Every story about this White House is frightening, but here are the three scariest things about this Washington Post story on Il Douché’s mulling a White House purge:
1—In the constant, Tudor-like political roiling of the White House waters, the bloated body of Steve Bannon has floated back to the top. Setting up a “war room” to do battle with the government that Tr**p leads has his fingerprints all over it. What makes Bannon dangerous is his lust for chaos and disruption. It’s all about “The Fourth Turning,” a potted history that Bannon reveres. The book argues that history unfolds in 80 year cycles, each made up of four 20-year “turnings.” We are now in the midst of the fourth, or “destruction” turn of the Post-War era. (The book even uses the term “winter is coming,” so you know every time he turns on “Game of Thrones,” he sees confirmation.) But he’s not content with letting the destruction happen. If the times aren’t going to conform to the book, he’s going to make sure they will. Also back is his spirit animal, Kellyanne Conway.
2—Il Douché is quickly on the road to becoming America’s first Potemkin president. What to do when Tr**p’s not feeling so good about himself? Throwing things at his “enormous” big-screen TV, yelling “Fake News! Fake News!” even when Fox is on? Why, throw a few rallies. He can take Marine One directly from the White House lawn, put a cordon around the landing zone, have a friendly crowd on the road, let him grab a few dignitaries’ hands, put him in front of a few thousand of his fans, and it’s all good!
3—They actually use “Godfather” quotes to describe their actions. Two people “close to the [War Room] discussions” said they were “going to the mattresses.”
I’ll let that sink in for a second.
You read that correctly—Russian Ambassador Told Moscow That Kushner Wanted A Secret Communications Channel With Moscow. Now, before we start bringing out the Champaign to christen the good ship Impeachment, let’s take a breath.
This could just be Russia toying with us, throwing yet another pailful of dezinformatsiya to the mainstream media like so much chum, roiling the water just to show they can. Putin might have tired of Il Douché, and decided to throw a shot across his bow, stepping on the relatively good news of his foreign trip. Who knew he’d be so high-maintenance? The constant preening, and having to be in the front row of every picture? (The most Tr**piest part of that shove? The East/west nods and the tug on his jacket as he took his place, a bullying narcissist’s show of importance that wouldn’t look out of place on a mob boss.) And he just won’t shut up. Being an ally of Il Douché is like hooking up with every nightmare relationship you ever had. You couldn’t blame he if Putin decided he’s not worth the trouble, and cut him loose.
Or it could just be they’re really that stupid. Right now, that option seems the most likely.
According to the story, Kislyak
was reportedly was taken aback by the suggestion of allowing an American to use Russian communications gear at its embassy or consulate — a proposal that would have carried security risks for Moscow as well as the Trump team.
And that sounds like something Tr**p would demand. You can imagine him telling Jared to demand a secret office in the Russian Embassy. It’s the kind of Maxwell-Smart-meets- the-Sopranos style of governing coming from the White House.
Whatever the reason, this takes the story right to the heart of the Tr**p Administration. If true, you can’t imagine that Kushner, the most trusted man in the White House, made that demand without approval from the Boss. And it’s illegal, even if they’re going to claim this was some ninja-styled negotiating move. Can’t wait to hear Jeffrey Lord try to defend this steaming pile of crap.
There’s always been something a little otherworldly about Björk; if you told me you had proof she was a descendent of Puck and Titania, it wouldn’t exactly be a surprise. And in “Digital,” her captivating exhibition of virtual reality installations and videos (up until June 4 at The Reef, part of the LA Phil’s Reykjavik Festival), she is a shapeshifter. Over the course of seven videos, Björk (or one of her avatars) turns volcanic, reproduces like a paramecium, harmonizing and surrounding you on gorgeously abandoned shore, swallows you whole, spouts aurora borealis, turns incorporal—you can walk right through her—and ends up taking you on a 2001-styled oddessy.
The 90-minute show is part tour, part tasting menu: you are guided from room to room in groups, and each room comes with its own set of instructions—how to put on your goggles, seated or standing, in “Family,” work a pair of handsets that allow you shoot streamers, Spiderman-style.
Talking on a digital hookup from New York City (and appearing in the skin of one of her avatars), Björk, introduced by the Phil’s Director of Presentations Joanna Rees and Andrew Thomas Huang, her collaborator on three of the VR videos, explained she considered VR a way to make an even deeper connection with her fans. Experiencing the songs on VR, she was, was more intimate than listening to a CD. And as an artist, VR inspired some of the most spontaneous, improvised work she’s ever done.
There’s no narrative to speak of, but it does feel like there’s progression from room to room. You start out interacting with an app based on her “Biophilia” album; each song is supposed to teach a new aspect of musical theory. I only had a few minutes with it, and could have used a 14-year-old as a guide. Next you’re led into the room for “Black Lake.”
It’s not VR, but certainly immersive. Giant screens, surround sound. You’re encouraged to wander around; the images on the screens—Björk in a cave, a craggy shore, a field—are some times in synch, others not, the points of view change. And you’re very aware of the others around you. It’s two screens, fifty speakers, and some two dozen adults fumbling around a room.
That doesn’t mean it’s not eeffective. It’s an approach that feels operatic, made for both Wagnerian grandiosity, or crisp surrealism of Robert Wilson’s rapturous dreamlike productions. The scenery alone—shot just outside the city of Reykjavik
From there you move to stools for the “Stonemilker,” “Quicksand,” and “Mouth Mantra.” Not only do you move in space, but the sound moves with you. If you swiveled away from the Björk reaching out for you, her vocals moved from the front, to the side, then behind you. Finally, for “Family” and “Notget,” can you walk and explore the spaces around you. While I did not experience any nausea or dizziness, a feeling of wooziness for a while afterwards, more sensitive to the world around me. This might have been a late-blooming reaction to the VR, but I chose to believe it was the way Björk used it.
Björk’s performance at Disney Hall May 30th will take things to the other extreme. There will be no visuals or electronics, just her voice, and a 32-piece string orchestra. “There’s nothing to hide behind,” she said. “I feel naked.” She returns to LA to headline the FYF Fest on July 21, for a performance she promises will be “more celebratory and communal.”