"squad" votes for the heinous pelosi

Yves Smith didn't say if a specific topic caused her to turn off comments on her blog Naked Capitalism (which has a lively and informative comments section).
"I am tired of adjudicating extended off topic discussions (aka 'thread-jacking'), regular Making Shit Up, conspiracy theories, and threats of bodily harm," was all she said.
Possibly it was arguments about political comedian Jimmy Dore's #ForceTheVote initiative. He's been demanding from his YouTube pulpit that so-called progressive House Democrats withhold their vote from the odious Nancy Pelosi in her race for House Speaker. That should be a given; she's one of the most hated politicians in America. Dore wanted AOC and the rest of the squad to use their speakership vote to force a House-wide floor vote on Medicare for All. This would have the effect bringing the issue to the fore in the midst of The Pandemic, to make representatives affirmatively declare yes or no on the issue, rather than offer vague promises and postpone consideration. The idea isn't to actually win, but to start making moves in that direction, as opposed to doing nothing.
Dore was much discussed on Naked Capitalism's last big commentfest before the shutoff. Yves Smith intervened a couple of times to declare Dore a "troll" and a political "latecomer." She's wrong about both; he's a refreshing voice on the left, and has been courageous in critizing Bernie and AOC for their spinelessness in the face of "corporate Democrat" control. Sadly the moment has passed -- the Squad voted for Pelosi this week. Maybe NC comments can come back on now.

Update, Jan 11, 2021: Naked Capitalism is re-enabling comments. Yves Smith mentioned only one issue as a cause for the holiday (there were doubtless others):

An example of the sort of discussion that has degraded the comments section: the bizarre talking point that Sanders was a “sheepdog,” which was repeatedly injected into the comments section despite the lack of news hooks in Links or current articles. Technically, this was a classic example of yet another Policies violation called “thread jacking.” We should have expunged those comments and moderated or blacklisted offenders.

You can legitimately criticize Sanders for how he conducted his campaign, and in particular, his decision to suspend it after the weekend of the long knives. But the notion that Sanders was campaigning to do Team Dem a big favor never had any factual foundation, consistent with the inability of proponents to provide one.

These discussion were not only a rancorous waste of space, they sucked attention and energy away from productive post mortem analysis. Understanding why Sanders failed and assessing what if anything he could have been done to change the outcome would be helpful to future campaigns. But instead we witnessed repetitive, seemingly unending, unsubstantiated accusations. And this argument could never go anywhere because the charge presumed that Sanders had been consciously operating in bad faith from the very outset. Strong claims require strong evidence, yet there was none.

John Pomara, "Digital Debris" exhibit at Barry Whistler, Dallas, TX, Oct-Nov 2020


Eric Shaw writes about painter John Pomara in Glasstire, the Texas online art magazine. An excerpt from his essay:

The artist had a revelatory moment in 2011 when he discovered a website spazzing out, creating picture mash-ups that captured his imagination. He screen-saved like mad for two days before the resident web-master stuck a savvy thumb in the download dike.

That spurred Pomara to learn just enough coding to frack his own on-screen picture streams. He now captures these pastiche beasts, and reconfigures them still more by layering and, occasionally — for the love of white — by pouring on bleach. This wipes out structured sections of his fragmented pictures, reclaiming drip-technique appearances we naturally attribute to Neo Ex and Ab Ex exemplaries.

Ever since Lascaux, artists have exploited the misshapen aspects of undersurfaces to inspire figure, line, and shape. Pomara couldn’t be looking at anything less dense than a cave wall, but his strategy’s the same: use the rich diaspora of Lady Chance to guide one’s hand. Make nice with your “mistakes.” Give the glitch a brush and make it paint a wall.

He still roves the rabid lands we see on laptops for found objects — instances of mistaken juxtaposition, errant cropping, or bad coding. His reports on encountering this stuff is uncanny. I’ve never seen it. (Have you?) Pomara sees it all the time. The fates are going to bat for this man it seems.

As Rauschenberg adopted a scavenger’s aesthetic in the ‘50s, utilizing the detritus of city streets and pop culture to create rummage-strewn compositions, Pomara is a Rauschenberg of electron viewscapes. He builds an aesthetic from that world’s flotsam and puts it in canvases and prints — ones that are made through mechanical processes themselves.

I responded with a comment:

Thanks for this in-depth look at Pomara’s work; in all the extensive writing that’s been done on him in the past (catalog essays, newspaper articles, online journalism), his “glitch” processes and the reasons behind them are rarely if ever explained with such detail or passion.
One comment of the author’s surprised me -- that he hadn’t himself seen “instances of mistaken juxtaposition, errant cropping, or bad coding” while surfing the web.
The sellers of smartphones and social media interfaces certainly aim for a “seamless” experience and anyone who actually has one is to be congratulated. My own experience of the web, on a range of devices, with even the fastest connections, is one of half-rendered pages, mistakenly sized fonts, and blinking dropdown menus. There are actually websites and entire communities devoted to the unseamless experience in all its humor and horror. “Annoying.technology,” “The Website Obesity Crisis,” “The Triumphant Rise of the Shitpic” and “In Defense of the Poor Image” are just a few examples.


I took the photos in this post in the gallery, while the show was up. It's hard to get across the physical presence of the work. Below is a detail (unfortunately grainy) showing the honeycomb aluminum panel and some of the glitch patterning converted from internet to paint.


The Plain Sense of Things
By Wallace Stevens

After the leaves have fallen, we return
To a plain sense of things. It is as if
We had come to an end of the imagination,
Inanimate in an inert savoir.

It is difficult even to choose the adjective
For this blank cold, this sadness without cause.
The great structure has become a minor house.
No turban walks across the lessened floors.

The greenhouse never so badly needed paint.
The chimney is fifty years old and slants to one side.
A fantastic effort has failed, a repetition
In a repetitiousness of men and flies.

Yet the absence of the imagination had
Itself to be imagined. The great pond,
The plain sense of it, without reflections, leaves,
Mud, water like dirty glass, expressing silence

Of a sort, silence of a rat come out to see,
The great pond and its waste of the lilies, all this
Had to be imagined as an inevitable knowledge,
Required, as a necessity requires.

via Poetry Foundation and Andrew Goldstone

I always forget about Stevens, a glacially-cold Modernist who hasn't been de-canonized by Wokesters yet because his writing is so opaque (don't worry, they'll get to this lawyer and insurance company executive eventually). The poem above is at once achingly melancholy and arch. "Silence of a rat come out to see" -- an eerie phrase. One could be forgiven for not getting past the first stanza, where his "savoir" brings reading to a dead stop. Possibly it's a synonym for "knowledge," but it's a verb in French and not usually unaccompanied by "faire" or "vivre" in English. This deliberate land mine puts the reader into a questioning frame for the remainder, as he or she lurches from unexpected simile to incongruous line break, to eventually contemplate The Great Pond.

new music releases (updated)

Some recent Bandcamp releases are below. This is sort of a pre-announcement; eventually they'll get a proper sendoff with embedded links and liner notes.

(My music productivity is a bit ahead of blogging at the moment.)

Tom Moody - Music for Piano

Three releases from the St Celfer and Tom Moody collaborative page:

earcon Sampler: Tom Moody Edit

Tom Moody - First Wavs, Vol. 1

Tom Moody - First Wavs, Vol. 2

Tom Moody - First Wavs, Vol. 3

The "First Wavs" series presents tracks from 2004-2010 that were originally posted here. These have been culled down to "keepers" and in some cases drastically shortened, but not otherwise remixed. For example, Mutator OD Bass, from Vol. 3, which a fellow blogger once used as his ringtone.

Happy New Year to all.