HCR: On covid, Biden’s relief bill and news on Trump insurrection

Heather Cox Richardson | Letters from an American | March 5

Heather Cox Richardson

In coronavirus news today, there were a record 2.4 million vaccines administered.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) is denying any involvement in a vaccine drive in a private, gated community after which a resident of the community, former Illinois governor Bruce Rauner (R), made a donation of $250,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis Political Action Committee. This appears to be part of a pattern in Florida, where vaccine administration seems to track with wealthy communities whose members donate to the governor’s campaign funds.

News about the January 6 insurrection continues to mount, with a mid-level Trump appointee from the State Department, Federico Klein, arrested yesterday on several felony charges, including assaulting police officers, stemming from the riot. Tonight the New York Times revealed that a member of the far-right Proud Boys organization was in contact with someone at the White House in the days before the insurrection.

Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has catalogued almost 2000 pages of public social media posts from those representatives who voted to overturn the election. The material reveals that a few representatives were active indeed in pushing the idea that the election was stolen and Trump supporters must fight. Especially active were Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Billy Long (R-MO) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) is slow-walking the confirmation of Merrick Garland as attorney general, an odd stance at a time when one would think we would want all hands on deck to investigate the insurrection and ongoing domestic terrorism

Continue reading

“Daphne” review: Emily Beecham takes a stylish plunge into sex, drugs and drink

A big-city thirtysomething, numbed by her endless pursuit of pleasure, finds her life turned around when she witnesses a violent crime

Fortunately or otherwise, this resembles something from TV, the award-winning 2016 comedy Fleabag written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, all about the unhappy, sexually adventurous and self-destructive woman in London: young, posh, white. In this film – written by Nico Mensinga and directed by Peter Mackie Burns, feature first-timers – it is Daphne, played with a potent and blank kind of restraint by Emily Beecham, who is on her own in the city; she has a demanding job as a chef in a busy restaurant, but Daphne is uninterested in that, her tiresome mother, or her clingy friends from uni. She’s more interested in sex with strangers, coke, alcohol and the pure delicious pleasure of not caring any more about other people or herself. It could be a pleasure that people of her age are largely too timid or unattractive to pursue.

This film suffers in comparison with Fleabag, just a bit. It doesn’t have Fleabag’s brilliant comic set pieces, and Beecham doesn’t have Waller-Bridge’s prerogative of doing witty monologues direct to camera. But Daphne is doing something different by not going for laughs, and, in cinema terms, the film interestingly doesn’t have the distinctive unreality of Brit social realism. It doesn’t insist on a hallucinatory beauty in the gritty cityscape to offset the tough lives. The nearest we come to that is an eerie overhead shot, as if from a high window or a surveillance camera angled down, showing Daphne drunkenly teetering across the pavement in the middle of the day.

Unlike most social realism, it is about an articulate adult from a comfortable background; she reads Slavoj Žižek in her downtime and toe-curlingly corrects other people’s mispronunciation. Yet this is not necessarily absurd or delusional. For all her vulnerability and high-wire emotional recklessness she is not a victim.

Source: Daphne review – Emily Beecham takes a stylish plunge into sex, drugs and drink

Call for celebs to save Cockney rhyming slang ‘which could be gone in 20 years’

There are fears Cockney rhyming slang will die out ‘within 20 years’ if no action is taken

When Andy Green was born in London’s East End in the 1950s, Cockney rhyming slang was still in its heyday.

But the 62-year-old, self-described ‘minor celebrity from a micro niche’, says Cockney will die out within 20 years unless we act to preserve its relevance – which is why he started ‘Speak Cockney Day’.

Andy is passionate that our sense of identity, including where we are from, helps to define who we are, and wants to promote the importance of nurturing the Cockney dialect to maintain its relevance.

This is why he hopes to get East-Endcelebrity figures such as Adele, Russell BrandMichael Caine, Danny Dyer and Madness’ lead singer Suggs on board with promoting its continued use.

The proud East-ender, who grew up in Balfron Tower social housing in Poplar, Tower Hamlets, and has written two books about London, has set out a seven-step manifesto to save his beloved East End lingo.

As well as getting London celebs on board, the manifesto includes promoting Cockney’s cultural inclusivity, maintaining its relevance to young people, and getting London’s museums and institutions to take part.

The construction of rhyming slang involves replacing a common word with a phrase of two or more words, the last of which rhymes with the original word; for example, ‘apples and pears’ for ‘stairs’, or ‘bees and honey’ for ‘money’.

It is thought villains invented the dialect so the police wouldn’t understand them.

In almost all cases they would omit the second word of the phrase, so the rhyming word would be implied to listeners in the know, while eluding those who weren’t.

Source: Call for celebs to save Cockney rhyming slang ‘which could be gone in 20 years’