Civilisational collapse has a bright past – but a dark future

UnknownActually, in many historical instances, it may not have been so bad for the masses of people who lived at the bottom rung of civilized societies.

’In fact, the end of civilisations rarely involved a sudden cataclysm or apocalypse. Often the process is protracted, mild, and leaves people and culture continuing for many years.…’

Via Aeon Ideas

R.I.P. Tony Glover (1939-2019)


Aadc2dc6503e41d18e46599be59c9965 superJumboMaster of the Blues Harmonica Is Dead at 79

Glover came out of the post-beatnik coffeehouse scene in Minneapolis, occasionally playing with Bob Dylan and more regarded as a harpist than Dylan was. In 1963 he began performing with guitarists Spider John Koerner and Dave Snaker Ray as what critic Dave Marsh called “the finest white blues group in the entire folk revival of the era,” channelling the likes of Leadbelly, John Lee Hooker, Son House and Blind Lemon Jefferson. 

Via The New York Times


I wore out several copies of the first Koerner Ray and Glover album, Blues, Rags and Hollers (1963), and I’m going to spin it up right now…

Trump’s UK trip illustrates why people worried about a Trump presidency

None of this is normal by the standard of any other president. The trip is a perfect illustration of what people feared from a Trump presidency: an immature, impulsive bully leveraging his office to demean his enemies and promote his business interests.

Unknown’President Donald Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom began with him firing off tweets from Air Force One calling London Mayor Sadiq Khan “a stone cold loser” and culminated with him posting tweets at 1:30 am London time on Wednesday denigrating actress Bette Midler as a “Washed up psycho.”

In between, the president called Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “a creep” and urged his supporters to boycott AT&T because of his displeasure with how CNN covers him. He also did a television interview with Piers Morgan in which he demonstrated appalling ignorance about climate science and attempted to walk back a comment he’d recently made about Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle being “nasty” — by calling her “nasty” again.

Trump was accompanied to the UK by his adult children and their spouses, despite the fact that only two of them (Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner) actually have official government roles. The New York Times responded by describing the Trump family as “the American answer to British royalty.”

Then, at the end of his three-day state visit, Trump left England to travel to Doonbeg, a tiny coastal town in Ireland that is home to a golf course he still owns and profits from.

Ahead of his arrival in Doonbeg, Trump had a brief meeting in Shannon, Ireland, with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. During a photo op, a reporter asked him, “Is this trip for you just about promoting your golf club?”…’

Via Vox

Camus on the only three antidotes to the absurdity of life

‘In a world whose absurdity appears to be so impenetrable, we simply must reach a greater degree of understanding among men, a greater sincerity. We must achieve this or perish. To do so, certain conditions must be fulfilled: men must be frank (falsehood confuses things), free (communication is impossible with slaves). Finally, they must feel a certain justice around them…’