not in our stars, but in ourselves
I have been amassing many reasons to be Mad and Red and Nude Online, so here we go.
1. I’m shocked, shocked to my very foundation that there are paid hacks with a vested interest in keeping Sanders out of the White House who’ve managed to control the press surrounding him. I’m flabbergasted that certain “respected” rags would run smear campaigns that go unchallenged by any other mainstream journalists. I’m stunned that Clinton’s super PACs are receiving money directly from the DNC. I mean, really. Who would ever have thought that the Deep State would rally its forces of evil and darkness so ferociously against the one chance this country has to pull itself out of the fire. Fucking fuck me, as Malcolm Tucker put it.
2. If you, like me, need some better way to articulate the rage that these kinds of things instill in you, please consider listening to Chapo Trap House. This week’s episode is not only funny, vulgar, angry, etc., but also quite informative. While I was getting my blood all angried up, I also learned a lot. What more could you want?
3. Uber is bad. I’m not saying taxis are good, necessarily, but Uber is bad. (Hmm, what if there were some sort of “public” transportation? Some means of getting around a metropolitan area with ease and without great expense, maintained and overseen by the government? Hmmmmmm….)
4. Speaking of Jacobin – which I love, of course – Amber A’Lee Frost wrote a great piece for Current Affairs about the necessity of furious, vulgar outrage in political discourse, as opposed to Jacobin‘s terribly civil and polite approach. Not all swearing all the time, of course – but certainly often enough to make all those hacks and pundits sweat:
The left will always need its journals and polemic and academic writing, but there are times when it is both right and proper to terrify the bourgeoisie with your own feralness. Reclaiming vulgarity from the Trumps of the world is imperative because if we do not embrace the profane now and again, we will find ourselves handicapped by our own civility. Vulgarity is the language of the people, and so it should be among the grammars of the left, just as it has been historically, to wield righteously against the corrupt and the powerful. We cannot cede vulgarity to the vulgarians; collegial intellectuals will always be niche, but class war need not be.
I’ve been tantalizing myself by imagining Cal “The Fucker” Richards popping up at a Clinton campaign meeting.
Wouldn’t it be nice?
5. And speaking of The Thick of It, there’s a fantastically long piece about the show by Mazin Saleem on Medium. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Brave new world.)
The same applied to Glenn, giving a piece of his own mind via a second meltdown and pseudo-redemption. Writing about that other HBO show, Clive James argues that there “never was a successful entertainment fuelled by pure cynicism”. Glenn was The Thick of It’s kernel of integrity that cynicism couldn’t fully breach. The second series finale began with Hugh Abbot making a sincere stand for Special Schools, an issue he had a personal connection with, since Glenn’s son was disabled. But it ended with Hugh betraying his ‘best bloody adviser’ by using an anecdote about Glenn’s son to wriggle out of a lie to a Select Committee. Hugh’s pathetic attempts to do the right thing, his cowardly cop-out, and his genuine guilt were capped off in the worst way: an endorsement from a rarely smiling Malcolm Tucker. Meanwhile Glenn had learnt the hard way about loyalty and principle in politics.
Glenn continued to develop as the sort of flaky moral centre of the show, always asking for a little more loyalty or decorum or respect. In the finale, he resigned from the world of politics to hand himself to the police for perjury, done via a Ned Flanders inverted intervention, with everyone getting it in the neck, from the Tories — “six-toed born-to-rule pony-fuckers” — to the Lib Dems — “the reason the country is going to the fucking dogs”. But in true unsentimental fashion, no one looked like they were too hurt by what he said. And when Glenn reached the police station, he took one look and turned around. This flat burp of a coda was less effective than the similar ending of In the Loop when Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) and General Miller (Gandolfini) made their own Clare-Short-style ‘principled stands turned principled u-turns’ – because with them, more was at stake.
Bless. If Saleem writes a full book about this, I will buy it and read it immediately.
6. Gawker has been asking for stories from adjuncts, and they are not pretty. I work in higher education myself, at a huge (and very wealthy) university, and this kind of thing makes me incredibly angry. It shouldn’t be legal. Let’s abolish private universities.
I’m in favor of whatever the witches want, tbh.
8. Some goddamn nonsense in Salon about how difficult it is for boys now that all these impossible superhero physiques are all over every screen. Look, boys, not to dismiss you – but watch any TV show. Look at the women. Look at how painfully thin they are. Those girls aren’t allowed to eat anything more than fucking leaves, and you want to complain because you feel bad for being a schlub in comparison to the Hemsworth brothers? Fuck off. Go to the gym and shut up about it, loser.
9. On a much more serious note, if you haven’t yet read Ronan Farrow’s article about his rapist father, you should.
10. And on a much, much, much less serious note: Oscar Isaac is actually my boyfriend, not “the internet’s,” so I’d appreciate a correction, Rolling Stone. Thanks.