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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Facebook Compilation (Top of January)

During "interesting times" I do a lot of my writing in bite-sized chunks on Facebook, and it pulls some energy from blogging. Here is a collection of the best statuses (and a few of the most popular memes) from my public Facebook page over the period of Jan-1st through Jan-15th. (You're welcome to follow me there but read up in the Facebook FAQ [last question] before you send me a friend request.) Once we've caught up, these will only land once every two weeks and I'll go back to taking Wednesdays off, but for now I'm plowing through to catch up. 

If there's a specific context that's important to one of the posts, I'll add it in at the top, but don't forget that this would have been right before, during, and just after the Jan 6th insurrection and coup attempt. 

Late in 2015: "These two candidates are exactly the same."

~fade to black~

~open on 2021~

Narrator's voice: "They weren't."

As this came up multiple times, please note that Pluto is not claiming to be a planet.
Pluto is asking "how do YOU like it?"

Trump said this terrible thing.

Trump supporter: He didn't.

Here is a witness to the terrible thing.

Trump supporter: That person is lying. They hate Trump.

Here are five eye witnesses.

Trump supporter: All lying. It's a vast conspiracy. Media is in on it.

Here are court-mandated transcripts.

Trump supporter: You can't tell what the inflection might have been. Clearly he was talking about something from thirty seconds earlier when he said "they." 

Here is a recording. 

Trump supporter: Locker room talk. 

Here is a recording of him saying something that can't be dismissed as socially acceptable in our society with casual misogyny.

Trump supporter: Taken out of context. Can't trust that cherry-picking media. Did you listen to the whole thing? You have to listen to the WHOLE thing.

Here is the entire one-hour, glorious conversation with every single horrifying, unconscionable anti-democratic thing uttered, for which there can be no understated excuse, no context that makes it somehow socially acceptable as "just" casual bigotry, no missed inflection, and no ambiguity as to how absolutely revolting it is and he is as a person for uttering it from a position of authority.

Trump supporter: ...............

Trump supporter: ............I can't imagine why anyone would record the president. What are we, commies?

You know that meme (I posted it not too long ago) that says the GOP will punch you in the face and then give a maudlin speech about how deeply concerned they are that you will punch them back some day? Remember that one?

Yeah, that's the one.
Don't be fooled by Mitch McConnell's melodramatic call for bipartisanship from his fellow Republicans to work within the systems––unlike those Democrats. That WAS the maudlin speech. He's going to fall down and cry like a men's soccer player every single time the Democrats work around GOP obstructionism for the next two years. 

Just because it went off with the same disorganized half-assery that has characterized every single other aspect of this administration (from wall building to vaccine roll-outs) does not somehow magically NOT make it an attempted coup.

“A violent, armed mob stormed a government building where the legislature works (many looking for people they intended to assassinate) in order to subvert the result of a legitimate election.” 

What would you call it?

Why not both?

So.......do we now understand what it means when a candidate refuses to commit to accepting the results of an election and/or commit to the peaceful transfer of power?


I feel like I'm in the dead-parrot Monty Python sketch with the alt-right.

"Here are the names and numbers of the people who stormed the capitol, all of which we know because of facial recognition. Here are their Parler rants supporting Trump and calling for a white ethnostate. Here are pictures of them holding nazi flags. Here are posts THEY made to their social media DURING the insurrection OF themselves calling for the "blood of libs" and demanding Trump get (at least) four more years."

"It was antifa."

Friend: I don't understand why you sometimes say that the intelligentsia is ill equipped to handle fascism. Don't you think the truth matters?

Me: ~closing a window where a RAGING debate about whether "coup" is technically the right term has entered its fifth day~ "Well...."

What Americans heard was because of a person who recorded the call. We saw the ONE place Trump got caught rigging the election because a member of his own party had the presence of mind to realize that evidence would be needed for self-protection.

If you think for one second that there wasn't a call pretty much just like that one for every single swing state, you haven't been paying attention.

Privilege and entitlement have a lot of "plausible deniability" since you can't actually go back in time and run the exact same scenario with different-looking folks, and there's always SOME X-factor to seize upon when things are similar but the outcomes are very wildly disparate. ("Clearly the Capitol Insurrection wasn't treated as badly as BLM because….um….they were all so appalled at their behavior that summer that they went home, really LOOKED at their reflection in the mirror, and had a coming to Jesus moment. Yeah!")

However, you can get a pretty good sense of the level of entitlement (and that white people know FULL GD WELL that they have privilege if you're paying attention) when you watch white folks shocked as ALL FUCKING HELL because they never expected to get into THAT much trouble for doing something like violating a pandemic quarantine or peeing in a sacred place in another country.......or storming a government building while its lawmaking body is in session.

~pauses the tape of the storming of the capital with the camera on an ocean of young faces~

Hi there, fellow white people,

Listen, for years we've been hinting that white supremacy would die out with the boomers and saying as much in kind of shitty "Hope-they-all-hurry-up-and-die" sentiments––ones I'm afraid that got a lot worse-sounding when a disease came along that disproportionately targeted folks that age.

But now we've seen entire movements of militant, spry, young white supremacists trying to subvert democracy and install fascism in service of their ethnostate, and while they were cheered on by their share of Boomers, there were also Gen Xs, Millennials, and no small number of Gen Zs. Some were even cops, ex military, people with state-given authority and state-provided military and paramilitary training! White supremacy isn't something that's just naturally fading away. In fact, it is so powerful, it just damn near almost led us to a second civil war FOR WHAT WERE FUNDAMENTALLY MANY OF THE SAME REASONS AS THE FIRST. 

Consider this: the idea that all we have to do is nothing and racism will just go away is AMAZINGLY seductive. (Particularly to us white folks who feel "bad" about racism, but don't really want to have to stick our necks out. It's so seductive that there are white folks just hoping the ol' "moral arc of history" will attend to itself, and none of us will ever have to lose a friend or piss off a relative by risking our OWN social capital. 

Of course, we could have listened to BIPOC tell us that nothing was really going away, that young people were totally racist too, or that racism wasn't found only in certain parts of the country, but instead we gaslit them, and we pretended that we knew better—what we really needed to do was…nothing. Because there are other seductive ideas when it comes to not confronting our own privilege––like that only our drunk Uncles are REALLY racist, and a few tweaks will erase the deep seated influence of our history of law enforcement or red lining back on a non-racist course.

But now we know better. Whole new generations of white supremacists are coming up, and which way do you think THEY'RE going to bend that arc if we don't actively work against them? It's our choice to keep this insight close to our hearts as we move forward, or to go back to our seductive scripts as soon as this shit isn't right up in our FACES. Maybe, just for shits and giggles, since we're now going on FIFTY YEARS (since civil rights) and really much much longer for most of us of doing absolutely nothing and having outcomes that make us "sad," maybe—just fucking maybe—this time we could try something new.

Thanks, fellow white people,

~restarts the tape~

Regarding the impeachment of Trump…

Republicans: We mustn't impeach. It would further divide the country!

Dems: "Shouldn't you also say something about how Trump didn't actually commit any high crimes or misdemeanors?"


Dems: …….

Republicans: SO polarized are we….

In this episode of Supernatural, Sam and Dean have an argument in the Impala that is ostensibly about angels and demons, but is subtextually about their relationship to each other.

Almost a year ago the president was impeached (ALSO for trying to subvert the election) and the best defense that the entire GOP and many of the greatest legal minds in the country could mount was "Yeah, he totally did all the high crimes and misdemeanors you're accusing him of beyond any reasonable doubt, and then interfered with the Congressional investigation in a clear violation of the constitution, and we have LITERALLY no defense or plausible denial....but it's PRETTY close to the election, so we're going to punt this one to 'the people,' and not actually remove him from office. AlsoLookIt'sHunterBiden."

All he learned that day, all he's EVER learned by way of consequences is, "When you're a star, they let you do it." And in fact, what he turned around and did to continue to subvert the VERY SAME election was arguably even worse. 

So you'll forgive me if I meet your claims that he has "learned his lesson" and "won't touch the stove again" with a considerable degree of skepticism.

Conservatives: Invisible hand. Invisible hand. Invisible hand. Invisible hand.

Twitter, Facebook, and every social media and other private enterprise that is NOT the government: It's not financially worth it to keep these people on our platform.

Conservatives: Nazg├╗l scream.

And in the end, after four years of being indistinguishable from a Russian asset and subverting democracy (even the "flawed" representative republic kind born of its slaver days) while destroying everything he touched and lying so prolifically that his plucky dishonesty was a beloved trait by his followers, it was not any framer-designed check or balance, no "adult in the room," and certainly not Congress, but Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg who provided any sort of consequence for his behavior that he even noticed.

If only Hillary Clinton, historians, folks who studied how countries became autocracies, folks who lived in oppressive regimes, people who had watched the rise of dictators, political scientists, leftists, liberals, Democrats, Republicans––in droves before they kissed the ring, pretty much every ex-staffer from the White House, communications experts, people "of a certain age" from Germany, survivors of sexual assault, ex-cult members, the EU, our allies, every industrialized nation on Earth, U.S. intelligence agencies, Michael Cohen, actually Christ-like Christians, Mueller, the ADL, queer folk, BIPOC, folks with expertise in authoritarianism, think tanks dedicated to the peaceful transition of power, the architects of our democratic framework, and....I guess, like, a few MORE voices we wouldn't blow off as hysterical had warned us in time.

All joking aside.

Anyone who says, "No one saw this coming" is gaslighting.

People keep asking me, "Well, what would you have Democrats do?" 

In a situation like we're seeing? With escalation and power grabs and might makes right and the politics of "who's gonna fucking stop me?", I don't think you're going to stop having power grabs until you get over this idea that democracy will just run itself on good faith in the background and if they try to cheat, some mystical "adult in the room" will manifest and reward you for playing a good, clean game.

Realize that (and I say this as someone who is not a fan of violence or the threat of violence and will try almost anything but)..... That until people with guns point those guns at the folks who are breaking the law and grabbing power and daring anyone to stop them (or possibly people who have people with guns standing behind them so the implication is crystal clear or just so fucking MANY people that the implications are clear). And until those people say, "This is NOT how we do things," THAT'S THE WAY THEY WILL KEEP DOING THINGS. Arrest the ring leaders. Arrest the stochastic terrorists. Make there be consequences to anti-democratic behavior.  Otherwise, just keep expecting every election cycle to be ever more outlandish.

And it won't feel good. We will feel dirty. We will wonder if we made the right call. But the bullshit will stop.

Everyone thinks they would surely stand up and defend democracy, but it's always against paratrooping Cubans and shit.

The A.C.A. that the "no-real-difference-between-the-two-party Democrats" passed despite political opposition (which included everything but burning the building down the day of the vote)––the one has saved my life at least once and kept me out of deep debt at least one other time––has once again made health insurance affordable to me. Without the $738 subsidy per month, I would just have to go without (or get some rinky plan that would only cover a catastrophic event). I'm a freelance writer on a shoestring budget.

And it is for this reason, just so we're clear, every time I read some young and healthy leftist (particularly one with a family who'd help if the medical bills got to be too much) tell me that there's no "appreciable" difference between the two parties*, what I hear them saying is that it makes no difference to them if I were dead. Or at least destitute and in debt….with a number of dead friends who have ALSO been saved by the A.C.A.

Just so you know why I (and a lot of others who've probably had similar experiences) have particular trouble with that rhetoric. You can't just shrug off the real, tangible, differences between the two parties and expect those whose lives have been demonstrably improved (even saved) by those differences to come along with you.

(*Consider, rather, that they share certain harmful assumptions. Yes, medicare for all would be worlds better and the idea that we "can't afford it" is propaganda, but until the political will exists for it and the idea is sold to the hearts and minds of the proletariat, can we not, by inaction, let Republicans take away what we do have?)

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