My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Gems From Facebook (Bottom of July)

Remember, as long as Covid-19 has bequeathed me the attention span of a gnat (with ADD), and I'm doing more of my writing in smaller chunks on my personal Facebook account, I'm going to be posting some of my best posts (and funniest memes) every couple of weeks. It's partially to have an extra "jazz hands" article to toss up every couple of weeks, so it doesn't look like I'm over here writing one or two posts a month, but mostly it's to remind everyone that my writing happens in different places during times of turmoil––and that's all we've gotten in the last half a year.  

"To what end?" is usually an important question.

All the things that the right wing claims are fake news usually have simple and clear motivations. ("Well, Chad, by cutting the Center for Disease control out of the data loop, the White House can craft any narrative it wants, including the one they've been trying to convince us of since the beginning that this is no biggie"––a message that the CDC's data continually failed to corroborate.)

All the things the right wing claims are vast conspiracies against them usually can't speak to the question of "to what end" with anything more than a deeper layer of political sabotage. ("It's because wearing a mask....uh....goes against my constitutional right to NOT wear a mask [even though it falls under the "public good"]....and if everyone is wearing masks then....um....the facial recognition software doesn't work and.....um.....that's how they GET you. And 'they'll' just do anything to make Trump look bad.")

Of course, simply having factual sources is probably a better crucible to burn away bullshit, but I find it very important to investigate who is capable of answering "To what end?"

For any of you who still literally can even, here is a kitten and a baby otter.

Compilationception!  This thread is a compilation of Covid-19 memes. And it's here in this compilation post.

Corporations: Labor is just...GREEDY. Of course we want all these wonderful things they've gone on strike for––they're just basic moral positions at this point––and we would NEVER take them away, but we need to bust these unions for the moral good. Besides....wouldn't you like those union dues in your take-home pay?

Moderates: We were assured by corporations that they are just against union power, and that they would never take away our hard-fought protections. They will look out for us and self-regulate because if they don't, we will go across the street to somewhere that will, and that is how the invisible hand is basically high-fiving labor. According to a lot of corporate propaganda I've been consuming lately, labor unions have "gone too far."

Corporations: They HAVE gone too far, haven't they? Glad those multi-million dollar PR spins have paid off. Thanks so much for the solid. Listen, we're going to roll a few of these protections back anywhere you've helped us bust those unions. But rest assured that we would never take them all.

Moderates: No problem, Boss. Labor has "gone too far." We can't make it too hard to be capitalists, amirite?

Corporations: You sure are! Just a few more off the top here. People should have the RIGHT to work over 40 hours without overtime if they want.

Moderates: Uh....yeah, okay. I guess that makes sense.

Corporations: These safety regulations are holding back our profi––er, I mean our ability to CREATE JOBS. You all like jobs, don't you?

Moderates: Um.....I guess.

Corporations: Well....looks like a global pandemic. Unfortunately you have no power. So get back to work and risk serious illness and death with no recourse.

Moderates: Wait, can't we strike? Can't we refuse? Can't we demand some sort of hybrid or safety regulations or SOMETHING???? Help us, labor. Help us.

Corporations: Well, we busted your unions, so your options are to work and get Covid and maybe die, or not work and definitely die. Enjoy your choice.


I absolutely, ABSOLUTELY don't want to discourage anyone from being outraged at the abductions in Portland, but also please keep in mind that there have been confirmed and verified "black sites" (notably Chicago, but that's hardly the only one) where members of Black communities were seized over the community's strongest screaming and shouting objections for years without quite the same national outrage, and we've held "enemy combatants" (avoiding the moniker of POWs) at a base outside the country so we could ignore the 14th amendment for decades, and we are putting kids in cages as a deterrent to them legally seeking asylum. So you might want to consider the message you're sending if you act like this is the first you've heard of law enforcement simply ignoring due process. (And/or consider the differences that have led to greater coverage if it literally IS the first you've heard of it.)

ETA: I'm seeing a real struggle in comments to define this as substantively different. I might encourage folks to think about that defensive reaction, given the actual words of my post. All I suggested was to consider the optics of certain sentiments.

Rhymes with shmacism.
Remember four years ago, when you were wrong.

Like totally and completely wrong. About everything.

When you thought we were being ridiculous to suggest that certain people might be emboldened by the election of Trump. When you thought that ideologies were static and the conflict-free (and to your mind morally superior) center you cleave to was the same center of ten years ago and twenty and probably back as far as it mattered.

You certainly weren't just a feckless person clinging to a middle-of-the-road fallacy because intellectual superiority was telling everyone with a conviction, some courage, or a principle that they were equally full of crap. Your "center" had never wavered and the "whole Overton window thing" was just a slick way of trying to convince yourself that not getting involved wasn't always a moral decision.

And now here we are. Just like we said we would be. Certain people were emboldened. They started marching with tiki torches and guns and murdering leftists and calling for a new civil war and genocide. They openly declared their white supremacy. They cheer the Gestapo abductions and naked bigotry. All this while the President gins them up and goads them on from the glow of his phone, ensconced within his gilded palace. And they delight in being so unimaginably cruel that they are willing to be––even valorize being––directly responsible for people's deaths in order to avoid their own mild discomfort.

We couldn't have predicted that a global pandemic would turn everything up to 11, but we told you this would happen. And all the places where we pointed out the cracks in the dike are exactly where we are now taking on water. We gave you a full-on prediction of exactly what was coming in presentation, symptoms, and progression. And you told us we were crazy, overwrought, hysterical.

So please think about how wrong you've been. Completely. Utterly. Demonstrably. Breathtakingly. Unambiguously. Unswervingly. Wrong.

Think about that before you turn around and try to tell the same exact people, "Well, you've been spot on for four years, but I'm sure it won't get any worse. It can't happen here. Surely, the GOP will grow a spine and stop him or some adult will enter the room, or he'll just stop at the water's edge of ending all pretense of democracy."

Just admit you're a coward without convictions, and that you will continue to cleave toward the middle of the road no matter where it lies, whether there's open, naked fascism manifesting in your country or not, because that's the morally and intellectually easy position to take instead of trying to tell everyone that you'll jump up and care when it gets "really bad"......but we're not there yet.

You're full of shit. You need to shut up.

You're WRONG.

He will literally use pictures of Trump's America to talk about what he's going to "stop."
But when you're done laughing, know that he's talking exactly like the abuser promising to change when
what they really want is not to have any more opposition to what they are doing.

Sometimes being a fascist isn't JUST invading Poland.

Sometimes being a fascist is desperately rationalizing that the people being kidnapped at night by unidentifiable members of the Department of Homeland Security without Miranda rights or due process had it coming because they were part of a protest in which property damage occurred (but LIVES were not endangered).

I think the most frustrating part of the far left is that I agree with them on almost everything and almost completely, but for the life of me they don't seem to realize that they TOO will have to govern a pluralistic society that has reactionary swings, and unless they are prepared to violently maintain an oppressive anti-democratic regime against MOST people in most parts of the country (the way the GOP does right now), what they really need to gear up for is an absolutely MASSIVE war of ideas instead of simply dismissing 95% of the labor class as not radical enough to attend the meetings and dismissing their struggles as unworthy while there's "REAL" leftism to be done. Seizing power in one election or "not selling out" will NEVER get them what they want.

One of my OWN articles from Not Writing About Writing made the cut for this compilation. Fascism: You're Soaking in It

If you have nothing to hide, the PATRIOT act shouldn’t scare you. They will never use it on US citizens.

-Conservatives, Moderates, and no small number of Liberals in 2001

You're SUPPOSED to get very uncomfortable and condemn the action when you see graffiti on a wall in a "nice" neighborhood or a trash can on fire. But only be sad and resigned when you see a whole town boarded and sliding into abject poverty and a kind of social self-harm because Walmart sucked it dry and then beat a path out of town. You're supposed to become enraged when you see a punch thrown against a Nazi in a viral youtube video, but not when white supremacists who do worse en masse are given pass after pass after "being-removed-from-a-watchlist" pass by the White-Supremacist-in-Chief. You've been effectively programmed by so many messages around around you to defend police as just doing their jobs, even when they attack their own peaceful citizens night after night. (And enraged if those citizens should ever get fed up and fight back.) You are supposed to clutch your pearls when you watch people carrying off insured televisions from Target during civil unrest, but have a strangely subdued sense of defeatism when laws or corporate malfeasance steal the exact same dollar value (or more) from hundreds, thousands, millions of working people at a time.

That's how you're SUPPOSED to feel. You are working as intended. You are being played like an instrument.

You've been culturally conditioned all your life to regard bottom-up violence as deeply horrifying, and top-down violence as a press-your-lips-together-and-sigh damned shame ("but what are you gonna do.") It's so slick that most people wouldn't even call it "violence" even though the outcomes are MORE theft, MORE shattered health, and MORE lost lives.....basically much MORE violent.

If you were to ever unpack that cultural conditioning and instead get deeply uncomfortable and condemn the actions of a company who skims their employee's hours or ignores OSHA or a lawmaker who signs a law that makes it easier to exploit or harm people, but shrugged big in a "hey, this is how the sausage gets made" manner about the fact that civil unrest is an inevitable outcome of systemized exploitation, you would be considered to be encouraging, even endorsing violence.

Which is a little weird because it's considered an imminently REASONABLE position when you sigh and regret and "have a big problem with..." but really DO nothing about the demonstrably and objectively greater harm of the top-down acts.

It might be worth considering who exactly is served by holding those two narratives as sacrosanct and who wants very, very badly for those two reactions to never switch places.

When you compile the metadata, I think you'll find that it's leftists who ACTUALLY get cancelled. Open, virulent bigots get tolerated, nuanced, contextualized, rationalized, given infinite "second" chances, and even get funded and elected. They just have to deal with a rough week on Twitter. But if you want to talk about universal healthcare, seriously discuss socialism, or radically decolonizing anything, you are laughed out of any mainstream venue.

Watch big trends, and this whole society tells on itself.

Typical American: **looks at a pyramid scheme** Well, that's just exploitation. The people at the bottom get practically none of what they are promised, and it all funnels up to the people at the top who started the whole thing. The people who get sucked in with dreams of their hard work equalling success get used up, invest gobs of their own money, do ALL the hard work, and if they're very lucky, have just a few dollars at the end of the month not already spent on more product. The poor folks who get caught up in it think they're going to be the exception, but you have to work so impossibly hard to even get to the middle, and there's basically no way you'll ever be doing anything but working to put money into the pockets of the people at the top. Gullible people might get duped into this, but I'm going to make a lot of memes about how awful it is, and we'll all secretly be laughing that anyone could believe they're going to make it. And I'm not entirely sure these people saying there ought to be a law against it are entirely off base.

TA: **looks at capitalism** This is the natural state of mankind.

Hey all.

I'm going to say two sentences and if you have a problem with either of them, please find that unfriend button, and we'll go our separate ways. Or if you feel suddenly compelled to stand up and explain WHY you have a problem, then I'LL find the button myself while I'm deleting the comment. Because it's not my place to argue about what feminism is (or isn't) but I'm also not going to let you actively harm my friends and loved ones.

Ready? Here we go:

1- Trans women are women.
2- Sex work is work.

Thank you.

(If you want to have a nuanced conversation about the intersections of exploitation or gender theory, there are many places to do so––including my inbox if we have that kind of relationship, although I do not speak FOR either community––but this space will never EVER be one of them.)

I'm a Libra so I can lick the bad attitude right out of you and fix your bad day.
I mean....

Any prediction about how this country is going to fare in the final analysis face off against the global pandemic that doesn't account for......

1- The fact that when shown the statistics on how much masks helped people NOT TO DIE, a major bloc of people refused to wear them because they found breathing stale air to be mildly uncomfortable. And when forced to, they stuck their noses out the top in passive aggressive protest.

2- The fact that these people were cheered on by the leader of the Republican Party and President of the United States who wanted to shovel dead bodies at the economy SO badly that he seized control of the data in plain sight and didn't even pretend he wasn't going to lie through his teeth that "everything is all better, so get back to work."

3- The fact that the the anti-science, anti-media, anti-expertise, anti-government sentiment that the Republican Party has been stoking for 30 years––because it was more politically expedient than examining their politically indefensible positions against things like climate change or the growing body of evidence that human sexuality isn't as "unnatural" as they thought––has led to a right-wing landscape that cannot be convinced of the severity of the pandemic. They simply cannot. Perhaps when everyone has lost someone, a critical mass will begin to listen to reason. 

4- The fact that the person in the highest office in this country is still regularly retweeting hydroxychloroquine shills and debunked conspiracy theories about bio weapons from China, and has decided that the 26-year head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is "misleading the public" to warn that opening schools might not be a bang-up idea.

5- The fact that we have the most cases and the most deaths of any country ON THE EARTH and conservatives are still putting their foot on the gas to OPEN.

....will be wildly unable to see how bad it's going to be.

You know those people who just...decide they've waited "long enough" at a stop sign?

I've been in the car with people like this. They measure whether they should go NOT by whether it's safe, but in terms of some sense of cosmic reimbursement that they accrued by waiting at all. It doesn't matter if a big rig with a set of Mad Max pole arms (each threading multiple human skulls) sticking out of the front grill is barreling down at 85 miles per hour and spewing ten-foot columns of flame out their exhaust stacks, they. have. waited. LONG. ENOUGH.

And they're gonna go now.

This is what rushing to open schools feels like.

I was wrong.

I apologize.

I openly, derisively laughed at those of you who put "Demon Sperm" on your July bingo cards and I was wrong. In 2020, I should have known better.

2019: **rips bong** "Dude, I'm gonna put meth gators, coke boars, the literal Borg, biggest sandstorm EVAH, 3rd amendment, murder hornets, and demon sperm on my bingo card for shits and giggles. It'll be so funny."

2020: "Bruh....."

I still need a couple of adds for my cohabitation polycule, personally. 
**waggles eyebrows**

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