Game Theory

Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in August, by Oliver Hilmer (Other Press. 2018. Trans. from the German by Jefferson Chase) begins on the first day of that summer’s Olympics and ends on their closing. But the Olympics were a smokescreen, a puppet show, a diversion of less significance than the fireworks which concluded Joseph Goebbels $800,000 last-night party, bloodying the sky red.

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Devil’s Due (A Defense Lawyer’s Approach to Lawfare)

Jim Coleman (pictured below) is a longtime law professor at Duke and Co-Director of the Wrongful Convictions Clinic.

In my day job, I constantly fight law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges who are indifferent to whether my clients are innocent.

Judges disregard misconduct by cops and prosecutors; indeed, they often protect them from public scrutiny.

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Telltale Signs

I only recently caught up with Ed Schultz’s swerve from “prairie populist” to pro-Kremlin anchor-man. He got his change in the summer of 2016 after he’d lost his gig at MSNBC. Schultz’s plasticity has always been apparent. (I posted on Big Ed’s persona—“250 pounds of ham and main chance”—back in 2010.) 

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The Fascist International and Its Fellow Travelers

Greil Marcus responds below to queries from Justyne Dillingham who asked Marcus to comment on (1) the motive behind Putin’s interference in the American election and (2) the “line” of certain leftists–writing in “publications like The Nation and The Intercept as well as mainstream outlets like The London Review of Books”—who claim Russia-gate is “a hoax made up by the intelligence agencies and pushed by Democrats to excuse their failure to win last November.”

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David Hockney’s Happy Phenomenology

Hockney’s pictures have been derided as “merely decorative” and the late Peter Fuller takes up that criticism with the artist in the short clip posted below. Hockney’s musings link pleasure in his art to affirmations of his (gay) self: “We should like ourselves.” There’s another BBC program where the artist is sound-tracked by snatches from Stravinksy’s opera, “The Rake’s Progress,” which flashed your editor back to an 80s Hockney show that seemed largely about cruising. (Not that Hockney’s phenomenology of his intentional body in space is always so libidinal.) While gay liberation is on his canvasses, the splashy promesse de bonheure in Hockney’s art belongs to everybody everybody. It’s a 60s thing, though it evokes other avatars of happiness that deserve dap–Greeks who first depicted the human smile, young French revolutionaries who declared: “happiness is the new idea in Europe,” ex-West Africans who flipped the mask of tragedy even as their favorite color reminded them of their lost continent. It’s all about blue for Hockney too!

If you’re around New York, go see his show at the Met before it closes on February 25th.  B.D.

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Son of Bibi: Or Three Men in a Car

Uri Avnery covers the latest news of the Netanyahu family’s trumpery. 

NO, I don’t want to write about the affair of Ya’ir Netanyahu. I refuse adamantly. No force in the world will compel me to do so.

Yet here I am, writing about Ya’ir, damn it. Can’t resist.

And perhaps it is really more than a matter of gossip. Perhaps it is something that we cannot ignore.

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Bench Press (A Protest Against One of Trump’s Worst Judicial Nominees)

Rev. Barber submitted the following letter to the Senate in opposition to the re-nomination of Thomas Farr to the Federal Judiciary. His words are suffused with felt knowledge of the past: “I have spent my whole life in North Carolina, and I know this nominee. I know what he’s done, what he stands for and just how detrimental he will be to the people of North Carolina and this nation if confirmed.” But he doesn’t ask the Senate to take his word for it. He provides facts and links that make his case undeniable.

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