- Smoke in the Air
- County Budget
- Claudia Fundraiser
- 128 Collisions
- Women's Monologues
- Catch of the Day
- Wanda's Gluckschmerz
- Uppity Waiter
- Minutes Whitewash
- Critical Reform
- See the Light
- Memo of the Air
MULTIPLE FIRES BURNING TO THE NORTH
Wildfire Smoke Public Service Announcement: Recent dry lightning strikes have caused many small fires in the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forest as well as State Responsibility Areas. Current weather forecasts show the recent low pressure moving out of the area and replaced by a warming trend with drier weather and moderate to light winds over the area. The Saddle Fire, located in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest near the town of Hyampom, continues to produce smoke in nearby communities. At this time, smoke is laying in valleys but may lift and transport to further locations throughout the day. Satellite images show smoke traveled north toward Willow Creek and to the southeast past the Hyampom area.
In Del Norte County, the Buckskin Fire (now approximately 1,200 acres) located near Cave Junction, Oregon is producing smoke impacts in downwind areas southwesterly of the fire. Satellite imagery indicates that Smith River could be in the path of the smoke. Crescent City may also be experiencing smoke from the fire.
Forecasting smoke impacts can be challenging as smoke can vary widely within just a few miles as Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties contain mountains, valleys, and a thousand different air flow patterns. Further Air Quality information will be provided to the public as updated information becomes available.
— North Coast Unified Air Quality press release
THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS spent their meeting day Tuesday trying to stay awake through the CEO's budget presentation. The budget show was orchestrated by a kid who looked like he was maybe a junior in high school, and for all we know maybe he was. There were periodic walk-ons by self-serving bureaucrats like Mental Health Department honcho (and former Ortner executive) Tom Pinizzotto who added their rubberstamps to the impenetrable County budget.
OTHER PEOPLE read proclamations, and the supervisors approved an irrelevant rearrangement of the County’s tourist promotion deckchairs, and everyone congratulated themselves for the great job they’re all doing.
"PUBLIC EXPRESSION" was dominated by employees and bureaucrats telling the Board what a swell job they were doing and, in a few cases, why they should get more money to do even sweller jobs. In fact, if there was more than one person not on the County's payroll or already on a board of commission who spoke during "public expression" we didn't see them.
PINIZZOTTO’S BUDGET PRESENTATION was so grossly info-free — x-thousand “encounters,” y-thousand “visits,” z-hundred “clients” over the last three years — that even Mental Health Board chair John Wentzler stood up to say he was “disappointed” in it and he [Wentzler] wished the Board could see their way clear to go into maybe a bit more mental health program specifics. The entirety of the Board’s reaction was from Board Chair Carre Brown: “Thank you. The next speaker card I have is…”
NO BUDGET CHANGES were made or even suggested. The staff's numbers were accepted without critical comment except for one item about a $1.9 million county match for a grant that Supervisor McCowen thought wasn't explained well enough. Supervisor Gjerde said he had a few minor budget questions that he'd ask privately, not on the record. Supervisor Woodhouse said several times that everybody had done a "good job," "great work," etc. We couldn't bring ourselves to listen to Supervisor Hamburg's head-of-a-pin questions about whether a number belonged here or over there.
CEO ANGELO'S BUDGET SUMMARY was the usual random selection of budget cliches we see every year: "We must continue to look ahead and we urge the Board to exercise continued caution when considering expenditure increases in order to keep the County on the road to financial recovery. Both State and Federal budget outlooks continue to be based on a number of assumptions and should any of those assumptions not come to light, we may end up right back where we were a few years ago. This time, however, we will be better prepared due to the Board’s policy and commitment to funding the General Reserve and other stabilizing factors. … It should be noted that there is a reason for optimism. Most discretionary revenue streams are increasing, some have even recovered past pre-recession levels. Property tax, sales tax, and transient occupancy tax are all on the rise. In addition, property values and employment indicators are trending positive. It is however essential to temper this optimism with fiscal restraint and prudence."
THERE ARE THREE promo groups in Mendocino County variously funded out of the bed tax and straight out of the general fund. Well over a million dollars a year is divvied up by these people to do what? They place unseen advertisements here and there and sip wine at Frisco soirees with other promo people. Meanwhile, here in Boomsville, now firmly established as a tourist destination, our downtown businesses get nothing of any value out of all the tax money they collect for the county. One would think that the county supervisors would demand that at least some of this extravagantly wasted promotional money be invested in public bathrooms for Boonville. Our businesses have been forced to close their bathrooms to the public because it's almost a full-time job just to keep their bathrooms user-friendly for their customers. Throw in the wandering hordes of touri, a surprising number of whom seem to have been toilet trained by chimpanzees, and toilets overflow, septic systems back up and odd acts of pure vandalism are committed.
AT A RECENT meeting of the Supervisors, meetings mostly irrelevant to the functioning of the county, the Lodging Association rightly complained they weren't getting anything of value from Visit Mendocino County, and on and on around the mulberry bush. Those complaints were soon absorbed into the rearrangement that now takes an extra $200k from the County’s general fund for its “tourist promotion” match. It seems from here that no bed tax money, or general fund money, should be spent on advertising private businesses. Bed tax money should be spent on practical amenities like public bathrooms in Boonville. Quick! Who said this? "Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket."
HELP CLAUDIA SURVIVE
I'd like to call attention to a local fundraising campaign by Claudia Jimenez, owner of All That Good Stuff, who has deemed it necessary to turn to the community to help ensure the survival of her store. As anyone who has ever had the pleasure of conversing or doing business with the engaging Miss Jimenez knows, Claudia and her store represent an important defense against continued stratification of the Valley, and as such, should merit the consideration of your support. Her campaign can be seen at: www.gofundme.com/vn7kr4
Thank you, Chris LaCasse
Salt Lake City
P.S. Thank you for sending the back issues I lost as a result of moving; I duly overindulged myself on McEwen and Washburne— keep it up!
TWO ACCIDENTS ON HIGHWAY 128 THIS AFTERNOON:
CAR INTO TREE BY 'ROCK STOP' 6:24 PM
MTA BUS GETS IN ACCIDENT?
4:09 PM The scanner, plus the CHP Traffic "incident" page, reported (6:24pm) a "vehicle into a tree, roadway clear" in the northbound lane of Highway 128 near the Rock Stop, Philo. The Anderson Valley Fire Department (and ambulance) were on their way. We also saw this curious post on the CHP Traffic "incident" page @ 4:09 pm. They reported a "traffic collision — no injury" near 5601 Highway 128, Boonville, between "MTA Bus and vehicle?” We have no idea why they placed a question mark after the "vehicle." We didn't hear the scanner call. They did add, however, that the "roadway was clear."
FIRST PERSON PLURAL: All new! One Night Only! A performance of women’s original monologues. Thursday, July 2, 7pm at the Philo Grange. Doors open at 6:30. $5-$10 at the door.
Featuring (back row): Christine Dill, Isa Davila, Antonina (Annie) Esposito. (Front row): Benna Kolinsky, Margo Frank, Viviohn Howard.
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 13, 2015
KELISHA ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
CHRISTOPHER BIORD, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
MARCOS GONZALES, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.
SHAYLA GUERRERO, Covelo. Paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.
ANDREW HOLM, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
KEVIN LITZIN, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
JOSEPH LIVINGOOD, North Highland/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
BERNARDO RAMIREZ, Hopland. DUI, suspended license.
STEPHEN REYNOLDS, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
VICTORIA VASQUEZ, Hopland. Under influence of controlled substance.
JAMES WHEELER, Laytonville. Domestic assault.
WANDA TINASKY WAS A PROVOCATEUR
traveled with a pun on every hand
all across the countryside, crashed on many a floor
and was even known to tease an honest man.
In Mendocino County, a time they talk about
in the pages of the press he or she took a stand
and soon the situation there was equally in doubt
the great ones leave us footprints in the sand
All along the internet that name shall resound
and the real identity be proved and improved
and everyone around will tell you how they found
the fingerprint, the signature move.
* * *
SCHADENFREUDE Is in the Zeitgeist, but Is There an Opposite Term?
Word for taking pain in another’s pleasure is ‘gluckschmerz,’ or is it?
by Ben Cohen
There are few words in any language as fun to say as schadenfreude.
Its etymology is easy to understand. Schadenfreude, the pleasure in someone else’s pain, comes from the German words for those exact emotions.
But people can also take pain in someone else’s pleasure. Why isn’t there a word for that?
It turns out there is. Scholars have finally found a linguistic relative of schadenfreude, and it sounds like another German portmanteau: gluckschmerz.
Except it isn’t.
“It’s not an actual word in the German language,” says University of Kentucky psychologist Richard Smith. “You won’t find it in any German dictionary.”
Or, for that matter, any English dictionary. Dr. Smith, who is believed to be the first to use gluckschmerz in the title of a published academic paper, discovered the word on the Internet and it stuck with him. When he included it in a 2012 research presentation, though, he was tsk-tsked by German peers almost immediately.
“I started looking into it,” he said. “Where did it come from?”
Some words are born of new technology and human behavior. Selfie, for example, was the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of 2013. Vape won the award in 2014.
Others, like schadenfreude, cross continents in mysterious ways. It is an old German word whose usage in English dates to the 1850s, spiking in American publications after World War II but then fading, according to Google data. It returned nearly a half-century later, some linguists say, because of a 1991 episode of “The Simpsons.”
“Part of the credit has to go to the Germans for coming up with an awesome word,” said “Simpsons” writer Jon Vitti.
The plot of his episode centers on a store for left-handed people, owned by Homer Simpson’s neighbor Ned Flanders, that goes out of business. Homer is overjoyed at Flanders’ failure until his daughter Lisa explains what he is feeling. Schadenfreude, she says, is “shameful joy—taking pleasure in the suffering of others.”
Homer Simpson: “Oh, come on, Lisa,” he says. “I’m just glad to see him fall flat on his butt. He’s usually all happy and comfortable and surrounded by loved ones. And it makes me feel — what’s the opposite of that shameful joy thing of yours?”
“Boy, those Germans have a word for everything,” Homer says.
Not exactly. It seems the first time gluckschmerz showed up in scholarly literature was a 2014 paper co-written by Harvard University psychologist Mina Cikara. She doesn’t remember when or how she heard the word, but she realized something was strange when a colleague approached her after she presented her research.
“That’s not a real German word,” Dr. Cikara was told. “But if it were, then the ‘u’ should have an umlaut.”
Dr. Smith, of Kentucky, was already aware of the word at the time. He even mentioned it in the last line of his 2013 book about schadenfreude. “When the desired misfortunes fail to happen, we simply feel secret disappointment,” he wrote. “A recently coined word for this feeling is gluckschmerz — but that is another story.”
Dr. Smith, graduate student Charlie Hoogland and a team of researchers then published a study about gluckschmerz in the April edition of the journal Motivation and Emotion. They were curious about people’s reactions to fortunate and unfortunate events affecting their rivals. So they shared articles about injuries to Duke University basketball players with Kentucky students.
Kentucky fans were asked how they felt when they read about the injuries and then when they read about Duke’s players recovering faster than anyone expected. What they found was that the die-hard fans felt schadenfreude when Duke’s players were hurt and gluckschmerz when they healed.
The history of schadenfreude-related research was already extensive. But Dr. Smith still had to convince the journal’s reviewers that gluckschmerz wasn’t the same as envy or jealousy. He argued that it was its own emotion.
“There are lots of ways to feel bad,” said Gerrod Parrott, a Georgetown University psychologist and former president of the International Society for Research on Emotion. “I think gluckschmerz is a welcome addition to the collection.”
Still, though, Dr. Smith didn’t know the origin of the word.
The word shows up in a 1985 book of short stories by Charles Baxter. One of his characters suffers from an affliction that the author called gluckschmerz — a combination of the German words for fortune and pain. Dr. Baxter had a simple explanation for the etymology.
“I made it up,” he said in an email. But he also said: “Probably somewhere, somehow, someone used the word before I did.”
He was right. A weekly California newspaper called the Anderson Valley Advertiser started receiving strange letters sometime in 1983 from a writer who identified herself as Wanda Tinasky and claimed to be a bag lady living underneath a bridge. In a letter sent in 1985 — months before the publication of Dr. Baxter’s book — she wrote about reading a story on reverse schadenfreude and feeling inspired to create a “useful German compound psychiatric term.”
“The reverse of schadenfreude,” she wrote, “would be gluckschmerz.”
So it seems that Wanda Tinasky was the mind behind gluckschmerz. But then there is another mystery: Who was Wanda Tinasky?
“Wanda Tinasky,” as it happens, was almost certainly a pseudonym. There was a rumor for a while that a literary titan lurked behind the pen name: Thomas Pynchon. But a representative for Mr. Pynchon said there was no connection. Subsequent literary sleuthing has suggested Wanda Tinasky was most likely a late Beatnik named Tom Hawkins.
Whoever it was left a peculiar legacy. It seems he (or she) made a fake word real under a fake name.
“She invented herself,” said Anderson Valley Advertiser editor and publisher Bruce Anderson. “So there was no stopping her from inventing words, too.”
(Write to Ben Cohen at email@example.com. Courtesy, the Wall Street Journal)
COMMENT OF THE DAY
Sometimes, a remark attributed to me is so wrong that I respond. Prof. Victoria Bond accused me of calling The Color Purple, “a Nazi Conspiracy.” I wrote a letter to the New Republic asking for a correction. The editor who commissioned the piece, Chloe Schama, answered that The New Republic doesn’t print letters but would welcome an article and so I wrote an article from Paris where I happened to be at the time. She rejected the article.
Mar 26, 2015
Dear Prof. Reed,
Thank you for sending — I did receive it. Unfortunately, the piece is not right for our site, and I’m afraid we don’t have the resources to edit it into a form that would be appropriate for us. I encourage you to publish it elsewhere.
Chloe Schama firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Victoria Bond, the author of the outburst, said that she got the idea of my calling The Color Purple (produced, directed and script written by wealthy white males) “a Nazi conspiracy” from Jacqueline Bobo, Professor of Film/Television, Black Feminist Cultural Theory, Cultural Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara. I asked Professor Bobo her source for the comment. She didn’t answer. The problem with bourgeois feminism is that its obligation to the corporate system puts it in a dilemma. They can’t jeopardize their careers by criticizing their wealthy patriarchal bosses and so vent their frustrations with men by dissing black males, or hiring the kitchen help to do the dirty work. Here’s is the circle in which Chloe Schama’s boss Facebook co-founder and the New Republic owner moves.
“[Chris Hughes] was marrying his longtime boyfriend, a tanned and chiseled Sean Eldridge.
“Several of the guests described the weekend to me. They had dined at a private rehearsal dinner on Friday night — a nine-course meal at Per Se, the three-Michelin-star restaurant run by the Napa Valley chef Thomas Keller. Then, on Saturday morning, they were transported up the Hudson Valley to a converted 19th-century farmhouse in Garrison, New York. Hughes and Eldridge had bought the house and the 80 acres around it in 2011, for $5 million.”
I asked Chris Hughes to issue a correction to Prof. Bond’s misstating me. No answer from him. In his world, I’m the guy in the white jacket, and black bowtie who passes out the hors-d’œuvres.
SINS OF OMISSION
Dear Meg Courtney, MCPB Board Secretary,
Re: 5/4/15 Minutes / Last board meeting
You made several important omissions in the attached draft of MCPB, annual membership meeting on May 4.
The first omission is that during board member comment I noted that it had been brought to my attention by several members of the public that MCPB Executive Director and General Manager, John Coate, had made highly objectionable posting on his Facepage page regarding station business.
Specifically, Coate posted on his personal Facebook page that the 37% and 32% of MCPB's members who had voted for reform candidates Doug McKenty and Dennis O'Brien, respectively, were referenced in the posts by Coate as "haters" and a "hate group"" that should "shut the fuck up".
During member comment, when I confronted Coate, he did not deny making the posts. He sat silently.
Coate's egregious conduct on Facebook, as the presumed leader of MCPB, needs to be noted in the minutes. Coate is the public face of MCPB. His behavior was reprehensible. His behavior should have been grounds for his immediate termination, but MCPB has a very complacent board.
Although Coate deleted those posts, several members of the public made copies of the posts. The posts were up on Coate's Facebook page for several weeks.
Your second important omission in the board minutes is that during Director Paul Lambert's presentation of the audit, I asked Coate a direct questions about the audit. My question was about salaries. I asked about the budget line item for salaries. I asked whether the dollar amount for salaries was consist across our financials -- budget, tax returns, and audit.
Coate refused to answer. I asked again, and Coate declared he had nothing to say to me.
An executive director and general manager's refusal to answer direct and relevant questions about corporate financials asked by a board director during a public meeting is a violation of the California Corporate Code. Therefore, at the time of the meeting, I asked Board President Stuart Campbell, that Coate's refusal to answer be noted in the meeting's minutes. He nodded yes.
Kindly note that the board meeting was taped by Sheila Dawn Tracy, a reporter at The Anderson Valley Advertiser. Ms. Tracy subsequently reported on the meeting, including the two incidents which you omitted.
The link to her article follows: https://www.theava.com/archives/44273
The meeting was also a public meeting. Every person in the room was a witness to the incidents you omitted from the minutes.
If you do not correct this draft of the minutes to include the two omissions noted above by me, I will make a formal complaint to the California Secretary of State for your failure as board secretary to be fair and impartial, accurate and inclusive.
You are literally whitewashing Coate's behaviors which have been, by turns, reprehensible and illegal. Both behaviors jeopardized MCPB viability in the community, and thus should be duly noted.
John Sakowicz, Ukiah
MCPB Board of Directors (2013-2016)
RADICAL CHANGE is Taking Place Whether We Like It Or Not
“We visualize it, imagine it, and think that it’s not going to happen, and it’s happening.” — Yoko Ono
Capital’s apologists are paradoxically joined by many of its critics in seeming unity of belief that there is no chance or need for change. Driven by despair, many assume that either the end is near or that it will await their demise before things get so bad they can’t get worse. This is understandable as we experience an almost endless loop of bad news about everything, along with a political system that offers a choice between polio or cancer every election day with no seeming hope for ending the disease. Luckily, there are more who see change as not only inevitable but absolutely necessary for survival and they are doing all they can to bring it about, no matter how our ruling minority’s media and political servants act to the contrary or some left critics insist it’s ineffective or even hopeless.
As America enters the early stages of a presidential campaign to reduce thoughtful people to more weeping and gnashing of teeth than biblical believers can imagine, other nations are moving from our form of political hypocrisy to a real experience of political democracy. And even some in the USA are responding to the need for substantial change, with citizen movements toward taking control from minority wealth to make majority rule a reality.
While nations like Greece and Spain take new party action in the face of brutally imposed austerity and greater inequality than ever, cities in the USA like Richmond, California vote for progressives despite millions spent against them by fossil fuel fundamentalism and Seattle elects a radical socialist to its city council. And there is already a socialist contesting the coronation of another Clinton in the Democratic primary. This is hardly a revolution, but it’s far more potential reform than the nation has seen in more than a generation.
Meanwhile, despair is fed by the US owner minority’s government and media as more unrest is promised in propaganda wars against Russia and China that could turn into military action if the slack jawed warlords in Washington continue manipulating a dwindling congregation of true believers among their captive public. And the total lack of confidence in and growing criticism of the government is also coming from a resurgent right conservative wing which is sometimes more irrational than what it criticizes but often makes some of what passes for a left seem moderate and even irrelevant by comparison.
While the danger to humanity is greater than ever, so are the possibilities for success that remain less visible on the global stage due to the source of that danger; the stage is owned, controlled and the actors directed by capital’s forces of economic and environmental destruction that benefit most from everyone else’s loss.
Renewed efforts to socially democratize instead of ending capitalism, whether in Greece, Spain, Scotland, Seattle, Richmond or hundreds of other places, should be seen as positive and not simply negated by those who’ve experienced such efforts before and understand they are not enough. They should also understand that what went before also wasn’t enough. This time, the efforts are much broader, involve greater numbers of people, and even if seemingly not visible in some locales are global as much as national. And these efforts, whether to raise taxes on the rich, pay higher minimum wages, open the electoral process to new parties, free Palestinians from colonial domination or create public banks, to name only a few, are not exclusively aimed at the effects of private capital control but also at the cause of those effects. They are politically democratizing steps in seemingly isolated places that represent humanity’s march toward a far more social economy to replace the anti-social profiteering that makes a minority rich beyond belief while impoverishing and destroying more of the world each day.
And real democracy will be needed to end the environmental fanaticism that is being confronted by citizens, some of whom may be in capitalism denial while accusing others of climate change denial, but are still battling against a major menace to humanity and taking us all in the direction of salvation and away from destruction.
Still lacking a solidarity that crosses lines of reductionist, identitarian and forced minority action, there is need for united political organization in the scattered movements for change that are more numerous and militant that at any time since the sixties and in many cases far more conscious of global rather than simply local problems. But whether they are moves for separatism in Scotland or Black lives Matter in the USA or indigenous people’s demands for protection of Mother Earth everywhere, there are signs of growth in not just the numbers but the consciousness of single issue groups that offer strong possibility that awareness of humanity’s common condition will overwhelm falsely created divisions in ethnicity, religion, culture, or worst and dumbest of all, race.
And what’s most important to remember, especially for those who criticize and sell the new movement short, is that for all the alleged past successes, they were all simply social democratic and never did a thing to really change capitalism. And with military “advisors” being sent to Iraq, military patrols in the South China Sea insisting China has no right to be there and NATO puppets lining up to screech in unison that Russia is threatening the USA by resisting warrior states on its border, the mental capacity of the profiteers is becoming very much like that of rats on a sinking ship. Unity among advocates of radical change was never more vitally needed and while constructive criticism is always necessary, destructive carping about theory can only lead to more of the defeated practice of the past. Wake up and smell the present reforms, people; they are numerous enough to suggest revolution, but it will need constructive criticism, not the other kind.
(Frank Scott writes political commentary and satire which appears online at the blog Legalienate)
"I'M BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT"
I never cared much for moonlit skies,
I never winked back at fireflies,
But now that the stars are in your eyes,
I'm beginning to see the light.
I never went in for afterglow,
Or candle light on the Mistletoe,
But now when you turn the lamp down low,
I'm beginning to see the light.
I used to ramble through the park,
Shadow boxing in the dark,
Then you came and caused a spark,
That's a four-alarm fire now.
I never made love by lantern shine,
I never saw rainbows in my wine,
But now that your lips are burning mine,
I'm beginning to see the light.
— Edward Ellington, Don George, Johnny Hodges, Harry James, Duke Ellington
MEMO OF THE AIR
The recording of last night's (2015-06-12) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download and keep or just play with one click at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
Also there you'll find thousands and thousands of links to interesting things to see and do and learn about, such as:
How Calvin and Hobbes embodied the voice of the lonely child.
The astrolabe through history. (With TED demo video.)
Diane Keaton’s superhero proto-parkour-master father.
And a 60-year-old high-school dance teacher’s retirement dance. Yeah! Stan’dized test /this/, foo!