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Bronze Medal: why can't I change my skin?

Set off by Vogue & Gigi Hadid's "scandal" over a bronzed up photo shoot, I'm amazed by what we can or cannot do. I can go to a tanning salon or the Bahamas to get as dark as can be, put on Smokey Eye and that's presumably fine. I can go into plastic surgery and give myself tits, tighter abs, a smooth face, almond eyes with a pert nose, and of course do my hair style in whatever manner or color (presumably - maybe some are off limits). If I transition to a woman, people will be supporting my right to use other bathrooms and not be discriminated against, and gender and sexual preference is a matter of what I "identify" with. If I dress up as an outrageous transvestite woman as Rudy Giuliani did, I'd just be a good sport, showing solidarity with LGBTQ. The Village People could costume up as whatever as part of the fun. De Niro could tubby up superfat to play Jake La Motta, and Daniel Day-Lewis could get in line with the intricacies and nuances of Cerebral Palsy to play Christy Brown, while dressing drag was the key plot device in Academy winners Some Like It Hot and Mrs. Doubtfire.

But as a high school girl discovered, it's not okay to put on a Chinese dress (unless willing to take 1000's of Twitter condemnations). As kids are discovering, it's not okay to be Pocahantas on Halloween. As Gigi Hadid found out, fake tans are only allowed so far before "appropriation" kicks in. Presumably Adam & the Ants could never regroup and keep the  Indian  Native American regalia. Rachel Dolezal discovered that "identifying as black" wasn't enough, even though she followed that up with action & involvement.

"Irony my Shirt": 18 months on

It's 18 months past the stolen election, and we can itemize different ways it was stolen/cheated/rigged, even if all the testimony and indictments haven't come through yet. There's enough to piece together. Not just the politics, but the whole background of criminality and illegal hidden influence. And of course the successful effort to start tearing apart our government (put in place those determined to destroy what they're in charge of - hardly subtle).

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18 months on: "irony my shirt" edition redact

It's 18 months past the stolen election, and we can itemize different ways it was stolen/cheated/rigged, even if all the testimony and indictments haven't come through yet. There's enough to piece together. Not just the politics, but the whole background of criminality and illegal hidden influence. And of course the successful effort to start tearing apart our government (put in place those determined to destroy what they're in charge of - hardly subtle).

Celebrating Tangier (Tanja)

There's also The Spider's House in Fez and Paul Bowles' amazing Collected Stories 1939-1976, but nice to have all the translations of local Tangiers writers.

And then there's music from Jajouka....

Personal Best: Roger Bannister laps in at 88

Back in a still rough post-war era reviving personal dreams - measurable, daunting, somehow achievable.

It's not that other sports measures aren't great, or that the 4-minute mile wasn't in a way much more arbitrary than the ascent of Everest, but still, a definite challenge in an age of breaking the sound barrier and other advances.

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The Accidental Revolution

A funny thing has happened to the Revolution on steroids that was supposed to take us by storm. The complaints that would define us turned out to be lukewarm after all (seems whites in flyover country were less than worried about jobs, and the need for free education hasn't been dominating the front pages (yet?), while others like $12/$15 minimum wage are less than likely to get a national listening under current government).

But several issues have gained traction - some old, some new, some red, some blue... #MeToo may be receiving some deflection, but it appears it's real beyond pink pussyhats and the casting couches of Hollywood. Even Fox had a heretic on its CPAC review, and tried quickly to veer off into "poor accused men", before going viral.

#RussiaGate is now in full scandal mode with domestic and foreign indictments, full charges against Manafort, Gates in full confessional flip mode, and the Nunes Memo now rebutted and exploded all over GOP faces.

#BlackLivesMatter is a thing - the smear job against black athletes has finally failed, and worries about blacks' security and well-being have gained prominence over traditional canards about the troops and the needs of sport fans, while Michael Steele just blew the racist club out of the CPAC water.

Feeding the Dinosaurs: The Death of Movement 2.0

I'm going to do what I largely dislike doing - linking to a New Republic article instead of writing me own blog piece - because it needs to be discussed.

10 years ago we'd won the Presidential election, and had introduced a new modern style of grassroots participation that had started with Howard Dean's shortlived efforts in 2004.

Battle of the Sexes: On Bonsai Trees & Suburban Myths

A quote recently about men's role in the changing state of affairs (pardon the pun) struck me as rather bitchy and dismissive: "Oh, how fragile is the ego of a man. We must never let him feel like a bonsai in a grove of California redwoods..." The same article goes on to note men's time spent with children nearing women's (ignoring any Roy Moore jokes there). So why the insult and calumny? It's not like men aren't evolving to meet the changing societal situation, whatever the headlines. It's also not like men aren't on the brutal receiving end of many of these changes.

Battle of the Sexes: War's not the absence of Peace

Once upon a time in a land far away, we had big people and smaller people, and the bigger people largely took care of the smaller people and the smaller people largely did what the bigger people wanted, and this comic-book characterization carried on for a few millennia. Beneath the cartoonist's rendition, there was a lot of smudgy tawdry goings-on, but in a regular newspaper, you can only get so much detail.

Eventually people discovered tools, which went from simple stuff like big sticks used as clubs on to more subtle stuff like x-ray spectrometry and online marketing, which confused the hell out of early caveman/woman, but is slowly becoming comprehensible to their descendants.

Victory for 3rd Way Democrats?

Well, it's Monday morning, figuratively speaking, and victory has many fathers & mothers while losing's an orphan, as JFK noted. So putting a stake in the ground...

Has the centrist Democrat revived over the last year? Let's see how this went - Wilmont Collins won as a black Liberian immigrant in Helena - and a member of Child Protection Services and the Naval Reserves - focused on support for the homeless and increased funding for police and fire departments. Can we split that baby any nicer?

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Superpowers
Defies gravity Can spit really far Almost touch my toes Can cut a fly's legs off with a beer cap from 20 paces Know how to say useless stuff and prattle on in a dozen languages Don't know when to shut up
Favorite Quotes
To be for or against the Plague, it's much the same thing. Fiddledee, how a body shure do get around - just 2 weeks ago I was in Mississippi and now I'm all the way to Tennessee... Eat or Be Eaten Better to be pissed off than pissed on.
Biography
Born in swaddling clothes (designer, of course) at the confluence of big waters, my first recorded words were "Dad, can I have the keys to the car?" Raised a Southern Pedestrian, my musical talents were recognized at an early age, leading to my being exiled to the shed out back with a stack of books that became my eddykayshun - advanced readin', writin' & ritmytick, creating a major quandary of "what will I do, oh what will I do?" (Gunslinger) As an old black man advised in song, "You Gotta Move", so move I did, traveling the byways sideways even a lot of driveways, picking up sticks and psychological tics, even movin' to Beverlee through a quaint misunderstanding of the seriousness of TV series, until finally I blew up so big the carry nation incarnation tarnation couldn't hold me no more, so I fixed my sights on yonder sitar, and like Queequeg and Paul Bowles and one of those abducted kids by the Pied Piper of Hamelin, I ventured forth to the larger world, pickin' and grinnin', doin' me some reckonin' and naughts from naughts, occasionally rightin', building me some buildings and wiring and just trying to understand the babble comin' out of people's mouths and heads, I finally ended up in what Rummy quaintly calls "New Europe", which ain't so new from what I sees, but that pit in my stomach from lack-of-moving-sickness finally disappeared, and instead I sit behind a whopping big desk stacked with missives from all the chiefs with big whampum around the world telling me "what's going on". Which seems like a load of boolshit to me, but I guess that's what keeps me busy and entertained now, separatin' the weeds from the chapstick. So my name is Perry Keys, or Peracles to you, and since my mammy always said, "say please and thank you", I added the please, but I'm holdin' back on that thankee until I feel you've earned it. But do welcome, and I hope we's a gonna have a real good time. It all starts with, "I wuz born a poor young white chile livin' in the South..." and we cycle through again, like Nietzsche and his infernal regurgence. So enjoy, and let's spin a spell...

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