Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for December 21st, 2016

North Carolina

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PSA: It’s important to distinguish between the people of North Carolina, among whom are many who are loving and charitable, and the North Carolina legislature and former governor, who are contemptible and mean-spirited. I have close friends who live in North Carolina, who are aghast at what the state legislature has become but are powerless to fix it, thanks to the extreme gerrymandering the North Carolina GOP has done, since that is the only way they have to frustrate the will of the public.

That said, I would not go near North Carolina on a bet.

What prompted this post.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2016 at 8:29 pm

Posted in GOP, Government

Cocktail enlightenment

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Two traditional cocktails that I like are the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned (and both are cocktails, not highballs—specifically, the Old Fashioned does NOT use soda or any other mixer, though sometimes that is attempted). Both are made with rye whiskey, but rye fell out of fashion so it became common to have a Bourbon Manhattan (or a Scotch Manhattan, called a Rob Roy, or—in Minnesota—a Brandy Manhattan) or a Bourbon Old Fashioned.

I mentioned in an earlier post that St. George Dry Rye Gin, which is made with rye, made an excellent Manhattan and Old Fashioned, so I decided to get a bottle of a good rye whiskey (and good rye whiskeys are now available again) and try that. Excellent decision. I’m going back to the original.

It’s odd how the spirit in some drinks is changed. I haven’t been doing the bar scene for a few decades, but back then a Brandy Alexander was thought of as a proper drink, and practically no one would order an Alexander (which is made with gin), though in fact the original Alexander is quite nice.

I gather that today the range of common drinks has changed quite a bit.

 

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2016 at 7:05 pm

Posted in Daily life, Drinks

The cowardly GOP

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This column by Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post is well worth reading. She is a conservative Republican but has principles, intelligence, and integrity.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2016 at 6:31 pm

I’m not a Twitter person, but …

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German Lopez definitely seems worth following. He may make a Twitter person of me.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2016 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Media

The Queen is a useless piece

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A really terrific game. Among board games, my preference is Go, but chess has some wonderful aspects. This game, from 2016, is worth watching (if you play chess, of course). The comment is “Fabiano Caruana sacrifices his Queen for two Knights against his US compatriot Hikaru Nakamura in the 2016 London Chess Classic, stating that in this type of position the Queen is a useless piece.”

 

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2016 at 5:30 pm

Posted in Games, Video

Tagged with

How America fails to learn from its racist history, in 2 paragraphs

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German Lopez writes in Vox:

Both the US and Germany have committed horrific racist atrocities in the past. But Americans learn about their own cruelties differently than Germans do, writes Megan Carpentier for the Baffler:

In America, we learn that Hitler and the Nazis committed the Holocaust; in Germany, German children learn that they all participated in it, because the Germans came to believe that acknowledging their collective culpability as individuals was the only way to prevent it from ever happening again.

Americans, meanwhile, continue to debate whether the Civil War was fought to preserve the institution of slavery, as stated by actual Confederates at the time, or to settle a far more abstract and nebulous quarrel over the less morally indefensible concept of “states rights.” History isn’t always written by the victors, especially if there’s a version that makes everyone feel a little less guilty.

Obviously, this is to some extent simplifying the cultural and political differences between the US and Germany. (For one, Germany hasn’t wholly avoided the rise of right-wing extremism since the Nazis.)

But as Carpentier explains in her piece, America tends to take individualistic views of its history, focusing on heroes like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln and villains like Adolf Hitler. Germany has instead made a conscious effort to look at its role during World War II not through individuals but through a collective view — hence the focus not on how Hitler himself went wrong, but on how the nation that supported him and the Nazis did.

The impact of these distinct approaches sticks with us today. Germany still atones for World War II in its schools. Americans learn of slavery and other racist acts as largely the mistakes of their individual ancestors, and sometimes even refuse to admit what the mistakes were at all.

Just last year, there was a big debate about the Confederate flag after the Charleston church shooting, in which a gunman — who donned the flag and describes himself as a white supremacist — shot and killed nine black parishioners.

The flag is a racist symbol of a racist institution that defended slavery, based on the direct admissions of the Confederate states at the time. But some Americans refuse to see the flag in this way, terrified of what that would say about ancestors who once supported the Confederate cause. So there was a national conversation about the issue, mostly focused on if the flag should come down at the South Carolina Capitol.

It seemed ridiculous to be having this debate 150 years after the Civil War, but that’s emblematic of how much of the country has never truly atoned for America’s racist past. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2016 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Education

Tagged with ,

Watch an Exclusive Clip of Artist Bruce Conner’s Beautiful and Terrifying Film CROSSROADS

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The clip is amazing, and can be found at the bottom this page in Vogue, published in November 2014. I found it via this post by Jason Kottke:

One of my favorite art experiences this year was seeing Bruce Conner’s short film Crossroads at The Whitney. (It’s part of the Dreamlands exhibition, on view until Feb 5, 2017.) The film pairs slow-motion clips of the 1946 nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll with music from composers Patrick Gleeson and Terry Riley. The result is mesmerizing…the film’s 37 minutes long and I sat through the entire thing and will likely go back once more before the show closes. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2016 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Art, Military, Movies & TV

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