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Here’s the other option.

Black people are perceived as more violent because, more than any other group, America has inflicted more violence upon them. Our justice system sees them as immoral criminals because, for 400 years, they have been victims of a criminal injustice.

And here is the important part.

From our perspective, the criminals have thrived.

The enslavers, the rapists, the pillagers, the lynchers, the abusers, the brutalizers and the overseers of all this brutality have escaped punishment and refuse to take responsibility. And when we lay across the bed and tell the truth about this quadruple century of evil that all white people have benefitted from, what does this country say?

“Come on,” America insists. “Not all.”

Michael Harriot on structure.

2020-06-13T15:53:22+10:003rd August, 2020|Tags: culture|


In discussing journalistic objectivity, [press critic Jay] Rosen agrees that the media’s work should not be politicized, i.e., produced expressly to help one party/candidate or another.

On the other hand, he says, media cannot help but be political. Modern journalism was meant to play a political role, to expose the truth and hold politicians accountable to the small-l liberal values that make liberal democracy possible. It cannot remain neutral when those values are under threat. Like other institutions — science, the academy, and the US government itself — its very purpose is to both exemplify and defend those values. Its work is impossible without them.

The press should always be fair in the application of its values and standards, but doing so will mean making clear when there is an asymmetry.

David Roberts on objectivity.

2020-06-09T11:02:18+10:002nd August, 2020|Tags: culture, newsphobia, politics|

There’s a name for that…

Burnout is not just overwork, or the ensuing exhaustion. Some of you will already know this. It is also not failing, or not getting anywhere. Because some things are worth trying—and are fulfilling to try—even if they don’t succeed.

Burnout is where your work isn’t yours. It’s when you give yourself, but what you give is not allowed to be you. Your energy, your passion, your value co-opted, corrupted, and erased.

If you work in a capitalist organization, you will experience burnout. You may be well-paid, work with a diverse and friendly team, and feel secure. But so long as what you are doing is, ultimately, being ground down into mere profit? The burnout is coming.

Heydon Pickering on modern alienation.

2020-05-20T13:59:11+10:001st August, 2020|Tags: culture|

Adopt and satiate.

Part of my issue with identity politics over the past few years is that the pinnacle of success of minorities is beating the capitalist system, aka climbing up the ranks, and the idea that almost militantly identifying yourself as a minority and being vocal about it can now gain you capital and clout and money. We have a lot of talking heads now who are rich or are becoming rich, and that money is not uplifting the communities they came from. To me, the whole thing is a farce – a scam!

I don’t think this is a malicious thing on anyone’s part, I think it’s just a truth. Although there is a risk – a career risk, maybe even a life risk for some people – in speaking out [about oppression], there is, now, an economic benefit. I think that capitalism [has found that] adopting people who speak out against it is the best way to calm down and satiate the communities they came from, and keep them from revolting.

Moses Sumney on identity consumption.

2020-05-20T07:25:42+10:0024th July, 2020|Tags: culture|


A really fascinating look at the way horror films co-opt the narratives of trans men.

It specifically deals with Hereditary, a film I quite liked and that now honestly reads as kind of subversively positive—I mean, still a horror story, but in the kind of Ginger Snaps vein—if you reframe it as the story of a dude’s transition…

2020-05-12T07:03:51+10:0017th July, 2020|Tags: culture, pop culture|

Lies, filthy lies, and national pride.

Americans don’t know much about Canada, and I don’t blame them. They live in the greatest country in the universe, apparently. The rest of the world is meant to plan itself around the U.S., rather than the other way around, and often that’s how things tend to go down anyway. Canada and the U.S. share the longest international border in the world, and yet, the average American could probably go their entire life knowing nothing really substantial about their northern neighbor beyond what they glean from Degrassi. When Americans do encounter Canada, it is usually in disguise — in movies and on TV, Toronto plays New York, Vancouver plays California, and presumably something else happens to the big empty space between those two cities (to its credit, Montreal can’t really play anywhere else, and Alberta hosts a lot of Westerns, but that’s about it). So I can forgive Americans for being clueless. I can forgive them their ignorance about this big, cold, confusing place just to the north of them. And that’s why I want to clear something up, once and for all, so I can put your minds at rest and save us all a lot of time and energy.

Here it is: Canada is fake.

Now, declaring a country “fake” is both a bold and boring statement. A lot of countries are fake, really; they all require a sort of collective willful suspension of disbelief. Patriotism feels a lot like being super into astrology — sure, you might not be hurting anyone, but don’t you think it’s a bit odd to be focused on what is essentially an accident of birth? So yes, maybe all countries are fake on some level. To achieve a collective identity among otherwise unaffiliated souls, most nation-states share the sort of commitment to the bit that Benedict Anderson, the scholar of nationalism, once described as an “imagined community.” The state itself is the best evidence we have for the claim that something can be both socially constructed and also terribly consequential — a border is an utterly unnatural thing, something that is so flimsy and nonsensical that states spend billions of dollars maintaining the illusion of their reality every year. Canada, the US, Australia, Belgium, etc. are all obviously unreal and also devastating in their real impact.
But when I say that Canada is fake, I don’t mean anything so universal or theoretical. Canada is not an accident or a work in progress or a thought experiment. I mean that Canada is a scam — a pyramid scheme, a ruse, a heist. Canada is a front. And it’s a front for a massive network of resource extraction companies, oil barons, and mining magnates.

Alex V Green on Canada.

I mean, the article says it’s about Canada… but I was thinking of somewhere a little more… immediately underfoot when I was reading it…

2020-04-23T09:33:01+10:0012th July, 2020|Tags: culture|
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