occult

A Deep Dark Secret, and Other Notes

A portion of the U.S. Capitol dome. (Detail of photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images, 2013)

Nathan L. Gonzales notes—

The deep, dark secret of political handicapping is that there isn’t a singular equation that can project the winner of each congressional race.

—and I believe the polite response is to cough gently as if I just failed to properly drink coffee, smile sheepishly, and say, as near to apologetically as I can without actually achieving the tone, “Really?”

As in, “Really? That’s it? That is the secret?”

Honestly, it feels disappointing; the obvious is neither deep nor secret. Darkness is as darkness does in the eye of any given beholder.

Perhaps it sounds better than, “We don’t know what we’re doing”, but neither would that statement be fair; still, voters and advocates are well-advised to remember that election prognostication—calculating and projecting human behavior on constrained mass scale according to vaguely-identified and constantly-shifting circumstances evoking broadly diverse responses according to unknown and dynamic criteria—is not a science. The diverse arts of politics, dark or otherwise, are by nature rather quite occult.

To the other, here is an interesting question: “How do you rate a race for a seat that doesn’t exist?”

It is true, science cannot answer this one. Maybe someday, but not now:

The deep, dark secret of political handicapping is that there isn’t a singular equation that can project the winner of each congressional race. It is helpful to know who is running and where they are running. But thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court throwing out the congressional map and GOP Rep. Patrick Meehan’s retirement, we barely know anything about this year’s race in the 7th District ....

.... Normally, this is where I would relate the recent presidential results of his 7th District (Hillary Clinton carried it narrowly in 2016 after Mitt Romney carried it narrowly in 2012, if you have to know), but those numbers aren’t particularly relevant considering the race is likely to take place under a new congressional map.

Nonetheless, the Roll Call handicapper has shifted his assessment of Pennsylvania Seven from Leans Republican to Tilts Democratic. As to dark arts, only time will tell, and something goes here about rabbits and flying monkeys and from where any magician is pulling them.   (more…)

My Own Private Disgrace

'Two Shades of Grey': Remix of Bug Martini, by nobody important, for no good reason, 23 August 2015; original by Adam Huber, 19 August 2015.

With utmost apologies, of course, to Adam Huber, though in truth none could possibly suffice. Sorry, Adam, I couldn’t help myself.

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 19 August 2015.To the other, such exercises are useful; in printed news media, the notion of column inches is disappearing into the electronic aether, but it does still exist for those whose writing aims to appear in the paper edition. And the nature of cartooning, of course, will always force some consideration of panel space.

This is the important part, because just how far does one push in order to make the joke work? There is an obvious hole in the remix, but it’s hard to explain just how our hero comes to expect that the stuff in the container is his grandmother’s cremated ashes mixed into baby fat and other such disgusting ingredients that she might await chthonic resurrection. (more…)

Crazy Sunshine

Detail of 'Bug Martini', by Adam Huber, 4 December 2014.Every once in a while, you know, it’s just what you need.

Today is another of those depressing days in America that really are just too common. But then … I don’t know, it’s hard to explain but maybe that’s because it is difficult to understand why it is hard to explain.

Right. Me, me, me.

Movin’ right along ....

Those who get the reference in the detail from Bug Martini know exactly what comes next.

Still, though, it’s a fun two words: Cthulhu Bug.

Meanwhile, it is difficult to speculate on the implications of a society in which Cthulhu is a ray of sunshine under gray skies.

____________________

Huber, Adam. “The Craft of Unconditional Love”. Bug Martini. 4 December 2014.