11 June 2020

Home-Cooked Link Sausage Platter

Diving face-first into this platter may be the only way to consume it. At least you won't have to tip the driver.

  • Even without contemporary blackface productions, so-called "legitimate theatre" remains racist, both on stage and off. Not to mention fundamentally ignorant of its ruling-class bias that extends far beyond race. "Cui bono?" indeed… and the less said about appropriation of "legitimate theatre" (disturbingly parallel to "real property," and largely to the benefit of the same people!) the less coffee I'll spew on my keyboard this morning.
  • This runs parallel to legitimate dismay (I fully intend the ironic dissonance with the last sentence of the preceding sausage) over the historical and contemporaneous discrimination in publishing. And as bad as that is with the authors, consider the infrastructure's problems. One might even argue that the racism is just an accident of class warfare, except that it's virtually impossible to separate the two, especially since they have been mutually reinforcing throughout history. Original position matters, albeit seldom in a good way and usually by being ignored… which is disturbingly parallel to BLM.
  • But original position doesn't matter enough. We've got a noble class without much noblesse oblige, whether temporal or faith-based. I challenge a good statistician to subanalyze those two problems against "inherited wealth." I do not have enough reliable data to determine whether the billionaires whose baseline made them top 2% are better or worse than the rest… primarily because there isn't a statistically valid sample of those who don't satisfy that description. Anecdotally, however, the worst miscreants seem to be the landed fortunes, epitomized at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It's all too much like selecting a top military leader by holding a jousting tournament; which, come to think of it, doesn't sound all that different from current practice…
  • Speaking of which, congratulations Gen Brown, the first man of color to lead a US military service as Chief of Staff (we've got a loooooooong way to go before saying anything other than "man"). Now if they'd also mention that he's an AFROTC grad and not an expletive-deleted ringknocker, they'd get an even better look at both the problem and one of the sources of the problem.
  • I sneer at the whingeing of academics on job descriptions (pierced paywall via third-party reference) and misuse of their work, because every line officer knows what that feels like (perhaps, especially, Gen Brown with all the time he spent in Stan-Eval). Even the PBI, whose "additional" and/or "collateral" duties are Where the Action Is — and, frankly, far more likely to affect unit-level success (or failure) than yet another single-insignia officer "leading" yet another artificial training scenario while the NCOs do the actual leading. Not to start yet another "staff versus command" firefight (since both are essential), but take a close look at Gen Brown's history of assignments… and ponder that only staff officers ever ponder conflict causation and its relationship to employment of military force and achievement of military objectives. Commanders don't have the time or energy to do so, at least not if they're competent commanders; the burdens of command are too great, even in "peacetime."
  • Or, the flip side: What happens when you really are the smartest, or at least best-informed, guys in the room — and the room is otherwise full of financial "geniuses," trust-fund babies, and "political operatives." Although that's a worthwhile article with an interesting and detailed account, it misses the first cause in the name of chasing down proximate cause: The object of power is power, and if there's one thing that the real experts don't have it's the power to actually decide. That may be a good thing in some senses, but CDC is an example of extremes.