Doctor Cleveland's picture

    What Is John Kasich Thinking?

    Where the heck have I been? Short answer: doing Shakespeare stuff. (Much more about that soon.) But now I'm back in Cleveland, where the Republican National Convention is on its way, John Kasich is governor, and no one understands exactly how these two things relate to each other. So let me ask an important question this election season: What on Earth is John Kasich thinking?

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    Ramona's picture

    The Mortgage Fraudsters And Their Get Out Of Jail Free Card

    I don't have to tell you that when it comes to Big Money I know nothing. Beyond coming deliciously close to balancing my checkbook once in a while and/or putting a few pennies away in a sock or a next-to-no-interest savings account, finances are a complete mystery to me. I know people who do know something about Big Money but when they talk about it, it's in a foreign language. Pretty sure. When they're talking about billions and trillions they might as well be talking about the enormity of the galaxies. No comprendo, buddy. Don't even waste your time.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Winter: Journey's End

    Infinite Jest is back on the shelf, a little more than two months after I had decided to re-introduce myself to the complex opus.  I think I remarked in my first post how impressive it was that in the fledgling days of the internet and the height of MTV that David Foster Wallace decided that he could succeed by releasing an entertainment both long and difficult and requiring work from the reader.

    But Wallace always found pleasure in work and must have bet that others would, too.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Progressivism And Its Discontents

    “The time comes when each of us has to give up as illusions the expectations which, in his youth, he pinned upon his fellow-men, and when he may learn how much difficulty and pain has been added to his life by their ill-will.”
    ― Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents

     

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Topics: Catching Up On Goldberry

    This one goes out to you, whomever you may be...

    The significant numbers of city mayors or EMs closing schools, then creating private charters with TFA instant teachers? 

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Winter: The Monsters We Carry

    I have just reached a scene in Infinite Jest where 17-year-old Hal Incandenza reflects, in conversation with his deformed brother Mario, about the monsters he once feared and what he fears now:

    'Boo, I think I no longer believe in monsters as faces in the floor or feral infants or vampires or whatever. I think at seventeen now I believe the only real monsters might be the type of liar where there's simply no well to tell. The ones who give nothing away.'

    'But then how do you know they're monsters then, then?'

    Ramona's picture

    It's my Party and I'll Care if I want To

    No matter who wins the nomination and ultimately the presidency this year, the Democratic Party is in trouble. For almost two decades, after the economic successes of the Clinton administration went sour, after things got rough again for the 99 percent, my party didn't try hard enough to repair the damage. They made enemies on the left and made bullies on the right. And now, when it seems they're finally waking up, both the left and the right are going after them, loaded for bear.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Winter: The Causes and Effects of Terrorism

    Infinite Jest is a terrorism novel. This is, in a lot of ways, no surprise.  David Foster Wallace counted Thomas Pynchon and Don Delillo as influences and both of them were interested in the topic of terrorism.  Also, it's an interesting topic for fiction and though we tend to talk about it in terms of a post-9/11 vocabulary, terrorism has always been a way that a few people have tried to influence masses and it hasn't changed all that much.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Social Media, Self Creation, Glamour Shots, and Justin Bieber

    Social media has given us the gift/curse of being able to express our fractal selves in a variety of ways. In society we're (x); at home we're (y), but on social media we can be whoever we want to be. The person in our profiles can be a refined caricature of ourselves or a new creation that reflects our deepest desires. Our social media personas, in many respects, have become as real as our flesh and bones.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Political Advice from the Past

    I'm at a rare books library this week, with politics happily tuned down to a lower volume. That's true even though the library is around the corner from the Capitol Building, and almost across the street from the Supreme Court. So I was in town for Mitch McConnell's continued resistance to the eminent Merrick Garland, but I am busy doing other things.

    Ramona's picture

    Mitch McConnell Tells a Big Fat Lie. Or Two.

    Today, a little more than a month after Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly while hunting at a Texas ranch, President Obama announced his choice for a replacement.  He has chosen Merrick Garland, a D.C Circuit judge well known by most Beltway pols, almost unanimously endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats during previous nominations, a man whose views range from moderate to conservative, appealing to all but the most liberal among us.

    This choice by Obama was, by all accounts, deliberate.  Republicans are on record singing Garland's praises. They go way back, these guys. Good man!  If anyone could get through the gawdawful GOP gantlet this most brilliant choice for SCOTUS would be it.
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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Meta: How To Fight at Dagblog

    So, my plan has been to only blog about Infinite Jest until I'm done with my second read of the book.  That also gives me a nice chance to play in the comments on the other posts and not be one of the loudest voices in the room re: The Primary.

    That said, we've seen rising tensions re: The Primary.

    Now, I've played my fair share of War Games online...

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Dear Republicans: You Did This. You Fix It.

    Dear Republicans: I know that many of you are upset by Donald Trump's rise. I know that many of you are horrified. But let's be frank. This is your party. You did this. I won't walk through the details. But the thing speaks for itself: the Republican Party planted the seeds for this, cultivated those seeds through campaign season after campaign season, and now they have borne strange fruit.

    You did this. You have to fix it.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    An Open Letter To Angry Trump Supporters

    Dear Angry Trump Supporter: I get it. For the better part of forty years I've felt an anxiety similar to what you're experiencing now. Our anger isn't that different; it's connected to our shared inability to alter our day-to-day realities in any significant way. We share an uncomfortable truth: we're stuck reacting to the ebbs and flows of society because we're powerless to control them. You've seen sections of this country abandoned by the powers that be. Some of you have been suffering economic hardships in silence for decades.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Winter: President John Gentle and the Rise of Donald Trump

    As recapped in the excellent biography by D.T. Max David Foster Wallace loved television and could binge-watch with the best of them in the years before streaming Netflix. Netflix is, by the way, something that Wallace seems to have seen coming. In Infinite Jest, Netflix is an entertainment company called Interlace that sells both streaming videos and entertainment cartridges. Interlace basically destroys the advertising industry and the big television networks, by offering people the entertainment they want, when they want it.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Republican Race is Over

    As I read article after article about brokered conventions and #NeverTrump campaigns and "paths" to the nomination, I'm struck by the sad futility of it all.

    It may still be numerically possible for Trump to lose the nomination, but practically speaking, les jeux sont faits.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Where were you, Senator?

    Any time you leave a bad idea or a dangerous idea alone, any time you ignore what could become an evil force, you wind up regretting it.

    -- Lindsey Graham

    Thank you for these wise words, Senator. I couldn't agree with you more. But pardon me for asking, where the hell have you been?

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    Ramona's picture

    When the cameras leave Flint, Michigan Will Still Be Michigan

    On January 1, 2011, Rick Snyder, Michigan's new governor was sworn in.  Almost immediately after he solemnly swore to uphold the duties of his office, he made it clear that Michigan was in for a drubbing.  He was going to Make Michigan Great Again. The message was clear: "I'm the boss and you're not. I have friends in high places and you don't. Thanks for the votes, now get outta here."

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Trump vs Hamilton

    A brash loudmouth from New York City has been taking America by storm lately, to the consternation of the traditional political elite. I'm talking, of course, about Alexander Hamilton, and about Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda's monstrous, Grammy-winning Broadway hit.

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