Supplemental: Three stages of human evolution!

MONDAY, AUGUST 25, 2014

Also, all this week, new voices in the press: In this morning’s New York Times, Kramer and Higgins present a portrait of ourselves at a slightly different time, in a slightly different culture.

Their profile comes from Russkie-loving eastern Ukraine. Yesterday, locals staged a little parade with captured Ukrainian scum.

In eastern Ukraine, it's just like cable. An attractive blonde woman shall lead them!
KRAMER AND HIGGINS (8/25/14): Leading the procession was an attractive young blond woman carrying an assault rifle, followed by several dozen captured Ukrainian soldiers, filthy, bruised and unkempt, their heads shaved, wearing fetid camouflage uniforms and looking down at their feet.

Onlookers shouted that the men should be shot, and pelted the prisoners with empty beer bottles, eggs and tomatoes as they stumbled down Artyomovsk Street,
Donetsk’s main thoroughfare. A loudspeaker played Tchaikovsky’s “Slavonic March,” a familiar Russian patriotic piece. Behind the prisoners were two tanker trucks spraying soapy water, demonstratively cleaning the pavement where the Ukrainian soldiers had passed.

People in the crowd shouted “fascists!” and “perverts!” and separatist fighters held back a man who tried to punch a prisoner.

The Geneva Conventions’ rules for treating prisoners of war prohibit parading them in public, but the treatment of the wounded, disheveled prisoners seemed to offend few of those watching, who in any case had turned out for the promise of seeing a ghoulish spectacle. “Shoot them!” one woman yelled.

“They are attacking our city,” said Tonya Koralova, 46, a nurse who watched the men pass. “They are fascists. I am in favor of this parade.”

[...]

In Donetsk, the Independence Day parade became a macabre antithesis of a celebration of martial glory, as onlookers peered into the demolished, incinerated hulks of defeated Ukrainian tanks that the separatists had hauled onto Lenin Square, curious about their charred interiors where Ukrainian Army crews had met their deaths.
How wonderful that they met their deaths! And of course, you always want to scrub the streets after the scum have passed!

It can be lovely in Donetsk at this time of year. Not that far away, of course, another group from an earlier century has been posing with severed heads, before the severed heads get hoisted up on those antique stakes.

According to Kramer and Higgins, the macabre parade in Donetsk only attracted several hundred onlookers; that was the profile’s good news. Still, it serves as a reminder of where we humans come from—from the land where We have a very hard time seeing the merit in Them.

We humans aren’t built to see the merit, or the humanity, in The Others. Looking around our emerging news orgs, we think we see some people who are struggling with this age-old challenge. Even over here!

We’re living in a time of tribal polarization right here in this country. We aren’t parading folk through the streets, and we aren’t yet putting heads on stakes. Nor are we often displaying the values which made Mandela and Dr. King celebrated world figures, the moral giants of the modern age, the ones who will be remembered.

In part, we’re living in a time of polarization because various corporate groups are finding their profits there. For our money, Rush and Fox News went there first. In recent years, certain corporate pseudo-progressive orgs have been rushing to make their own money by teaching Us the rubes how we can better loathe Them.

As this process unfolds, some new groups are being welcomed into the media mix. In some cases, this is plainly a good idea. Which doesn’t mean that the new practitioners will always do good work.

Tomorrow morning, we’ll start with the young. It might seem like a good idea to let the young be heard.

Is it true? Should youth be served? Tomorrow, we’ll look at their work. For today, that piece in the Times is ringing a whole lot of bells.

Tomorrow: Who said it? “Never trust anyone under thirty.”

51 comments:

  1. New kids in the communist bloc? I was so looking forward to those Mansions before labor Day, Bob!

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    1. To quote Hedley Lamarr: Bob's "mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."

      You can't expect him to act on all his brilliant ideas at once, can you?

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  2. Interesting. Bob seems to know how a double byline works when both reporters are male.

    Earlier today, the name of "Joseph Goldstein" mysteriously disappeared from the double byline "Julie Bosman and Joseph Goldstein."

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    1. This is why academics fight over who will be first author. This isn't unique to Somerby.

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    2. You comment is why Somerby still had fans.

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    3. We think Somersby deliberately left out the first names to hide the gender bias. It's how he rolls.

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    4. And this comment is how you roll.

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    5. Academics fight? In nerdland?

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    6. It is interesting how their first names got disappeared as well.

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    7. Yes, Somerby is clearly a master propagandist.

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  3. "How wonderful that they met their deaths! And of course, you always want to scrub the streets after the scum have passed!"

    How some of the ZDT would have written the New York Times piece on the Brown shooting and work of the crime scene crew in Ferguson.

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  4. We’re living in a time of tribal polarization right here in this country. We aren’t parading folk through the streets, and we aren’t yet putting heads on stakes. Nor are we often displaying the values which made Mandela and Dr. King celebrated world figures, the moral giants of the modern age, the ones who will be remembered....

    Brilliant comment, Bob.

    LTR

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  5. Bob, what you fail to see is that modern polarization is largely the result of the Republican Party, since at least Nixon and sped up by Reagan, telling middle class voters that they are the victims of an oppressive government who wants to give handouts at their expense to "Other" people, particularly poor blacks. Go look up Reagan's welfare queen.

    And of course, the solution to this is to create a tax system that grossly favors the rich and transfers the burden to --- the middle class.

    As Thomas Frank has dedicated his career to revealing, the reaction of the Democratic Party to the Republican Party's extreme shift to the right was to --- shift to the right.

    It was a minor miracle that Obama pushed the first national health insurance plan through Congress, as compromised as it was to get the conservative members of his own party to vote for it.

    What was the Republican Party's reaction? To tell middle class voters that they are the victims because their ridiculously, nearly worthless insurance policies got canceled, forcing them to shop on the exchanges for much better policies at much lower costs.

    Yes, I am sure you are about to launch into another "series" with all sorts of "supplementals" to "prove" that the polarization today is worse than it has ever been in U.S. history, the pre-Civil War era cast casually aside.

    And of course you will also blame it all on MSNBC and a cadre of young whippersnappers entering the mainstream media with their elite degrees, while paying lip service to a couple of them whose work meets your pristine standards of absolute perfection.

    And of course, this will all tie back to the War on Gore -- the very beginning of polarization in our society as you see it.

    Well, Bob. Go ahead with your tired old narrative. I'm sure the "trolls" in your combox will continue to rip your monotony to shreds. I'm looking forward to it. Your combox contains the only original thinking on this blog.


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    1. Most of us here are not Republicans, so addressing the Republican contribution to polarization isn't going to be something we can or will participate in. We can do something about our own attitudes and our own party. If you are trying to accomplish change, you don't mention it once then walk away. You keep talking about it, over and over, as Somerby does.

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    2. So that's what Somerby is doing when he models Mandela and King by calling Maddow, et al, all sorts of vile names while praising the work of Megyn Kelly right after she assured America's children that Santa Claus is white.

      He's really trying to accomplish change.

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    3. He's trying to make us less tribal. You, clearly, are resisting.

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    4. And how is he doing this? By calling "the other" every vile name he can think of while preaching to "rubes" how they are failing to model Mandela and King?

      And while screaming about those damned kids with their elite degrees?

      This blog drips with anti-intellectual, pseudo-intellectual bile of an old goat whose life hasn't exactly turned out the way he thought it would and he is reduced to spewing his bile at people younger and far more successful than he.


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    5. Yes, it hurts when Somerby points out that Rachel has flaws, so you fight back by trying to show us how flawed Somerby is. But if you are idolizing darling Rachel, you will not be open to considering her flaws and will be stuck in the black/white thinking that says Liberal=Good, Conservative=Bad, unwilling to consider that Megyn Kelly might occasionally be right about something while darling Rachel is mistaken.

      What amazes me is the venom you feel when Somerby criticizes your media favorites. Makes me think you are Rachel's mom or rejected former lover or something. Such passion doesn't come from merely holding political opinions. It sounds personal to me.

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    6. It's one thing to point out Rachel Maddow's "flaws" if that's what you think you can build a successful blogging career upon.

      It's quite another to make a complete ass out of yourself talking about "legitimate traffic studies" and bribery charges not being "heinous" when her journalistic instincts have proven to be far sharper than yours.

      And when caught with his pants around his ankles, what was Somerby's response? To dig through old media profiles for any sign of inconsistency to "prove" what a liar she is.

      Go back and read the "incomparable archives." Bob is having a terrible year, and if you can read Web traffic sites, you'll find that he has been hemorraghing readers.

      Which is why he has returned to race-bating under the sheep's clothing of protecting "progressive" values. Nothing worked before or since to spike those clicks like the Zimmerman Defense Team.

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    7. OK, you hate Somerby. You have our sympathy. Now go get a life.

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    8. "Megyn Kelly might occasionally be right about something while darling Rachel is mistaken."

      Except when you go back to the "incomparable archives" of December and discover what he was praising Kelly for and what was haranguing Maddow about.

      Not that you will bother to look at just one example of your hero who poses as a progressive. But he was a complete jackass.

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    9. "You have our sympathy."

      You got a weasel in your pocket or are you the press flak for the Somerby whisperers?

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  6. "Nor are we often displaying the values which made Mandela and Dr. King celebrated world figures, the moral giants of the modern age, the ones who will be remembered."

    Spare us the sermon, Rev. Bob. Until you yourself begin to even attempt to model the values of King and Mandela, it is the height of hypocrisy to demand it of others.

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    1. Way back when, Pat Boone shocked the world with his famous album, In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy. We’ve thought of Boone in the last day as we’ve reviewed the modern sounds in blogging heard in yesterday's posts.

      Why do young people hate old people covering bad rock music?

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    2. Did you think about how Boone once said he would kill his own children if there was any chance of the US becoming communist?

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    3. "Why do young people hate old people covering bad rock music?"

      Don't know, ZK. You'd have to ask a young person.

      Could be that young people are a lot sharper than Somerby thinks they are and emit mordant chuckles at oily old coots trying to pretend that they are "hip" and "progressive" as they run to the defense of corrupt politicians, and make victims out of armed white guys who gun down unarmed black teenagers.

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    4. This is silly. Young people don't recognize that they are hearing a cover. They think it is a new song.

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    5. So you really think that when Pat Boone covered "Smoke on the Water," the young of 1997 thought they were listening to a new song?

      Sorry, but unlike you, Somerby and other old coots, I'll give our young people far more credit for intelligence than that.

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    6. Depends on how young and whether they had ever heard the song sung by someone else. Kids have to learn that songs they think are new are actually remakes, as with films. They aren't born with that knowledge. The more old songs they have heard the more they will recognize the remakes. Other forms of experience are repeats too. That is the nature of experience and why it is valued in the old. But hey, its fun to call older people coots and laugh at them. Being older, we are kinder to youth and don't laugh at them when they think Pat Boone originated "Smoke on the Water" or that April Stevens and Nino Tempo wrote "Deep Purple."

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    7. I was once a young whippersnapper. About Bob's age.
      I had no idea "Blue Moon" by the Marcels was a cover.

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    8. "Speedy Gonzalez" was racist and Pat Boone got fame for "Tutti Frutti" which he ripped off from a black gay man.

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    9. And of course, your experience is universal. It was impossible for anyone your age to know otherwise.

      Thus it goes with oily old coots who think they know far more about everything, including the young, than they could possibly know.

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    10. Yes, but "Tutti Frutti" had already been a big hit for Little Richard when Pat Boone covered it. It wasn't though the young hadn't heard the original.

      Besides, Little Richard expressed his gratitude, as the composer, that Boone made a hit out of it for a second time. Put more money in his bank account

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    11. You know, I have no idea what the market for Boone's "In a Metal Mood" was, but I doubt that there were too many young people flocking to buy it, thinking it was original music.

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    12. Someone buys his stuff. You know that he is very religious. Maybe religious teens like it. There are such people, even if you don't know any of them. Maybe aging metal heads buy it for nostalgia, now that they are in a quieter mood. Maybe it is camp, like Betty White. Who knows?

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    13. Covers are rip offs? Old coots remember the time when hardly anyone wrote their own songs. Most of the Beatles first album songs were covers. All of Ringo Starr's songs are covers (except the ones with the Beatles).

      You keep using the word oily. Is this perhaps about something other than music?

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    14. Ignoring what Capitol did to their early U.S. releases, eight of the 14 songs on their debut album, Please, Please Me, were original Lennon-McCartney songs.

      On their next release, "With the Beatles," seven of 14 songs were Lennon-McCartney originals and one was a George Harrison original.

      Then they found time to make a movie, "A Hard Days' Night" with a soundtrack of all original material.

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    15. Anonymous @ 11:13....Here is Richard Penniman expressing his "gratitude" for what the Pat Boone version of Tutti Furutti represented with a little more than a financial analysis in mind:

      "They didn’t want me to be in the white guys' way ... I felt I was pushed into a rhythm and blues corner to keep out of rockers' way, because that’s where the money is. When 'Tutti Frutti' came out ... They needed a rock star to block me out of white homes because I was a hero to white kids. The white kids would have Pat Boone upon the dresser and me in the drawer 'cause they liked my version better, but the families didn't want me because of the image that I was projecting."

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    16. And he also said that Pat Boone made him a millionaire with his covers of "Tutti Fruitti" and "Long Tall Sally."

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  7. I anxiously await to see how the turmoil in the Ukraine ties into the War on Gore.

    Everything always does.

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    1. During his service in the Supreme Soviet, Unle Joe took the initiative in creating forced collectivization of agriculture. Many "fat kulaks" in Ukraine were killed. Al Gore was once fat.

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    2. Someday, it might dawn on Somerby that there are conflicts all over the world dating back centuries that have nothing to do with the state of U.S. politics and punditry at the moment.

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    3. Today, Somerby complains that Clift is discussing something she is not knowledgeable about. Are you seriously suggesting that Somerby should turn his blog into a foreign affairs or international politics blog? Maybe he doesn't feel sufficiently knowledgable to do that. I do think it is appropriate for him to stick to his own areas of expertise, as he has pretty much done here. That doesn't mean world events aren't important. It probably doesn't mean Somerby ignores them in his personal reading and thoughts.

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    4. Is that what you see in the post we are actually discussing?

      I see Somerby taking a news story about parading a captured soldier through the streets of Donetsk, and that somehow reminds him of how tribal we are in the U.S. And of course, it will all soon become the fault of MSNBC.

      Kinda like how a dead kid in a St. Louis suburb reminded him of Ray Charles.


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    5. St. Louis reminds me of Chuck Berry, not Ray Charles.
      To my knowledge Chuck Berry never did a country and western album. He had, however, committed armed robbery and done time before he was Mike Brown's age.

      I am glad he was never gunned down by a cop.

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    6. I'm glad Chuck Berry never stood 6'4, weight 320 and attacked a cop

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    7. Chuck was more interested in 14 year old girls my man.
      And not paying the tax man.

      But your point is well taken. It is why women should not be police officers.

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  8. As a kid I used to think the song in the Lemon Pledge furniture polish commercial was the original...till I heard "Lemon Tree" by... whoa, lookee here, it's really a remake of a remake of a... [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_Tree_(Will_Holt_song)]

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