not in our stars, but in ourselves
1. Regarding Charleston: I don’t even know what to say anymore. It’s been a hell of a couple of years for “covert” racism to come roaring back into the open in this country, and I feel sick when I think about it. I wish I knew what to do. There are smarter people out there, with more carefully considered thoughts; this is one, and I’m sure there are others. It was a very small comfort (if there’s any comfort to be had in any of this grisly nightmare) to hear Obama laying out some mostly unvarnished truth today:
Until the investigation is complete, I’m necessarily constrained in terms of talking about the details of the case. But I don’t need constraint about the emotions that tragedies like this raise.
I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times.
We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hand on a gun.
Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let’s be clear. At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.
And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it’d be wrong for us not to acknowledge it, and at some point, it’s going to important for the American to come to grips with it and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.
The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history. This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked, and we know the hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.
I don’t think I can handle the conservative media’s reaction to any of this, but I can only imagine that it’s more hatemongering, more division, more racism, more apologizing for an act of terrorism, more of what happens when white men cluster together to protect one of their own. Fuck that. Fuck them. Fuck all of this. In the past year, has a month passed without gun violence and/or violence of white people against black? Actually, don’t tell me. I’m despondent enough as is.
2. Speaking of racism, I have nothing to say about Whitey McBlackface. I’m hoping that, like the giant advertisements in one of the Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” episodes, she’ll disappear if we just don’t look.
3. Okay, let’s turn from the abysmal to the ridiculous: conservatives want to fight the FDA’s – pardon me, I meant of course BARACK HUSSEIN NOBAMA!!!!!!!! – ban on trans fats, because it limits our FREEDOM. You know, this is an unpopular stance here in these United States, but when children misbehave, and try to eat things that are bad for them, sometimes mommy and daddy have to lay down some rules. The enormous corporations that control international food supplies have successfully swindled Americans into thinking they enjoy these nutritionally bankrupt foods, but fortunately, the FDA managed to crack open one eye and say, “Hey, wait a minute!” This is a good thing. We need governments to protect us from ourselves sometimes, especially when bad men (or corporations) are trying to lure us into their van (or easily preventable health problems) with candy (or donuts). Remember what Obama said up there about things happening in America that don’t happen in other advanced countries? Governance is one of them.
4. There’s a good piece on RogerEbert.com about the necessity of engaging with issues of “-isms” (feminism, racism, ableism, classism, whatever) raised by mainstream media. Read it, but try to avoid the two-hour rage headache I suffered after reading the asinine tweets from the white man who resents having to think for a goddamn second about whether something was potentially problematic for someone else.
5. Yeah, I watched the end of Game of Thrones. I made the mistake of asking Facebook to justify its status as a good show worth watching, and I was mansplained to. Best of all: he assumed I’d not seen any of the show, and was reacting only as a feminist killjoy. There could be no other reason that I would find anything objectionable, obviously. I calmly explained that I have been watching, and I tend to arrive at the same conclusion each time: Benioff and Weiss are mostly out of their depth. He disagreed with that. Life goes on. (See above: white men protecting each other.)
6. Do you want to read about Buster Keaton and feel sad? Well, bittersweet, anyway. I do. This is a wonderful, heart-stomping piece about Buster’s efforts to sabotage his own career and life, his successful conquering of his personal demons, and his acceptance of his status as a somewhat neglected artifact. As Lucille Bluth said to her youngest son: you’re killing me, Buster.
7. Your weekly reminder that Mad Max: Fury Road is the best movie of the year: it’s about women escaping a rapist, but it never includes even a hint of a rape scene.
8. Let’s end on a high note: TCM continues to be the greatest thing ever to happen to cable. Every October, for the next three years, they’re going to highlight women in film and gender inequality in the industry. Fuck yeah, TCM. At least I have something to look forward to.