusing to nationalize this election and turn every Congressional race into a referendum on Trump. In the past I would highlight the hands of the oligarchs at work here: you must have a Yankees to play the Red Sox in a legendary rivalry to keep the league profitably, unassailably afloat. It's still true, and I need remind myself that beyond my (not even fun anymore) contempt for Hillary, the Hillarium, and motherfucking Hillaryites, Triskelions demand the status quo and no one - since it's to her direct benefit in her myopic determination to be POTUS, dammit - can ensure it more cynically than Hillary Clinton.
  • Limits on drone warfare? Reminder: Obama's a Triskelion fuck too.

  • It fascinates me, and unfortunately I may end up writing about it more here, but one side-effect of work seems to be that I pay less attention to the clusterfuck than I do on vacation. One obvious reason is I can't/don't sit around in the evenings at home or in the morning over coffee like I can on vacation, but there's much more to it than that. I think. I'll speculate, maybe here, maybe not.
  • When candidate's surrogates call for assassinations.
  • UPDATE! Yes, ▲ as Landru points out in comments is from 2010, does anyone doubt the sentiment has changed? That they would if they could? But yes, I should have acknowledged the Hillarium Official's real call for extrajudicial murder was not recent, as in, contemporaneously counter to Trump's not-call for Hillary's execution.
  • Uneasy calm.
  • Jim on POTUS 16, a series.
  • The anatomy of inequality.
  • The darkness around us is deep.
  • The association of small bombs.
  • Any of you read Dodge Rose?
  • I downloaded Hemon's latest, and meh so far (not given it enough of a chance yet but will), but I'm not spending any more money on kindle version of a novel.
  • In the Ls title-wise on the playlist. Lordy, I love Neko Case's voice:


Amit Majmudar

Hell-raiser, razor-feathered
risers, windhover over

thousand-mile scythe,

proxy executioner's
proxy ax
pinged by a proxy server,

winged victory,
pilot cipher
unburdened by aught

but fuel and bombs,
fool of God, savage
idiot savant

sucking your benumbed
gamer's thumb


  1. That Beckel clip is from 2010.

    1. Yeah, I know, should have acknowledged it in post, fixed there now.

    2. Not really, but it's your blog. Whatevs.

  2. I read Dodge Rose as soon as I could after reading this article:
    I certainly felt "a kind of Sebaldian melancholic eeriness." More hypnotic/captivating than, say, Murnane (It's not uniqely Australian, but familiarity always helps). Very few writers could have written Dodge Rose, such an amazing debut.