Creators have now been revealed for the main collection! The main collection is also now closed for posting. You may now cross-post any remix(es) you have in the main collection, and post about your assigned remix publicly.
Creators for the Madness collection will be revealed tomorrow, no earlier than 8 AM Eastern time. (I’m working a very late shift tonight, so Madness reveals could end up happening an hour or two later than planned.) There will be a wrap up post tomorrow as well.
Flynn has hired seven attorneys, and his family has established a legal defense fund for him, stipulating that donations from foreign governments or the Trump campaign or business won't be accepted. Isn’t it adorable that Flynn, who worked for a United Nations klatch of clients now insists on a legal defense entirely made in America?
In current public discourse, adorable is mostly what young children and small fluffy animals are, with the range of reference occasionally expanded to include young women, courting couples, or old people being childish. A small sample of today's adorable headlines: "Feel the full range of emotions with this adorable baby Orioles fan"; "ADORABLE: Baby calf and baby human make friends during photo shoot"; "Kelly Clarkson's Adorable Kids Come Visit Her on Set of 'Love So Soft' Music Video"; "Phoenix Zoo welcomes adorable baby giraffe"; "Marcel The Adorable Therapy Dog Brings Joy To People With Dementia"; "Inside Mandy Moore's Adorable Engagement Party With Her Besties"; "You Will Never Guess Prince Philip’s Adorable Pet Name for Queen Elizabeth"; …
But adorable entered socio-political discourse about a month ago, as a sarcastic insult meant to suggest that ordinary people are small, childish, and unworthy of attention other than as a source of amusement.
Louise Linton, the wife of the U.S. treasury secretary, had instagrammed a picture of herself returning by government jet from a quick trip to Fort Knox to look at piles of gold (yes, really), hashtagging elements of her expensive wardrobe — "#roulandmouret pants #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf #valentionrockstudheels #valentino".
In response, Jenni Miller, described by the NYT as "a mother of three from Portland, Ore", commented "Glad we could pay for your little getaway #deplorable", where deplorable is an echo of Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment.
Linton seems to have been stung, because she responded at considerable length:
She uses forms of adorable twice:
Aw!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! […]
You're adorably out of touch. […]
The meaning in context is clearly sarcastic — Ms. Miller is framed as one of those little people who are so far beneath Linton that she can view their criticism as amusingly cute, like a mischievous puppy chewing on one of her designer sandals.
Presumably Linton's adorable was primed, consciously or not, by Miller's deplorable. But I wondered at the time whether the word, as well as the attitudes it so effectively expresses, might be common in Linton's social circles. Unfortunately for my curiosity, this word choice clearly communicated more about Linton than it did about Miller, and so given the wave of negative reactions, we're unlikely to see more examples from others like her.
Still, this way of expressing disdain is too effective to be abandoned, and so I've been expecting to see it picked up by others in contexts that are safely distant from Linton's "let them eat cake" effusion.
Michael Flynn is a perfect target, from that point of view — he's not poor, ordinary, small, fuzzy, young, female, elderly, or visually cute. But by suggesting that Flynn's defense-fund appeal is "adorable", Shafer manages to suggest that Flynn is now a powerless and even pitiable player trying in kittenish ways to escape the much larger and stronger forces threatening him.
Jim Henson, born September 24th, 1936, died at the young age of 54 after changing the way American children learn and how their parents are entertained.
Henson, the creater of the Muppets, developed a franchise in conjunction with his wife, Jane Nebel. In his later years the Muppets became television and movie staples with characters animated in part by the famous volatile inter-species love affair between Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. Adult humor was the focus of much Muppet entertainment, but perhaps the greatest impact Henson had was on the development of his characters on the trend-setting Sesame Street series directed to preschoolers.
Sesame Street, which first aired in 1969, was created by the Children’s Television Workshop to foster learning, particularly among deprived inner-city youngsters. Perhaps no program in history was tested for its impact as much as Sesame Street. Its creators worked to assure that it was not only popular and entertaining, but that empirical evidence showed that it had an impact on the literacy skills of preschool children. The show’s creators carefully pre-tested and then post-tested its concepts. The developers eschewed formal classroom presentations; the street setting was a way to weave both puppet and human characters together in an appealing narrative.
The Muppets were added to the show after testing of children in Head Start programs. It was discovered that the children’s attention wavered when the screen was dominated by human characters. By contrast, they were transfixed by the presence of Henson’s Muppets, a word coined to describe the mix of marionette and puppets.
In the show’s early years, the press and studies on Sesame Street‘s impact were overwhelmingly favorable. Early studies indicated that children who watched the show were better prepared for preschool. Critics noted that Sesame Street also advanced a social agenda. In an age when feminism was just emerging, the show featured women who worked in male-dominated fields such as construction. Before diversity became a corporate buzzword, Spanish words were featured. The show’s cast included children who were developmentally disabled, including the introduction of an autistic character this year.
By the time Henson died, his characters had long transcended the simple set of Sesame Street, moving on to a hit television show and highly self-referential movies geared largely to adult audiences. Henson’s contributions to early childhood education are well noted. But another accomplishment was reinvigorating a moribund art form.
His Muppets began on local television in comedic skits geared to adults. Henson’s creations were successfully marketed to children, but his bringing them back into adult comedy on television and in the movies later inspired Broadway spectacles such as The Lion King and its use of giant puppets and Avenue Q, a bawdy acerbic comedy based on young adults reared on the bright optimism of Sesame Street.
Kermit the Frog broke out of his pond to become the world’s most recognizeable puppet character. The other Muppets were not far behind. As their popularity increased, the medieval art of puppetry re-emerged as an integral part of entertainment in the modern age, breaking out of its childhood ghetto.
The post How Jim Henson Changed Early Education and Brought Puppets Back appeared first on JSTOR Daily.
On a related note, if you are an author with published books and stories, make a will and designate someone or preferably, an institution likely to outlive you to handle things when you're gone. I have a current archive of my work at the University of Minnesota Tretter Collection, as well as donating to several other libraries, which takes care of what's out right now, but not what happens down the road. Some folks designate friends or the literary agencies they work with, for example. Have faith that someone will want to read your work down the road apiece and do some planning.
From Zeyao Wu:
I am intrigued by how the pronunciation of my nickname changed when I moved to Guangzhou [VHM: in the far south, formerly Canton] from Dongbei [VHM: the Northeast, formerly Manchuria].
In Dongbei, all my relatives and my friends called me Yáoyao 瑶瑶, with the second tone of the second syllable becoming neutral. [VHM: the base tone of yáo 瑶 ("precious jade") is second tone]
When I moved to Guangzhou, my friends call me Yǎoyáo 瑶瑶. It seems that this sort of pronunciation is not standard. I think Cantonese speak in this way because they pronounce Mandarin with the tones of Cantonese.
Here are some other examples (the first column is Pekingese [note the pattern of base tone on the first syllable and neutral tone on the second syllable] and the second column is Guangzhou-style Mandarin [note the pattern of base tone on the first syllable and full base tone on the second syllable, not neutral tone as in Beijing]).
dōngxi | dōngxī 东西 ("thing")
máfan | máfán 麻烦 ("trouble; bother")
shítou | shítóu 石头 ("stone")
yīfu | yīfú 衣服 ("clothing")
Judging from Zeyao's evidence, Cantonese-style Mandarin doesn't favor neutral tone for the second syllable of words. Conversely, northerners, especially Pekingese, seem to favor a very reduced neutral tone on the second syllable of words. When Zeyao said "déxing 德行" ("virtue; virtuous behavior; moral honesty / integrity / conduct; shameful; disgusting" — yes, in Pekingese colloquial, in its most mordant form as a condemnation, déxing 德行 means the exact opposite of its overt signification ["virtuous conduct", etc.]), there was hardly any vocalic quality left to the second syllable at all. So it came out sounding like "désh". I walked up right next to Zeyao and had her say it about five times in front of the whole class, and each time it came out sounding like "désh", with even nary a trace of nasalization. Already over 35 years ago, when I first heard it spoken by Beijing shopgirls, I was intrigued by this Pekingese colloquialism, both for the fact that they used it to convey an antonymous meaning, but also for the very unusual pronunciation. Dripping with vitriol, they would begin quite low in the register for a second tone, and then gradually glide upward — in a haughty, drawn-out way — on the first syllable to a rather high, attenuated pitch, then clip it off with a dismissive sibilant: deeéééé↗sh↓.
Comments by Neil Kubler:
Much of Southern China, also Taiwan, uses the pronunciations cited for Guangzhou. There are at least two reasons for this, I think: (1) Cantonese and Southern Chinese topolects in general don't have nearly so many neutral tones as Mandarin; (2) since Mandarin was learned as a second (foreign, non-native) language by these folks, and typically through character texts — which were often recited by the (typically herself not native) teacher with exaggerated tones, they picked up "reading pronunciations."
However, while I think the preceding is true, I think it's also true that (sadly, from my non-Chinese linguistic perspective), the number of neutral tones in Beijing speech is decreasing. More and more younger Beijing residents are speaking Putonghua rather than Beijinghua, and the emphasis of character texts ("reading pronunciations") is strong there also.
Your student said:
"my friends (in Guangzhou) call me Yǎoyáo 瑶瑶".
In Taiwan also there is a curious phenomenon where some personal names and also kinship terms — like baba, mama, gege, jiejie, didi, meimei — all change from their normal tone patterns (with the 1st syllable one of various tones and the 2nd syllable a neutral tone) to this pattern:
TONE 3 + TONE 2 (just like what your student described for her name in Guangzhou. So "daddy" becomes ba3ba2, and so forth.
I haven't been able to find a satisfactory explanation for why this happens.
Judging from Zeyao's evidence, Cantonese-style Mandarin doesn't favor neutral tone for the second syllable of words. Conversely, northerners, especially Pekingese, seem to favor a very reduced neutral tone on the second / final syllable of words. As I pointed out in my analysis of déxing 德行 ("virtuous / shameful conduct") above, when Zeyao pronounced this word à la Pekingese, there was hardly any vocalic quality left to the second syllable.
Everyone else, this is your two week warning for Innumerable Stars. Stories/art are due on October 8th at 3pm GMT.
The minimum is 500 words / a nice sketch on unlined paper, just as a reminder.
Once you've posted your assignment, why not look through the requests and see if you'd like to write some treats? There are no minimum requirements for treats.
If you aren’t participating in the exchange but see a request you like, you are also very welcome to write treats!
Good luck and happy writing/drawing!
I'm now in the process of catching up with everything that I missed in the last two weeks. Normal trailer service will resume in a couple of days.
A travelogue will follow once I make it through the far too many pictures that I took. That may take a while.
How has your week been?
Housekeeping (the usual stuff)
Reminder that we have a suggestion post if there’s a topic that you’d like to see discussed but would like to ask the mods to look into. This can be anything from general information, or a how-to-do-a-thing, or something you may want to discuss as a community. Folks are welcome to post directly to the comm as always, but if you’re not comfortable/don’t have spoons, we can help too.
As we don't always get the time to pull things out of the suggestions post into their own separate posts, it may be worth checking every week (or tracking the post) to see if there's any new information you're interested in.
Also if you need help with tags, PM redbird, who is our tag guru. Both tassosss and I are very grateful for the help.
Links for how to help with the relief efforts for Irma and Maria
For lots of links for hurricane relief for Harvey, see the check-in post from two weeks ago
Another Obamacare repeal attempt is afoot
Other ongoing actions and activities
Hope not Hate launches US site Includes some links to the amazing project by the UK organisation involving an undercover reporter infiltrating the alt-right.
Find or sign up to host an event to support National Voter Registration Day on September 26
Events to prevent a Muslim Ban leading to an rally in Washington on October 10
DACA: Defend DACA is the place to go.
Women's Convention Detroit October 27-29
Find every election you're eligible to vote in with the EveryElection app
So, what have you all been up to in the last week or are planning to get involved in next week?
This week, I...
called my one senator
called my other senator
called my representative
called my governor
called my state reps
sent a postcard/email/letter/fax
attended a town hall
donated money to a cause
attended an in-person activist group
participated in phone/online training
went to a protest
signed up for alerts
took care of myself
not a US citizen but worked in solidarity in my own community
did something else
committed to action in the coming week