Rules of Engagement

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Taking off from the Chomsky thread, I'd like to take a look at parliamentary rules and how they help those close to power gain it and keep it.

Thomas Brackett Reed is an historical figure who made the point that the more byzantine a rules system, the more power is wielded by someone who knows its nooks and crannies. I like the analog from The Titanic, when the Leonard DiCaprio character (let's call him "Jack") studied the structure of the big ship and learned thoroughly where its porous points were ... such knowledge came in handy when the ship went down and the poor folk got locked down into their proper categories of access to the deck that contained lifeboats.

We could look at the Speaker of the House as an historical matter, or at the rules of polite society that interfere with an upstart's ability to get and wield power.

It could be a fun discussion. For the venal, we could take a look at the lottery winners, and for the spiritual we could consider the likes of all the fallen evangelists (or discuss the ones left standing) ... or how it works that U.S. Presidents get 100 days of white glove treatment, and then after the party crashers announce the end, no more care or deference to the position exists, and groups form to pray for the president's demise.

At what points do we stop being human and fully embrace our Primate natures?

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Comments

wikipedia has narrowed the topic a bit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polite_society

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Be pleasant!

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Towanda!

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"I'm older and I have more insurance." Lol.

I don't know how to merge these two threads yet, Kate. I'd like to bring something from our last two exchanges here, but I suspect you may want to keep things short an snappy for starters (rules of engagement on your thread and all); what do you think?

From the starter post by ren

Good essay, Kate.

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I was working out whether short and snappy makes sense here, but I guess you're right about that, Ren.

Here's a fine statement of rules of engagement, by James Gilray (1756-1815): Imagine an image plunked down here (or click and see it)

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Quote Kate2008:

I was working out whether short and snappy makes sense here, but I guess you're right about that, Ren.

Here's a fine statement of rules of engagement, by James Gilray (1756-1815): Imagine an image plunked down here (or click and see it)

One of the issues with images, and maybe why the administrators have imposed a kind of software based rule against using them, is they often involve a kind of learning before viewing in order to make any sense. The potential for misunderstanding is enormous. Especially with images drawn as satire (your above linked image) and embedded with many coded messages seen through the eyes of an artist. People will inevitably come to this board with different degrees of learning. Some may have never been introduced to what goes into satire. Some may not have the cultural ingredients in their experience to translate all the coded messages.

I had no idea without reading the explanation under that image to notice that it was a satire on polite behavior because the women were walking in the street and the men were on the sidewalk. I could see the cultural setting, the women in their customary costumes of the era, and I have my own understanding of the embedded male authority in the patriarchy of that era, so I got some of that, but not as a satire. The culture of satire from the artists perspective takes a little more educational exposure, I think.

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I'm good with the change in the board software. I like to have the option of making a choice to view an image. We've been assalted several times with some real crap.

Protocol is what we make of it.

The satire is interesting, and Art is a useful (a perrenial?) way of testing what presumptions about protocol are. But, then again, what was radical about a Monet watercolor, in the sense that Monet fiddled with the pre-existing rules of engagement?

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Quote Kate2008:

I'm good with the change in the board software. I like to have the option of making a choice to view an image. We've been assaulted several times with some real crap.

Protocol is what we make of it.

The satire is interesting, and Art is a useful (a perrenial?) way of testing what presumptions about protocol are. But, then again, what was radical about a Monet watercolor, in the sense that Monet fiddled with the pre-existing rules of engagement?

"A perennial"

Interesting snippet indicating the perception of a temporary yet recurring existence.

Rules of engagement is an ancient term based on the rules of war that were agreed to in early wars. It is still used in that context today.

Being engaged in a verbal conflict can be vicious and painful if not either self moderated or having rules imposed externally.

Otherwise; perceptually, the perennial could be just a flower.

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There are times when the world is headed for a change that some of its occupants can't quite grasp. When the status quo gets all mixed up, the protocol does too.

Authenticity is difficult when perceptions are built on sound bites and when sea change requires a realignment.

Folsom would end his speeches by brandishing a corn-shuck mop and promising a spring cleaning of the state capitol. He was against the Big Mules, as the entrenched corporate interests were known. He worked to extend the vote to disenfranchised blacks. He wanted to equalize salaries between white and black schoolteachers. He routinely commuted the death sentences of blacks convicted in what he believed were less than fair trials. He made no attempt to segregate the crowd at his inaugural address. "Ya'll come," he would say to one and all, making a proud and lonely stand for racial justice.

link

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Addressing fears of diversity remains a lonely job.

Diversity dead-end: Inclusiveness without accountability

by Robert Jensen, 19 April, 2010

After a recent talk on racism and other illegitimate hierarchies at a diversity conference in Dallas, I received a letter from one of the people who had attended that asked "why you feel it necessary to perpetuate and even exacerbate the divisiveness of language when addressing a group of people assembled to learn how to live better together and be more accepting of differences?" He suggested that by being so sharply critical, I was part of the problem not the solution

Calls for diversity and inclusiveness from people with privilege (such as a white man with a professional job living in the United States) are meaningful only when we are willing to address the systems and structures of power in which inequality and discrimination are rooted. But because such a critique strikes many people as too radical, crafting a response to those who want to avoid that analysis is crucial to the struggle for progressive social change. Below is my letter to him.

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I was interested in how Folsom shifted the rules of political engagement to develop a following, and then the basic assumptions shifted and he was left without a clear center. Governor Wallace understood where the tide had turned (or were his actions part of the reason the tide did turn?)

**

Some things are a bit more static:

It is not traditional etiquette for the groom's parents to make the engagement announcement.

The wording of the announcement can be a little tricky if any of the parents are divorced, remarried or there's been a step parenting situation. Make sure you look at all aspects before placing the announcement.

It is easy to upset people here, as it can be a very sensitive area and you don't want to start World War III in the family! Do some research first, read the engagement notices in a few newspapers and don't hesitate to ask the newspaper what they suggest.

link

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I have something for this question:

Quote Kate: The satire is interesting, and Art is a useful (a perrenial?) way of testing what presumptions about protocol are. But, then again, what was radical about a Monet watercolor, in the sense that Monet fiddled with the pre-existing rules of engagement?

Salon des Refusés

and

Claude Monet

The social, economic and cultural evolution of XIXth century will have as a consequence that, from now on, art works would be created mainly by independent artists (rather than by painters at the service of some prince or corporation).

For these artists, finding possibilities of exhibition was an existential concern. Although art dealers and their galleries were going to take an increasing importance, in France, the most important and impossible to circumvent possibility of exhibition was the Official "Salon of Paris".

From 1863 on, the Salon will be held on an annual basis and a jury made up of members of the Academy of Fine Arts and of preceding medal-holders of the Salon will select works to be presented. For the only year 1863, 4000 works were refused on the 5000 requests coming from some 3000 artists, which led to the creation in 1863 of the "Salon des Refusés" (Salon of the Refused ones) .

For Monet and his friends, Renoir, Bazille, Sisley... years between the "Salon des Refusés" and the War of 1870 were going to be placed under the sign of an anxious research of their artistic personality and of a fast alternation of successes and failures. If they were, except for Cézanne, selected at the Salon at their first attempt (in 1865 for Monet), they will afterwards experience frequent refusals.

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That's an interesting angle on sort of an arbitrary (and conservative) judgment about which artists followed the rules of engagement and which did not..

The exhibition was ridiculed by art critics, but it did highlight how the official salon was selecting only a particular type of painting. The Salon des Refusés took place only once, but set a powerful precedent for independent or unofficial exhibitions.

It's, of course, some kind of oddness that would presume to place artists into a box of expectability.

The bane of the true artist, I suppose, is the problem of making a living.

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I had a long chat on the phone with my brother yesterday, Kate. As you may remember he's a working artist.

I found it difficult to use your "rules of engagement" concept in discussing everything that was involved in the impressionist movement that followed the Salon des Refusés moment, a moment in time which he called to my attention.

This statement from one of my above sources:

The social, economic and cultural evolution of XIXth century will have as a consequence that, from now on, art works would be created mainly by independent artists (rather than by painters at the service of some prince or corporation).

And this from the other:

The original Salon des Refusés was an art exhibition that took place in Paris in 1863, showing works that had been rejected by the official Paris Salon. That year artists protested vehemently after so many paintings were rejected (only 2,217 paintings out of the more than 5,000 submitted were accepted1), and Emperor Napoleon III ordered a special exhibition be held at which rejected artists could display their works. Hence the name, Salon des Refusés.

I think those passages create the context for what was becoming a different set of rules of engagement. Before that period the artist was not a rebel working out artistic angst and the self -- which might be seen as an engagement of the individual as individual expression in the new world of liberal thinking that arose from the enlightenment -- in a maelstrom of competition from a system of marketing and enterprise sometimes misnamed "free enterprise." In that first quote, the artist was a kind of employee of a the elite, some of whom were represented as corporations. I would love to ask Napoleon III what was in his mind when he made that order for the Salon des Refusés which would inevitably begin the movement beginning with Impressionism, and lead to what we have come to view as art and the starving creative artist today.

My brother also mentioned that the industrial revolution was also making possible the ingredients that the impressionists were using that was newer, different, and more colorful than the status quo art before it. So not only were social conditions changing as a result of this fundamental change in human adaptation to the planet through its technological discovery and implementation, the technology involved in the art making was changing. And now the artist was become a kind of free enterprise, independent agent as well. Attitude changes, rules for those attitudes, you can't just look at one to understand what Monet and his group of artist who had to put their art in the Salon de Refuses did to the rules of engagement.

What I'm saying, I guess, is it doesn't seem to simply reduce to a conflict of rules. And a rebel comes along and changes the system by rebelling against the in place rules. The rules themselves have a larger context they are beholden to if they are to be agreed to by all who use them. If that context wasn't also in flux, the Impressionists and their art may have just been an anomaly that happened for a little bit and died out as the tradition of the Old Guarde as exemplified by the "Official" Salon carried on.

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As with modern people trying to hear Mozart not being "shocked" by the things that his contemporaries found contrary to the "rules," art and literature all do the same things. Pushing the envelope and testing the presumptions of our vision, hearing, listening (as in reading or speech) and so forth is what "art" and imagination are about.

The Impressionists went to nature and the industrial architecture of the new economy took artists out of the portrait salon and heroic themes of empire art. How you get from Cezanne to "cubism" is easy when you see Cezanne. But where did his work find its sources? Good museum curation makes the history of art more than understandable. It shows the points of insight and revolution.

It is all deeply connected with the social context. And with making a living too. The changes in materials in the art inside the great cathedrals were almost always made because the new technique was cheaper.

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