Too Venal for Words category archive
Alfred Doblin considers the similarities between Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein.
Just read it.
You’re on the air at your AirBnB:
Sure enough, when the couple got a closer look, what appeared to be a smoke detector was actually a camera pointing directly at the bed, according to ABC Action News.
Details at the link.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Michael Karson turns our attention to Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and the lessons it has for us.
Many years ago, I read Lolita.
It is without question the most chilling novel I have ever read. Next to it, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a Daffy Duck comic. I have no desire to read it again.*
In his narration, Humbert Humbert convinces himself and almost (but not quite–that’s the majesty of Nabokov’s writing) convinces the reader that Lolita welcomes, even yearns for, his violation of her.
An excerpt from Karson’s piece:
Self-delusion and evil often walk hand-in-hand.
Look around: You will see many Humbert Humberts in the political sphere, industriously convincing themselves and their dupes, symps, and fellow travelers to violate the common good and rape the general wellfare.
*It has been said that any book worth reading once is worth reading twice. I’ll make an exception for Lolita.
Prior to the event, Noah Feldman wrote of the implications of Donald Trump’s (then rumored) pardoning racist bigot-panderer Joe Arpaio. A snippet (emphasis added):
Such a pardon would reflect outright contempt for the judiciary, which convicted Arpaio for his resistance to its authority.
Every day of Trumpery ups the volume of vile and further erodes the rule of law.
“No one is saying you can’t go and write a review,” (plaintiff’s attorney Dave–ed.) Wishnew said. “Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequence. Things you put on the internet to attack a business have real-world consequences and that really resonated with the jury. You can’t go and burn someone’s house down and claim free speech.”
Well, there is some good news.
A Brooklyn jury deliberated five days before finding Shkreli guilty on three of eight counts. He had been charged with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Prosecutors had accused Shkreli of repeatedly misleading investors about what he was doing with their money. Mostly, he was blowing it with horrible stock picks, forcing him to cook up a scheme to recover millions in losses, they said.
Much more at the link. The story does not mention a sentencing date.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Charles Johnson considers the culture of Uber (and many other Silicon Valley outfits). A snippet:
The deplorable actions of Mr. Kalanick (who resigned as Uber’s president under fire for being a generally deplorable human being–ed.), as well as many of his executives, all seem to stem from Uber’s ‘cultural malady,’ which Dan Lyons dubbed “bro culture” in the New York Times.
Bro culture fosters an environment where companies are run much like a fraternity house. It’s perfectly laid out in its infamous 14 core cultural values, which includes super-pumpedness, meritocracy/toe-stepping, and always be hustlin’.
A web search tells me that there is a lack of clarity as to what Uber’s “14 core values” may actually be. The clearest list(s) I was able to find are–er–somewhat less than coherent, as could be expected from a bunch of dude-bros with a morning-after hangover.
On a radio show I heard recently, the host asked a caller, “What do you do for a living?” The caller responded, “I”m a Lyft driver.”
For Pete’s shake, if you do it for a living, it’s not sharing, it’s employment, and should be regulated accordingly.
The whole “sharing economy” thing is a con and a scam to avoid both obeying labor laws and treating employees like employees.
Thom and Lamar Waldron follow the bread crumbs from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump. (Note: Some of Waldron’s assertions wander into rather screwy territory, so have a few grains of salt ready, but it’s still worth a listen).
More of the interview is below the fold.
Remember, NBC is the network that gave you Donald Trump’s various Apprentices and is arguably responsible for the creating the myth that he knows what the hell he is doing.
(Spoiler Alert: Norman can’t make sense of it, because there’s no sense to be made.)
It don’t get much fiendlier than this.
An emergency responder at the Twin Cities airport dragged the lifeless body of a half-naked woman from the back of a commercial airliner and down the aisle for many people aboard to see, a troubled passenger said Tuesday.
The woman died Monday afternoon after being stricken in the bathroom while on the American Airlines Boeing 737 flying from Dallas to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, said MSP spokesman Patrick Hogan. Authorities have yet to identify the woman or address what led to her death.
Art Endress was on the flight and said an emergency medical technician (EMT) came aboard with other responders and removed the woman from the back and had her by the hands as he “dragged her down the aisle” as she was faceup and naked from the waist down.