Last month the Supreme Court ruled on an obscure little case called Horne v. Department of Agriculture, brought by a California raisin farmer who claims that by requiring him to pay into this so-called raisin reserve, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is illegally confiscating his private property. The case didn’t attract much media attention because the unanimous ruling was just a logistical one—it was kicked it back to a lower court—that was dwarfed by the gay-marriage and voting-rights decisions, which, understandably, are much bigger political issues than dried fruit. Still, for most of us the discovery of a governmental raisin hoard will count as a question-raising surprise. Where are they kept? Why are they kept? Is the American economy in danger of being thrust into recession by an avalanche of underpriced raisins? What other piles of fruit are out there, and, more importantly, can we eat them? “There is no Uncle Scrooge’s nickel bank of raisins,” says Dr. Mechel Paggi, director for the Center of Agricultural Business at Fresno State University. “No one storage unit full of raisins. The rules are not quite so draconian as that.” Darn.
Dangr33: did you let a boy take off your party dress? (h/t elvis costello)
Since women in those days did not wear between-the-legs underwear but rather sheafs of petticoats, an amorous act was quite feasible.
That gender essentialism may help sell books on how to decipher the behaviors of the “opposite” sex, but this is 2013—nobody buys books anymore.
It is crucial that we invent strategies for seeing the familiar differently. If we rely solely on seeing it in familiar ways, we will only be able to re-enact what we have already done and confirm what we already know. As changes occur to the familiar systems, either as a result of entropy or disturbances from outside forces, we will be poorly prepared with entrenched attitudes to control their transformations, the ways the energies they contain are released and to what ends they are employed. In order to adapt creatively to changing conditions, we must adapt our existing knowledge and skills. Accustomed though we might be to finding a new pill or product to solve critical problems, we cannot count on new knowledge alone to save us from becoming relics of our own history.
I believe that anything worth its salt in the arts must create a wobble.
But there is a more interesting narrative at play here—the one that allows disgraced politicians and other powerful figures to rise and rise again. Much as we are constantly on the search for heroes, applying that term to nearly anyone who does something above average, we are, as a culture, also deeply invested in redemption, in the idea that we will be forgiven in our own lives if we forgive those who fall from grace in spectacular public fashion. We know our lesser, flawed selves, intimately — but self-confidence and, perhaps, some delusion, allow us to identify with the powerful men in these scandals. We know the mistakes we make and we know that we are, most of us, one perilous mistake away from falling from whatever grace we may hold. We crave the redemption of public figures because if great men can be forgiven for their public trespasses, maybe, just maybe, we may be forgiven for our private ones.