Posts Tagged ‘Language’

Days Of Irony: Gaslighting For Beginners

April 5, 2020

Analysis shows irony instrumental in gaining insight into the totality of a nation being consumed by Covid 19. The dictionary’s primary definition is “the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite” but the supplement speaks more to the times we live in: “a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character’s words or actions are clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.” After all, we all are consumed by the news we consume which is essentially a literary technique; Dear Leader’s daily propaganda conferences come to mind. Which brings up the local leadership of not only Newark’s Mayor Jeff Hall, as well as the Licking County Commissioners – all MIA. But when they do surface (Local governments brace for possible recession as coronavirus pandemic continues, 4-4-20, The Advocate) their primary concern is the projected loss of revenue. As long as the dollars show up, what difference does it make whether there is a healthy hand or sick one holding it? The last time we heard from the Licking County Health Department was its refusal to allow for a needle exchange. Be safe Newark! Staying with the politics of it all, what if they gave an election and no one showed up? The slightest proposed gun regulation legislation always provokes swift and vociferous protest while Ohio’s primary being shifted to a “mail in” election, slated less than a month after legislation, is received with not even a whimper. The irony is that the alternate date of April 28 (and mail in format) was lobbied for by none other than David Pepper and the Ohio Democratic Party. Ostensible reason was for the expediency of vetting delegates for the July convention. Ironically, the anointed candidate for said convention changed the date of that convention to August (or even September). The irony grows when one considers that nasty old Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders mucking up party unity with all his agitated speech about income inequality, direct universal healthcare, free higher education and childcare. Too radical for the American people to embrace! They’d prefer Biden’s more moderate ACA HMO approach that determines ahead of time, for the doctors, who deserves care and who doesn’t qualify. Or Dear Leader’s “be nice to me” approach of dispensing patronage health care benevolence. NOT. Ironically (which is the theme of this posting), Covid 19 has shown otherwise. The current time sees an active preference for universal direct health care, forgiveness of student debt and child care urgency. There are smaller ironies, like abortion clinics “needing” to be closed while churches (and gun stores) “need” to be left open. Some rights are essential rights while others are non essential. But the largest, most blatant irony of them all is that, in just over 10 years, “free market” capitalism has required a total bail out of enormous proportions, again! This is no small individual bank collapse or savings and loan scandal. We’re talking maintaining and subsidizing an entire system to make sure it doesn’t become something else, entirely or partially (think hybrid cars). Both the incumbent candidate, Dear Leader, as well as his presumed opponent, Joe Biden, advocate bailing out the entire “free market” system in order to maintain and preserve it. Free market capitalism has abdicated responsibility for any of it through promotion of entrepreneurial agency (subjectivity), personal choice (and responsibility for) individual health care, retirement, employment, etc. The ultimate irony lies in the solution to the collapse of these entrepreneurial enterprise, self employed subjects with the current crisis. Stay at home or go to work? The token response is a one time cash hand out “dole” that is way short of even smelling like Mr. Sanders’ capitalist socialist state (with the added welfare insinuation that a “dole” implies and all); all done to ensure the health, safety and exclusivity of “free market” capitalism in these days of Covid 19.

Representation

January 18, 2020

In April of 2013 the Licking County Commissioners announced the demolition of the Children’s Home on East Main Street (2 of the 3 Commissioners continue to this day). The decrepit county jail was spared the wrecking ball (for it’s amusement potential). Today one can go to the Newark Library and peruse the archives for photos of the Home as well as the jail. One can walk a few blocks and look at the jail, point to it, and maybe compare it with the archival photo (something one cannot do with the Children’s Home as only the photos remain). Dear Leader may claim that “It doesn’t matter.” yet there is a difference between the architecture of The Historic Jail on south 4thStreet, and the representation of that and the Children’s Home found with the photographs. The dictionary gives the origins of the word “representation” to stem from the Middle English ‘image, likeness,’ and further back from the Latin ‘bring before, exhibit.’ Social media is just filled with representations. Some post photos of the meal they were served. The representation is not what they had for lunch. Then there are the ubiquitous and ever growing slew of people photo’s, including crime footage as well as celebrations. Many are edited to look good (like the Kardashians). The distinction gets a little fuzzy when we take photos of checks, etc. as documentation (if only they could be edited!). The representation (image) is the thing (exhibit). Analysis found updated fuzziness in a pair of news articles that appeared near simultaneously. National Archives exhibit blurs images critical of President Trump by Joe Heim for The Washington Post appeared 1-17-20. “The Archives acknowledged in a statement this week that it made multiple alterations to the photo of the 2017 Women’s March showcased at the museum, blurring signs held by marchers that were critical of Trump. Words on signs that referenced women’s anatomy were also blurred. In the original version of the 2017 photograph, taken by Getty Images photographer Mario Tama, the street is packed with marchers carrying a variety of signs, with the Capitol in the background. In the Archives version, at least four of those signs are altered. A placard that proclaims “God Hates Trump” has “Trump” blotted out so that it reads “God Hates.” A sign that reads “Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women” has the word Trump blurred out.” How does this differ from the Licking County Commissioners’ erasure of the Children’s Home? “Karin Wulf, a history professor at the College of William & Mary and executive director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, said that to ensure transparency, the Archives at the very least should have noted prominently that the photo had been altered. “The Archives has always been self-conscious about its responsibility to educate about source material, and in this case they could have said, or should have said, ‘We edited this image in the following way for the following reasons,’ ” she said. “If you don’t have transparency and integrity in government documents, democracy doesn’t function.”” Which brings us to the second article, more or less about unedited images (representations) that function, unintentionally, as documents (exhibits). Is their “transparency and integrity” conducive to our democracy? The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It by Kashmir Hill appeared in the NY Times 1-18-20. “Until recently, Hoan Ton-That’s greatest hits included an obscure iPhone game and an app that let people put Donald Trump’s distinctive yellow hair on their own photos. Then Mr. Ton-That — an Australian techie and onetime model — did something momentous: He invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously, and provided it to hundreds of law enforcement agencies, ranging from local cops in Florida to the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security. His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.” “In addition to Mr. Ton-That, Clearview was founded by Richard Schwartz — who was an aide to Rudolph W. Giuliani when he was mayor of New York — and backed financially by Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist behind Facebook and Palantir. Another early investor is a small firm called Kirenaga Partners. Its founder, David Scalzo, dismissed concerns about Clearview making the internet searchable by face, saying it’s a valuable crime-solving tool.” Hill ends his article with “Even if Clearview doesn’t make its app publicly available, a copycat company might, now that the taboo is broken. Searching someone by face could become as easy as Googling a name. Strangers would be able to listen in on sensitive conversations, take photos of the participants and know personal secrets. Someone walking down the street would be immediately identifiable — and his or her home address would be only a few clicks away. It would herald the end of public anonymity. Asked about the implications of bringing such a power into the world, Mr. Ton-That seemed taken aback. “I have to think about that,” he said. “Our belief is that this is the best use of the technology.”” How does this differ from the Licking County Commissioners tacitly agreeing to keeping the old jail (for amusement purposes)?

Culture Of Denial

December 14, 2019

“Philosophical skepticism is a philosophical school of thought that questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge.” (Wiki) The classic academic example is usually that of the 18thcentury Philosopher David Hume who used it to analyze cause and effect certainty. The example of two billiard balls colliding can be used. Analysis after the fact can generate a mathematical trajectory for each of the balls. But prior to their colliding? Reason relies on probability, high or low. The skeptical outlook is that prior to their striking we can never really know, with certainty, what will occur. There’s a whole lot more to it than that, but this is a simple blog posting. Over a half century ago French Philosopher Jacques Derrida introduced the analytic approach entitled Deconstruction. “Derrida’s approach consisted of conducting readings of texts looking for things that run counter to the intended meaning or structural unity of a particular text. The purpose of deconstruction is to show that the usage of language in a given text, and language as a whole, are irreducibly complex, unstable, or impossible.” (Wiki) This blog posting could be considered a text. Close scrutiny of its content can be used to show inconsistencies, particularly in meanings and usages of words, phrases, and concepts that may differ in spoken language as well as in meanings agreed to with either (spoken or written). There’s more to it than that. “In philosophy, empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience.” “Empiricism in the philosophy of science emphasizes evidence, especially as discovered in experiments. It is a fundamental part of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation. Empiricism, often used by natural scientists, says that “knowledge is based on experience” and that “knowledge is tentative and probabilistic, subject to continued revision and falsification”. Empirical research, including experiments and validated measurement tools, guides the scientific method.” (Wiki) Deconstructing the just provided Wiki text on empiricism, one could easily inquire whether theories would need to be tested against observations of the unnatural world? Natural or unnatural observations? Except for Derrida’s, these philosophic insights, approaches, and methodologies are very old. Derrida’s deconstruction begs the question as to whether body cam and doorbell camera recordings are text? If not, then what are they? Likewise for audio recordings and digital records (more data!). Strange things occur when these various methodologies are mixed up in the everyday – deconstruction is used on empirical findings, skepticism is used to undermine inconvenient probabilities, etc. Video shows a young female reporter being touched on her behind by a passing charity fund run participant. He is arrested. Will his defense be that actual “cause and effect” cannot be proved from a deconstruction of the video since it doesn’t show her back side? Within hours of the abomination of the Sandy Hook massacre social media was already flooded with analysis skeptical of the veracity of the news reporting through deconstruction in the form of conspiracy theories. Journalistic accounts certainly are a kind of text. Is this a valid deconstruction? And what happens when reams of scientific research and study are treated as text and systematically deconstructed for commercial gain? We find this repeatedly with global warming, public health concerns such as addiction, gun violence, suicide, environmental conditions, etc. Now we find this fetid philosophic ratatouille en masse with the GOP’s defense of Dear Leader (no smoking gun with the Fifth Avenue doorbell cam video recording). And social/digital media, integral to the dissemination of knowledge with regards to all of these goings on, where is it? The ambiguity of being a “platform” helps it escape responsibility for any of it, virtual or real. Try deconstructing “platform.” Does something stand on it or hover? Can it be found anywhere or is it everywhere? What is the intended meaning? And what is the real meaning? What is not a “platform”? When complex, sophisticated philosophic methodologies are casually treated as internet “platforms”,  unchecked cross media intermingling mix ups occur. What are currently described as “conspiracy theories” grow and thrive in this philosophic incubator. Such a petri dish fosters and sustains the contemporary culture of denial.

What It Is To Be An American

September 12, 2019

The first Trump re-election rally in North Carolina was marked by the controversial “Send her back!” crowd interaction (Dear Leader and followers). This week’s (9-10-19) found the POTUS surveying the Carolina faithful. “Made in America?” or “Made in USA?” which do you prefer? The adulators roared back “Made in USA!” The next night Seth Myers found this to be a great joke. “That might be the single dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in any arena, and I’m including the time the Toronto Raptors mascot tried to skate down the stairs and fell flat on his face,” he said. But was it? The follow up to the inane “preference” of non-existent difference is, what else, a synthesis of the two –  a great coming together, a unifying of diversity, of getting all sides on the same page, part of the winning team – an American USA! After all, isn’t that what the “ever news” culture war and polarized politics of today is all about – what it is to be an American?

Distinction And Existence

August 21, 2019

““I am doing this whether it’s good or bad for your statement about, ‘Oh, will we fall into a recession for two months?’ The fact is, somebody had to take China on,” Trump said. “Whether it’s good for our country or bad for our country, short term, it had to be done,” he said, repeating that “whether it’s good or bad, short term, is irrelevant.”” (Trump admits his trade war could lead to recession but says ‘I have to do it’ Aaron Blake for The Washington Post, 8-20-19). The majority of the Washington Post article centered on the president’s replies to various questions concerning trade, recession, and economic analysis thereof. No text was expended on the words/phrasing used by the president in conjunction with the policies and practices he dictates to be inevitable. The repetition of “whether it’s good or bad”, “Whether it’s good for our country or bad for our country.” “Whether it is good or bad, … is irrelevant.” is no coincidence. It underlies the assumed authoritarian governance by this administration with its complete disregard for what is “good or bad”, right or wrong, legal or illegal, real or made up. It likewise discloses the current chronic complacency with our malignant normalcy and all its workings – as long as it doesn’t interfere with getting the story, no need to call attention to it.  Analysis is reminded of Hannah Arendt’s words in “The Origins of Totalitarianism”: “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

More No Collusion Kool Aid

August 4, 2019

The previous week was marred by intentionally similar and horrifying catastrophe’s in the cities of Gilroy California, El Paso Texas and Dayton Ohio, within days, even hours of each other. The killing events were alike in terms of large crowds, single young white male shooters, and rifles capable of firing many rounds in a matter of seconds. Analysis is certain many more “profiler” categories will be made apparent in the days to come given our cultural obsession with the necropsy of mass shootings (forbidden to be performed officially by the CDC). The Trump GOP response? In addition to “thoughts and prayers’ (previous shootings must not have generated enough to have prevented the recent ones), Mick Mulvaney pre-emptively scheduled the Sunday Morning Talk Shows. ABC News’ recap of his This Week performance (President Trump’s rhetoric not to blame for mass shootings: Mick Mulvaney, 8-4-19) includes these quotes from the “Acting” White House Chief of Staff (and simultaneously Director of Management and Budget): “”This was a sick person, the person in Dayton was a sick person,” Mulvaney told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, during an interview Sunday. “No politician is to blame for that. The person who was responsible here are the people who pulled the trigger. We need to figure out how to kind of create less of those kinds of people as a society and not trying to figure out who gets blamed going into the next election.” “Sick people who are intent on doing things like this should not be able to buy guns legally,” “There’s no benefit here to trying to make this a political issue. This is a social issue.”” Analysis can’t help but marvel at Mulvaney’s authentically genuine conclusion. Politically, there is no collusion. Socialism and the socialists are to blame. This is really slick! Fits right in with the Re-elect Trump campaign’s marketing strategy of branding the opposition as Socialists and Socialism. J.L. Austin’s mid twentieth century philosophy primer immediately springs to mind. Analysis recommends reading How To Do Things With Words (1962), an essential ingredient of this summer’s No Collusion Kool Aid. As Dear Leader would say “It’s cheaper that way. Saves lots of money.”

Sunk Cost

May 15, 2019

The language of capitalism is part and parcel of our everyday culture. We are unable to speak with each other save in the terminology of “investment opportunities”, “economic efficiencies”, “deals”, “We’re dealin’”, “Jobs”, “economy”, “marketable skills”, “political economy”, etc. The list is endless and ubiquitous. We are startled and taken aback to hear someone speak who has organized their values otherwise than profit/loss. Just the word “political economy” already implicates business speak through the inclusion of “economy.” One word not heard, if at all, is “sunk cost.” In business speak, WIKI gives a sunk cost as “a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered.” In everyday parlance it is about a purchase made that, after its completion, turns out to be detrimental to the purchaser’s intent or well being. Everyday examples would be like the purchase of a meal or event ticket. “Too much not tasty food but I will eat it because I bought it.” “Not what was promoted as the principal entertainers, something better elsewhere but I attend the event because I bought the ticket.” On a grand scale (political economy), sunk cost is often given as the rationale for America’s longest war in Afghanistan (as well as elsewhere. “Too much has been invested in terms of lives and treasure.”). Locally it can be found in the recent news (specific and general) regarding nuclear energy/waste (like “love and marriage”, you can’t have one without the other). The recent premature closing of a Pike County school comes to the forefront (“Zahn’s Corner Middle School is about four miles from the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which is in the process of decommission by the U.S. Department of Energy.” Steve Brown, WOSU, 5-14-19). Lurking behind the scenes is Ohio HB6 which proposes to charge all the state’s electric utility customers an additional fee in order to keep First Energy’s two nuclear power plants in operation though they are not economically feasible (business speak from a business perspective). Where the rubber meets the road is that closing the plants, like closing the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant would require what was done in Portsmouth – the nuclear waste or material could not be sent “out of state” (as there is no place) but would need to be stored on site. In Portsmouth it is in the form of a glorified landfill (nuclear waste storage facility). In northern Ohio it would be adjacent Lake Erie, upon which the plants are reliant for cooling water. The most insidious aspect of sunk cost comes with the culture surrounding it that never includes mention of “sunk cost.” HB6, we are told, “Will save Jobs!” The folks who once found employment at the Gaseous Diffusion Plant opted to take jobs storing the waste. Ditto would be the case for Davis-Besse and Perry power stations. Residue from the various operations involved with shuttering the Diffusion plant and making the landfill are what closed Zahn’s Corner Middle School. In radio interviews folks living in the area pretty much admitted knowing that the residue surrounded them (by default). Many declined to be interviewed because they work at the Plant or have relatives or acquaintances who do. Ditto has been the case in documentaries regarding oil processing geographies in Texas or Louisiana. Not only do people decline to be interviewed, but they become defensive over the state of their communities. After all, this is where they generate their livelihoods, raise their children, and live out their aspirations for a better life. They have invested in “a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered.” The fallacy of sunk cost is enabled by the precedence and priority of the value of loyalty which appears to underlie it. Analysis reveals this may be the explanation for the absence of “sunk cost” from the lexicon of contemporary “positive” culture. Then again, language itself is a kind of sunk cost. The words we chose to use ultimately own us and we must be loyal to and abide by their meaning, “a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered.”

Free Speech, More Than You Imagined

October 26, 2018

A week with so much, where to begin? Some of the events of the past week were the mail bombs sent to those critical of the Trump administration (what does “critical of…” mean?). Never able to be upstaged, the POTUS held various rallies in which he championed attacks on the press (literally) as well as heaped vitriol at other “enemies of the people” – democrats. The news of the week was the noncommittal back and forth of the news media regarding whether there is a correlation between Dear Leader’s words and the violence that attends them. Well, the FBI has apprehended the alleged “domestic” terrorist (gets the “domestic” moniker, along with Timothy McVeigh). This leaves the POTUS crowing about how he’s kept America safe. All of which Analysis finds hearkens back to the primary rallies, 3-12-16 to be specific. At this rally outside Dayton, Thomas Dimassino rushed the stage, spooked the presidential wannabe who was immediately “saved” by the secret service.  ““I was ready for him, but it’s much easier if the cops do it, don’t we agree?” Trump said.” (Dayton Daily News) The previous day’s rally in Chicago was cancelled because of a bloody melee at the venue. At the Dayton rally the future POTUS attributed this turn of events to “professional wiseguys” and claimed it was a “planned attack by thugs.” Back in Ohio “A few other protesters were led out earlier in the rally, with Trump once telling security to, “Get ‘em out of here” to cheers from the crowd.” At the time the news was the rhetoric, with any correlation to violence being only tentatively hinted at by a news media fumbling around, unable to make the connection (the press had never seen anything like this. And if it’s novel, it’s news). Analysis finds it revealing that the “deep state” whipping boy that gets so many cheers (and jeers) at POTUS late night rallies is precisely what he relied on, then and now, to keep himself, and now the country, safe (folks like the oft maligned FBI). It has been speculated that the rally phenomenon that the POTUS relies on to stay in the spotlight is akin to the dead heads that followed the Grateful Dead.  So many of his interviewed supporters are from another state, and wouldn’t miss a rally, go to every one they can. Something the “fake news” news media is getting wise to. Zero live coverage of these is creeping in. But that same media (whether fake or not) this week quibbled about whether there is any connection with the advocacy and embrace of violence as a solution, and the violence cultivated and flowering currently within the U.S. Even Joe Biden couldn’t help but make the astute, for Joe, observation that “Words matter.” (how ‘bout black lives, Joe?). But maybe it is more than words, and the cat is already out of (or in) the bag. Jim Sleeper presented a difficult essay in Salon the other day: America’s “free speech crisis” takes a darker turn: How corporate power got us here From the “free speech” campaign of 2015 to cry-bully Brett Kavanaugh and the bombs of October: A brief history. The gist of his argument (not a simple one to communicate, or grasp) is that corporate speak is already part of our “conversation” (a word the liberal intellectuals have loved to Zombiehood!). And the language of corporations (business) is strictly censored  (no free speech) when it comes to minding the store (dancing with who brung ya), but heavily antagonistic, fabricated and aggressive when dealing with the other, the competitor (a “free speech” of anything goes if it will brings down the enemy). This already is found within most parlance – school, church, place of employment, local politics. As Sleeper puts it “Instead we’re told that the disease of political correctness has spread throughout corporate culture and the media. That’s getting it backwards, as I argue in a just-posted Los Angeles Review of Books essay on how hollow, seemingly anodyne commercial speech seeds and provokes the hostile speech that’s swirling ever more virulently all around us.” Serendipity would have a local example appearing in today’s (10-26-18) online Newark Advocate – St. Francis de Sales pastor threatens shut down of St. Vincent de Paul (Kent Mallett). More convoluted and complicated than the Sleeper essay (and down right byzantine) the event described is one where a local economic provider (there’s that corporate speak again) has strong armed administration (corporate speak again) of the St. Vincent De Paul housing program (and more corporate speak). The controversy swirls around the program’s transitional housing being restricted to only pure, or righteous (celibate, other worldly, fill in the blank) single or lawfully married adults, with maybe their own children. Sleepovers are verboten. This eliminates the undesirable unmarried who are or have “partners” as well as any “Other” (with or without partners).The non-profit entity’s qualifying clause for who will be empowered by the transitional housing (there’s a bunch of corporate speak) is in violation of another chief source of funding (more corporate speak), the United Way and like entities. All of which flies in the face of their mission statement: “”Organized locally, Vincentians witness God’s love by embracing all works of charity and justice. The Society collaborates with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction in those served because, in them, Vincentians see the face of Christ.”” No corporate speak there with all the “love”, “embracing”, “charity and justice”, “people of good will”, etc. and “the face of Christ.”

There Is An App For That

February 25, 2018

That seems to be a proffered solution to a good many problems these days. Although not everyone has a mobile cell phone today, let alone smart phone, there is no end to the app offerings available and in development (for purchase or even “free”). Entrepreneurs board this as Christopher Columbus did the Santa Maria. Apple has even trademarked the phrase. And yup, you guessed it, it was suggested as a partial panacea at the recent community Public Transportation meeting sponsored by the Freedom School of Licking County (2-24-18). “Parlance,” you say (“a particular way of speaking or using words, especially a way common to those with a particular job or interest”)? Yes, but Analysis finds more than that occurring here. Rather, it is more the embrace of a mode of conduct or behavior by the culture, the population contemporary with its use, that is significant; i.e. “texting” was in use, accepted parlance and part of the vernacular in Europe well before its nascence here in the US. Now it is ubiquitous everywhere. Would the reader oblige Analysis and kindly step into the way back machine. Not so far back, maybe set the time at about a century ago when village wide water and sewer first came to Granville. Prior to that? The reader’s imagination (or historic research) can fill in the everyday niceties. Well, OK, so far back is unnecessary. How about the historically uncomfortable, just recent past, like the 1980’s and water and sewer coming to Beechwood Trails (outside what was then Pataskala)? The upscale development was all individual well and septic. Some of the septic was not necessarily staying on the individual owner’s property, or worse yet, surfacing there. There was a lot of grumbling “I don’t need it or won’t use it” when a public water and sewer service was mandated by the county. Now, a good part of that area is covered by this public service and folks can’t imagine otherwise (like “texting” or “app”). People in Licking County relying on their own personal well for water can’t imagine the sense of a public service for that. Yet some pretty gnarly Ohio counties (like Gallia or Muskingum) have exactly that.  Two things became clear after the energetic and well attended Public Transportation in Newark/Licking County meeting. Amazingly enough the two are inseparable and require each other (don’t stand alone). One is the lack of political will by elected “leaders” to implement. It became surprisingly apparent toward the end of the meeting that all the elements needed to implement a working order are present. Like the scattered parts of a puzzle (or an IKEA purchase), some assembly is required, some leadership is needed to bring the pieces together. Neighboring communities are doing it (like Knox or Fairfield County). See above re: what a public service is. The second thing symbiotically attached to the “political” of elected “leaders’ was the stuff of app’s, texts, and public service. One participant ruefully pointed out that the major stumbling block to assembling the puzzle of public transportation in Newark/Licking County is that it is presented as an “entitlement” by the political “leaders”, rather than a “service”, like EMS, Fire, Police, water and sewer, etc. Analysis finds the community subjected to this  distorted imaginary in a myriad of ways – from economic class, racial, behavioral innuendo and stereotyping to large scale institutional (higher learning as well as business) promotion, advertising, and projection. We all know Grow Licking County and Newark Development Partners plan and project a gleaming Emerald City. But how ya gonna get there? (editor’s note: they were absent from the community meeting) Analysis finds that the everyday inclusion of Public Transportation as a service, not an entitlement, within the ubiquitous parlance would be a hefty start. Commenting on a mundane Facebook entry? Referencing the reliable, sustainable, affordable and accessible nature of public services like public transportation, would go a long way. “App,” “text,” “public water and sewer,” “911 caller service” became acceptable through entry into the parlance of the times. Their meaning was formed through their use in communication, language. Speaking of which the next community meeting of the Freedom School for achieving reliable, affordable, accessible, sustainable Public Transportation in Newark/Licking County is March 10, 2018, 10 -12, Trinity Episcopal Church downtown Newark. Be there.

Impressions Of The 2018 Newark Women’s March

January 20, 2018

Driving south on Mt. Vernon road to participate in the 2018 Women’s March there was a bottle neck on the brand spankin’ new bridge over 16. Why is all the traffic veering toward the center when there are clearly two south bound lanes? Turns out there was a young man pushing a baby stroller (with small child) walking in the roadway. The sidewalk portion of the brand spankin’ new gateway to Newark was untouched, thickly covered by new fallen snow as well as what the plow pushed off the roadway. Analysis hearkens the reader to the debate over eliminating the pedestrian bridge over 16 just to the west of Mt. Vernon Road’s brand spankin’ new “development.” The justification by the all white, all male Newark City administration (as well as Newark Development Partners) is that pedestrians can use the brand spankin’ new bridge. And who will clear the sidewalk so it is useable by pedestrians (without the danger of sharing the road with cars and trucks)? This was the stuff of the 2018 Newark Women’s March. The large rally was very well attended by a diverse demographic, youth and elderly, female and male, and all in between. It was an active crowd, intently following and vociferously responding to the speakers, not just obligatory applause. The speakers, a small sampling of Newark/Licking County’s vast bounty of women leaders, told it like it was. They spoke truth to power. Since you can’t tell the players without a program, Analysis can’t differentiate individuals with what was said (there was no paper program of speakers/topics). Equity in access to drug rehabilitation, shelters from violence, as well as equity in pay, benefits and health care were just part of the demands. But the demands mainly revolved around the irresponsibility of city, county and state administrators who cater to the private economic power base (through the utilization of public funds) while eschewing human services, such as insuring that a young man and his child can safely cross over State Route 16. It was refreshing to hear speakers plainly articulating what needs to be addressed and is not, and has not been, by the Newark Advocate, by Newark/Licking County’s elected officials, by the businesses who profit from customers not being served by their elected officials. It was an honor to witness and actively participate in this outpouring of peaceful civic action in downtown Newark – something sorely lacking and certainly long overdue. If you missed it, you missed the sound of grass growing under your feet, breaking through the pavement and asphalt, rising up. Did you hear that? It is the sound of women seeking a place on the ballot, and votes being cast by women; the greening of America.