This edit got removed (and re-added and re-removed until the page was locked down), but for a while, this existed. Here’s a link to the archived version of this revision.
Sometime between July 16th and July 30th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Is there any anti-abortion talking point that isn’t based on a lie?: "As I’ve investigated both sides of the abortion debate, I’ve become honestly curious to discover if there is any anti-abortion argument that isn’t based on a lie (or lies). I’m going through the most popular current US anti-abortion talking points and giving each a Politifact-esque truth rating. Let’s investigate!"
- Meet Mike Cernovich: Right-Wing Provocateur Who Got James Gunn Fired: “Cernovich didn’t dredge up Gunn’s old tweets out of a genuine care for women, children, or LGBTQP+ people. He didn’t write this as a feminist or left-wing activist hoping for a more productive dialogue surrounding trauma that gives these issues the seriousness they deserve; Cernovich directly accused Gunn of being a pedophile for these tweets, and Disney submissively just bent to that and fired him.”
- What it’s like when Nazis infiltrate your conference: Interesting look at how nazis trolled and attacked the narrative of a hacker con. Worth considering and keeping these techniques and brainstorming ideas of how to combat them effectively when planning for conferences/conventions these days.
- The 9/11 Country Music theory: "MY HOT TAKE: with very few exceptions, including goodbye earl, before he cheats, and daddy Iessons (side note – all women!) 9/11 ruined country music." Sounds about right to me. Country's never been my primary genre, but what I do like is universally pre- (usually very pre-) 9/11.
- “People like to think that Hitler came straight into power with ‘Kill the Jews y/n?’ and all the Germans were like ‘yeah totes’ but it’s just not how it goes.”: "No, the defining moment of this timeline was that people didn't show up to vote the Nazi Party out in the one last chance they had. The one last chance they had before the power grab was up and the whole thing was too far off the rails."
Faced with the unceasing cruelty and degradation of the Trump presidency, liberals have not taken to marching around in public with assault weapons and threatening civil war. I know of no left-wing publication that has followed the example of the right-wing Federalist and run quasi-pornographic fantasies about murdering political enemies. (“Close your eyes and imagine holding someone’s scalp in your hands,” began a recent Federalist article.) Unlike Trump, no Democratic politician I’m aware of has urged his or her followers to beat up opposing demonstrators.
Instead, some progressive celebrities have said some bad words, and some people have treated administration officials with the sort of public opprobrium due members of any other white nationalist organization. Liberals are using their cultural power against the right because it’s the only power they have left, and people have a desperate need to say, and to hear others say, that what is happening in this country is intolerable.
— Michelle Goldberg, We Have a Crisis of Democracy, Not Manners
There are only so many official channels for enforcing moral standards in American public life. One is elections, which happen pretty rarely, and, thanks to gerrymanders and the electoral college, frequently reward popular vote losers. Another is the law, where courts are increasingly stacked against the majority. Under those circumstances, shame is a potent weapon, and it’s little surprise that people invested in the status quo want those who can wield it to unilaterally disarm.
— Brian Beutler, Shame the Trumpers
I absolutely stand behind those who shame and shun Trump’s supporters (whether that be his inner circle or the public). We as a people should be — and, I hope, can be, though I’m getting more and more cynical about that every day — so much better than we are right now, and shaming is a simple and effective way to deal with those who continue to work to bring us down.
And if that upsets you, especially because I used such uncouth language, and we on the left must not stoop to such levels if we want to avoid alienating people, read this Twitter thread and re-think your outrage. (And if it didn’t upset you, read it anyway, because it’s a good thread.)
I haven’t been posting quite as much lately because I’ve been a little overwhelmed by all the absolute shit our country is in the middle of, much of which is deeply, sincerely morally reprehensible to me, and I haven’t known what to say about it.
So, right now, this is what I can say.
Fuck Trump (and everyone who supported him then, and supports him now).
Sometime between April 19th and April 30th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- John Scalzi: Thoughts on Avengers: Infinity War (and Yes, There are Spoilers): "As impressively well put together as it is, and as enjoyable and exciting as the film is in the moment, the film suffers and for me is ultimately unsatisfying. Not for anything the film itself does or doesn’t do; it suffers not because of what it does, but because of what I know."
- Avengers: Infinity War ending: Incredibly bold — and a little cheap: SPOILERS: “…as I talked over the ending with friends, the less it sat well with me. I certainly admired the gutsiness of it, the big swing it took, but I also struggled to feel as emotionally invested in it as I was supposed to. For lack of a better word, none of it felt real.” I might not go quite so far as this analysis does, but I don’t argue with its core idea, and was having similar thoughts.
- “When people say ‘spinster’, they are trying to conjure up an image of a little old lady who is lonely and bitter.”: “What I HEAR are the smiles and laughter of a million women as they earned their own money in their own homes and controlled their own fortunes and lived life on their own terms, and damn what society expected of them.”
- When Toronto Suspect Said ‘Kill Me,’ an Officer Put Away His Gun: Look, I know that there are going to be situations where the use of deadly force is a necessary step. But it should be a last step, not a first step — something that seems all too mysterious to far too many people, not least many police here in the United States. De-escalation should be the default approach, rather than the "shoot first, ask questions later" approach seemingly favored by far too many people (both law enforcement officers and armchair analysts).
- What Does Invoking The 25th Amendment Actually Look Like?: "Let’s take a deeper look at the 25th Amendment and think about what each section of it has meant in the past — and what it might mean for Trump-era politics." I'm rather fascinated (and disappointed) that we're in a situation where this is even being seriously discussed. But it is, admittedly, and interesting discussion.
Danielle Muscato, in an interview after her Twitter rant following Trump’s latest SNL whine:
We must resist. Bottom line, resist. That’s why yesterday, I was using the hashtag #RESIST. The day we accept ANY of this as normal, we have already lost. Fascism accumulates power by pushing people, by testing us, by testing boundaries. We must call him out literally every time he says or proposes something that is unacceptable; we must actually label it as “unacceptable”; and we must demand change. From access to health care, to LGBTQ rights, to international relations, to so much more, complacency is literally death in this case, for potentially millions of people around the world, and also for people here in the USA. If you do not already, I encourage everyone reading this to start identifying, personally, as an activist, and to work toward that end accordingly. Resistance, en masse, is our only hope.
Excellent piece in the New Yorker by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:
America loves winners, but victory does not absolve. Victory, especially a slender one decided by a few thousand votes in a handful of states, does not guarantee respect. Nobody automatically deserves deference on ascending to the leadership of any country. American journalists know this only too well when reporting on foreign leaders—their default mode with Africans, for instance, is nearly always barely concealed disdain. President Obama endured disrespect from all quarters. By far the most egregious insult directed toward him, the racist movement tamely termed “birtherism,” was championed by Trump.
Yet a day after the election, people spoke of the vitriol between Barack Obama and Donald Trump. No, the vitriol was Trump’s. Now is the time to burn false equivalencies forever. Pretending that both sides of an issue are equal when they are not is not “balanced” journalism; it is a fairy tale—and, unlike most fairy tales, a disingenuous one.
Now is the time to refuse the blurring of memory. Each mention of “gridlock” under Obama must be wrought in truth: that “gridlock” was a deliberate and systematic refusal of the Republican Congress to work with him. Now is the time to call things what they actually are, because language can illuminate truth as much as it can obfuscate it. Now is the time to forge new words. “Alt-right” is benign. “White-supremacist right” is more accurate.
Now is the time to talk about what we are actually talking about.
Don’t let the apologists and obfuscations dominate the conversation. Name things for what they are.
There’s a lot that’s disturbing in this report, but the opening few paragraphs alone should be enough to raise a lot of red flags (specifically, red flags with a white circle and black swastika in the center):
By the time Richard B. Spencer, the leading ideologue of the alt-right movement and the final speaker of the night, rose to address a gathering of his followers on Saturday, the crowd was restless.
In 11 hours of speeches and panel discussions in a federal building named after Ronald Reagan a few blocks from the White House, a succession of speakers had laid out a harsh vision for the future, but had denounced violence and said that Hispanic citizens and black Americans had nothing to fear. Earlier in the day, Mr. Spencer himself had urged the group to start acting less like an underground organization and more like the establishment.
But now his tone changed as he began to tell the audience of more than 200 people, mostly young men, what they had been waiting to hear. He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.”
I’m far from the only person to be noting this, but I’m continually annoyed by the willingness of people to accept the term “alt-right” rather than just calling these people out for what they are: neo-Nazis.
While many of its racist views are well known…the alt-right has been difficult to define. Is it a name for right-wing political provocateurs in the internet era? Or is it a political movement defined by xenophobia and a dislike for political correctness?
Oh, come on…this is just sad. Difficult to define? It’s not like they’re trying to hide it. This isn’t just some little offshoot of the conservative party, this is full-on white supremacy.
“America was, until this last generation, a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity,” Mr. Spencer thundered. “It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”
But the white race, he added, is “a race that travels forever on an upward path.”
“To be white is to be a creator, an explorer, a conqueror,” he said.
More members of the audience were on their feet as Mr. Spencer described the choice facing white people as to “conquer or die.”
If you’re writing about these groups, call them what they are. Don’t fall for their attempt to rebrand and obfuscate the truth. Listen to what they say, pay attention to what they’re advocating and pushing for (and likely doing; the SPLC’s count of post-election day hateful harassment incidents is now up to 701 in a single week), and be honest about what this is.
If you voted for Trump? Whether or not you think you share beliefs with these people, you enabled them. You listened to Trump, and you agreed with enough of what he said (or, at best, didn’t disagree strongly enough to vote against him) to give your stamp of acceptance to his rhetoric. You told these people, through your vote, that this was acceptable. You share responsibility for the resurgence of this movement.
And if you truly voted for Trump for reasons other than these; if you truly don’t support this behavior; if you really believe he’ll be just fine as a president and these are just a few problematic loudmouths (even though he’s named one of their patron saints as chief strategist), then I absolutely expect you to be calling these people out on their abhorrent behavior. If you voted for his economic policies but disapprove of the racist rhetoric, then prove it. Act. Make your voice heard. Make it clear that these aspects of his campaign and his followers don’t reflect your views.
Because if you don’t do so, I’ll assume that your silence is acceptance, if not outright support. And you’ll have a damn hard time convincing me otherwise.