Video
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Paul and Linda McCartney “Heart of the Country”

Animated ad promoting the #LoveLinda campaign for Linda McCartney Foods brand. The ad features the McCartney family in animated form, fellow vegetarian Elvis Costello on voice over, and Paul and Linda McCartney’s song “Heart of the country”.

Can’t begin to describe how much I love this. The McCartneys. The Animation. The vegetarianism. The song.

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An ugly side of the judicial process

Just learned about Edward Blum thanks to a Chris Hayes segment on the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action cases pending the SCOTUS. This guy has actually brought four different cases before the US Supreme Court, including two this term (I’m talking mainly about affirmative action in Fisher v Texas, the other being the VRA in Shelby County v Holder). That in itself is astonishing, but they are all on the subject of “color blindness”. Turns out also that Ed Blum ran for Congress back in the early 90s, lost badly, and was so traumatized by the experience that he’s been on a juristic mission to end “all forms of discrimination” (meaning of course “discrimination against whites”) ever since.

I have followed the Fisher case superficially since last year, but while I always assumed she was funded by some white supremacist person and/or organization, I didn’t actually know any details until today. It turns out that Abigail Fisher was actually recruited by this Blum guy via her conservative father in a deliberate attempt to overturn affirmative action in public education. As is quite obvious from that case in itself, it was about something much greater than just Ms. Fisher getting rejected from UT, but she and her story is a convenient vehicle to push through the courts and public, because it reasonates with a certain school of thought and crowd. (The “racism ended in 1965” or “affirmative action is racism against whites” crowds etc.)

Of course, the case is entirely funded by NOT Abigail Fisher or her family, but Ed Blum and Donors Trust and other conservative groups. A few days ago actually, I was thinking of legal cases in human terms, or rather how they may turn out in practical terms. I was reading about psychiatric injury cases where the injury manifested much later than the incident that allegedly provoked the injury, and then the cases made their way through the courts, which took years, sometimes the incident and the final ruling would be a decade or more apart in time. I then thought about this Fisher case, because the girl, Ms Fisher, has already graduated from a different university, she has started work and all that. It’s not about her, which is not abnormal once a case reaches this level, but what strikes me in this case is that it has never been about her, and there is something awfully cynical about that, even though the actions of this man probably comes from a highly idealistic point of view.

I almost wish I hadn’t learned these details now. I am profoundly depressed about how the politics – especially the funding – works to influence this policy in a way that is so reactionary towards the de facto situation of race conditions on the ground, and ultimately how this may (and looks to) be decided by the Supreme Court.

Aside
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It’s not a good sign of passion or effort when you spend the last weeks/days/hours before your final exams thinking about all the trivial things you will do once they are over. They are NOT over yet! Stop thinking about it. But of course, I can’t, here are some things I plan on doing:

  • Try to illustrate again. I can get all the expensive Adobe software for free from my university, which is the first perk I have come across so far from this expensive as balls school, so I intend to download and install all of them over the break anyway even if I will never use them. I wonder if this will be the time to buy an external mouse. I hate external computer stuff, but I can get it very cheaply or even free, so I might go for it. When will they invent a cordless charger though, my landlord’s phone can be scrolled with the rolling of eyes??? #StupidQuestions
  • Read the complete work of Rick Pearlstein.
  • Drink the [expensive] wines I received as presents earlier this term.
  • Bake something nice that I would not be able to do in Norway due to ingredient  surplus import charges/lack of availability full stop. Candidates include: Blueberry pie with Gruyère crust (Like Chuck does on Pushing Daisies), honey short bread with organic honey, Biscoff mudd cake, peanut butter sandies with organic peanut butter and raw nuts. I haven’t had much time to think about this, but I’m sure I’ll spend the next few days thinking about it instead of studying…
  • Criminal law is on my agenda and also (coincidentally!) my final exam for the semester. I wonder if watching the HBO documentary Gideon’s Army will count as “studying”. The movie is about public defenders in some of the poorest high-crime areas in the US, I guess it does not, but I will definitely see it once the aforementioned vacation starts. (How come “questions of criminal justice” can be so philosophically interesting, engaging, complex and morally challenging though? Because studying criminal law is NOT; it is combing through legislation relating to police powers and court proceedings for leave etc.)
  • Walk through the entire CBD ad hoc. Just to see it from different angles. I used to do this in London and it was the best thing I ever did when it came to “learning” the city. I would get lost and then try to find my way back on my own. I would have done this in Tokyo as well, but getting lost there seemed to have more serious consequences such as ending up too far away and not meeting anyone who spoke English (before I knew Japanese), or just getting lost within one station trying to get out etc. Sydney probably won’t offer these troubles because the signs are in English (scarce as they are) and it’s not that big, and I already know how to get home.
  • Actually my ulterior aim is to get to know the city traffic/parking a little bit more so that I can go there by bike. I have a new bike now that I have yet to actually use because I’m scared of the traffic in my neighborhood, but I will get over it and I look forward to it. I walk everywhere, even if it takes me 3 hours. I suspect that once I experience getting from point A to B in less than 30 minutes without paying for it, there will be no turning back.

Unrelated: Are all music videos bad? I say this having just watched the video for OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” (and I like the song), but that only provoked the thought, it didn’t give birth to it; I cannot think of one music video ever that has added anything, for me anyway. It is always ridiculous seeming? Long, short, serious, “funny”, “artistic” or simple, it always comes off as douchebag-y to me. It’s not an indictment on the songs, I just don’t get it.

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Why the blog?

I figured with the NSA scandal brought on by Glen Greenwald’s Edward Snowden hiding out in Hong Kong story, it was only appropriate that I started a blog to “get on top” of all the information data mined on me so far.* I do not have facebook, after all, so I may lag behind quite a bit on my dossier. Therefore, I need to get in there and add things! (I am only being half facetious.)

*I see this surveillance story as impacting human behavior the same way having the “documentary” crew impacted the behavior of the people in the sitcom(s) The Office. Greg Daniels talked about this, how the presence of the cameras make the people say and do things in ways that they would not if they didn’t know they were being recorded. This is especially evident if you compare behavior in the US version of the show with how they behave on camera and when they are filmed from afar and think they aren’t recorded. There’s obviously much more to this issue, and I don’t mean to trivialize, but my point is that being cognizant of our exteralities colors our behavior, and perhaps more importantly (especially in this context) our words.

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Definiton

pen·silje
/pen-sēl-ye(ə)/

Noun
Completely made up name by me for wordpress blog.

Pun
A pun on pensive, which is what you allegedly are when you blog, and a truncation with my name, Silje. Also, people used to write with a pen.

Synonyms
jocose – bored – pathetic – meta – lame – pedantic – procrastinate