Tag: Metaphor

Harvey Fierstein Interview – Village Voice

FP: After downtown celeb Harry Koutoukas’s apartment caught fire, in 1972, you authored In Search of the Cobra Jewels, a show about his attempt to help clean up the mess. You played Koutoukas. Your memoir recounts that Village Voice culture writer Arthur Bell “was arrested for holding another man’s hand as they crossed the street” from the theater. Progress has been made, but with record-breaking trans deaths and a Conservative backlash, are we moving backward on queer issues?

HF: I don’t believe it’s possible to move backward. We must allow each generation to find its way. What we see happening now with MAGA is the death throes of a generation that can’t stop progress. Conservatives want to move back to a time when they felt more comfortable. But that time is coming to an end.

FP: But there’s such a strident push to recreate the past.

HF: There’s a saying in the antique business—“You can’t go broke by selling people their childhood.” Hucksters are selling back to MAGA a picture of America that no longer exists. Think of it as the difference between weather and climate. The weather changes (MAGA arises) but not the overall (political) climate of ongoing, unstoppable change. That makes them all nervous.

FP: Hyperbole abounds while critical thinking skills evaporate.

HF: My “eBay theory” helps to explain. A postage stamp for sale is displayed in a 3-by-4-inch screen image. A Rolls Royce is presented in the same image size. Over time, Internet and social media technologies have us believing all things are equal.

FP: As in, my opinion is as legitimate as your evidence-proven fact?

HF: Yes. The idiot next door is a COVID expert because he says he is. If everything is equal, then what are critical thinking skills for? As the COVID pandemic progressed, we learned new ways to treat, what/what not to do regarding transmission. It’s a constantly moving target. What was true last month may not be true today, so we adjust our perceptions. We evaluate with critical thinking skills. Many have lost the ability to do that.

Harvey Fierstein Cleaned Off His Desk During COVID
The actor, playwright, and screenwriter talks about his memoir, sobriety, women in politics, and what’s next
by FRANK PIZZOLI

Politics as Sport – Metaphor

When any political movement loses all sense of self and has no unifying theory of government, it ceases to function as a collective rooted in thought and becomes more like fans of a sports team. Asking the Republican Party today to agree on a definition of conservatism is like asking New York Giants fans to have a consensus opinion on the Law of the Sea Treaty. It’s not just that no one knows anything about the subject; they don’t remotely care. All Republicans want to do is beat the team playing the Giants. They aren’t voters using active intelligence or participants in a civil democracy; they are fans. Their role is to cheer and fund their team and trash-talk whatever team is on the other side. This removes any of the seeming contradiction of having spent years supporting principles like free trade and personal responsibility to suddenly stop and support the opposite. Think of those principles like players on a team. You cheered for them when they were on your team, but then management fired them or traded them to another team, so of course you aren’t for them anymore. If your team suddenly decides to focus on running instead of passing, no fan cares—as long as the team wins.

Stevens, Stuart. It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump

Pablum

Pablum

Pablum is a processed cereal for infants originally marketed by the Mead Johnson Company in 1931. The trademarked name is a contracted form of the Latin word pabulum, which means “foodstuff”. The name “pablum” had long been used in botany and medicine to refer to nutrition or substances of which the nutritive elements are passively absorbed.

In a broader sense, the word can also refer to something that is bland, mushy, unappetizing, or infantile.

wikipedia

Intelligent Architecture – University of Irvine sidewalks

When I was in college a professor told us a story about an architect (Developer) who would build all of his buildings, but put down no sidewalks. He would just plant grass. 6 months later he would come back and put sidewalks down where all the paths were worn. In this way, he assured that the walks would be where the people were mostly likely to walk. The point of the story was that we should observe how people do whatever it is we are trying to model in software and then build it to work that way, thus creating “user friendly” software.

I am told that when they built the University of California at Irvine, they did not put in any sidewalks the first year. Next year they came back and looked at where all the cow trails were in the grass and put the sidewalks there.

via straighdope message boards