How Sanguine We Can Be From A Distance

building-on-the-links-in-edinburgh

Photography is creative. During the past couple of days I have had a small uptick in my desire to photograph. I think I am reacting to the impotence I feel over what seems to sweeping across the world.

This is a panoramic shot of a building that fronts onto the Links, a grassy area in Edinburgh near where we live. I like the way that sweeping panoramic shots bulge out the flat fronts of buildings and create an image that is not like the scene looks in reality.

It reminds me of perspective techniques in painting where the painter will alter reality to more closely accord with the psychological vision.


In the USA, protesters are out on the streets saying that Trump is not their President. They oppose his racism, his misogyny, his isolationism.

I think Trump may be racist, maybe not. It is hard to tell what he is. He has a general disdain for everyone.

But the racism in the country exists and at this time in history in this election it is in part a simple reaction to the difficulty that some people had in accepting that there was an intelligent and caring black man in the White House.

They just had to vote for someone who would extinguish that truth and the President’s legacy.

On NewsNight last night, the historian Simon Schama said the result was a calamity for democracy and would increase racism and anti-semitism.

He was agitated in a way I have never seen before and rarely see in any public figure.

I couldn’t help but think of people smuggling information out of Germany to tell the world about the holocaust, and shouting into the wind.

And I am thinking that there are checks and balances to prevent a slide to a nastier USA. But with the Republicans controlling all three branches of power, how strong are those checks?

Economy First

Trump says he wants to lower taxes and invest in infrastructure to increase wealth across the nation.

Those proposals are not that radical. Lowering taxes and spending on infrastructure can increase the flow of money and stimulate an economy.

And although people might disagree over how to achieve it, there is consensus in that almost everybody wants increased wealth.

So on the economy, you’ve got a united country.

The challenges are over things he has said where the country is not united, and particularly on abortion and Roe v Wade. And the test of that will be decided on the composition of the Supreme Court.

So my guess is that Trump will be slow to appoint a new judge.

He will push to get some consensus about his presidency by increasing or giving the prospect of increasing wealth across the board. Then he can turn to the thornier questions.

Really though, no one believes his position on very much at all except to look after America and let the rest of the world go hang. So I wouldn’t be surprised if his choice of judge is more liberal than people expect.

Sanguine From A Distance

See how sanguine I am from a distance?

See by contrast how opposed I am to Brexit and how much I want the decision to leave Europe overturned?

Or maybe it is that I just don’t see a way back from four years of a Trump presidency, whereas there are routes back to the EU?

Lessons From History

I have always said that when people look back and say of the dark times in Europe that it could never happen again, they are blind.

It was ‘now’ when those things were happening, and people rarely see the speed with which the wildfire of racism can spread.

I have believed for years that the USA is a beacon to the world. Oh sure, it’s an imperfect beacon. But it has saved Europe from itself more than once.

What now? We’ve known for years that there are two Americas that eye each other warily. Whither now, America?


I published this article earlier today on NoMorePencils

11 thoughts on “How Sanguine We Can Be From A Distance

  1. I’m waiting and hoping to get any small uptick in photography.

    What you said in the last paragraph … «it was NOW when those things were happening» … is something I’ve thought about so many times. “It can never happen again?!” — bah! In my general frustration and sadness, it feels as if I would just like to curl up underneath a blanket or something …

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    1. Yes, yes.

      I was just remembering what Mrs Trump said just a week or two ago about wanting to take the nastiness and bullying out of the internet. Watch out for laws that close in on the Internet under the guise of protecting the defenceless but which will in fact be made in order to stop the spread of opposition to her husband’s policies.

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      1. It will be … ‘interesting’ to see how it all will enfold over the next four years. Maybe eight?! You never know.

        I stayed up and watched the whole thing on CNN. Time after time it struck me I had the same feeling of it all being surreal — I was reminded of when I watched the Berlin wall fall 1989 on TV. I later found out that was on the same date.

        I sometimes get that feeling, while watching news … 9/11 first and foremost, of course, but there have been other times too … hurricane Katrina comes to mind.

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        1. I said to T that it felt like it wasn’t reality. She fears for the environment, for the damage to children if States can decide the school curriculum, for the world. It is her country and it hurts her deeply.

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  2. Joan E. Miller

    I do not expect the new president to do anything that benefits anyone. You must lower your expectations! I cannot even think of what that insipid family will do to the White House.

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    1. I have so little confidence that I know what the man is like that I don’t have any expectations against which to measure his performance. Except I can say that I don’t like the man. The breaking point for me was when he mimicked the disable journalist. What a horrible thing to do.

      At the same time I am trying to imagine why he wants to be president at all. Narcissism, a desire to live out the character of Putin whom he admires (adores)? I don’t know. I have thought more than once that he would make a good Nero in a TV production.

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