A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘vladimir putin

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Crux takes a look at some of the lost moons of the early solar system, including those of Jupiter, Saturn inward of Titan, and Neptune before its encounter with Triton.
  • D-Brief notes that, in its relatively warm and watery youth, the Moon could conceivably have supported life.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos, and a precise, of the ball–the Diner de Têtes Surrealistes–thrown in 1972 by the Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and her husband Guy at the Château de Ferrières outside of Paris.
  • Jonathan Wynn at the Everyday Sociology Blog takes a look at how students’ race can complicate the act of studying abroad. http://www.everydaysociologyblog.com/2018/07/race-and-studying-abroad.html
  • Imageo notes the heat wave aggravating forest fires in California and Oregon.
  • JSTOR Daily considers if, perhaps, the Ford Pinto received an undeservedly negative reputation from its contemporaries.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to a Matthew Yglesias analysis about the usability of swing voters in the American context.
  • At the LRB Blog, Anne Orford draws from the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki the argument that international politics is much too important to be decided by two men alone and their translators.
  • The Map Room Blog shares some remarkable infrared images of Titan, looking beneath that world’s clouds.
  • Marginal Revolution notes one report suggesting that oil revenues could lead to a tripling of the size of the GDP of Guyana in five years.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel illustrates the discovery of an ancient galaxy almost entirely absorbed into the Andromeda Galaxy, M32p.
  • Towleroad reviews the new Broadway play Straight White Men, which has an interesting take on this hitherto-dominant portion of North American society.

[NEWS] Five LGBTQ links: Saskatchewan, Wojnarowicz, Trump and Putin, Scott Thompson, Blued

  • This history of LGBTQ life in Saskatchewan by Valerie Korinek sounds fascinating. Has anything been done in Atlantic Canada, I wonder? Global News reports.
  • This Artsy editorial is quite right about the importance of David Wojnarowicz, artistically and politically. I own a copy of his Close to the Knives.
  • There is, I have to conclude, at least some homophobia in the jokes about Trump and Putin being a couple. It’s quite quite possible to be a straight homophobe, for starters. Vulture deconstructs the meme, here.
  • Scott Thompson is a national treasure. Read this CBC Day 6 interview.
  • CBC takes a look at the roaring success of China-oriented gay dating app Blued, with tens of millions of users.

[NEWS] Four notes about futures, economies, apocalypses, and salvations

  • Don Pittis plausibly suggests that, with spiraling inequality and the rise of tax havens, capitalism may be starting to break down. How can it function if the masses are excluded from prosperity? CBC has it.
  • Thomas Wright suggests that, between Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, and Vladimir Putin, it’s entirely possible their conflicting ambitions for themselves and their countries could trigger catastrophe. The Irish Times hosts the article.
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  • Zach Ruiter makes a depressingly plausible case for climate change, particularly, triggering human extinction in the near term, over at NOW Toronto.
  • Issie Lapowsky reports on how the equivalent of a guaranteed minimum income among the Eastern Band of the Cherokee has had significant positive effects on the lives of recipients, over at Wired.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Apostrophen’s ‘Nathan Smith points to his blog post about the strengths of the chosen families of queer people, in life and in his fiction.
  • Beyond the Beyond’s Bruce Sterling revisits the politics behind France’s Minitel network, archaic yet pioneering.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly blogs about meeting her online friends in real life. Frankly, it would never occur to me not to do that.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at how Kepler’s exoplanets fall neatly into separate classes, super-Earths and mini-Neptunes.
  • The LRB Blog has a terrible report from Grenfell Tower, surrounded by betrayed survivors and apocalypse.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the inclusion of Canada’s First Nations communities on Google Maps.
  • The NYRB Daily’s Robert Cottrell explores the banalities revealed by Oliver Stone’s interviews of Putin.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Jason Davis considers the likely gains and challenges associated with missions to the ice giants of Uranus and Neptune.
  • Towleroad notes the new Alan Cumming film After Louie, dealing with a romance between an ACT-UP survivor and a younger man
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Ilya Somin does not find much good coming from Trump’s announced Cuba policy.
  • Window on Eurasia warns about the threat posed by Orthodox Christian fundamentalists in Russia.

[OBSCURA] On that graffiti showing Putin and Trump kissing in Lithuania

The above wall, this photo taken by the Associated Press’ Mindaugas Kulbis, has gone viral. This is a fantastic image that gets right down to the fundamental similarities between Russia’s actual and America’s potential leaders. Timothy Snyder’s NYR Daily post of last month goes into detail about this odd couple, and what attracts them to each other.

It is not hard to see why Trump might choose Putin as his fantasy friend. Putin is the real world version of the person Trump pretends to be on television. Trump’s financial success (such as it is) has been as a New York real estate speculator, a world of private deal-making that can seem rough and tough—until you compare it to the Russia of the 1990s that ultimately produced the Putin regime. Trump presents himself as the maker of a financial empire who is willing to break all the rules, whereas that is what Putin in fact is. Thus far Trump can only verbally abuse his opponents at rallies, whereas Putin’s opponents are assassinated. Thus far Trump can only have his campaign manager rough up journalists he doesn’t like. In Russia some of the best journalists are in fact murdered.

President Putin, who is an intelligent and penetrating judge of men, especially men with masculinity issues, has quickly drawn the correct conclusion. In the past he has done well for himself by recruiting among politicians who exhibit greater vanity than decency, such as Silvio Berlusconi and Gerhard Schröder. The premise of Russian foreign policy to the West is that the rule of law is one big joke; the practice of Russian foreign policy is to find prominent people in the West who agree. Moscow has found such people throughout Europe; until the rise of Trump the idea of an American who would volunteer to be a Kremlin client would have seemed unlikely. Trump represents an unprecedented standard of American servility, and should therefore be cultivated as a future Russian client.

(Needling at least one homophobe is, I think, a bonus.)

The Associated Press carried an article explaining why the Vilnius eatery Keulė Rūkė commissioned this work.

Restaurant owner Dominykas Ceckauskas said Saturday the presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee and the Russian president both have huge egos “and they seem to get along pretty well.”

He said the image is “an ironic view of what can be expected.”

Local artist Mindaugas Bonanu created the wheat paste poster for the eatery in the capital Vilnius on Friday. It’s on the outside of the Keule Ruke restaurant— Lithuanian for “Smoking Pig” — along with the text “Make Everything Great Again” — a play on Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”

Ceckauskas said the poster was a nod to a 1979 photograph of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing East German ally Erich Honecker on the mouth — once a customary greeting between Socialist leaders. The iconic shot was later painted on the Berlin Wall.

The only downside that I can see is that, if Trump actually does get elected, Lithuania could be in for hard times. Offending two narcissists is risky enough when only one actually could have power over your country.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 16, 2016 at 9:41 pm