Thursday, 21 January 2021

domestic agenda

Signalling a radical shift in policy priorities, Joe Biden for his first day and a half in office signed a tranche of executive orders reversing the direction that his predecessor (lest we forget the catalogue of horrors) had taken the country and the first steps to positioning America as a leader and innovative force. Redressing the pandemic crisis, Biden’s spending proposal for economic aid and relief and accelerating vaccination comes in at just under two trillion dollars, imposing a mask mandate on federal property and interstate transportation, extend student loan deferments and a moratorium on evictions and re-join the World Health Organisation. Moreover, Biden moved to bring the US back into the Paris Climate Agreement plus reimpose pollution restrictions recently relaxed and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline project that would shuttle a particularly pernicious type of petroleum from Canadian fields to American refineries. On immigration, Biden has directed the travel ban on some Muslim-majority countries to be repealed, reversed the inhumanly cruel practise of separating immigrant families at the border and ended the declared National Emergency that funded the Wall. In the Oval Office, the bust of Winston Churchill (previously) is replaced—in the background—by one of Cรฉsar Chรกvez.

ownership of the memes of production

We can totally relate to these candid, joyful images from yesterday’s inauguration ceremonies—especially to Mister Bernie Sanders with his fabulous upcycled mittens and can image myself mingling post-pandemic at a social event with a similar degree of tempered enthusiasm.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

a more perfect union

 From the Latin augur—referring to the rites of Roman priests seeking to interpret if the gods willed a public official to assume office, Joe Biden will be sworn in at noon today, Eastern Standard Time, a moment after Kamala Harris, as the forty-sixth president of the United States of America.

Other individuals who share this same inaugural day, set in law in 1937 except when the 20th falls on a Sunday and then conducted in private with public ceremonies taking place the following day, include Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953), John F. Kennedy (1961), Richard M. Nixon (1969), Jimmy Carter (1977), Ronald Reagan (1981), George H.W. Bush (1989), William Jefferson Clinton (1993), George W. Bush (2001), Barack Obama (2009) and Biden’s immediate predecessor in 2017. 


flotus: the story and legacy of the wooden Melania Trump sculpture in Slovenia 

lightening never strikes twice: a meteorologist debunks some weather myths 

we shall come rejoicing: digging out the sheep—rescued after a heavy snowfall  

photobomb: animals interrupting wildlife photographers 

draw a tattoo of a mailbox: in a reversal of sorts, compete with other human sketch artist to prove to an AI who is the most accomplished—via Waxy 

conspiracist ideation: what to do about QAnon

your daily demon: zagan

This sixty-first infernal king and president is also known by the name Dagon, possibly inspired by the ancient Mesopotamian deity interpreted as a fish-god or merman, but presents as a bull with griffin wings. When invoked, Zagan’s virtue is in making men witty, the alchemy of any base metal into valuable specie and can turn wine into water, blood into wine, wine into blood and also water into wine. Governing from this cusp day through the twenty-fourth of January, Zagan’s position is in the first degrees of Aquarius. Ruling thirty-three legions, Zagan is opposed by the angel Umahel.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

don’t stop

This year there will be no traditional pre-inauguration presidential gala or balls unlike in years past, but there is a throughline of course for a special one-off (at the time) reunion on the eve of the transition of power for the forty-second and forty-sixth office holder. Held on this day at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland, an cast of celebrities came together in honour of Bill Clinton’s win, including Barbra Steisand, Jack Lemmon, Elton John, James Earl Jones joined by headliners that history judges differently now Bill Cosby and Michael Jackson. The band Fleetwood Mac re-formed (see also) and performed Clinton’s campaign song.

brass in pocket

On this day in 1980, The Pretenders’ 1979 single from their eponymous debut album reached number one on the UK charts and held that position for a month.

Originally to meant to be set to more of a Motown sound, Chrissie Hynde worked with guitarist James Honeyman-Scott to articulate and give form to her lyric narrative about a superbly confident individual with all sorts of clout venturing out on a first date. The title comes from an overheard exchange during an after-show party, “Picked up dry cleaning? Any brass in pocket?” The British and America band members were quite taken with the quirks of their common language.  The next lines “I got bottle—I’m gonna use it” is Cockney rhyming slang—that is, bottle, glass, I got a nice—So special! “Got new skank—it’s so reet,” is a reference to satirist and underground comic artist Robert Crumb.

the revolution will be commodified

By Quaranteenage Stepdad and from JWZ