Saturday, June 27, 2020

"What's possible in other counties is impossible here, but some things impossible elsewhere are possible here."

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

"Behind the chiliasm of modern man, is the megalomania of self-infinitization."


From 2017. I've changed the ending a bit. Lemmy now gets the last word.

I keep thinking of this as a primer: easy to understand, almost obvious, like a lecture in images. I could run down the references and conflicts it it describes point by point. But I think no one gets the joke. And that's why Lemmy gets the last word.

Ubiquitous images of modernity: the grid and the individual imagination; universalism and one point perspective; ideologies of objectivity and subjectivity; fantasies of reason and resulting psychosis; rationalism and irrationalism, but also rationalism vs empiricism, pedants vs ironists, philosophers vs comedians and lawyers.
My lords, ladies and gentleman, we are here also to honour Mr. Fred Timson, leader of the Timson clan, that vast family of South London villains, petty thieves and receivers of stolen property. But, no violence in your record Fred right?
That’s right Mr. Rumpole. 
Mr. Timson conducts his life according to strict monetarist principles. 
So I do Mr Rumpole.
He does not believe in the closed shop. He believes that shops should be open at all hours of the night, preferably with a jemmy.   
Too right Mr Rumpole! 
But, without Fred Timson and his like, how many of us would be out of work? How many brother judges? How many of Her Majesty’s counsel learned in  law? How many Coppers? How many humble Old Bailey Hacks? Indeed, we may all be bundled out under the embankment in cardboard boxes…So my lords, ladies and gentleman, charge your glasses, Henry, fill'em up! I give you a toast to Fred Timson and the criminals of England!
The Museum of Capitalism. The quote is Daniel Bell.
I have to keep trying.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

NYT: Roosevelt Statue to Be Removed From Museum of Natural History.

David Hammons, Public Enemy, 1992 
see previous

Friday, June 19, 2020


Three nights walking in Central Park in late 2014. Still incomplete. The beat changes, speeding up a bit in the second section. I'll use something more complex for next sections. It's all ongoing. In a lot of the shots the color is still unresolved. I like shooting in Log; it gives you a lot of options. It's the record of an eye in motion and time. It's a stringout that I'm trimming, slowly.

Wiseman,  "observational  cinema", "Slow cinema" and the "Sensory Ethnography Lab". etc.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Bored

Imagine NY Times Editorial Board meetings under an autographed portrait of Jefferson Davis 
His diary includes the text of a letter Herzl wrote to Cecil Rhodes, shortly after the infamous Briton had colonized the land of the Shona people in Africa – whose land he claimed and renamed Rhodesia. “You are being invited to help make history,” Herzl wrote to Rhodes. “[I]t doesn’t involve Africa, but a piece of Asia Minor; not Englishmen but Jews… How, then, do I happen to turn to you since this is an out-of-the-way matter for you? How indeed? Because it is something colonial… [Y]ou, Mr. Rhodes, are a visionary politician or a practical visionary… I want you to.. put the stamp of your authority on the Zionist plan and to make the following declaration to a few people who swear by you: I, Rhodes have examined this plan and found it correct and practicable. It is a plan full of culture, excellent for the group of people for whom it is directly designed, and quite good for England, for Greater Britain…."
When I was on twitter I got most of my news from foreign sources or people with direct social and personal connections out. Very few where were American beyond first or second generation.
He's talking about the NYT.
Left-wing secularists in Lebanon are in a bloc with Hezbollah. I can't think of another country other than Israel where the "left" wouldn't understand and agree.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Because he's in the news.  Jilani, Taibbi. etc

I've always said Chomsky will be remembered for his empiricism as an amateur journalist rather than the arch-rationalism that defines his dated theories of language, but his reportage is pretty basic stuff. He's the Jack Webb of anarcho-syndicalism.  Rationalism wins out in the end, and with it a kind of purblind stupidity. He's the archetypical pedant. There's no way in hell in which he's an "intellectual".

Chomsky to W.D. Rubenstein, quoted in Rubenstein, "Chomsky and the New-Nazis", Quadrant
Volume 25 Issue 10 (Oct 1981)
I see no anti-semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the holocaust. Nor would there be anti-semitic implications, per se, in the claim that the holocaust (whether one believes it took place or not) is being exploited, viciously so, by apologists for Israeli repression and violence. I see no hint of anti-semitic implications in Faurisson's work, and find your argument to the contrary ‘puzzling and unsatisfactory’ to put it in mildest terms.
Chomsky responding a to question about the quote above. "Circa 1989-1991"
The “statement” to which you refer is a distortion of something that I wrote in a personal letter 11 years ago, when I was asked whether the fact that a person denies the existence of gas chambers does not prove that he is an anti-Semite. I wrote back what every sane person knows: no, of course it does not. A person might believe that Hitler exterminated 6 million Jews in some other way without being an anti-Semite. Since the point is trivial and disputed by no one, I do not know why we are discussing it.

In that context, I made a further point: even denial of the Holocaust would not prove that a person is an anti-Semite. I presume that that point too is not subject to contention. Thus if a person ignorant of modern history were told of the Holocaust and refused to believe that humans are capable of such monstrous acts, we would not conclude that he is an anti-Semite. That suffices to establish the point at issue.

The point is considerably more general. Denial of monstrous atrocities, whatever their scale, does not in itself suffice to prove that those who deny them are racists vis-a-vis the victims. I am sure you agree with this point, which everyone constantly accepts. Thus, in the journal of the American Jewish Congress, a representative of ASI writes that stories about Hitler’s anti-gypsy genocide are an “exploded fiction.” In fact, as one can learn from the scholarly literature (also Wiesenthal, Vidal-Naquet, etc.), Hitler’s treatment of the gypsies was on a par with his slaughter of Jews. But we do not conclude from these facts alone that the AJC and ASI are anti-gypsy racists.

...You ask whether one wouldn’t at least suspect the motives of someone who denies genocide (the Holocaust, in particular). Of course. Thus, I do suspect the motives of Wiesel, Bernard Lewis, the anthropological profession, the American Jewish Congress and ASI, Faurisson, Western intellectuals who systematically and almost universally downplay the atrocities of their own states, and people who deny genocide and atrocities generally. But I do not automatically conclude that they are racists; nor do you.

Faurisson was a Holocaust denier. He wasn't quibbling about methods.

To value the lives of one group over others is bigotry, so we can conclude that the AJC and ASI are in fact anti-Gypsy racists, as we can conclude that Zionists who conquered Palestine were racists.

"I do suspect the motives of Wiesel, Bernard Lewis, the anthropological profession, the American Jewish Congress and ASI, Faurisson, Western intellectuals..."

You're either willing to psychologize or you aren't. To ascribe motives is to ascribe beliefs.

Some people may be so committed to their own innocence that they refuse to acknowledge the historical record. What does that say about them?

repeats: Deborah Lipstadt and other self-hating Jews.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Moved to the top after the decision in Bostock v. Clayton County

John Cena and the WWE are not the "fast radicalizing left".  Neither are the vast majority of protestors. Via Timothy Burke, @Bubbaprog, the man who made this.

The video's from 2016
No shit
Black Lives Matter sentiment is essentially a militant expression of racial liberalism....Black Lives Matter is a cry for full recognition within the established terms of liberal democratic capitalism.

Cedric Johnson is associate professor of African American Studies and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Zionism site:https://nonsite.org

Binary logic

Partial repeat

Wesley Yang: "Can you play poker at the highest level without mastering the math? I have no poker skill and very minimal practice, but I do have total emotional detachment and an excellent poker face."

"I have total emotional detachment" says the man who identified with a mass murderer

In this country, anyone who claims to be interested in politics as an idea is a moralist.

You must look through the surface of American art, and see the inner diabolism of the symbolic meaning. Otherwise it is all mere childishness.

Monday, June 15, 2020

In re: "Diversity blather"
Silberman’s post, which went out widely to scores of Court staff and judges, sat unanswered over the next day, until the first volley was sent back not by a fellow judge but by a clerk: courtroom employees who work directly with judges to research and write their opinions.

“Hi Judge Silberman,” began the career-risking reply-all email, “I am one of only five black law clerks in this entire circuit. However, the views I express below are solely my own,” they went on. “Since no one in the court’s leadership has responded to your message, I thought I would give it a try.”
[M]y maternal ancestors were enslaved in Mississippi. While the laws of this nation viewed my ancestors as property, I view them as hostages. In a hostage situation, when someone does something that leads to the freeing of the hostages, I am not sure if the hostages would be concerned as to whether the person that saved them, actually intended to save them. In this instance, as people considered to be property, my ancestors would not have been involved in the philosophical and political debates about Lincoln’s true intentions, or his view on racial equality. For them, and myself, race is not an abstract topic to be debated, so in my view anything that was built to represent white racial superiority, or named after someone who fought to maintain white supremacy (or the Southern economy of slavery), see Photo of Liberty Monument attached, should be removed from high trafficked areas of prominence and placed in museums where they can be part of lessons that put them in context. ...
Experience is substantive. The need for diversity is not about fairness; it's about epistemology.
Adolph Reed, McWhorter, Leiter, Jilani, Henry Farrell –a long list.

Jilani: If our ancestors survived colonialism we can survive a racist editor. "Shhh..."

It's so easy to destroy Jilani, but no one does it.  People don't speak directly. His universalist anti-identity-politics schtick falls flat, from Bari Weiss to Batya Ungar-Sargon on "moral panic". Moral panic is all they're good for. The facts are there but no one shoves them in his face.

He deleted the tweet.
If you screen grab a video on Netflix you get a black screen, but subtitles come through.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

BECAUSE WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO RELY ON NYT EDITORIAL WRITERS, SITTING IN A ROOM UNDER A PORTRAIT OF THEODORE HERZL, TO TELL US WHAT'S "RIGHT"

no.
Journalism's Top Ethics Expert Isn't Concerned With Right and Wrong
As journalists wage a civil war, America's leading media ethicist doesn't seem to quite understand what anyone is fighting about.
Last Wednesday, The New York Times published an op-ed in which Republican senator Tom Cotton called for a military crackdown on citizens protesting against police killings of Black people. It was an incendiary argument packed with lies the newspaper's own reporters had already debunked. The decision to publish it led to revolt inside the Times' newsroom, and, four days later, the resignation of Opinion editor James Bennet, until then reportedly in the running to take over the paper.

Outside the Times, journalists would in days to come deride the paper's decision to publish the op-ed. Osita Nwanevu of The New Republic traced the debacle to the Times' insistence on promoting illberal ideas in the name of liberal ideals, predicting that the paper will "continue to publish the opinions of a right that openly disdains the principles underpinning a free press and a free society." Vox's David Roberts wrote that the op-ed shouldn't have been published "because it reflects a worldview incompatible with the baseline small-l liberal values that make the Times's work, and journalism generally, possible." Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan, herself a former Times public editor, criticized the publication of the op-ed and took the occasion to argue that whatever the merits of assiduous neutrality in theory, there is no such thing in practice. "Every piece of reporting—written or spoken, told in text or in images—is the product of choices," she wrote. "We choose what to focus on, what to amplify, what to investigate and examine."

The day after the op-ed was published, Kelly McBride, America's foremost expert on media ethics, shared with me a very different opinion, more in line with that of the people inside and outside the Times decrying the episode as a triumph of "safetyism." McBride wouldn't have published it had she been in charge of the section, she said, because it was "crappy" and “intellectually dishonest.” As she saw it, though, publishing controversial and unpopular arguments, like one that the government should use military force to deny protesters the ability to exercise First Amendment rights, is important in order to ensure a robust "marketplace of ideas."

By this logic, of course, the Times is unjustly denying the public the ability to debate the virtues of cannibalism, or of the United States becoming a Communist state, or whether people killed in mass shootings are really crisis actors, or any number of other unpopular ideas whose adherents aren't given some of the limited space available in its Opinion section. Further, the issue wasn't whether Times readers should be informed of Cotton's positions, which were already well-known; a news article in which they were described critically and contextualized would have caused no controversy. The issue, as critics had it, was that the paper turned their platform over to him so that he could make an inherently illegitimate argument, unchallenged.
"As she saw it, though, publishing controversial and unpopular arguments, like one that the government should use military force to deny protesters the ability to exercise First Amendment rights,..." Ignoring the looting as opposed to reporting the looting and arguing that the cops made things worse, or that the cops themselves ignored it.

It's fair to claim that Cotton's claim about antifa had been "debunked", but the looting was real enough. A friend and his wife were trapped in their home with people trying to smash in their door.  And I've spent the last week reading defenses of looting and violence written by people who decry Cotton's op-ed.

"The issue, as critics had it, was that the paper turned their platform over to him so that he could make an inherently illegitimate argument, unchallenged." And who's to judge what's inherently illegitimate? McBride called Cotton's op-ed "crappy" and “intellectually dishonest.” I like that.
Pulitzer Prize for "Commentary" has gone to...
...Bret Stephens, Thomas Friedman, Charles Krauthammer and, this year, Nikole Hannah-Jones.
And now Taibbi has joined in, defending the journalism of "truth". In this country, anyone who claims to be interested in politics as an idea is a moralist.
The phrase "the marketplace of ideas" founds adversarialism in the market, as if greed didn't need an adversary.

Remember Osita Nwanevu and "The Enemies of Truth"
He's a good reporter but you don't you need a graduate degree from the University of Chicago to be a hack. It just gets in the way. He's got a great career ahead of him as a self-important mediocrity.
The public seems to be ignoring anarchists, looters and concern trolls. Wasow is now covering his ass, and academics find new just-so stories to replace the old ones.  "In my book, tentatively titled..."
Over two weeks after the protests against the killing of George Floyd began, America remains firmly in the year 2020. 1968, with its sustained chaos and broad white backlash, is still a distant memory and, one hopes, a less potent allusion for our times. But many are still determined to believe the demonstrations we’ve seen will take a toll on the Democratic Party and the American left. Disdain for the protests on the right was carried into this week by National Review’s Kyle Smith on Monday. “After more than two months of frustration and boredom stemming from the lockdowns, the riots looked like a combination of outburst, festival, and religious observance,” he wrote. “The new religion is anti-racism; displaying one’s devotion requires mass gatherings, displays of self-mortification.”

This will likely be the image of the protests the president and his backers continue pushing through the election; the possibility of a campaign focused on these uprisings has scared some liberals from the outset. “The bulk of [Trump’s] comments have focused on ending protesters’ violence rather than addressing the cause behind the demonstrations, with invocations of the upcoming presidential election,” Vox’s German Lopez wrote last week. “If that works to get Trump reelected, the protests almost certainly won’t accomplish the policy changes that many movement leaders want. We don’t know if history will repeat itself, but there are signs that it could.”

But there are already signs that it isn’t. Polls since the protests against the killing of George Floyd began have consistently shown broad public support for the movement.

One of the latest, published Tuesday by The Washington Post, shows 74 percent of Americans support the protests, including a 53 percent majority of Republicans. That poll also produced a figure much more striking than the headline result. While the Post found that Americans were about evenly divided on the question of whether the protests have been mostly peaceful or mostly violent, a 53 percent majority of those who believed the protests were mostly violent supported them anyway. The Post also reported that 69 percent of Americans believe Floyd’s killing reflected “broader problems in treatment of Black Americans by police.”

That finding, the Post’s Scott Clement and Dan Balz wrote, “marks a significant shift when compared with the reactions in 2014 to police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and New York.”

All this is consistent with another survey published Wednesday in The New York Times, which showed that support for Black Lives Matter has jumped dramatically since the protests began. “Over the last two weeks, support for Black Lives Matter increased by nearly as much as it had over the previous two years, according to data from Civiqs, an online survey research firm,” the Times’ Nate Cohn and Kevin Quealy wrote. “By a 28-point margin, Civiqs finds that a majority of Americans support the movement, up from a 17-point margin before the most recent wave of protests began.”
What a list.

Friday, June 12, 2020


Jean-Marie Straub, 2020. Text: Georges Bernanos, from La France Contre Les Robots, 1947.
"pour Jean-Luc"

Famous leftist filmmaker uses the words of a Catholic monarchist. The man is walking by lake Geneva. In the US, Straub's films, almost all made with his late wife Danielle Huillet, are represented by an art gallery, a luxury boutique, where Alain Badiou comes to speak.

Monarchism and communism have a lot in common.

I shouldn't have to add any of that but Americans are stupid.

I like the film.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

I shouldn't have to follow reactionaries, contrarians and pedants to find people who understand what anti-political idealism looks like. I shouldn't have to read cynics to find anti-utopians. In this country, anyone who claims to be interested in politics as an idea is a moralist. Left, right and center, varieties of the same commitment. Calls for "abolition" of jails and police, from Alex Vitale to Ruth Wilson Gilmore, are fantasies and lies. It's been called a  motte and bailey strategy. Cui bono? We need a serious left, stripped of utopianism and vanguardism; stripped of faith.

CAMEROTA: But to be clear, you're not talking about reform. The word, dismantle, is intentionally different than reform. This is more than reform. This is dismantling. I mean, activists who support this are calling this a police-free future.

BENDER: Yes. And, you know, a lot of us were asked if we could imagine a future without police back in 2017, when we were running for office. And I answered yes to that question. To me, that future is a long way away and it would take an enormous amount of investment in things that we know work to keep people safe. I mean, for a lot of folks in our community, stable housing is a safety issue. Having access to healthcare is a safety issue. And so, having -- you know, I think one thing folks are asking is to stop investing so much money in this militarized police force and instead invest in the things that our community really needs. So, you know, I know the statement was bold and I stand by that bold statement, but the work ahead of us will be long, it will include every member of our community. It has to. And, you know, I think we have very immediate things, we have a state action against our police department, which gives us legal mechanisms in the very short-term. You know, there are lessons from all over the country, all over the world that we're looking to take immediate steps while we work toward building the systems that we would need to imagine that future.

CAMEROTA: Do you understand that the word, dismantle, or police-free also makes some people nervous, for instance? What if in the middle of night, my home is broken into? Who do I call?

BENDER: Yes, I mean, hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors. And I know -- and myself, too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege. Because for those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality where calling the police may mean more harm is done. And so in the very immediate, we have to lean in to whatever changes we can make in our existing police department. You know, I think we look to cities like Camden, New Jersey, that completely restructured their department, as we build up systems. And we've already done that. We are not starting from scratch. We have invested in community-based safety strategies. We have knowledge in our community across the city. We've done an analysis of all the reasons people call 911 and have looked up ways we can shift the response away from our armed police officers into a more appropriate response for mental health calls, for some domestic violence calls, for health-related issues. And so the groundwork is laid already in Minneapolis for us to build on that, to learn from folks around the world, but really also to listen to our community and put those community voices front and center, as we build up those systems even further.

CAMEROTA: On a political point, as a Democrat, are you worried that you have just handed President Trump a great talking point or slogan or battle cry for his re-election to be able to say, see, Democrats want to get rid of your police? First, they come to take away your guns, as he says. Now, they're taking away your police officers. Does that concern you?

BENDER: You know, that's why I said at the beginning that it starts with telling the truth. And I think we've been afraid of a lot of things, of those political dynamics of what would happen in our city, you know, to have our police force hearing these kinds of words. And that fear is what we have to really work through, because, again, that's the fear that so many in our community are facing. That's the fear that we see, you know, from George Floyd's family, or the family of Jamar Clark or Justine Damon, who were also killed by Minneapolis Police, who have told us, we never want to see this happen again. And so the efforts we have taken so far to stop this, to make sure no one is killed in this way have not worked. So our statement is to try something new.
They should display it like this. Modernism was a fuck-you to this crap, and plenty of contemporary art riffs on acts of destruction. This is the real deal.
I wanted to put David Hammons with Rodin, but we couldn't get the Rodin on short notice.

List of monuments and memorials removed during the George Floyd protests. Wikipedia

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Higgins, the pro-looter writer/editor with a graduate degree and a LinkedIn page rt's the arrest of "one of Seattle's most avante garde [sic] hairstylist and... named Seattle's Best Hairstylist for 2018", for the crime of recording the macing of a little girl and posting it on Instagram.

Right below he rt's Brendan O'Connor, American, writer for Gizmodo, Gawker, Awl, New Yorker, NYT.
spontaneous, organic movements are beautiful and contain infinite possibilities. one of those possibilities is that people like this (i.e. liberals) can use a radical vernacular and aesthetic to guide everyone else down a dead end.
He doesn't even know he's spouting boilerplate, but he read it in a book somewhere. The people he's complaining about are just as bad. The hairstylist (Haircuts $115, Full Balayage $240, Bleach and Tone $255) makes no great claims for his own politics.

In 2014 The New Inquiry published "In Defense of Looting", by Vicky Osterweil "writer, editor, and agitator". Now it's a book
A radical argument for why rioting and looting are our most powerful tools of dismantling white supremacy.

Looting–a crowd of people publicly, openly, and directly seizing goods–is one of the more extreme actions that take can place in the midst of social unrest. Even self-identified radicals distance themselves from looters, fearing that violent tactics reflect badly on the broader movement.

However, in this deftly argued corrective, Vicky Osterweil argues that while looting is often maligned in today’s society, it is, and has always been, one of our most powerful tools of dismantling capitalism and white supremacy. 
Bold Type Books, formerly Nation Books, an imprint of Hachette, the third largest trade publishing conglomerate in the world.

Lee Fang apologizes for hurting people's feelings. Zaid Jilani joins Wesley Yang in writing articles against identity politics for a Jewish identitarian journal.

Reactionaries now more than conservatives call out liberal hypocrisy on the protests and Covid-19. Romney marched, and earned a puff piece in the Atlantic. Bush and Colin Powell now say they're voting for Biden. The right-wing response to government action was defensive, moving inward, closing ranks. The new protests are moving outward. You can show the distinction by comparing cops and protestors. The cops are the ones who refuse to wear masks.

Fauci is worried about increased infections. Others are less so.  Greg Gonsalves retweets Noah Smith retweeting Mark Lipsitch: two epidemiologists and an economist. Smith does the "cost-benefit analysis" and says it supports the protests.

Gonsalves also retweets "Andrea Roberts, PhD @FreeBlackTX"
I never again want anyone to say theorizing doesn’t lead to change. Black feminist theory and intersectionality informed the creation of black lives matter. We’d never be this close to change without powerful black queer women organizing & theorizing.
Theory is form of literature. What matters is the people who have to time to indulge it.
Black Lives Matter is the new black bourgeois pushing for full representation, abetted by the earnest whining of whites and careerist intellectuals, and by others who are more simply fed up. It's anger of a community weakening as a community, as its members gain authority outside it. It's assimilation. Neoliberalism is open or just below the surface, also a narcissism as spoiled and absurd as any white slacker revolutionary.

The protests are becoming a mass movement, a religious movement in a time of crisis. It's a reaction. It's anti-fascist but not radical. The puritanism will fade along with the marches, but some things will change for good. White guilt about blacks, moralizing self-pity, is matching post-war guilt about Jews, including rituals of self-abasement by people who are still in fact anti-semitic and racist. But statues are being torn down by protestors or removed by authorities in the US and Europe. They're down for good. I'm not much for literal iconoclasm but 19th century academic monuments are low on my list; they always had more value as politics than art. That brings me back to bigger arguments.

Leiter and Adolph Reed, unable to see the bigger picture, or if they claim to see the bigger one they miss the largest. Leiter's a Zionist. Reed's spent his life in an American left where Jewish nationalism was accepted, and only specific actions here and there came in for meaningless criticism. Both see their own insular self-justifying politics as ideal, without elisions or gaps.

Pedants are always right about details; that's in the definition of the word. Reactionaries left and right indulge in nihilism for what they see as a higher truth. Their intellectual supporters among the pundit class would never practice what they preach.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Just reposting this.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

"Running this puts Arab @NYTimes staff in danger."

Yeah, no one thought of it.
Photograph of Theodore Herzl in the Editorial Board meeting room at the NY Times.
via Eli Valley. It'll be taken down at some point in the next 20 years.

'Weird Alex' [sic] Pareene "Staff Writer, The New Republic, Brooklyn"
They can't be reformed. Disband the MPD and every other big urban police department. Hire some detectives to investigate the serious crimes with actual victims, and social workers and civil servants for the other duties. Pay local bar bouncers and antifa to patrol neighborhoods.
Pereene's new article links Binyamin Appelbaum. "I write editorials about business and economics for The New York Times. My new book, The Economists' Hour, is now on sale! http://bit.ly/EconHour"
The police are supposed to protect protesters and prevent looting. When the opposite happens, it raises the suspicion that the police are sending a message.
Appelbaum is retweeting Rachel Olding "Breaking news at @TheDailyBeast. Former editor/journo in the US for @smh & @theage"
Hard to describe how rampant the looting was tonight in Midtown Manhattan and how lawless it was. Complete anarchy. Literally hundreds of stores up and down Broadway, Fifth Ave, Sixth Ave. Kids ruling the streets like it was a party.
His article links the AP, and beat reporters for The Chicago Sun-Times; he links NBC News, and on and on.

His last paragraph.
Democratic (and occasionally libertarian) politicians, liberal think tanks, and policy shops have produced lots of proposals designed to prevent what happened to George Floyd from happening again: implicit bias training, de-escalation training, body cameras, use of force restrictions. None of these figures have a plan to stop police from allowing a white mob to violate a curfew with impunity while brutally repressing protesters representing the “other side.” What is the reform plan for that, exactly? What is the reform plan for police choosing to believe deranged conspiracy theories about demonstrators?

It is almost reassuring to believe that the police want peace but are, through ineptness or poor training, bad at achieving it. They have told us, over and over again, that they are a political force with specific goals. Are we ready to listen yet?
Philadelphia Inquirer: "Frank Rizzo statue removed from outside the Municipal Services Building in the middle of the night"

Forbes: "Confederate Monuments Come Down: Alexandria Statue Removed, As ‘Black Lives Matter’ Written On Others"

Lee Fang's favorite quasi-black man: "I'm not racist, but..."
To be clear, I too am against racism, but the truth is that the French have had ample opportunities over the years to care about racism and it hasn’t always been a top priority. Right now is bad timing.
Ignore false radicalism. Pay attention to the action on the ground. The chattering class is a class.

Monday, June 01, 2020

The pro-looter activist from Common Dreams and LinkedIn is a Star Wars fan, a supporter of some billion dollar corporations but not others. And I remember when Star Wars and everything else about the Lucas fantasy world was criticized as authoritarian, and Star Wars itself as proto-fascist kitsch.

On twitter Ryan Cooper posted a screenshot to mock Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire. Cooper has 53 thousand followers; Walsh's follower count has gone up 100 thousand in the past month. I told Cooper he should engage Walsh directly, so his followers could see the response.

Cooper replied: "Have you ever argued with a conservative? They won't learn anything no matter what I say or where I say it. Whatever I say is wrong by definition."

I told him it's not about Walsh but giving information to his readers that they wouldn't get otherwise. I told him I remember when very serious American left-liberals read Tyler Cowen and were afraid of Palestinians. I remember when they loved Bill Clinton.

Today he tweets this
"Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:
There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect." - Frank Wilhoit
Left-wing secularists in Lebanon are in a bloc with Hezbollah. As a 22 year old Bulgarian club-kid said to me in 2006. "This is a stupid country."

repeats
Corey Robin: "I think people have lots of different interests, and I think an elitist project like conservatism actually offers non-elites certain opportunities for power (though power that is always allied/hitched to subjection), which is one of the reasons non-elites support it."


(etc.)

Ryan tweets images of cops on the rampage. Lee Fang –see below– tweets violence by looters. Neither are conservatives, right?

CNN: Killer Mike urges Atlanta protesters 'not to burn your own house down' in emotional plea
Killer Mike made an emotional plea for calm Friday night as a protest in Atlanta against police brutality turned violent.

The demonstration started peacefully, but some protestors broke storefront windows, torched cars and vandalized CNN headquarters. Atlanta was one of several US cities that witnessed protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

"I am the son of an Atlanta police officer," said the rapper and activist, who was joined at a press conference by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Police Chief Erika Shields and fellow Atlanta rap star T.I. "My cousin is an Atlanta city police officer. And my other cousin an East Point police officer." 
"And I got a lot of love and respect for police officers, down to the original eight police officers in Atlanta," he said, an apparent reference to the city's first black officers, hired in 1948, who he said were forced to dress in a separate building because white officers rejected them. 
Killer Mike and T.I. pointed to Atlanta's civil rights history as the home of Martin Luther King Jr. and others who have struggled for equality over the decades. 
"I watched a white police officer assassinate a black man," Killer Mike said while crying, referring to Floyd's death. "And I know that tore your heart out."

The officer, since fired, is seen in a video with his knee on Floyd's neck. He has been charged with murder and manslaughter.

"I am duty-bound to be here to simply say that it is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy," Killer Mike said. "It is your duty to fortify your own house so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization."

"It is time to beat up prosecutors you don't like at the voting booth," he added, as he wore a T-shirt that read "Kill Your Masters," a lyric from one of his rap group's songs. "It is time to hold mayoral offices accountable, chiefs and deputy chiefs." 
"I'm mad as hell. I woke up wanting to see the world burn down yesterday because I am tired of seeing black men die," he said. "We want to see the system that sets up for systemic racism burned to the ground.
Two cheers for buppies and the black petty bourgeois.  I'm sure Killer Mike likes Star Wars. It's ok. I'll deal.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Joseph Koerner


Back to Sauerländer in 1996.

It was a mistake to use his own voice. Using an actor would have given it more distance, allowing us to hear the text he wrote performed to match the care in the writing. Art is artifice. He calls it a visual essay, but the images are illustrations: they augment the text rather than the other way around. It's a historical and autobiographic essay set to images and music. It was edited by a professional. I'm criticizing is as an artwork, the construction, crafting of an object, a thing of one sort of another, but the essay is lovely, and the result is moving. He's trying to do something.

Bosch and Bruegel: From Enemy Painting to Everyday Life

Colin Eisler told me years ago to stop doing what I was doing and "do what you want".
He'd become a nihilist; he knew the past was being forgotten and decided there was no use trying to be serious anymore.
The point is to work with what you have.

I would've liked to meet Sauerländer.  I'd like to meet Koerner.

Friday, May 29, 2020

"Weary from looting and arson, south Minneapolis asks: Where are the police?"
Just across the street, only the walls remained of the Hexagon Bar, a neighborhood bar that hosted bands on most weekend nights.
Now 64, Debbie Hedemark was born right down the street. Her mother used to go to the bar, where her sister worked.
“This is my bingo place where I play bingo. I’m not a drinker, but I come down to play bingo,” Hedemark said. “I love the place.”
Hedemark wonders why there are police lining up around the area where people had rioted and looted buildings Wednesday night instead of stopping people from burning down buildings.
“They have the cops all standing there right now, not letting nobody in there, but everything is gone there. Why are they there?” She said. “Why aren’t they following these people? Where are they going to attack next?”
Collins is author of the piece linked above.
I grew up in the ACLU, when it represented Nazis; before it picked sides on the 2nd Amendment and partnered with Wall Street. The office secretary would put my mother on the line when the Panthers or the NOI called. The secretary, my sometime babysitter, got arrested with her girlfriend who was on the FBI's most wanted list, but she was the secretary not a director. My mother thought bank robbery was stupid, but at least it was what she called "political action".

Spencer Coxe referred to the ACLU as a conservative organization. I've said that before. The rule of law is conservative.

Read the link on Coxe's name; the names people mentioned are white shoe Philadelphia lawyers in every way that phrase once meant. Henry W Sawyer III was the first man I ever knew with a bowler and a bumbershoot. One of the staff lawyers was a squash partner of Juan Carlos I. The contradictions of that scene were key.

The staff of the ACLU in those years was divided between lawyers from old families, retired businessmen, bored housewives, and recent law school grads and young radicals: between people who didn't need money and people who didn't want it. No one was interested in a career. I think even the young radicals realized that the organization they were a part of wasn't utopian. That's what gave the whole thing its spine.

The yuppies later brought the rot.
---
Higgins really is an idiot.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

"The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer."

Interestingly, Chekhov was convinced his works could never be successfully translated. They would make no sense, he thought, outside the family that was Russia. Dickens, who wished to extend his family everywhere, was happy with translations. His work was hugely successful in Naples, where family reigns supreme, and was held up as a positive example by the government of the newly united Italy in its drive to promote domestic values and national cohesion.

Were there other writers, I wondered, for whom this hierarchy of values held, novelists whose plots, one way or another, hinged around belonging and its attendant emotions, however differently they might come at it—just as Dickens and Chekhov come at it differently, and position themselves differently, though obviously obsessed by the same questions and construing life in the same way?

Over time, reading and rereading carefully, I found these authors who fit the description: Virginia Woolf, Natalia Ginzburg, Elsa Morante, George Eliot, Haruki Murakami, Graham Swift, François-René Chateaubriand. Many other lesser names, too, in genre fiction as well as literary. Many Italians, perhaps because I read a lot of Italian literature, or perhaps because the values of belonging are so powerful in Italian society. Dante, writing in exile, is obsessed with belonging; the deepest circle of hell is reserved for the treacherous, those who betrayed family and community.

On the other hand, I haven’t found a single American whose work I can place in this category. Does this tell me something about America? Or the limitations of my idea?
You must look through the surface of American art, and see the inner diabolism of the symbolic meaning. Otherwise it is all mere childishness. 
In America there are comparatively few who are rich enough to live without profession. Every profession requires an apprenticeship, which limits the time of instruction to the early years of life. At fifteen they enter upon their calling, and thus their education ends at the age when ours begins. Whatever is done afterwards is with a view to some special and lucrative object; a science is taken up as a matter of business, and the only branch of it which is attended to is such as admits of an immediate practical application.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

je suis Ahmed

Buppies vs the fratboy left [et al.]

Light skinned guppie, "avid birder", (Harvard, Marvel Comics) in the habit of carrying dog treats to entice dogs away from their owners for the "intransigent" act of letting them them off the leash, and recording them on his phone if they complain, meets yuppie woman who thinks all black men are scary.
Fang's "self-appointed guardians of idpol" confused the names of two journalists, Fang and Fong, who make similar arguments. Beaman and Seijo equate the right to plastic surgery with the right to education. Rad queer theory and vanguardist contempt for the working class, oblivious to the history of the demimonde. American optimism turns everything into a Disney fantasy, including Marx and de Sade.
Fang's an idiot. It can't simply be cowardice. But at least he doesn't write for Quillette.
I'm sure Christian Cooper, creator of the first gay Star Trek character, named for Yukio Mishima,  would be happy to create a black gay Captain America or GI Joe.

All my sympathies to the families of George Floyd and Ahmed Merabet, who never went to Harvard or the École normale.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Uncle Tom, Oreo, Kapo. "He Toms from the heart"

White "progressives" now seeing the contradictions of black chip-on-my-shoulder assimilationism. Condescending pedants who always complained are crowing in vindication.
There have been a few times in my life when I was told, by black men, that I was black, or "not white". The 21 year old who used those words said them almost as a question, because he was surprised that he could say it. The last time it was a warning from a man about my age at the end of a long day. Before he left he punched me in the chest, hard, and pointed his finger in my face. "Stay black!" I smiled, and may have laughed. Compliments can be rescinded. It didn't give me the right self-identify as black. Even if I don't quite identify as white.

Israel was founded by European Jews who identified with Europe but claimed a right to "return" to Palestine. Decades after the acceptance of Liberal Zionism we now have Liberal Garveyism. But when I ask a Zionist Ashkenazi if he's Jewish or white more often than not the response is surprise. An immediate answer is rare.

The obvious, and forgotten, parallel to Israel is Liberia, also founded in conquest. The Christian descendants of immigrant ex-slaves ruled under a system founded in Jim Crow; African-Liberians didn't get the right to vote until the 1960s. And then we can talk about skin tone.

If racism is a fact then race is a fact. Self-hatred is a fact. Political facts are facts.

I'll say it again and again: language in use does not follow the law of non-contradiction. Pedantry is anti-political.

These idiots can't even realize they're making the old argument against affirmative action. It's all just another marker of slow change.


Whiteboy would never go after one of his Jewish identitarian friends like this. Meanwhile @sadvil goes for the easy layup.

Jones deleted the tweet. She realized the trap she'd set herself.

Fang retweets a liberal Zionist political scientist and libertarian-lite think-tanker linking a paper by a light-skinned Princeton professor and neoliberal think-tanker who claims like Deleuze to have created a concept, "agenda seeding", whereby minorities influence the behavior of majorities. Needless to say they seed with their own blood but they get better results if they act like saints. Once again social science discovers the obvious. And of course Fang and Grossman mock the "wokeness" that's the desired result among majorities to minorities' complaints. Grossman links to an article in the Jewish identitarian Tablet on white savior liberalism that ends with a quote from a Jewish defender of white identity politics. And Fang is a fan of Thomas Chatterton Williams, author of Yes, Blame Hip-Hop, Hegel at Georgetown, and Unlearning Race.
[T]his cheerful manifesto of the light-skinned and well placed, carries an atmosphere of gratitude for the acceptance France has promised Williams’s children. He has assured himself that in these times of tattoos, manipulations of the body, gender subversion, transition, transformations of the self, class fantasies, and cultural smugness, not much essentialism remains in definitions of blackness. We are saved already if we but knew it; we are already well, sound, and clear; we have only to recognize it.
And yet Williams was capable once of putting it as a question. Equal in Paris?
The satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo is one such thoroughly French institution. That is what you hear again and again if you criticize the content this paper trafficked in. “But you cannot understand Charlie Hebdo if you are not French”; “Charlie Hebdo has been a pillar of the French popular culture that shaped us; It is our tradition!” dozens of friends have insisted, as if somehow all traditions are noble and worthy of upholding. One of my oldest and kindest friends from Paris, a man with a beautifully aristocratic last name, made a point the other day that seems to have become one of the default rationales: “But Charlie Hebdo offended everyone the same. My grandmother, who is a practicing Catholic, will tell you they are harsher with the Pope than with anyone else.” While this may even be true, Anatole France had the right of it when he said, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

...In the five years that I have lived in France, I have more than once been welcomed into well-furnished rooms where I have been left to silently puzzle over colonial detritus—Sambo-like dolls and figurines, thick-lipped, bug-eyed, disembodied brown porcelain heads—cavalierly displayed on illuminated shelves and marble tabletops. The first few times I saw these mementos I was jarred, though it is also possible for me to talk and laugh and drink in such spaces, because I am with friends, and I am comfortable in my status as an American who has made his home in Paris but is always free to leave. And yet, I would be lying if I denied that there is some small part of my consciousness still tender with ancestral ache, which cannot ever allow me to lose sight of these outlandish trophies and souvenirs. They seem to somehow comfort or amuse my hosts, reminding them of nothing at all or of some far less complicated and stressful past, and fit smartly in the décor alongside equestrian prints, layered “oriental” rugs, and grandfather’s antelope heads from Africa mounted on the wall.
Between Coates and Williams I'll take Coates. I'll always prefer honest contradiction, confusion and anger, to blithe superiority, snobbery and condescension.

"The greatest obstacle to success for middle-class blacks is not white racism but the allure of hip-hop culture."
N+1 has a thing for self-hating minorities/reactionaries:  Andrea Long ChuWesley Yang writes for Tablet, attacking identity politics. Even his critics, in this country, can't see the absurdity. Jews are white now. They don't have an identity politics. Amazing.
The first piece in The Souls of Yellow Folk, the collection of Wesley Yang’s journalism, goes in with a bang. “The Face of Seung-Hui Cho,” Yang’s 2008 essay on the mass shooter of Virginia Tech, is a remarkable attempt to trace the author’s kinship with a young man who, one year earlier, had killed thirty-two people and then killed himself. Outlining Cho’s abysmal, toxified, embittered half-life, Yang describes his own as well.
And we're back to Scott Aaronson and Aaron Swartz, who now finally has a tag.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Subaltern II, etc.

"Read this before you write about Hungarian democracy"
Why Western progressive media is to blame?
For essentially a decade now, the public discourse on Hungary has been trapped in an ever-repeating vicious circle. It’s a postmodern spectacle where each party tends to confirm their own narratives through the actions of the other. The screenplay goes something like this:
Orbán accuses Western liberals of attempting to take away Hungary’s sovereignty. Orbán infringes on the abstract ideals of liberal democracy. Orbán gets criticised for infringing upon said ideals. Orbán accuses Western liberals of attempting to take away Hungary’s sovereignty.
It’s a self-reinforcing process. Each op-ed published on prominent newspapers on the state of Hungarian democracy becomes propaganda material for the government. Their content confirms the median voter’s anxiety of losing grasp over their community to foreign powers. In a way, conservatives in Hungary want to “take back control”. Remind you of anything?

To someone unfamiliar with the intricacies of Eastern European history, this can easily seem absurd. “What is it about liberal democracy that would make one lose control? The whole point is to gain control over the government’s actions.” Such a reading misses three essential points, however.

a. Liberal democracy as a colonising force
On one hand, liberal democracy is not native to Hungary. It’s an exotic foreign good. An import that was extremely popular for a very long period nevertheless: for much of the three decades following the regime change in 1989, the Hungarian electorate was fairly enthusiastic with Western values. Orbán himself championed some sort of classical conservative-liberal stance in 2006, often criticising then Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány for his involvement with Russia and the wave of police violence that flared up in response to protests against his government.

But all foreign things eventually go out of fashion. Perhaps made worse by the painful hangover of unfulfilled expectations, Hungarians turned away from Western values. Liberal democracy came to be associated with the shock-therapy privatisation of the 90s, the political and fiscal crisis of 2006, and the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. Made worse by the mishandling of the Eurozone in subsequent years and the mass-migration of 2015, progressivism became synonymous with instability, unpredictability, and precarity. But most of all, it came to mean something alien. A colonising force.

b. The new privilege of national self-determination
We thus get to the second important factor in Hungary’s reluctance towards liberal values: sovereignty. This may escape many Western commentators, but national self-determination is a relatively new privilege for Eastern European countries. Perhaps there is no better way to put this than to use the words of Branko Milanovic:

When one draws the line from Estonia to Greece […], one notices that all currently existing countries along that axis were during the past several centuries (and in some cases, the past half-millennium), squeezed by the empires: German (or earlier by Prussia), Russian, Habsburg, and Ottoman. All these countries fought more or less continuously to free themselves from imperial pressure […] Their histories are practically nothing but unending struggles for national and religious emancipation […].

[The 1989 revolutions] were often interpreted as democratic revolutions. Thus the current “backsliding” of East European countries toward overt or covert authoritarianism is seen as a betrayal of democratic ideals or even, more broadly and extravagantly, of the ideals of the Enlightenment. […] This is however based on a misreading of the 1989 revolutions. If they are, as I believe they should be, seen as revolutions of national emancipation, simply as a latest unfolding of centuries-long struggle for freedom, and not as democratic revolutions per se, the attitudes toward migration and the so-called European values become fully intelligible.
remember, this is the new Branko talking, not the old one.
He approves the essay, and he still can't see the conflict.

Owen Paine, AKA Pinky, Poète maudit of economics (Maxspeak and Mark Thoma) replies
A liiberal - corporate elite

That is the self contradictory
Ever struggling duality
  Of the United States

Bourgeois hegemony here
As everywhere comes with internal struggles and outside challenges

Trump straddles away
Part back lash demagogue
Part corporate rustler
Prban is clever like PERON
He has a base among wage earners

And appears to be the guardian of.magyar self determination.
Against trans national corporate
  Interests
 smuggled in as
Cosmo values
Like minority rights
And mushy features
Like
Erasmusian  global values

Friday, May 15, 2020

Cruise what Edward?

Of course it produced responses. Some of these emerged at an extraordinary evening at a History Workshop conference in Oxford in December 1979. This was for some reason held in a dimly-lit ruined building, and had been set up as a discussion. It ended up however as an emotionally-charged event whose repercussions continued for months if not for years. Unfortunately the paper to which Edward was replying which had particularly annoyed him when he saw it a short time before the debate, seems to have been completely re-written for the published version. Nevertheless, the point to which he took particular exception is explained in his published reply - his categorisation as a ‘culturalist'. At the end of the evening a leading History Workshop character asked whether he would continue to publish relevant material. Edward replied that he thought he would not be publishing much of anything for a while, since he felt that his time would be taken up in trying to organise opposition to the sighting of cruise missiles in Britain. The answer was ‘cruise what Edward?’

As a definitive work of ‘theory’ the essay has many shortcomings. It is much more a defence of history than an exposition of an alternative to Althusser’s views of Marxism. Edward saw the dispute not only as a scholarly one, but as the tackling of a set of intellectual assumptions which in politics could be taken to justify Stalinism and the discredited methods of the old Communist parties. Readers of Althusser’s autobiography, a strangely haunting volume which is now available in English as well as French may feel that the gulf between the two writers lies not only in their different intellectual approaches but in their whole lives. Perhaps one may even use the despised word 'experience’?
Dorothy Thompson. The Introduction to The Poverty of Theory.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

we are the world

Idealism, solidarity, and the fantasies of intentional communities.



Tuesday, May 12, 2020

repeat from last year, because Kathleen Stock is still struggling with the relation of philosophy, rationalist formalism,  to empiricism and knowledge.
Today:
Philosopher Kathleen Stock, linking to Philosopher Holly Lawford-Smith on Twitter
If you’re tempted by the currently fashionable philosophical idea that working descriptive categories are a bit like clubs, and should be “expanded” or “ameliorated” for humane reasons, to be more “inclusive” of people who want to be counted, then see if this tests your resolve.
Lawford-Smith
this is a real paper:
‘How dare you pretend to be disabled?’ The discounting of transabled people and their claims in disability movements and studies

Abstract
Although the contours of the ‘disabled person’ category are questioned by anti-ableist activists, they remain rigid regarding transabled people (who want to become disabled). For anti-ableist activists, transabled people do not count as disabled. They are perceived to: be falsely disabled; steal resources from disabled people; and be disrespectful by denying, fetishizing, or appropriating marginalized realities. By combining critical discourse analysis, genealogy, and deconstruction, I examine these negative discourses to encourage alliances between anti-ableist activists and transabled people. Ideas developed in disability and trans studies reveal the limits of these discourses anchored in ableist and cisnormative* assumptions.
Yesterday:
Leiter
Blast from the past: when the Associate Editors of Hypatia defamed Rebecca Tuvel
Back in 2017
Tuvel's paper: In Defense of Transracialism

Stock supports Tuvel

If you accept that Tuvel's paper is reasonable then you have to accept that "transablism" is reasonable.

That's a problem for professional rationalists. When the rubber meets the road, Stock and Lawford-Smith, as women and feminists, go against their training. They won't admit it but they do. Leiter is so caught up in defending the profession, and so removed from the issues themselves, that he ties himself in knots.

repeat:
Feminist philosophers do that as well, when they can twist their rationalizations towards what they want. Empiricism for philosophers is always the last option, only in a crisis, even if only a crisis of confidence 
From "Retroactive withdrawal of consent"  to "Trans men are men (but transwomen are not women)"

According to Lawford-Smith, trans men are men because they're aspiring to authority through their awareness of a man's world, while transwomen are playing at weakness they can't know. Political justification becomes the foundation of objective truth. And all of this ratiocination is necessary because we want to avoid "pathologizing".
Liberalism in its desperate optimism renders everything perverse.
As the article has circulated over the last few days, reaction has been strong, with many of those sharing the piece asking why it was published. 
A statement endorsed by 2,500 writers, editors and librarians (many of them at academic institutions) says the piece by Harris "calls into question the very identity of transgender people.
Daniel Harris.
And yet what is the actual difference between Michael Jackson  whittling his nose down to a brittle sliver of bone and whitening  his skin with alpha hydroxy acid and arsenic in order to efface his blackness and the TG sanding down her brow bone and hacking off a sizeable chunk of her mandible in order to efface her gender? Why is the one decried as a racially reprehensible instance of self‑mutilation, self‑denial, and self‑loathing and the other extolled as a celebratory instance of self‑liberation? Why is it not only okay but valiant for Caitlyn Jenner to liberate her inner woman through rhinoplasties and  laryngeal shaves while it is deplorable and pathetic for Michael Jackson to liberate his inner Caucasian through bleaching and cleft chin augmentation? When Rachel Dolezal goes to the Palm Beach tanning salon for her weekly $30 dip, she is committing the unconscionable  crime of appropriating blackness (or, in her case, as the Gawker put it, not blackness but “Medium Brown Spray Tan”), but when Laverne  Cox, one of the breakoutperformers [sic] on the television show Orange Is the New Black, slaps on a transdermal estrogen patch, she is lauded as a hero and role model. All of the arguments against plastic surgery—that it is dangerous, even fatal, often botched, and symptomatic of either extreme body dysmorphia or a lamentable effort to accommodate  Hollywood’s chauvinistic ageism—can be leveled against those who transition from one sex to another. The trophy wife and the TG swim, it seems, in the same surgeon‑infested seas.
Drag, like all art forms, is conservative. It's the performance of overdetermined femininity, by men who wish they were women. Life is making lemonade from lemons.
"I've been up all night alone, wondering about my identity. Trying to look for an explanation for living this strange, stylized sexuality. Realization cuts feeling off. I try to explain my identity as being a male who has assumed the attitudes and somewhat the emotions of a female. I don't know what role to play."
Fascism is demanding we confirm that your art is our reality. I've said that before more than once. I'm not going to search to find where.

Self-reporting: "I'm a liberal"