‘One of the most painful barriers we can experience is the sense of isolation the modern world fosters, which can only be broken by our willingness to be held, by the quiet courage to allow our vulnerabilities to be seen. For as water fills a hole and as light fills the dark, kindness wraps around what is soft, if what is soft can be seen.
Prayers without words that friends, strangers, wind, and time all wrap themselves around.’
Boston Globe Calls For Nationwide Media Response To Trump’s Attacks On The Press
August 10, 2018
Bob Salsberg, Associated Press
“The Boston Globe is proposing a coordinated editorial response from publications across the U.S. to President Donald Trump’s frequent attacks on the news media.
“We are not the enemy of the people,” said Marjorie Pritchard, a deputy managing editor of The Boston Globe, referring to a characterization of journalists that Trump has used in the past.
The president, who contends he has largely been covered unfairly by the press, also employs the term “fake news” often when describing the media.
The Globe has reached out to editorial boards nationwide to write and publish editorials on Aug. 16 denouncing what the newspaper called a “dirty war against the free press.”
As of Friday, Pritchard, who oversees the Globe’s editorial page, said about 70 outlets had committed to editorials so far, with the list expected to grow. The publications ranged from large metropolitan dailies, such as the Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald and Denver Post, to small weekly papers with circulations as low as 4,000.
The newspaper’s request was being promoted by industry groups such as the American Society of News Editors and regional groups like the New England Newspaper and Press Association. It suggested editorial boards take a common stand against Trump’s words regardless of their politics, or whether they generally editorialized in support of or in opposition to the president’s policies.
“Our words will differ. But at least we can agree that such attacks are alarming,” the appeal stated, acknowledging that newspapers were likely to take different approaches.
Pritchard, who oversees the Globe’s editorial page, said the decision to seek the coordinated response from newspapers was reached after Trump appeared to step up his rhetoric in recent weeks.
At an Aug. 2 political rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Trump told his audience that the media was “fake, fake disgusting news.”
“What ever happened to the free press? What ever happened to honest reporting?” the president asked, pointing to journalists covering the event. “They don’t report it. They only make up stories.”
Pritchard said she hoped the editorials would make an impression on Americans.
“I hope it would educate readers to realize that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable,” she said. “We are a free and independent press, it is one of the most sacred principles enshrined in the Constitution.”
Student Journalism in the Age of Media Distrust
In this Sunday, April 22, 2018 photo, students at the Washington Square News at New York University in New York, work on deadline in the paper’s newsroom to publish the paper’s next edition. From left are multimedia editor Echo Chen, deputy multimedia editor Sam Cheng, and deputy photo editor Katie Peurrung. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
DT’s attacks on the press seem to be fueling young people’s interest in the profession—a phenomenon also seen at other turbulent times in U.S. history.
It was the 1970s. President Richard Nixon had been undone by a pair of young reporters at The Washington Post, Hollywood had made a blockbuster movie about it, and the reporters had become celebrities. People were excited about journalism—and that was reflected in massive enrollment jumps at journalism schools across the country. In 1970, enrollment of journalism majors hovered at about 33,000; by 1979, that figure had jumped to 71,000.
Fast-forward nearly half a century, and the attacks being made on journalism are too lengthy to list, but they flow from the top. President Donald Trump doesn’t keep a list of reporters he finds to be enemies so much as he tries to publicly shame, vilify, and discredit them on social media and in speeches. He has called journalists everything from “the enemy of the people” to “very dangerous & sick” and repeatedly decried the media as “fake news.” But just like during the ’60s and ’70s, there’s a whiplash news cycle. And across the country, students have renewed interest in journalism.
Madeline Purdue, the editor in chief of TheNevada Sagebrush at the University of Nevada at Reno, has taken note of this uptick in intrigue. The rhetoric from the president has trickled down to the campus level, she told me in an email. Some students who are upset with articles the Sagebrush publishes retaliate by calling the paper “fake news” or trying to personally discredit reporters. Still, she says, “there is a higher interest among my peers in not only reading the news and being up to date on current events, but also pursuing a career in journalism.”
Several college-paper editors I spoke with shared similar anecdotes. But it’s hard to find good empirical data on the total number of journalism students in the U.S. (The Grady College of Journalism and Communication at the University of Georgia released its last report in 2014.) However, individual colleges have been keeping data, and they say enrollment is up.
Columbia University, the University of Southern California, and Northwestern University are among institutions that have also seen applications to their programs increase. Gail Wiggins, the interim chair of the journalism department at North Carolina A&T University, told me that the department saw a 6 percent increase in enrollment from 2016 to 2017. North Carolina A&T requires incoming students to write about why they chose journalism as their course of study, Wiggins said. More and more students, she told me, write that “they want to tell their own stories … they want to provide truthful information to improve their communities.”
Woodstein U: Notes on the Mass Production and Questionable Education of Journalists
March 1977 issue of The Atlantic.
More than enough students are enrolled in journalism courses at this moment to replace every professional journalist now employed on an American newspaper. What explains this madcap scramble for jobs that don’t exist, and how well are the students prepared? A veteran journalist reports on the state of America’s schools of communications.
“There is an inextricable link between repressing the freedom of the press and repressing the freedom for civil society to campaign for their rights. Both are an attempt to repress “inconvenient truths,” silencing protesting voices, and dimming the spotlight on illegal activity perpetrated by individuals, companies, and governments in power. And both deserve the world’s attention.”
The late Ben Bagdikian, who wrote a cover story for The Atlantic in March 1977 on the so-called Woodstein phenomenon, summed it up like this: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein “were young, inexperienced, and not particularly promising in the eyes of their superiors. Working in a city and on a paper where the country’s most celebrated journalists were in top command, the two beginners beat them all and became national heroes … If they could do it, why couldn’t every high school student?”
Washington Post writers Carl Bernstein, left, and Robert Woodward, who pressed the Watergate investigation, are photographed in Washington, D.C., May 7, 1973. It was announced that The Post won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for its stories about the Watergate scandal. (AP Photo)
But one experienced news director at a major television station said: “I prefer someone who majored in sociology or architecture or art history or psychology rather than somebody who spent a year or two learning how to put a film story together. One of our best reporters was a Rhodes scholar specializing in Florentine history. Given the nature of politics in this city. I don’t think that expertise in Machiavellian politics is such a bad idea.”
The people who hire journalists say they are divided on the value of journalism schools. But what about practitioners of journalism who, with the benefit of years of experience, can look back and judge for themselves? Did journalism graduates distinguish themselves over non-journalism graduates?
I wrote to fifty-three journalists who have won Pulitzer Prizes over the last ten years. Of those who responded. 75 percent did not major in journalism, most having degrees in English. English literature, history, or philosophy. Three did not attend college.
These Pulitzer Prize-winners were largely hostile to the idea of journalism schools and most of those approving a journalism degree specified that they favored a different undergraduate degree with journalism solely in a year of graduate work.
“THE POLITICS OF DISTRACTION” TROUBLE MEDIA STUDIES PROF. KEVIN HOWLEY
August 10, 2018
[A newspaper column from DePauw University Professor Kevin Howley takes media to task for being distracted from real issues by rhetoric.]
“Ever since [DT] announced his candidacy, the news media has followed his Twitter account with all the anticipation and credulity of a child on Christmas morning,” according to Kevin Howley, professor of communication at DePauw University. In a newspaper column, Howley continues, “Eager to publish — and profit handsomely from — the latest presidential tweet storm, an obliging press corps rewards Trump’s narcissism as it normalizes his authoritarianism.”
After the president tweeted last week that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should end the ongoing ngoing Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, “Reporters and pundits spent the better part of the news cycle parsing the president’s words and debating whether this latest episode constitutes obstruction of justice,” Dr. Howley observes. “What’s most troubling about all of this is how willingly reporters and editors participate in Trump’s politics of distraction.”
In Howley’s view, the media’s myopic obsession with the president amount to “endless distractions that prevent us from addressing vital problems, like climate change and the health care crisis, that require immediate attention.”
The professor’s op-ed concludes, “The Romans knew a thing or two about the politics of distraction. They called it ‘bread and circuses.’ We call it ‘fake news.’ Despite, or perhaps because of the spectacle, the Roman Empire collapsed under its own imperious weight. Maybe there’s a lesson in that for the American Empire.”
Stopping to smell the flowers with the last great intellectual talk-show host.
By Alex Williams
“Well, that’s an awkward subject matter for me, because I know all of them,” Mr. Cavett, 81, said on a recent sunny Thursday afternoon at his sprawling country house in Connecticut. “I’m not addicted to talk shows. God knows, I’ve spent enough time on them.”
As in Mr. Cavett’s 1960s and ’70s heyday, the country is in a period of turbulence, with racial tensions flaring, protests in the streets, and a fundamental ideological fissure. The hosts who have emphasized substance, who have “gone political,” have been praised and nominated for Emmys.
But “the next Cavett”? Is such a thing possible?
For three decades, Mr. Cavett was the thinking person’s Johnny Carson, embodiment of an East Coast sophisticate. He wore smart turtlenecks and double-breasted blazers, had more cultural references than a Google server and laced martini-dry witticisms into lengthy, probing talks with 20th-century luminaries including Bette Davis, James Baldwin, Mick Jagger and Jean-Luc Godard.
A Renaissance salon in a rabbit-ears era, “The Dick Cavett Show” was woke some 50 years before the term came into vogue. Viewers tuned in to see Muhammad Ali spout off about the Vietnam War or to see Yoko Ono in a 90-minute discussion with John Lennon.
While Mr. Cavett said he loathed Nixon’s politics, he called him “a brilliant, brilliant man” and was cordial to him in person. Years after Watergate, he remembers seeing the former president and his younger daughter, Julie, seated at an outdoor restaurant in Montauk, so he grabbed a menu and, posing as a waiter, began to list the specials: Yorba Linda cream pie, Whittier College soufflé.
Not his best material, Ms. Nixon told him.
The current president is perhaps the only celebrity over the age of 70 that Mr. Cavett has never met, other than being beaten by him to shrimp in a benefit buffet line years ago.
“I think all people who get to president of the United States must have something wonderful about them,” Mr. Cavett said in a mock-diplomatic tone.
“With that,” he added, “Cavett held a gun to his head and shot himself.”
“Republicans promote fear, not tax cuts, in key elections”
[From space to borders, ‘fear is a contagion in a democracy.’]
“FEAR: Trump in the White House,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Bob Woodward, will be published by Simon & Schuster on Sept. 11th.
“Drawing from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, contemporaneous meeting notes, files, documents and personal diaries, FEAR brings to light the explosive debates that drive decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence.”
Jonathan Karp, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster: “‘FEAR is the most acute and penetrating portrait of a sitting president ever published during the first years of an administration.”
“FEAR is Woodward’s 19th book with Simon & Schuster, beginning with ‘All the President’s Men’ in 1974. Each of the previous 18 books he authored or co-authored has been a national nonfiction bestseller. Twelve of those have been #1 national bestsellers.”
The WashPost’s Manuel Roig-Franzia writes that the “expected tenor of the book is underscored by its unsettling cover, an extreme close-up of a squinty-eyed Trump depicted through a gauzy red filter.”“The hush-hush project derives its title from an offhand remark that then-candidate Trump made in an interview with Woodward and Post political reporter Robert Costa in April 2016.
“DT said: “Real power is, I don’t even want to use the word: ‘Fear.’
“Woodward … has privately described the remark as ‘an almost Shakespearean aside.'”
Hope Reese, JSTOR Daily
The American philosopher Martha Nussbaum’s new book, The Monarchy of Fear, examines the politics of primal fear in the 2016 election.
In November 2016, the American philosopher Martha Nussbaum was in Tokyo preparing to give a speech when she learned of the results of the U.S. presidential election. Worrying about the implications of Trump’s victory, Nussbaum, who has long studied the philosophy of emotions, realized that she “was part of the problem.”
The examination of her own reaction resulted in Nussbaum’s latest work, The Monarchy of Fear––part manifesto, part Socratic-style dialogue about the large role that fear plays in our current political era and why it represents a serious danger to democracy. Nussbaum has explored a range of emotions in her work, and this book, she tells me, makes the case that “anger, disgust, and envy…are poisoned and made more disruptive by fear.” Fear, Nussbaum argues, is both a primal emotion, an impulse felt by infants, and an emotion shaped by social context as we become older. Fear is asocial, narcissistic––and often misguided. When we fear others, Nussbaum says, we are often not taking facts and information into account––and we are often perceiving dangers that don’t exist.
“The nature of fear is that it’s very volatile and it’s very easily hijacked by rhetoric.”
The list of what ails the U.S. politically today is long and complicated, with problems as different as vast economic inequalityand gerrymandered congressional districts. But if we’re honest with ourselves, many of the country’s most serious problems exist within us, in the hearts and minds of its people. We shelter ourselves from perspectives and facts that disagree with our own. Our politics seem more rooted in contempt and schadenfreude than empathy and reason. Politicians exploit racial, ethnic, and class divisions, leaving many Americans feeling even more targeted and disenfranchised. And a foreign adversary disseminates false information through social media because it believes that Americans cannot (or won’t really care to) distinguish reality from manipulative fiction.
Those are shortcomings in our skills and dispositions. Do public schools have a role to play in developing them? We believe they do. Schools, more than any other public institution, are charged with preparing students for the responsibilities of civic life. Parents play a critical role, too, but schools are better positioned to ensure that all children have a core set of experiences. This includes developing skills that might not be on parents’ radar, like how to evaluate news disseminated over social media. Believing that schools ought to sharpen students’ civic skills and dispositions isn’t, as Finn suggests, a product of political correctness run amok, nor is it an inherently left-of-center idea. Americans have long seen this kind of thing as a core function of schools, and even Milton Friedman’s argument for vouchers is built on a notion that schools ought to instill a common set of values.
Perhaps Finn’s critique is that teaching facts is the way to develop civic skills and dispositions, or that students develop these skills and dispositions without schools teaching them explicitly. Perhaps rather than directly teaching news and media literacy or providing students with opportunities to engage in and experience the political process, schools should stick to teaching facts and modeling nice behaviors. We see that as a missed opportunity.
Hannah Arendt Explains How Propaganda Uses Lies to Erode All Truth & Morality: Insights from The Origins of Totalitarianism
In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and nothing was true… The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.
The result of a consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth is not that the lie will now be accepted as truth and truth be defamed as a lie, but that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world—and the category of truth versus falsehood is among the mental means to this end—is being destroyed.
“We too,” writes Jeffrey Isaacs at The Washington Post, “live in dark times”—an allusion to another of Arendt’s sobering analyses—“even if they are different and perhaps less dark.” Arendt wrote Origins of Totalitarianism from research and observations gathered during the 1940s, a very specific historical period. Nonetheless the book, Isaacs remarks, “raises a set of fundamental questions about how tyranny can arise and the dangerous forms of inhumanity to which it can lead.” Arendt’s analysis of propaganda and the function of lies seems particularly relevant at this moment. The kinds of blatant lies she wrote of might become so commonplace as to become banal. We might begin to think they are an irrelevant sideshow. This, she suggests, would be a mistake.
No one ever died saying, I’m so glad for the self-centered, self-serving, and self-protective life I lived.” Offer yourself to the world–your energies your gifts, your visions, your spirit–with open-hearted generosity.
“Life has set the stamp of individuality on your soul. You are different from any other person who ever lived. You are an individualized center in the Consciousness of God. You are an individualized activity in the Action of God. You are you, and you are eternal. Begin to live today as the immortal being you are and all thought of death, all fear of change will slip from you. You will step out of the tomb of uncertainty into the light of eternal day.”
We are here to live out loud. -Emile Zola
“Imagine if birds only sang when heard. If musicians only played when approved of. If poets only spoke when understood.”
“Remove your human hesitation. As you inhale, feel what rises in you. At the top of your breath, blink the mind shut like an eye. As you exhale, let the feeling sound from you, no matter how softly.
‘And my spirit is crying for leaving. In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees. And the voices of those who stand looking. And it’s whispered that soon if we all call the tune, then the piper will lead us to reason.’
DT’s consolidation of power. None of the other forces that might have checked the rise of a corrupt homegrown oligarchy can stop or even slow it. The institutional clout that ended the Presidency of Richard Nixon no longer exists. The honest press, for all its success in exposing daily scandals, won’t persuade the unpersuadable or shame the shameless, while the dishonest press is Trump’s personal amplifier. The federal courts, including the Supreme Court, are rapidly becoming instruments of partisan advocacy, as reliably conservative as elected legislatures. It’s impossible to imagine the Roberts Court voting unanimously against the President, as the Burger Court, including five Republican appointees, did in forcing Nixon to turn over his tapes. (Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to succeed Anthony Kennedy, has even suggested that the decision was wrong.) Congress has readily submitted to the President’s will, as if legislation and oversight were burdens to be relinquished. And, when the independent counsel finally releases his report, it will have only the potency that the guardians of the law and the Constitution give it.
Behind these institutions lies public opinion, and we are quickly learning that it matters more than laws, more than the Constitution, more than the country’s supposedly inviolable founding principles. “If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it,” George Orwell wrote, in “Freedom of the Park.” “If public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.” During 1973, the year Watergate became a national scandal, facts changed the political views of millions of Americans, Nixon’s approval rating fell from sixty-seven per cent to less than thirty per cent, and his fate was sealed. In our time, large blocs of public opinion are barely movable: Trump’s performance in Helsinki—declaring himself on the side of Russia, against his own intelligence agencies and the integrity of American elections—received favorable reviews from eighty per cent of Republicans. Yet public opinion still plays a central role in safeguarding democracy, and it becomes decisive through voting. Demonstrations can capture attention and build solidarity, books can provide arguments, social media can organize resistance. But if the Republicans don’t suffer a serious defeat in November, Trump will go into 2020 with every structural advantage.
Democrats have a habit of forgetting to vote between Presidential elections. Republican turnout has exceeded or equalled Democratic turnout in very midterm since 1978, no matter which party held the Presidency, with an average margin of three per cent—more than enough to decide control of Congress in a closely divided election. The demographic groups that are least likely to vote—young people, Latinos, and those with a high-school education or less—tend to be Democratic constituencies. This tendency has been especially stark in the past two midterm cycles: in 2014, the turnout among eligible voters aged eighteen to twenty-nine was seventeen per cent—one in six. The disappearing Democratic voter also had an effect on the latest Presidential election, when, for example, African-American turnout dropped almost five per cent from 2012—a crucial difference in the three key states that gave Trump the Electoral College.
Republicans, for their part, don’t always entrust their hold on power to democratic methods. Since 2010, nearly half of the states have passed laws that make it harder to vote—from restrictions on early voting to I.D. requirements, mandatory proof of citizenship, and purges of voting rolls. The purpose of these laws is not to fight a mythical epidemic of fraud but to depress turnout of normally Democratic constituencies. They show incremental signs of success: a government study found that new laws reduced turnout in 2012 in Kansas and Tennessee by two or three per cent, notably among young and black voters. Other states have expanded the franchise, particularly to former felons, but Republican control of two-thirds of state legislatures and the shift of courts to the right give the momentum to efforts to curtail voting.
Gerrymandering is another effective tool for staying in power. The Brennan Center for Justice recently released a report on the effects of redistricting in states like Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas. Algorithmic mapping has grown so precise that Republican legislatures have created a sixteen-seat advantage in the House of Representatives that remains impervious to standard electoral pressures. In November, just to achieve a bare majority, Democrats will have to win the national congressional vote by nearly eleven per cent. (Other studies put the number at around seven per cent.) And legislatures elected this year will redraw state and federal districts after the 2020 census. There’s a thick seawall standing in the way of a blue wave.
But it’s self-defeating to exaggerate the external obstacles: in 2016, Democratic turnout declined in states with and without new voter restrictions. Gerrymandering is a time-honored practice of both parties—look at Maryland’s House delegation. Unfettered money in politics doesn’t always favor Republicans, let alone guarantee victory—Hillary Clinton raised twice as much as Trump did. The greatest obstacle to voting is the feeling that it won’t matter, and that feeling seems to be more prevalent among Democrats.
In some cases, that sense may be based on overconfidence and insularity—a presumption that the other party’s outrages will automatically disqualify it in voters’ eyes. More often, it comes from a belief that politics doesn’t change anything in people’s lives. For two generations, the Republican Party has been an expression of grassroots conservatism, most recently the fever that’s ceded the Party to Trump. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has grown less connected to its voters. It’s like a neglected building, perennially on the edge of collapse, which left-leaning Americans occasionally use for some purpose and then abandon.
This year, something seems to be changing. The new faces among Democratic candidates, the new energy behind them, suggest a party of members, not squatters. But, come November, they will have to vote. It’s the only thing left. ♦
The disturbing world of Jim Carrey’s anti-trump cartoons.
(Holed up in his L.A. home, the actor sketches furiously, and watches lots of cable news.)
House Republicans have called for the impeachment of Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, who is overseeing the Russia investigation, but his defenders are speaking out. Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, has called Rosenstein “highly capable,” while Sally Yates, the former acting Attorney General, said that the impeachment effort would “undoubtedly fail.” Perhaps the most impassioned testimonial came from the actor Jim Carrey, who drew a picture of Rosenstein as a saint with a halo, invoking early Christian art. Carrey tweeted a photo of the drawing to his nearly eighteen million followers, with an earnest plea: “I hope there are other Republicans like you who will defend us against this thuggish lot.”
Since 2016, Carrey has created more than a hundred cartoons protesting the Trump Administration, a pastime that borders on the obsessive. “I fight him to the end,” he said recently, citing the Bhagavad Gita. “It’s my Arjuna moment—my responsibility to pick up the sword.”
Carrey was at his home in Los Angeles, a one-story ranch-style house where he lives alone. (On this day, two employees and a publicist were on hand.) Now fifty-six, he wore a black T-shirt and cargo shorts. His hair was shaggy. He’s still acting—he’d spent the previous afternoon on the set of an upcoming Showtime series he’s starring in, “kidding”, directed by Michel Gondry—but, like everyone else these days, he watches a lot of cable news.
He sat down near a large television in his living room. “Right now, everybody is laser-focussed on every detail of this Administration,” he said. “And I am, too. I read news online, but mostly I watch MSNBC. They’re flawed, but Rachel Maddow is really good.” He sketches while he watches: wonky portraits, satirical headlines, grotesqueries. “It makes me feel better if I can alchemize all of this,” he said. “Turn it into something creative and make people on the Twitter feel good.”
Besides cartoons, Carrey also makes abstract paintings. The walls of his house are covered in his own work: Technicolor images streaked onto mirrored surfaces, or canvases that have been slashed and stitched. Some are signed “Church of FFC.” (The acronym stands for “Freedom from Concern.”) Though he was an artistic child, he didn’t start painting seriously until seven years ago, he explained, “in the midst of heartbreak.” The cartooning started the day before the 2016 Presidential election. “It was in the middle of the killer-clown phenomenon,” he recalled. He shouted to his art manager, in the next room. “Linda, can you find that killer-clown sketch?”
Linda replied, “The killer clown pressing the button, or the—”
“Pressing the button, yeah,” Carrey said, slightly impatient.
She brought over a drawing of Trump as a clown with a blue nose and fangs.
Politically, Carrey described himself as a “conservative Democrat, because I don’t like boundaries.” As a cartoonist, his humor tends toward the obscene. He flipped through a stack of sketches, and found a picture of Trump with a Russian flag planted in his rear end. “I did that one before the Helsinki meeting,” he said. “It was a prediction.” There were drawings of all the minor players: Sean Hannity as a manatee, Trey Gowdy as an insect, Adam Schiff as a Ken doll dropping his pants. (Carrey found the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee to be insufficiently animated on TV. “Show some passion!” he wrote in the caption. “We’ve had it with your calm, reasonable manner! make some f’ing noise!!!”) His position affords some flexibility. “I don’t work for a publication, so I’m allowed to do crude things, which I enjoy,” he said. “Twitter doesn’t mind.” Lingering on two Munch-esque portraits of Rudolph Giuliani, mid-scream, Carrey said, “I love these Giuliani images.” He pointed to his subject’s bridgework: white on top, brown below. “These people don’t bother to dye the bottom teeth.”
Carrey said that, as an actor, he’d most like to play Paul Manafort. “When I see Manafort walking into the courtroom, I’m, like, ‘Does anybody else notice that he’s, like, a frigging alien in a skin suit?’ Hasn’t studied his subject.” He stood up and did an impression, legs and arms akimbo. “He’s an interesting character, because he hasn’t visited his actual being in a long time. He’s been consumed by a maelstrom of future chaos.”
Carrey called out to another employee. “Brogan,” he said. “Can you bring up Roy Moore? You know, the little one? It’s in there.”
Like many people in show business, Carrey has crossed paths with Trump. He recalled meeting him at a New York fund-raiser. “He said, ‘Hey, Jim.’ I said, ‘Hey, Donald.’ Later, I rented his ice rink for a Valentine’s Day skate. He was a fine guy when he was a reality-show host.” He returned to his sketch pad. A more subtle idea had occurred to him. “I started drawing a cartoon this morning that’s just an empty desk and chair on the floor of the Senate,” he said. “I don’t know what the caption will be yet.” ♦
‘Is unpreventable; the natural outcome of caring for people and things over which we have no control, of holding in our affections those who inevitably move beyond our line of sight.
Realizing its inescapable nature, we can see heartbreak not as the end of the road or the cessation of hope but as the close embrace of the essence of what we have wanted or about to lose.
It is the hidden DNA of our relationship with life, outlining outer forms even when we do not feel it by intimate physical experience generated by its absence; it can also ground us truly in whatever grief we are experiencing, set us to planting a seed with what we have left or appreciate what we have built even as we stand in its ruin.’
-David Whyte, Consolations/The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words
America faces profound challenges in core areas of our society: education, housing and healthcare among them. While government and philanthropy can treat these issues, they often fail to make a lasting difference. What’s needed to truly cure these problems are investments that create market-driven, long-term, sustainable solutions.
The company’s solution is built on the back of inequality, i.e., the 1/99%. His key message at the Sun Valley Forum is that capitalism is built on disparity of wealth. What our country as a whole suffers from is ‘hope’, saying,”We suffer from a disparity of hope.” But is his argument sound, or constructed on a false premise? It begs the question, if more Americans had greater access to the 1%, in other words, a greater dispersion of wealth among the 99%, would the disparity of hope be as great, and would we need The Bobby Turner’s to come in and save the day? Perhaps the saviors should be the capitalistic corporations that built the massive employment inequality instead of private hedge funds.
Turner Impact Capital has one mission: to create innovative and durable solutions to today’s challenges by investing in community-enriching infrastructure in underserved communities.
Two of Turner’s partners include Magic Johnson and Andre Agassi. He’s in the profit business, $2 billion in private equity, focusing on education and health care, building 79 charters schools, with another 70 planned for construction in the next several years [Idaho Mountain Express, July 3, 2018]. “Overall, Turner said, his methods rely on profit generation–but place societal benefit as the top priority. I get to make money while I’m doing it.”
“The white savior complex is about assimilation. It’s about feeling superior to another culture. It’s about validating your own personal, individual experience through the lives and experiences of other marginalized peoples. It’s taking their struggle (even if it’s a sometimes imagined or exaggerated struggle) and making it about how much of a good person you are.” – Uncredited quote on Tumblr
“The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.” – Teju Cole
“The 19th century saw the rise of a pious, middle-class feminism, devoted to the moral uplift of the poor. By ministering to prostitutes, middle-class women got both respectable jobs and the frisson of proximity to vice.” – Molly Crabapple
It’s an improvement, but there’s still a lot of work for me to do. I grew up under the pervasive influence of a culture that taught me that black-skinned people were lesser than me, and the years of brainwashing I accepted without question will take years to overcome. But I’m doing my best to drop the Benevolent White Savior act, and to relate to people as the individuals they are.
It also reinforces the pernicious assumption that brown-skinned people need white-skinned people to help them. It facilitates the fetishization and exotification of African people. It may bring people together physically, but it also fortifies the divide between them: One person is the have, the other is the have-not. Those roles are rigid and can’t be recast.
I don’t want to discount the motives of every white volunteer, and I certainly don’t want to cast aspersions on the people working for non-governmental aid organizations who do life-saving work under impossibly dangerous circumstances (though NGOs often come with their own imperialist agendas). I think it’s possible for a white person to be of service to people of color without automatically reinforcing their racist assumptions. I think it’s tricky, but I think it’s possible.
Research banks and credit cards to discover dollars supporting and contributing to our changing climate, considering corporations shifting capital flows to reduce risk and optimize opportunity.
Julie Shafer, Head of Purpose Investments & Philanthropy, BNP Paribas/Bank of the West
Ivan Frishberg, Vice President for Sustainable Banking, Amalgamated Bank
Kristin Hull, Founder and CEO, Nia Impact Capital
Capital is mobilizing to solve global challenges and finance local resilience. Research how capital for impact and how corporations and investors, from the global to the local scale are working to bring trust and decentralized solutions back into finance.
‘Nia Impact Capital announced the launch of its women-led Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) dedicated to helping wealth management professionals meet the growing demand for impact investing solutions.’
THE IMPERATIVE: THE NEED FOR THE BIG PIVOT
The business world is facing unprecedented change. The mega trends that are changing the world in profound ways present new risks and opportunities for companies of all sizes and in all sectors. The World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Risks survey asked the world’s business and political leaders to rank their biggest concerns. The top 10 global risks all fell into two categories: economy-wide concerns (fiscal crises, unemployment, inequity) and climate and natural resources (water scarcity, the risk of the world not addressing climate change, and more extreme weather). In addition, other fundamental global shifts, particularly the transparency that technology now enables, are putting companies under a powerful microscope and forcing them to answer new questions from customers, consumers, communities, governments, and employees.
So far there are limited strategies for protecting wild rice harvests. Diverting runoff for slowing down floodwater so it doesn’t destroy plants could help, but rising temperatures may ultimately lead the plant’s range to shrink northward into Canada.
That would be bad news for people who currently harvest wild rice on reservations. “Migration as an adaptation strategy for tribes is not really an option,” says Melonee Montano, who works on traditional ecological knowledge outreach at GLIFWC. “Our land is fixed. All we can do is to work together to improve awareness and look for solutions.”
“The spiritualization of our nation’s corporations is the most important development that can possible happen of the spiritual growth of the world as a whole.
Changing Climate/Climate Change
Visuals from the Sun Valley Forum
Mark Peters, Director, Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
‘The Idaho National Laboratory’s mission includes discovering, demonstrating and securing innovative clean energy options and critical infrastructure, making it a test bed and model for resilience innovation serving national security, including grid and cyber security and micrograms.’
“Last fall, Idaho National Laboratory researchers assembled a coalition of partners to design a system of microgrids that would enhance grid resilience by maintaining and restoring power after a catastrophic event or a cyberattack.
During the coming months, the partners will demonstrate this technology in the small fishing village of Cordova, Alaska.
When the microgrid system is finished, Cordova’s electrical grid will automatically reroute power to ensure that critical public services — hospitals, emergency shelters and other vital services — have electricity if part of the grid is damaged or disabled.”
“Microgrids and local generating capacity are central to surviving any catastrophic grid failure.” -Larry Schoen, Blaine county Commissioner
“As a medical professional and first responder, you learn to always have a back-up plan, and to think ahead even in life-threatening situations. In the same way, blaine county–and critical services like our hospital–need an energy back-up plan.” -Terry O’Connor, Blaine county/Sawtooth Regional EMS Director
Climate change, our changing climate, is not a political ideology. It is reality. The Sun Valley Forum created and organized by the Sun Valley Institute focused on risk and opportunity for our new reality over three days this past week. Continue to check this space for synthesis, integration, and action.
“The global food system is the number one water consumer, is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and threatens coastal ecosystems with nutrient-loads from fertilizers. At the same time, the food system faces major risks from drought, soil loss, and heat. A regenerative, climate-smart food system has the potential to sequester carbon, reduce water consumption and pollution, increase the nutrients in our food, and make it more resilient to heat and drought. Across consumer engagement, investment, and market development, we are sharing the innovative technologies,strategies, and good solutions being implemented local and globally.”
Victor Friedberg, Co-found S2G and Founder, Good Shot Global
Alex Mackay, Director of Business Development & Investor Relations, Iroquois Valley Farms
Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT is a restorative farmland finance company providing land access to organic family farmers, with a focus on the next generation. Starting in 2007 (through Iroquois Valley Farms LLC) and establishing itself as a leader in socially responsible investing before “SRI” and “Impact Investing” were common vernacular, the Company has a long track record of successfully acquiring organic and transitional farmland. In 2016, the Company expanded its scope to include first mortgage financing.
The Company raises private capital from accredited investor sources including IRA’s, family offices, financial advisors, foundations, and socially responsible investment-related funds. Investors are broadly based and encompass over 40 states and countries. These investments facilitate farmers’ expansion plans through leasing or mortgage financing. Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT was established as a Public Benefit Corporation, whose public benefit is enabling healthy food production, soil restoration and water quality improvement through the establishment of secure and sustainable farmland access tenures.
“We built our business to support the businesses of our farmers.” David Miller, Co-Founder and CEO
Along the back of this field of sugar snap peas, sunflowers and bachelor buttons at Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center is a buffer of maturing big-leaf maples and red-osier dogwoods. It’s a combination of forest and thicket that the farm has left standing to help protect water quality in the river and aquifer.
[Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center]
Farmers face a growing dilemma. Specifically, a food-growing dilemma.
How do you feed an increasing number of people without harming the environment?
As it turns out, growing as much food as possible in a small area may be our best bet for sustainably feeding the world’s population, according to new research.
Matt Distler is an ecologist with Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center, which sits on a 243-acre mosaic of organic farmland, wetland, and forest east of Seattle. Distler’s job is to balance food production against environmental concerns.
For Distler, the results are interesting, but they might not change the way they do things at Oxbow. That’s because their decisions are based on a lot of different environmental considerations, and carbon storage is only one of them.
“Certainly, the question of carbon is in the back of our minds,” says Distler. “But we’re focused a bit more on the conservation of biodiversity.”
American Farmland Trust (AFT) began in 1980 after a small group of farmers and conservationists asked an important question: What will happen to the nation’s food supply if we continue to wastefully develop our best farm and ranch land?
In Texas — the heart of Trump country — the city of Georgetown runs on 100% renewable energy. Republican Mayor Dale Ross told Axios that the decision was “a no-brainer economically.”
“If you win the economic argument you’re going to win the environmental argument.”
Why it matters: President Trump and many Republican leaders are rolling back environmental measures related to climate change. But in Georgetown, “We put these silly national partisan politics aside,” said Ross. Climate change is one of the most divisive political topics, but cities like Georgetown are finding that renewable energy sources like hydropower, wind and solar may provide more financial stability than fossil fuels.” -Republican Mayor Dale Ross
The media promotes crazy extremes; the changing climate is not a political ideology.
Time is imperative.
“Stop thinking in silos.” -Julie Wrigley
Climate Mayors — the national coalition of 407 U.S. Mayors dedicated to pursuing solutions to global warming — denounces this unprecedented attack on both the environment and states’ rights, and vows to continue moving forward on transportation policies that help reduce the impact of climate pollution.
“I promise to leave the world better than I found it.”
The authors of Natural Capitalism say that these choices are possible and such an economy would offer a stunning new set of opportunities for all of society, amounting to no less than the next industrial revolution. The book has many practical suggestions for companies interested in a sustainable future.
According to the authors, the “next industrial revolution” depends on the espousal of four central strategies: “the conservation of resources through more effective manufacturing processes, the reuse of materials as found in natural systems, a change in values from quantity to quality, and investing in natural capital, or restoring and sustaining natural resources.
We win or die by our culture; we are everyday change makers.
The Climate Optimist Manifesto:
“I believe we can solve climate change.
I will shine a light on solutions, share my optimism & take positive action.”
“There isn’t enough hope–we have to keep hope alive”
“Martin Luther King didn’t say, ‘I have a nightmare.’ He said, ‘I have a dream.'”
Climate Change Mitigation and Advocacy in 2018 and Beyond
by Anita Fete Crews
On May 2, Blessed Tomorrow and Auburn Seminary co-hosted the 2018 National Climate and Faith Leadership Forum, a gathering of nearly 50 faith leaders exploring how to increase climate change mitigation and advocacy activities across the country. Participants represented a diverse group of faith institutions and faith-based organizations, shared best practices, and discussed how to catalyze new, bolder, and broader efforts such as committing to 100% clean energy. Faith organizations and leaders are increasingly adopting climate change as a top priority, and embracing care for God’s creation as part of their faith identity and moral responsibility.
If each Blaine County resident spends just $5 each week on locally grown food, our farmers will earn $56 million annually — a huge economic boost.
“Vote with your fork.” -Ali Long
“Local Food Alliance…is on and pushing the leading edge of dynamic social and economic changes that are increasingly important in an ever-widening circle of acceptance.” – Larry Schoen, Blaine County Commissioner
Senator Cory Booker (D) spoke with Founding Executive Director Aimee Christensen at the first Sun Valley Forum four years ago. On Friday, August 2nd, at the Netroots National Annual Conference he shared:
“No matter how powerful corporate greed and corporations might be getting, the power of the people is greater than the people in power.”