A Game of Rome House of Thrones


What defining characteristic is it that these series all do share in common?

Other than the fact that they all are glorified soap operas, that is.

And besides the obvious sleaze factor, of course.

Two words:

          Gutter Machiavellianism!

Think of it as the opposite of Bertrand Russell's enlightened self-interest.

While some critics have praised the make-believe Leo-Straussian fictional universes of these series for their cynicism and self proclaimed "gritty realism" (they wish), the description is mostly misleading. And realistic they are not.

David Farland refers to it as the dark side of wisdom:



This was bound to happen . . .


I blame Amandus.

Sure, the man is the patron saint of all who produce beer: brewers, innkeepers and bartenders.

But does it mean he can be trusted?


It's a small world after all


It's true.

It's factual.

I got it from the Smithsonian:

She is to be appointed by the President as the next director of the Secret Service.

She'll become the first woman to hold that post.

How cool is that?

It dates back to 1865, you know—the Secret Service:



All Roads Lead to Rome


That's because the IMF Report is using an outdated Economic Model, David.

You are beginning to sound like one of these. These people are living in the wrong millennium.

Why, they sound just like Abraham Lincoln:

Abraham Lincoln?


Let me ask you: how old is that?


Next thing you know, they'll be quoting some loon from the professional leftTM, for crying out loud.

Why not Martin Luther King, Jr., while we are at it.

You've got to live with your times, David.

Time to reclaim the American Dream, don't you know?

Haven't you heard? slave labor is all the rage, in this day and age.

As in all ages.

And it's good for the Economy.

I mean, hasn't slave labor always existed throughout history? Hasn't slavery been the natural state of mankind. The Greeks had slaves, the Romans had slaves, and the English and Americans had slaves too, until very recently. And theirs were, in their times, perfectly working economic models—all of them, in their own rights.

Look at Ancient Rome, for instance:

Those were the glory days of the Roman Empire.

Surely, it couldn't have been all that bad.

Seneca was a Roman and he was a Humanist, too:

And a wise man:

But then again, Seneca managed somehow to get himself entangled in the the Pisonian conspiracy, so he couldn't have been all that wise.

But what do I know?.

You tell me.

Your guess is as good as mine.





How very Goyaesque.

I hear what you are saying, Robert, but no one else can—or wants to.

Or not enough people, in any case. And not the ones that matter. None of the decision-makers. And not enough of the decision-takers (those who have to take it, in the end, and wind up living with the decisions made for them by the ®deciders that they voted—or not—into office). It looks like people are jut swallowing it all, hook, line, and sinker. What else did you expect, when all the decision-makers, the representatives of the people, left or right, are practically all on the same page?

Regardless of how many Nobel prizes of economics Paul Krugman is awarded, it doesn't seem like anything of what he or you might be saying about this Orwellian dystopia is going to make one iota of a difference in the end.

And this is why:

In Striptease, a play by Polish dramatist and writer Sławomir Mrożek, two characters - one an intellectual, the other an activist - find themselves inside a room where a gigantic hand instructs them to remove their clothes until both act out an elaborate dance of rationalized submission.

I've often wondered if this is what it must be like to be a "New" Democrat.

Rationalized submission is basically what has been happening to dissent in this country, over the last two decades. Most of the people who were indignant under the presidency of George W. Bush, have now just simply become resigned under the presidency of Obama.

This is what happens when hope is no more.

Is this stage 4 of the Kübler-Ross model, or have we entered stage 5 already?

I wish I could say it is a local phenomenon. But things are just about the same—and worse—on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.



Eye of the Beholder


Am I the only one, here, who finds that TED Talks, as a medium, is a bit dated (in an anachronistic sort of a way), and out of synch with the current interactive digital information age.

A famous SNL sketch comes to mind:

I mean, I understand that no one is forcing anyone to be part of the audience, of course. One would have to submit an application first, and be accepted. So, there is always the off chance they'll reject you. One should be that lucky! But even if one were to have made the big expensive mistake (at $7,500 a ticket) to accept such an invitation; do not despair, there is always a way out (Don't count on getting your money back, though. Nor do expect to be invited again—ever! Even at $7,500 a pop.):

I don't know. If you asks me, the days of the lecturer standing pontificating on a stage or at a lectern—even for just 18 minutes (or maybe especially for just 18 minutes) or so—to a passive audience are numbered.

Snowcloning James Carville's famous slogan: "It's the medium, stupid."



Girl Power

That settles it, then...

   Via RJ Silver Books, via Amazon Whispernet.

I am just going to have to get meself one of these new toys...

Like a Nook or a Kindle.



Truth in advertising


At first glance, for a second or two, there, I just thought it was Anna Faris on that billboard.

It's an easy mistake to make...

She's such a really truly talented professional.

Anna Faris, I mean.

She makes me laugh. It’s no secret that humor is sexy. Who wants to be around anyone who is serious and stiff all the time, right?

Anyway, apparently that billboard didn't stay up very long.

Don't ask me why.

Somebody in Chicago who found it offensive, no doubt, must have made them take it down.

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) said he asked Urban Core Outdoor, the billboard company, to be a good neighbor and voluntarily take down the billboard.

Much ado about nothing, if you ask me.

A kiss is just a kiss.

And a billboard is a billboard is a billboard is....

...NOT a Bill board...

If you know what I mean.