not in our stars, but in ourselves
Yes, because I have nothing else to do while I wait for my laundry to finish drying.
1. The Queen blessed us with an hour-long concert last night. Thank you, Queen Bey.
2. Pope Mania has gripped the nation, and I find myself battling two separate waves of cynicism. First, while I expect the wingnut contingent to dismiss everything he says, I’ve been rolling my eyes at the reactions from some of my fellow lefties. Look. I am no apologist for religion. I am no apologist for the Catholic Church. I think it’s committed and covered up some truly appalling tragedies over the centuries. I disagree with a good many of its tenets and teachings. Nevertheless, I wish people would cut Pope Francis some slack. He seems like a genuinely decent man, one who can balance his own faith and understanding thereof against his will to provide hope and comfort to everyone who wants it. He doesn’t want to divide people. He wants to help them. That’s admirable, and even though I don’t subscribe to his beliefs (or to anyone else’s, for that matter), I’m glad he’s the Pope. All of that being said, however, here’s my second wave of cynicism: the wall-to-wall “news” coverage has been nauseating. I’m glad he’s making so many people happy, but there are other things happening in the world.
3. To wit: there was a stampede near Mecca this week, and it killed over 700 people. There’s been hardly any coverage of it on the network TV news; not that that surprises me, but it makes me sad. (I refuse to watch CNN because they seem to want to fan the flames of race wars in the U.S., and I ain’t got time for that.) It makes me sad that Islamophobia is so deeply entrenched in this country that we don’t hear about a monumental tragedy – one that seems to have occurred because of a shocking failure of infrastructure, civic planning, and human services – affecting thousands of people. Can you imagine if this had happened to white people? But hey, it didn’t, so who cares.
4. Pretty much:
There are probably some who would accuse me of some sort of internalized misogyny for not automatically rushing to suck Hillary’s dick, and for thinking that Bernie Sanders (or, if he decided to run, Joe Biden) would be literally 1000% better as President. Sorry, nope. Some criticisms of Hillary are baseless, stupid, and sexist. Many criticisms of Hillary are valid. The end. (She’s obviously not doing much for her brand, as far as I’m concerned, by appearing with one of the vanguards of Buzzfeed Feminism.) Anyway, Knowles-Biden 2016.
5. To movie news: the new Stonewall movie is trash, and Vulture pours some nice, hot tea about it. Paul Verhoeven compared Showgirls to Fellini and All About Eve, and proved that he is truly operating on a different level than the rest of us. Richard Brody, noted grump, thinks that Black Mass should have included a subplot about the forced busing in Boston in the 1970s, and that Boston has become “the leading cinematic signifier of whiteness, of white ethnicity and ethnic solidarity outside the South and without the taint of white Southern revanchism.” Okay, Dick. You take a time machine back to Southie in the mid-’70s and you tell me how diverse it looks. I’m not trying to excuse Southie’s historic racism. I am simply telling you, Dick of New York, that that’s what it was like. Whitey Bulger’s story is about white trash. If you want to see a movie about the busing, I invite you to write one, and I promise to go see it. In the meantime, New York’s hard-on for Boston is tiresome and petty. Stop being the Donald Trump of cities.
6. In personal news: I can now squat 205 pounds, and, as of this week, deadlift 200 pounds. Most other people I see at the gym seem able to deadlift more than they squat, but my squat has been consistently heavier than my deadlift for months. I don’t know. There are more secondary muscles involved in a deadlift, and it’s taken me longer to get those strong enough to handle this much weight. But here I am, and I’m awfully proud of myself. It’s piddling compared to what some of my especially crazy fitness friends can do…but it’s more than I could do at the start of the year, more than I could do when I injured myself, and more than a lot of other amateurs can do. I will, therefore, toot my own horn a little bit.