So!  As you know, I wrote a letter to my congressman, telling him that I wasn’t afraid of the dangers posed by Syrian refugees, or at the very least that I believe that the threat to human life was so great that it was worth the risk, and I implored him to have the courage to stand up for things like human decency and compassion and all those gooey sorts of things that comprise what we call “humanity”.

And he wrote back!  Get a load of this letter, I want you to see it.  It’s a form letter, obviously — no one really expects a congressman, especially not a congressman like Patrick Meehan — to give a flying fuck about what his constituents think about anything.  But…well…

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Some Notes on Tragedy

Posted: November 16, 2015 in Braak, Politics
Tags: , , ,

It probably has not escaped anyone’s notice that I don’t usually write things in the face of terrible tragedies.  With one or two exceptions, I usually don’t know what to say.  I don’t know how other people survive in the world; I keep most of it at delicate, carefully-maintained distance.  Any horror is capable of collapsing that distance, bespeaking not just itself but every horror, every agony in the unremitting misery of the world.  I don’t have a good mechanism for feeling bad about only one thing at a time, I think.  Somehow, in my imagination, every tragedy is chained together and to drag one loose is to pull all of them free.

When things like this happen I start to feel…”deliberate” I suppose is a word.  Maybe this is a kind of vanity – in the face of external stresses I become introspective.  Vanity is certainly something I am capable of.  And maybe it’s a kind of cowardice – I look for, instead of some way to act, only the one way to act perfectly correctly, the opportune moment to do only the exact right thing.  Sometimes the opportune moment never presents itself, and I do nothing, and so maybe this is a way of forgiving myself of the responsibility of action.  Cowardice is certainly something I am capable of.

I don’t know.

A philosopher that I happen to like is Baruch Spinoza, and a quote that has felt especially pertinent to me lately is this one, from his Tractatus Politicus:

Peace is not mere absence of war, but is a virtue that springs from force of character.

I suppose I’m interested in what that means, what it means that peace is not the absence of violence, but is instead a resistance to violence.  That war is not an active condition but a passive one – a state of entropy that emerges on its own when the hard work of peace is abandoned.  That it’s peace that is the real work, the difficult work, the challenging work.

I don’t know the answer to this, either.  I don’t know how to win this war, and I am suspicious of anyone who claims to know.

I do know that I want to do the right thing, and only the right thing, and I don’t know what that is or even what it looks like.

So.  This is the letter I wrote to my congressmen.  I encourage you to write to your congressmen, too.

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Yale! A-ahh!

Yale! A-ahh!

Every week it’s a new adventure.  This time I would like to break my historic silence on “Things Happening at Places I Don’t Care About” to discuss the Halloween hang-ups that have been occurring at Yale – namely, a ruckus that is somehow ensuing because the administration sent a politely-worded email asking students not to dress up in racist Halloween costumes, and then a professor replied all with a politely-worded email saying that they could have racist Halloween costumes if they wanted.

For some reason, kids got mad about this and started yelling, and internet commentators have gathered like a parliament of dyspeptic hens to cluck with disapproval at kids today and their lack of respect for the intellectual traditions of Yale.

Good gravy.

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Was Christopher Columbus a handsome dreamer? Or is this mere propaganda?

Was Christopher Columbus a handsome dreamer? Or is this mere propaganda?

So.  There I was, tooling around in my electric-hybrid Prius, sipping on my $5 a cup organically-grown locally-sourced free trade latte, generally just thinking about how superior I am to the god-bothering gun-snugglers of real Hillbilly America, and looking for a gun-free church vestibule where I might conduct this Samhain’s pansexual Mexican blood orgy, when I came across this absolute hum-fucking-dinger of an article:

Why Do Liberals Hate Columbus Day

Some in the Catholic Church would love to canonize Christopher Columbus as a saint, while Liberals and Native Americans seek to depict him as a brutal xenophobe.

The truth is quite a bit more complex, but we shall explore the absurdities attending the Liberal hatred of the controversial Italian explorer.

That is how it opens right there, and for as much as the author (DJ Pangburn, I don’t know if “DJ” is his name or it’s a title because he spins fire mixes with this hot takes) would like us to believe that the truth is more complex he spends several paragraphs showing that SPOILER ALERT no, it’s not.

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I made a joke in the comments on THIS POST, at the Toast, about how I would like to watch a movie that was just Heather Lagenkamp and Jamie Lee Curtis going around and solving mysteries, but then I started to think about it and actually this is basically a completely amazing idea that I will now elaborate.

The premise of Final Girls, Inc., is that our heroines have formed what is essentially a private-detective agency, except instead of going around from town to town and fighting and killing monsters, they go around in search of other “final girls” — people who have survived horrific encounters with the supernatural — and help them cope with the trauma and put their lives back together.

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photo Practically speaking, when it comes to the severed head of a dead pig, I’m not sure there’s any substantive difference between actually having sex with it and just sticking your dick in its mouth.

Or, more precisely, I think there IS a substantive difference, just one that doesn’t apply here.  I’m still a Sexual Progressive after all:  if you really love that severed pig’s head, if you’re honest with it about your feelings and the nature of your relationship, by all means, make sweet love to it.

David Cameron isn’t really into necroswinophilia, though, you don’t fuck a pig because you love pigs, that’s not the point of pigfucking.

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angieHi, white ladies! Oh my god, you all look so cute. I love your dresses, are they vintage? OK, here’s the deal. Ever since I watched Trainwreck three times I can’t stop thinking about the ways that we (white feminists) keep throwing black people under the bus.

Why, why, why, when we are finally getting the opportunity to tell our own stories in our own voices are we turning around and deliberately using black people the way white men’s stories have always used us?

In Trainwreck, Amy Schumer goes out of her way to create a flawed, deep, complex female character for herself, and then for no discernable reason, adds this scene where she is on the subway when it stops in the tunnel. She asks the black woman next to her “why is it stopped?” and gets a classic Angry Black Woman response, something like “Do I look like the MTA to you? Do I have metrocards coming out my ass?” We never see the woman again, Amy gets where she’s going on time, there is literally no reason for this scene to be in the movie except that it is hilarious how black woman are always angrier than a situation warrants.

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