Well, THAT was certainly unpleasant…made a root canal seem like the warm embrace of a succubus by comparison…
1. An alternate juror in the Chauvin trial gave an interview. She seems like a pretty rational sort, but two comments support the contention that the trial was not a fair one:
- “I did tell them that I saw the settlement run across the bottom of the screen one day…I was not surprised there was a settlement, but I was surprised they announced it beforehand.” She also said she understood that civil trial and criminal trial standards were different, but the fact that the city essentially announced that its police were liable for Floyd’s death cut the legs out from under Chauvin’s defense.
- “I did not want to go through rioting and destruction again and I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict.” If any jurors feel that way, it’s not a fair trial.
Joy Pullmann writes at The Federalist,
“The jurors knew that the media covering the trial and looking at their faces every day for three weeks knows who they are. An in-state newspaper even signaled to the jurors its willingness to expose them to the violent mobs roving Minnesota over the last year by publishing descriptions of the jurors in advance of the verdict. Those descriptions published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune contained age, race, location, profession, even immigration history. You think jurors would have been willing to have themselves and their families go into witness protection to venture a reasonable doubt about Chauvin’s potential contribution to Floyd’s death? You think they’d be willing to trade their lives plus nationwide violence for one stranger’s? If you think that, you know nothing about human nature.”
2. From the “Finding racial bias in everything” files. Salamishah Margaret Tillet is the New York Times arts critic who thinks everything is about race. She’s the Henry Rutgers Professor of African American Studies, so she has an agenda. Her recent essay is bright-line evidence that bias makes you stupid. “Films tend to weigh down Black women whose musical virtuosity should let them soar,” she tells us, beginning with recent films about Billie Holiday and Ma Rainey that have been nominated for Oscars, not that there is any way of knowing whether this was because of their laudable minority actor percentage or their actual quality. Salamishah (can I call you Salamishah?) is still unsatisfied, writing,
As much as Hollywood is changing, the way it tells the story of Black women’s musicality still lags behind. For while Davis and Day should be lauded for their exemplary work, their movies overemphasize the trauma and diminish the artistic genius of the icons they embody, Ma Rainey and Billie Holiday.
Maybe the professor doesn’t watch movies about, yecchh, white people, so I have news for her. EVERY film biography of every musical artist focuses on their problems rather than their actual performances or process. Isn’t it obvious why? Actors and actresses can’t duplicate the voices of unique performers, so the singers’ “artistic genius” can only be suggested at best. Film is about drama, so the dramatic aspects of an artists’ lives, including relationships, illnesses, tragedies, bad choices and catastrophes are always going to be at the center of movies about them, and if a singer has no traumas, nobody wants to watch a movie about her. It has nothing to do with some kind of racist disrespect or trivialization of black performers.
I guess the professor deserves some credit for writing,
“In some ways, this is a genre problem. Far too many films about music relegate actual processes of music-making — song composition and arrangements, studio sessions and band rehearsals, an experimentation with sounds and a honing of craft — to the background, preferring to focus on the psychological and social struggles that artists face.”
But it’s not “in some ways,” it’s in all ways. The fact has nothing to do with race. At all. Tillet is the epitome of the principle that if your only tool is a hammer. everything looks like a nail.
Why do we tolerate universities and newspapers that hire people whose only tools are hammers?
3. And from the Really Dishonest Analogies file...Yesterday, a SCOTUS 6–3 decision authored by Justice Kavanaugh held that judges need not decide whether a juvenile convicted of a serious crime is incapable of being rehabilitated before sentencing him or her to a life sentence without the possibility of parole. That seems rather harsh, but I haven’t read the decision, and that’s not the matter at hand. This is: Vanity Fair, stretching like Mr. Fantastic, sees great hypocrisy in this for Kavanaugh:
Brett Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee: “If we want to sit here and talk about whether a Supreme Court nomination should be based on a high school yearbook page, I think that’s taken us to a new level of absurdity.” In fact, lawmakers that day weren’t deciding whether or not to confirm Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land based on “a high school yearbook page” but over credible allegations of sexual assault, which he denied. Nevertheless, Kavanaugh’s position that day was that people shouldn’t be held accountable for things they do as minors. But what he apparently actually meant was that he shouldn’t be held accountable for things he allegedly did as kid, while others deserve life in prison without the possibility of parole.
No, in fact nobody should ever be held accountable for what they “allegedly” did, as adults or children. The allegations of sexual assault used to smear Kavanaugh were far from credible, and would not support any criminal prosecution or a civil suit. The teen Kavanaugh was writing about in his majority opinion has murdered his grandfather, and there was no “allegedly” about it.
Whether Kavanaugh’s analysis of the law is right or wrong, there is no hypocrisy involved at all.
4. This one gets a George:
Running for Mayor of New York, Andrew Yang told a leading LGBTQ group,
“I genuinely do love you and your community. You’re so human and beautiful. You make New York City special. I have no idea how we ever lose to the Republicans given that you all are frankly in, like, leadership roles all over the Democratic Party. We have, like, this incredible secret weapon,” he added. “It’s not even secret. It’s like, we should win everything because we have you all.”
They were offended. Gee, I wonder why? Might it be that Yang’s gushing went far beyond mere pandering to condescension and screaming insincerity?
Any candidate whose ethics alarms don’t go off when statement like that ooze into their brain cannot be trusted.