Thursday, February 8, 2024

Codifying Your Disappointmnet

 This one’s for the  young idealists.

Here’s the thing. As someone who’s political leanings cause you to vote for Democrats, there are certain issues where you have to be prepared to be perpetually disappointed. That’s part of the bargain. These issues are, in decreasing order of how disappointed you’ll be, are:

  1. Immigration
  2. Israel
  3. Dropping Bombs For Freedom
  4. Crime and Policing
  5. Finance and Corporate Regulation
  6. Everything Else
Those are the big four. Maybe it’s decades of inculcated subservience to how they think the Old White People In An Ohio Diner feel. Maybe it’s innate to the mechanisms that put Democrats in positions of power. Kinda doesn’t matter. 

End of the day, the Democratic Party will always be more anti-immigrant, pro-Israeli government, pro brown-bombing, pro-cop, and pro-business than you or I want them to be. 

And if you’re feeling disappointed now, wait ‘til I tell you that the answer is not, and never will be, your Tulsi Gabbards, your Andrew Yangs, your Marianne Williamsons, or any of the other people who’ve staked out, at one point or another, a leftist or pseudo-leftist position during the Dem primaries and attracted the perennially disappointed with an appealing stance on one or more of the above issues.

This includes Bernie Sanders.

Does this suck? Absolutely. Are many of the people and group of people I listed above grifters who’ll change allegiances at the drop of a hat once one group of marks dries up? Absofuckinglutely, with the nigh-sole exception of Bernie. And that also sucks.

But what it doesn’t mean is that the two parties are the same. “Both disappointing” and “equally disappointing” aren’t synonyms, for one thing. And for another thing, the “Everything Else” above covers a wide range of policies and a much wider disappointment gap between Democratic candidates and Republican ones. Like abortion. Or LGbTQIA+ rights. Or a general attitude towards racial equailty, fascism, and how many good ideas Adolf Hitler had.

I’d love a different system. I’d love a viable leftist party at the presidential level. But you’re not gonna get one without a viable third party at the congressional level. And you’re not gonna get THAT without a viable third party at the state level. And you’re not gonna get THAT without a viable third party at a bunch of different local levels. 

If 2017-2021 proved anything, it’s that the idea that “the Dems will lose and they’ll see how bad things can get and the public will see how bad things can get and this will provide the mainstream support for the massive structural changes our society needs” is bullshit.  Because it turns out that you can’t hit a point that bad without driving past “fascist dictatorship that refuses to give up power” and suddenly the structural changes you’re getting are VERY disappointing indeed.

This doesn’t mean “give up on your idealism”. We’re never going to fix the Overton Window without strong voices pushing for leftist ideas and getting them out there in the public discourse. 

All I’m saying is that the disappointment you feel is natural and warranted, but also exists in a context that is unfortunately and repeatedly incredibly dangerous to ignore. A context that took decades to establish, is a context that won’t be turned around in a single, top-down, magical epiphany because the guy who talked about UBI got six percent.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Nostalgia, 2024 Edition

 Not trying specifically to be shitty, but Jon Stewart returning to The Daily Show, and the joy with which the announcement was received, feels to me like a very reactionary sort of center-left nostalgia for the “halcyon” days of the pre-Trump 2010’s when we could still pretend one political party in America wasn’t engaged in an all-out war against every single marginalized group in the country.

I mean, maybe he’s learned his lesson and no longer thinks that if both reasonable sides just turned down the rhetoric, talked things through, and found common ground we’d reach Utopia? But the Jon Stewart Daily Show was emblematic of a particular mindset that utterly failed to see how bad things were getting until it was far too late. Going back to that is comfort food for those of us who live in the back half of the First They Came For quote.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Three-Party System

 Functionally speaking, America has three political parties, not two.

One party believes that the systems that hold up our society are fundamentally broken and crumbling around us, and need to be drastically overhauled to ensure our continued survival.

One party believes the systems that hold up our society are fine, and just need small tweaks, and for us to all agree to follow and live up to them, to ensure our continued survival.

The third party believes that the systems that hold up our society are fundamentally broken and crumbling around us, and that they can use this to increase their own money and power, whether we collectively survive or not.

Two of these parties field candidates, have positions represented in the national media, and do everything in their power to keep one of them from having a voice, either out of misguided and entrenched devotion to their belief in the system, or because the first party is the biggest threat to their gravy train.

People in that first party are constantly forced to support the second in the hopes of staving off the third long enough for the second to realize maybe the first are right.

The best thing about this framing is that it’s very easy to quickly identify which party someone is in. You don’t have to play around with stupid labels like “moderate” or “maverick” or “resistance”. 

The worst thing about this framing is it reveals very quickly how outnumbered you are.


Friday, January 12, 2024

SETTLED: Separating Problematic Artists From Their Work

You all suck at arguing, so I guess I’m going to have to settle your shit for you. Today, let’s settle “Separating Problematic Artists From Their Work”, AKA The JK Rowling Conundrum

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Addendum

I swear to ever-loving fuck that if the Red Skull released a tape of Steve Rogers jaywalking, centrist pundits and Democrat intellectuals would have us all hailing Hydra while we all looked for a Captain America who could represent the true integrity and qualifications required for the role.

More Advice

 Just a heads-up:

“When Nazis target a  straight white man over plagiarism charges, I’ll root for them until he gets fired too” is not the anti-racist flex you think it is.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

If You Don’t Do It My Way It Doesn’t Count

The Colorado decision to kick Trump off the ballot has brought a whole bunch of picky-ass institutionalists out frum under their rocks.

There are two things that are both true:

First, there is no wrong way to defeat Trump. Vote him out? Great. Throw his ass in jail? Great. Kick him off the ballot for being an insurrectionist? Great. Convince everyone that he smells like spoiled cottage cheese? Great.

Anyone who tells you that any of these methods are so superior to the others that the rest should be discarded has a firm belief that America is fine and its systems will work they way they learned about them in Schoolhouse Rock, and they should be jettisoned into the sun with all the other fuckheads.

That said, a second thing is ALSO true - that none of these methods are a sure thing. You can’t count on any of them, because all the systems involved - voting, criminal justice, the courts in general, and the media are broken, probably beyond repair, and if they manage to eventually barely work, like they did in 2020, we’ll all breathe a sigh of relief and our unearned, undeserved confidence in their continued value and efficacy will be renewed. 

But just because you can’t count on Merrick Garland, or Robert Mueller, or Jack Smith, or various Secretaries of States to stop Trump for you, you also can’t count on the voters. So all of these things should stay on the table. All of these things should be pushed and supported - not out of a sense of hope, but because collectively, they create a continuing, ongoing narrative that Trump and the people that support him are bad people and shouldn’t be in charge of anything.

When you’re dismissive of any of it, you’re working against it, and you’ve deluded yourself into thinking you’re helping.

ADDENDUM: There are also zero unintended consequences to ANY of this that’s worse letting a dementia-addled, turd-smnellin’ Hitler fan run this place for a SECOND TIME. Stop pretending we’re playing chess when we’re in an existential bare knuckle brawl with the dumist fascists in recorded history.