not in our stars, but in ourselves
I might start doing a weekly digest/bullet points kind of entry. For the two of you who actually read this, what would you think of that? Well, who cares what you think, it’s my blog.
1. Bad times in Boston this week – one very serious, the other simply galling.
(a) Regarding the former, a gunman went into the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, part of Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and shot a doctor twice at close range before killing himself. Read more here; I don’t especially want to rehash the whole thing. Things are getting scarier and scarier, and it’s getting to be harder and harder to find any reason to be optimistic. I know everyone feels this way when the unthinkable happens in their backyard – that traumatic events like this just don’t happen here, they happen somewhere else, far away – but here we are. I felt this even more intensely after the Marathon bombings, and it does indeed give me pause that I feel less about this. It’s shocking, but the world has – as I said – continued to get scarier and more unstable since April 2013, and I think my brain has just sort of inured itself to all but the most horrifying events. (See: Boko Haram’s massacre of Baga, which is too awful for me even to understand.)
(b) Regarding the latter, guess what: more Boston 2024 bullshit. The city has finally started making its bid details public, and one of those details is basically a gag order on city employees. Mayor Walsh is probably backtracking even as I type, but he signed the goddamn thing, so that’s that. I saw something on Twitter about how people of color are apparently supportive of the Olympics because of the jobs it would bring, and that’s a very real possibility that has to go in the “plus” column – but, at the risk of being a Debbie Downer, those jobs would surely be temporary; and the overall impact on the city would most likely cause far more economic damage than it would boost employment. Nevertheless, we are stuck with the bid now – because Marty also refuses to order a referendum – so we have to hope that some good will come of this eventually.
2. Because I am a good little citizen, I watched the State of the Union address last night. Of course. I also got drunk and livetweeted it, so if you’re not following me on Twitter…you are lucky. Briefly, some thoughts: John Boehner is darker than our president, who is half-Kenyan; John Boehner is also orange, and should seriously re-think wearing pink ties; I don’t quite know what to make of Obama’s coining the phrase “this 9/11 generation” (like, am I part of that? is that what we’re saying now instead of Millenials? the mind reels); I understand what he meant by saying “the shadow of crisis has passed” but I really really really strongly doubt that it has, not in the big picture; but of course, what he meant was that he has made some huge, positive changes in his presidency, and I do believe that’s true; I fucking hated the poshlost of “Ben and Rebekah, whose story is our story” because I am tired of all the pandering to white families who are or who want to be in the middle class so they can raise their 2.5 children and enjoy the uncharacteristically easy ride Baby Boomers were able to take just once before they fucked it for everyone; and in fact, I would really prefer it if governments stopped supporting pro-procreation initiatives, because the planet cannot sustain the number of humans on it now – let alone if everyone keeps reproducing at the rate they’ve been going; I am sure that Obama is too smart to believe in American exceptionalism anymore, but there he was, talking about how we’re still the center of the world, and that’s just not true – it’s Asia’s century, and we’d better figure that out, get on board, or get left behind; the transition from ISIS to Russia was quite something, and I’m sure it was a sick burn for Vlad the Impaler to hear himself referred to as “Mr. Putin” instead of the preferred nomenclature, “Tsar Putin”; the “better politics” portion of the speech was pretty good, but seeing Boehner’s shitty little golf clap made me want to dunk him in a vat of acid, because HE IS SO TOTALLY ONE OF THE WORST PARTS OF THE PROBLEM; and Obama’s “I know ’cause I won both of ’em” was nothing short of iconic. If only this had really happened, though:
Nice to see he’s got some spirit in him – though he looked so, so tired when he talked about what he said at the Democratic National Convention (in Boston, no less) over ten years ago. All in all, I thought it was a fine speech. He did some nice dragging, and I’m sure the GOP’s edges are a mess. I would appreciate if he stopped pandering to all the fuckwits in Congress, and to their fuckwitted (and racist) bases, but, y’know, one thing at a time.
Also from Twitter, perhaps my favorites of the night:
3. Yeah, you bet I’m still mad about Selma‘s snubs. Lots of articles about it around the internets, so at least people are paying attention; but the media’s overwhelmingly racist hegemony led to a five-minute fluff piece about American Sniper (which, in Seth Rogen’s words, was a lot like “the movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglourious Basterds” – and yes, this IS the first time in recent memory I’ve agreed with him!) on the ABC news on Monday. Yes, that’s right, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Selma, on the other hand, got about 30 seconds of airtime. I just don’t even know anymore. I need to stop caring about this so much, because I’m going to give myself heart failure, but the increasingly brazen racism in the mainstream has absolutely blown me away over the past year. What can I do to change it? I don’t know. Tell me if you have some ideas, because all this wailing and rending my clothes into tatters doesn’t seem to do much good.
4. Children in the UAE are apparently such little shits that they make their parents buy them exotic pets. This reminds me of an anecdote that Neko Case told about listening to the CBC one day, as someone from the Toronto Zoo was talking about tigers. The interviewer asked if it would be possible to reintroduce the tigers back into the wild, and the Toronto Zoo lady said, “Well, no, because their habitat can’t sustain them.” And Neko immediately thought: “there are so many extra CHILDREN in the world. Why don’t we feed the children to the tigers? Children are loud and messy. Tigers are noble and sleek. I was one of those children – if I’d been made into tiger food, it would have been better….” Anyway. Food for thought.