22 February 2017


0000 by Jeff Hess

In the past I’ve asked if the DAPL protest could become this century’s Wounded Knee. I’m now thinking that Tienanmen Square might be the better comparison.

Ohio and Cuyahoga County Actions: Join the Ohio Pipeline Task Force.

[Update @ 0600 on 22 February: Hey, we won the west, right?—Interior Department Produced Memo On Dakota Access Pipeline That Trump Doesn’t Want Public To Read.]

[Update @ 0555 on 21 February: Will the end be peaceful or Tienanmen Square?—As Construction Near Standing Rock Restarts, Pipeline Fights Flare Across the U.S..]

[Update @ 0548 on 20 February: Oh shit! That didn’t take long. In North Dakota, profit and graft trump the U.S. Constitution—North Dakota Senators Approve Bills Targeting DAPL Protests.] —More…

170131 andew marlton first dong on the moon raccoons of the resistance banner

the counted
top of mind

End Our Racism Xenophobia… Stop Global Warming… Free Raif Badawi…

There are a number of stories and themes that I come back to again and again. My friend Eric Vessels once wrote that I do a consistently good job of following up, and Scene Magazine said that my daily posts remind the public of Cleveland controversies long after the local media gets bored and moves on.

So, that is what I’m attempting to do here with three stories: our ongoing conversation on Racism Xenophobia in America, the vital need to slam the brakes on Global Warming/Climate Change and the struggle to free Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

While this post is stuck to the top of my blog as a constant reminder to my readers and myself, new stories on many other topics do appear below.

Enjoy. Think, Discuss, Act…

wayback-machine-smallOne Year Ago* at Have Coffee Will WriteFive Years Ago at Have Coffee Will WriteTen Years Ago at Have Coffee Will Write… *As I post these reminders of the past year at Have Coffee Will Write, I want us all to be reminded of the presidential race and presidency that we might have had if Bernie had not been shut out by the DNC.

22 February 2017


0500 by Jeff Hess

From Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution:

These are tough times. The future of our country and planet are at stake. Our job: Fight Back.

Donald Trump and his Republican friends thought it was going to be easy. They would get to Washington and ram through their agenda, taking health care away from 30 million Americans, privatizing Medicare, and defunding Planned Parenthood while giving huge tax cuts to their millionaire and billionaire friends.

Their plans have begun to unravel, but only because of the tremendous levels of grassroots actions we’ve witnessed—town halls overflowing with constituents, rallies across the country, and of course the unprecedented outpouring of activism during the Women’s March.

We cannot stop. On Saturday, February 25th, volunteer-led rallies will be held outside of elected representative offices across the U.S. It is up to YOU to ensure that your Representatives and Senators know the American people won’t sit Continue Reading »

22 February 2017


0400 by Jeff Hess

So, yesterday I was talking with one of my students about the 14th Amendment to our Constitution which reads, in part: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. The legislature of North Dakota and that state’s Governor, Doug Burgum, believes that the 14th Amendment doesn’t apply to them. Shelley Connor, writing in North Dakota Senate passes bills criminalizing Dakota Access Pipeline protests for World Socialist Web Site, explains:

Embattled protesters, including Standing Rock Sioux tribe members and their allies, face increasingly stark odds as President Donald Trump and North Dakota legislators double down in defense of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

One of Trump’s first items of business as president was to demand that the Army Corps of Engineers scuttle any further environmental reviews of the final portion of the project and move directly to grant Energy Transfer Partners the final easement needed to complete the pipeline.

On Thursday, North Dakota’s Senate passed three separate bills aimed directly at anti-DAPL protesters. The bills significantly curtail protest rights and impose stiff penalties on protesters who run afoul of local or state law enforcement. One bill imposes sentencing of up to 20 years in prison.

The bills represent a sharp turn in the increasing drive to curtail protests in the United States; they equate protesting with rioting and public endangerment, and are bolstered by arguments from lawmakers, law enforcement, and industrial mouthpieces that the protesters are, in fact, terrorists.

We all need to remember that our own war of secession from the British Crown did not begin on 19 April 1775 but a full five years before, on 5 March 1770, when British troops fired on protesters and murdered five colonists, an incident that patriots seized upon to further the cause of liberty.

Tea Partiers can’t have their liberty both ways.

22 February 2017


0300 by Jeff Hess

When the economy allowed us to live in the same community and draw a paycheck from the same company for decades, then buying a home, putting down roots, made a lot of sense. That was the American dream. That dream went away with globalization and the rise of economies that were not as great as our own, but were still strong enough to cause instability and begin the whittling down of the greatest middle class that the world had ever known.

I bought a house in 1987 and that was probably the worst mistake I ever made. When I sold the house in 2000 I lost money. Not a lot of money, but when I added up all the expenses associated with the house—the new roof on the garage, the hot water heater, the hours spent on lawn maintenance and snow plowing, the hot water heater, the stove, and, and, and—my investment sucked.

Gina Ragusa, writing in 3 popular pieces of money advice that are actually just myths gets that in myth No. 3, You’re throwing away money on rent:

Buying your first home has historically been a rite of passage for young adults, but is it really better to own rather than rent? While the life-stage argument for buying is strong—including building equity with each mortgage payment, putting down roots and having more freedom to customize property to your tastes—the financial advantages are not actually so crystal clear.

Not only does renting buy you flexibility as you pursue career (and salary) advancement—but it allows you to avoid certain financial drains. Aspiring homeowners tend to forget about the “add on” expenses of ownership, such as insurance, taxes, home maintenance and sometimes association costs, according to Forbes.

All of that is not to say that no one should buy a home, you just need to be clear about why you make that decision.

Waiting until you are truly ready to buy is better than rushing into a purchase you may not be prepared to handle. Just because you are renting, doesn’t mean you aren’t in the driver’s seat; additionally, in some cases, you can rent the property first and then consider purchasing it when you are ready.

“If you think you may be buying a house soon ask, ‘Do you have a mortgage clause?’ You can also ask about a job relocation clause. Simply ask, ‘Can you work with me?’ Each resident has the power to do that,” Tracy Atkinson, director of global marketing and relations for Goodman Real Estate, told Zillow.

Remember, it’s easier, and possibly less expensive, to get out of a marriage than it is to say goodbye to all the money you pour into a house.

21 February 2017


0300 by Jeff Hess

170221 tom peters respect politeness grace


20 February 2017


1200 by Jeff Hess

So, we’ve all heard what our President has to say about the 92nd element, but did you know (thank you sonderval) where he’s getting his information from ?

You know what uranium is, right? Well, it’s not exactly a “thing called nuclear weapons”, but Uranium is a tremendously important element. Incredibly important. Nuclear weapons would not be great without uranium.

You see, uranium is really important, because it is radioactive. Now, the media are constantly hitting uranium because they say “radioactive is bad”, but that is so unfair. The periodic table is full of radioactive elements, very bad elements that are much more radioactive than uranium, but nobody talks about radioactive Technetium. The media are talking about uranium all the time. And why?

Because uranium is big. it is really a big, big atom, tremendous size really, like my hands. (Nothing wrong with their size, you know.) People would probably think that having 50 or 60 of these small positive things, you know what I am talking about, that this would be enough for any atom. Many people would think so, but that is all fake physics, because Uranium has a lot more of them, like 90 or so…

I’m sure the Germans have a word for this…

20 February 2017


0300 by Jeff Hess

To put an interesting twist on the whole Trump-Putin love fest, I can across this headline this morning—Like Keystone XL, Much of Dakota Access Pipeline Steel Made by Russian Company Tied to Putin—and yes, I did mean THIS Chamberlain…Nev

19 February 2017


1900 by Jeff Hess

While I remain a registered democrat—I do want to vote in the primaries—I left the Democratic Party in 2009 after I couldn’t stand the frustration of the bait-and-switch tactics of presidential politics any longer. Yes, I supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary, but that was because I understood that Bernie was an Independent who didn’t want to blow up the race and hand the election of one of the passengers in the Republican Party clown car. Few understood that the owner of the clown car would become President.

I’ve also given my support to the election of Keith Ellison as the next chair of the Democratic National Committee. The election this week will be contentious. Ellison is not a sure winner. Debate, however, is good.

In that vein, I received the email below this afternoon from Victor Tiffany, Co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy.

Fellow revolutionaries,

I have gotten a lot of replies from our call to help Sam Ronan become the next DNC Chair. They come in three basic categories: 1) willingness to help, 2) Bernie is supporting Keith Ellison, so why aren’t we and 3) screw the Democrats, I want nothing to do with them again. For those willing to contact members of the DNC, thank you for your understanding and help with #SamOrBust.

Yes, Senator Sanders is backing Keith Ellison. He was backing Hillary Clinton too, so it’s pretty clear we don’t always agree with Bernie’s choices. Sam Ronan wants the U.S. to get out of the Middle East; Ellison does not. Sam wants to eliminate superdelegates; to my knowledge Ellison does not. The RAP committee rejected Ellison as an option long ago, and we would not be getting involved if Sam had not come to my attention via “the avatar of the Bernie or Bust movement,” H.A. Goodman (on Twitter). He asserts Ronan is “a million times better” than Ellison, and in private conversation, Jill Stein’s campaign manager told me Sam is the real progressive running for DNC Chair. While I do not believe the establishment DNC will vote to make Sam the next chair, we’re trying to send them, who are also superdelegates, a message. They can either reform their Party or else #DemExit will continue until the Democrats join the Whigs in the ashcan of history. Honestly, I do not care how that turns out. If they remain a party of neoliberalism, I will take pride helping kick them into that ashcan.

When I saw all those Bernie delegates walk out of the DNC, I thought at the time the establishment is no longer in control of the Party. #SamOrBust is a way to reinforce that message. CNN is having a debate Wednesday night. Sam is expected to participate. I encourage those with access to watch it and then decide for yourself. If you have not yet but would like to help RAP send the DNC members a message—elect Sam or see the #DemExit movement accelerate—please use our post as a guide to write them a short email advocating for Sam or else.

To those who want nothing to do with the Democrats, we are currently in the #DemExit, build the Green Party stage. This is not a permanent strategy, and until a progressive 3rd party can compete for national offices in 3 or 4-way contests and win, the best shot progressives have is through the Democratic Party. Unlike Our Revolution or Progressive Democrats of America, our inside/outside approach is more menacing. We are loyal to a revolution, not to any given party. We are #DemExit now, but we’ll #DemEnter and #DemExit again on an as needed basis. Instead of parties using us, we aim to use parties to get progressives into office. This strategy will be laid out in greater detail in the “What’s Next” chapter of Bernie or Bust: A Promising Strategy of Electoral Revolt, coming soon to a bookstore near you. I’m as angry at the DNC and the Democratic Party establishment as anyone else, but I’m not going to be guided by my emotions. Because we don’t give a crap if an election is won by a neoliberal Democrat or a neoliberal Republican, we can use our anger to get our way, to help elect real progressives to office.

In solidarity,

Victor Tiffany
Co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy

If I could cast a vote, and I can’t, I would still back Keith Ellison. Saturday’s aftermath will be interesting in the fullest meaning of Joseph Chamberlin’s words.

18 February 2017


0300 by Jeff Hess

Yesterday I wrote:

In reading this morning I cam across the reference to a tweet that suggested:

I think both houses of Congress should assemble and watch the video of this press conference w/o interruption, then talk about what to do.

That won’t happen because the vast majority of Republicans in our Congress either loudly and enthusiastically applaud President Trump’s ever utterance or they’re scared witless by the real threat of the beating they would receive from Trump loyalists.

That mention lead to a conversation of the two, Constitutional, ways that a President may be removed from office. The first is reasonably well known—impeachment by the House of Representatives and a guilty verdict by the Senate for Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors—but Americans are now starting to talk about a mostly unknown path to remove a President: the 25th Amendment.

Adopted in 1967, the amendment (specifically Section 4) reads:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

I have argued elsewhere that Vice President Mike Pence was President Trump’s insurance policy against impeachment. Following the surreal press conference on Thursday, I no longer believe that to be true. I think the President’s mental state presents a clear and present danger to the existence of our nation. We may have to deal with a President Pence, and that historic change will carry other grave challenges, but the calculus has changed.

17 February 2017


0300 by Jeff Hess

So, I listened to much of President Donald John Trump’s press conference yesterday while I was driving between students and I have never been so fearful for the future of my country as I was then and as I am now. Trump’s performance vividly recreated conversations I’ve had over the years with students whose self-esteem was so low that they resorted to grandiose posturing to mask their own feeling of inadequacy and despair. In reading this morning I cam across the reference to a tweet that suggested:

I think both houses of Congress should assemble and watch the video of this press conference w/o interruption, then talk about what to do.

That won’t happen because the vast majority of Republicans in our Congress either loudly and enthusiastically applaud President Trump’s ever utterance or they’re scared witless by the real threat of the beating they would receive from Trump loyalists.

Trump is fond of brandishing false claims about the size of his accomplishments—just as he has no compunction about against bragging about the size of his penis (remember those cute days when the nation was shocked that a candidate for President of the United States of America would take and answer a question regarding what type of underwear he wore?)—but I’ll allow him this: he is clearly the most mentally unstable person ever elevated to the Oval Office.

16 February 2017


0500 by Jeff Hess

170216 intercepted podcast we are all in trump’s hunger games now

From Intercepted at The Intercept:

The first contestant in Donald Trump’s reality administration has left the West Wing. This week on Intercepted, Glenn Greenwald offers some provocative pushback on the Russia fearmongering surrounding Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation (or firing). Naomi Klein walks the dark aisles of the Trump family department store. Former Rep. Liz Holtzman, a key figure in the impeachment of Richard Nixon, explains how impeachment actually works, and how the smoke around Trump could fuel a fire aimed at unseating him. Hina Shamsi of the ACLU recounts her interrogation at the border — which echoes the treatment her clients have received. And underground hip-hop legend Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks sends in some verses.

16 February 2017


0400 by Jeff Hess

Ralph Nader, in An E.Coli’s Message to President Trump, writes:

The current troubling news reports from China are describing a major Avian Flu epidemic among huge flocks of chickens. Such epidemics have been worrisome to public health specialists because they could be the precursor of transmission to humans and a possible global pandemic. Since President Trump is developing his policy against “terrorism”, I’m reproducing below a fictional letter from E.coli 0104:H4 to his predecessor that highlights the big leagues of terrorism against innocents by deadly bacteria and viruses. I re-submit this letter to President Trump:

Dear President Trump:

My name is E.coli 0104:H4. I am being detained in a German Laboratory in Bavaria, charged with being “a highly virulent strain of bacteria.” Together with many others like me, the police have accused us of causing about 20 deaths and nearly five hundred cases of kidney failure–so far. Massive publicity and panic all around.

You can’t see me, but your scientists can. They are examining me and I know my days are numbered. I hear them calling me a “biological terrorist,” an unusual combination of two different E.coli bacteria cells. One even referred to me as a “conspiracy of mutants.”

It is not my fault, I want you to know. I cannot help but harm innocent humans, and I am very sad about this. I want to redeem myself, so I am sending this life-saving message straight from my petri dish to you.

This outbreak in Germany has been traced to food–location unknown. What is known to you is that invisible terrorism from bacterium and viruses take massively greater lives than the terrorism you are spending billions of dollars and armaments to stop in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Malaria, caused by infection with one of four species of Plasmodium, a parasite transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes destroys a million lives a year. Many of the victims are children and pregnant women. Mycobacterium tuberculosis takes over one million lives each year. The human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) causes over a million deaths each year as well. Many other microorganisms in the water, soil, air, and food are daily weapons of mass destruction. Very little in Continue Reading »

16 February 2017


0300 by Jeff Hess

15 February 2017


1200 by Jeff Hess

I need to pay better attention to the other editions of my free, local, weekly newspaper The (Royalton) Post. While browsing that edition this morning, the headline—Renacci shares thoughts on ACA repeal, replacement—Community group concerned about future for those covered under ACA—caught my eye. The story appeared in the Northern Wayne edition of the paper and was written by the edition’s editor, Emily Canning-Dean. She began:

With a new year upon us, a new Congress and a new president sworn into office, healthcare has become a hot button issue among many people across the country.

Some feel the Affordable Care Act is inefficient and needs to be repealed and replaced, while others fear its repeal will mean millions will no longer have health coverage.

Members from a community group known as Indivisible District 16 met with some of District 16 Congressman Jim Renacci’s staff members Jan. 18 to discuss the Affordable Care Act. According to a press release from Indivisible District 16, the group is concerned the repeal of the Affordable Care Act will lead to nearly one million Ohioans losing their health coverage.

Clear, concise and to the point. She might, however, have served her readership (and Renacci’s constituents) better if she had provided context, and a link in the electronic version, to just what Indivisible is so that readers would understand that the local group is actually part of a national organization.

As long as Republicans in our House of Representatives understood that their many, many votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act were meaningless posturing, they were free to use the stunts to energize their base. Now that Republicans control Congress and the White House, such votes have real consequences for real Americans and real people are waking up that Republicans want to kick them off the healthcare bus.

We The People, in the form of Indivisible and other organizations, will not let that stand.


14 February 2017


0400 by Jeff Hess

14 February 2017


0300 by Jeff Hess

Occasionally I find a post—rather than a comic—from Scott Adams worth repeating. This post on managing energy to manage time resonates with all the reading I’ve been doing from Cal Newport since I finished his Deep Work last year. The key challenge to the strategy is that most people do are not self-employed and able to set a schedule that best fits them and not their bosses, their co-workers or their clients. Still, I think at least making he attempt is valuable.

Scheduling Your Energy, Not Your Time

If you plan your schedule around your availability, you’re probably doing it wrong. Years ago I learned that planning my schedule to match my different energy states works far better. Here are my usual energy states during a typical day. And by that I mean my mind and body are optimized for different tasks at different times. These energy states are fairly predictable in my case, so I build my schedule around them.

Creative energy (best between 4-10 a.m.)
Social energy (best between 4-11 p.m.)
Communication energy (phone calls, email, texts) (best between 10-11 a.m.)
Learning energy (any time except afternoon)
Physical energy (exercise) (Best at lunchtime)
Sexual energy (Testosterone is highest in morning, trails off all day. Sooner is better.)

Your energy profile might differ, but I think you will find that most writers use the early morning to do their best work. The secret sauce is that you can accomplish more in less time if your energy is right for the task. I can do more creative work between 4-5 a.m. than I can get done in an entire afternoon.

Everyone is different, so pay attention to your own energy states and plan accordingly. And if you don’t have a flexible schedule, think about how you could work toward it in the long run, because happiness is influenced by when you do things, not just the nature of those activities. If you find yourself exercising when you are already tired, and eating when you are not hungry, that’s a bad schedule.

Adams is right about early mornings. Sure there are plenty of writers who are night owls, but for every night owl, my observation has been that there are 10 larks.

13 February 2017


0300 by Jeff Hess

12 February 2017


1200 by Roldo Bartimole

1990 issue 2 roldo

For the first time in more than two decades two civic organizations are opposing an Establishment desire to seize more public dollars to subsidize a downtown development—the Quicken Arena.

Citizens are actually challenging the political leadership and their corporate dictators, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, which represents high-powered business and legal elites.

This is not apparently what County Executive Armond Budish and Mayor Frank Jackson were expecting when they bowed to Dan Gilbert on a scheme to revamp the Q. Both Councils—city and county—will also have to sign off on deal that will cost more than $280 million over 17 years.

Pretty disgusting.

This new opposition has the resistance quality prominent now in national politics against President Donald Trump. It represents an awareness of the misuse of public resources as part of the inequality that plagues working people.

The Gateway Economic Development Corp.—operators of Progressive Field and Q Arena—quietly canceled its monthly February meeting. This prevents any public opportunity to protest the new grab of public money before the city and county votes.

Likewise as suspicious was the snatch of Scene alternative newspaper boxes from downtown locations. The excuse given was workers of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, a pseudo private government and offshoot of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, picked up the boxes for safety reasons. Of their own volition. I’ve have talked with some of these workers. They would not act without direction. So Joe Marinucci, Alliance boss, ($208,000 salary, $53,898 benefits) should come clean on the motives an organization packed with developers from John Ferchill to Fred Geis. Joe, tell us the truth. What goes?

The money confiscation is especially repulsive when one considers Cuyahoga County voters already passed a 20-year sin tax worth some $260 million. It was supposed to finance the sports facilities.

However, the politicians and Gilbert want none of this touched. They want to create NEW public subsidies. Their ravenousness never satisfied.

Where will they acquire this new money? $16 million from county funds; $44 million sliced from public bed taxes and $88 million from city admission taxes from 2024-2036. Why those dates? Because those taxes are being used already for Gateway bonds on arena overruns back from the mid-1990. The tax grab on those bonds ends December Continue Reading »

12 February 2017


0300 by Jeff Hess

170212 saturday night live snl cold opening trump sean spicer north royalton post poll

So, my copy of the free weekly North Royalton Post arrived in my mailbox yesterday and, as always I turned to the opinion pages first. The head of the Publisher’s Notebook asks: Is SNL funny or sad? (This column is not yet available online, I’ll post a link ASAP.) Post Publisher Bruce Trogdon writes:

What seems apparent to me ow is that Saturday Night Live has moved to consciously attacking Donald Trump in a a way they never have before. Is this because they have an ax to grind? Are they simply giving their target younger audience what it wants to hear? I am not sure. One thing I will also say is that Trump has asked for it with his own over-the-top style. You reap what you sow. Is he reaping what he deserves?

My guess is that Trogdon wrote his column on Wednesday, or possibly Thursday, when the poll had only been up for one or two days. I doubt that he had yet seen the surprising (for his expected readership which he described as of above average intelligence and [desirous of] a serious and balanced discussion of the issues). As I write this on Sunday morning the poll results are:

What do you think about SNL’s portrayal of President Trump and his team?

[The new poll is up. This may be the final update @ 0421 on 15 February:

Hilarious! I can’t get enough, 468 votes, 53.7 percent;
It can be funny, but also a bit too disrespectful, 63 votes, 7.2 percent;
It was funny at first but now it’s played out, 83 votes, 9.5 percent; and
Time to retire the boring and unfunny show, 258 votes, 29.6 percent.

Updated @ 0629 on 14 February:

Hilarious! I can’t get enough, 443 votes, 53.2 percent;
It can be funny, but also a bit too disrespectful, votes, 7.4 percent;
It was funny at first but now it’s played out, 68 votes, 9.2 percent; and
Time to retire the boring and unfunny show, 248 votes, 29.8 percent.

Updated @ 0942 on 13 February:

Hilarious! I can’t get enough, 399 votes, 54.0 percent;
It can be funny, but also a bit too disrespectful, 61 votes, 7.3 percent;
It was funny at first but now it’s played out, 80 votes, 9.6 percent; and
Time to retire the boring and unfunny show, 217 votes, 29.4 percent.]

Hilarious! I can’t get enough, 340 votes, 54.8 percent;
It can be funny, but also a bit too disrespectful, 46 votes, 7.4 percent;
It was funny at first but now it’s played out, 55 votes, 8.9 percent; and
Time to retire the boring and unfunny show, 179 votes, 28.9 percent.

Having women lampoon President Donald John Trump’s staff—Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer and Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions—is brilliant, as shown in last evening’s cold open. Enjoy.

Of course, SNL is far from alone.

11 February 2017


1200 by Jeff Hess

Last year I distributed images to several friends and associates of Superman and Wonder Woman in the power poses described by Amy Cuddy in her TED Talk. Cuddy’s concept is akin to the Fake it until you make it philosophy and has come under attack in the years since she first proposed her idea, but still Cuddy’s video speaks to a human need to be special.

Oliver Burkeman, writing in The art of taking action. Or not for The Guardian, concluded:

In an old Zen parable quoted by Krech, a monk asks his superior what to do about being too hot. His reply: “When it is hot, let it be so hot that it kills you.” Not literally: that’d be a rubbish productivity tip. But spending less time battling discomfort? That’s a productivity tip to beat them all. To be able to do what needs doing, whether or not you feel like it, is pretty close to a superpower.

Superpowers seem a bit in these days. Perhaps that’s due to the insufferable spate of Marvel/DC Comic action movies, but I think there is more of a Potteresque desire to think we’re somehow extraordinary. In his book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport wrote: I firmly believe that deep work is like a superpower in our current economy: it enables you to quickly (and deliberately) learn complicated new skills and produce high-value output at a high rate.

We no longer are happy with being, as Army recruiting commercials promised in the ’80s, all that we can be. That’s for slackers. If we’re not superhuman we’re just boring.

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