Though I rarely do so, it’s shameless plug time:


Take a trip over to the Imagitron, aka Simon Stalenhag’s art gallery: link HERE. Wander through his dystopian landscapes, each image packed with recognizable cultural references and more than a little irreverent humor. Looking over the store, lots of these images are available for purchase, and at reasonable prices, too. Thanks to Simon down in Melbourne, OZ, for the heads up.



Going to be in New Jack City tomorrow? Peter and the Wolf is being put on at the Guggenheim, Frank Lloyd Wright’s circuitous gallery right off Central Park. Five in the evening, be there or be square, right?


And speaking of Dystopiaville – and relevant to current events, I’d say – an interesting piece at the NYTimes yesterday about relativism in reporting, and how people are approaching the news these days. Another from the New Yorker looks at donor sponsored disinformation campaigns. Both quite entertaining.


Heartening to read yesterday about former president Bush (41) and senator Dole visiting the Pearl Harbor memorial on the anniversary of the attacks.


Writing up here on the mountain, and digging out from the latest storm, with another big one due this weekend. A very balmy -20F last night, but Orion was spectacular. And speaking of spectacular, check out this (large) image:


This portrait of the Fornax galaxy cluster sent by longtime reader Simon, taken somewhere down on the bottom side of the world. The smudgy “stars” are in fact galaxies, similar to the small spiral galaxy seen top center, some edge on, others obliquely. This image (c)2016 Simon W; taken with a Takahashi Epsilon 130 reflector on a Paramount MyT equatorial mount, exposures: 3×90 seconds L channel only.

Have a good, warm weekend, wherever you are, and see you next time.


21 thoughts on “Dystopiaville

  1. Too bad you can’t trust the NY Times, of Jason Blair fame, or the Boston Globe, of Mike Barnicle and Barbara Stewart fame, not to publish fabricated stories either.


  2. Ok. So perhaps my paint brush was a wee bit wide. But I get the feeling that no one in the media cares about even the appearance objectivity anymore. Which only feeds the alt news sources.


  3. Not so sure that media in general don’t care about objectivity, but individuals have biases, and reporters are people. So journalists have biases too, and no one questions that, but I think well trained journalists may be better able to account for their biases than, say, some kid in Romania feeding patently false stories to Alt-right “News” sites (i.e. Pizza-gate, et al). And there are sites such as Media Matters which do a fair job of dissecting questionable stories on both the left and the right, and MM is worth visiting, too; such watchdogs promote the incorporation of standards of fairness and objectivity, yet more interestingly, there are really few such mechanisms to do so. Using the courts to do so would simply choke off freedom of the press and hasten a collapse into full-blown state sponsored propaganda arms, which happened in NAZI Germany.
    I think it more likely that, in today’s ultra-polarized political atmosphere, if people don’t find a news outlet that adheres to their ideological predisposition, they just move on to one that does. If that means, in the end, that people are getting their “news” from what is little more than a propaganda outlet, what does that tell us about the future of democracy? If one of the cornerstones of a healthily functioning democracy is an impartial press, and that impartiality is, suddenly or otherwise, called into question – well, then, just what do you think that means for the future prospects of that democracy? Post-Stalinist Soviet Russia and Hitler’s Germany are but two examples of objectivity in media coming apart at the seams, but of course only Germany was a functioning democracy, and that was pre-1933. What should concern thoughtful people at this point, IMO, is how to restore not simply the appearance of objectivity, but how to develop and implement rigorously ethical standards of journalistic integrity. Does that mean licensing journalists in ways that, perhaps, medical professionals currently are?
    It’s an interesting problem, isn’t it?


  4. Interesting idea, licensing journalists. As far as Germany being a functional democracy, given All the post war economic instability, I not really sure it ever had a chance to develop, or that enough Germans were really committed to it.


  5. Having lived there a couple of times, and studied the period a bit, my opinion re Germany would be simple: most people embraced democratic principles, and they were committed to them, but in referring to the Weimar period I understand that all such trends must be considered tenuous. The nascent point bears closer examination, however: a small, dedicated coalition of anti-democratic would-be politicians came to power by scapegoating democratic institutions, and I think there are parallels today, both here and in Europe, that should concern people.


  6. Fake News used to be in the Dirty Tricks category, it is now firmly ensconced as a Blood Sport. I remember when the term Swift Boating became a verb. O’Neill bragged a couple of years later how proud he was to have cost Kerry the election. Admitting the event was funded by Rove and engineered by Cheney. Today FB and Twitter have taken the concept out of the production studio and put it worldwide to the point we have no idea whether agencies foreign or domestic are involved. Deja vu all over again?
    Yes, I am becoming cynical. Yes, I am angry. But I will not give up and quit trying. Some of the “news” sources I saw today on posts shared by friends included jewsnews .co . il,, usanews. co . us, and an e-mail announcement from amazzon.com alerting me that my shipment has been delayed (phishing anyone?). I understand those boys in Bulgaria are all driving new BMWs.


  7. Kind of interesting that Republicans are relying on massive disinformation campaigns and organized voter disenfranchisement on all levels of government to win elections. That the president elect denies any external state sponsored involvement is telling. Personally, I’d imagine they’ve crossed the line, qualify for a RICO Act investigation, but given the FBI’s now obvious inherent bias and indifference? The fact that a woman was trying to bring civil charges against the president elect for raping her – when she was 13 years old – and who then dropped the charges after credible death threats against her were uncovered, ought to be a concern for anyone. Why isn’t this being investigated? But it’s not, because Republicans and their enablers obviously don’t care. That’s not partisanship, that’s delusion to the point of mental illness, and that anyone thinks a person of this sort qualified to lead this country only serves to prove the point. Well, enough said. People who voted for him, the working poor for the most part, ought to be feeling good right about now. Watching his cabinet picks tells the whole story. Surrounding himself with Wall Street cronies, anti-labor/anti-living wage robber barons and the like, I only wonder how long they can be kept in the dark. With a steady diet of Alt-right and Fox-style news, probably forever. And Clinton with an almost three million vote lead leads the president elect to simply open up the spigot and lie some more: Voter Fraud. Oh, the irony. Oh, bye-bye democracy. Reagan must be looking down on all this with serious malice in his heart, turning his party into this…


  8. That would be a conspiracy of breath taking scale. Though it does seem pretty clear that the DNC information was courtesy of a foreign power.


  9. So many of my clients get upset when I tell them not to send anything they want to keep confidential by email. And to block employee access to web based mail, and train and test employees on web based social engineering. Russia not withstanding, that information should not have been on a Google account if it was so important.


  10. If that NYTimes articles proves anything at all, it’s that the DNC was (is?) staffed by incompetents. If this story is true, and this is representative of the people they hire for sensitive posts, then they have no business trying to run a government. It’s time for a shakeup, but everything I’ve read to date makes me think they’re little more than complacent finger pointers, i.e., they blame everyone else and won’t learn from their mistakes. Given previous “it’s my turn” candidates like Mondale and Kerry, that’s not a big surprise. Given that third party candidates tend to wipe out democrats, I’d say the Republicans have little to fear over the next 3-4 elections. If Jeb had run against Hillary, I imagine he’d have won the popular vote by five million, and garnered a true electoral landslide. Absent Russian intervention, who can say what would have happened to Trump…but that’s the point, isn’t it. Putin was the only real winner in this election.


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