Millennial Endtimes: #MrRobot

Last week, real-life Mr. Robots hacked San Francisco’s rail system to give thousands of riders free rides through the glossy playground of what a dear friend calls the Google Babies: tech economy fortunates who transformed SF from a proudly dirty queer/alt/boho haven to a Bubble city.

Bubble, bubble. Toil and trouble.

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Things that Are Identity Politics

  1. Eliminating Affirmative Action
  2. Increasing the use of school vouchers and charter schools (e.g. privatizing public schools)
  3. Ending health insurance for millions of recently insured lower and middle income people (e.g. privatizing the safety net)
  4. Taking health care away from women (e.g. privatizing my uterus)
  5. Taking rights away from LGBTQ people and families
  6. Kicking undocumented people out of their homes and communities
  7. Making policies that assume all Muslims are terrorists
  8. Making policies that assume all immigrants are criminals
  9. Installing financial world cronies in government positions (e.g. privatizing government)
  10. Asserting that talking about the existence of racism is racist
  11. Asserting that talking about the existence of sexism is sexist
  12. Asserting that climate change is not human-made and withdrawing from international agreements that would prevent our kids and grandkids from living in a US too hot to survive
  13. Claiming that public schools are a disaster and need to be transformed
  14. Claiming that low income neighborhoods are a disaster and need to be transformed
  15. Claiming that 2.5 million fewer popular votes is a mandate
  16. Lying about Putin
  17. Lying about Clinton
  18. Lying about the other Clinton
  19. Lying about business investments and globally networked conflicts of interest
  20. Lying about the role of one’s family in the planned oligarchy/kleptocracy/Russian puppet government
  21. Lying about rape
  22. Lying about that thing you said last week/last month/last year
  23. Pretty much everything that’s happening in the news right now and potentially for the next four years
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Find the Ideology

Donald Duck continues to say whatever works for whoever’s in the room with him–from the Nazis who love him to the Jewish journos in the NY Times conference room.

He recently called take-backsies on some of his rally blockbusters, calling HRC a decent person who’s maybe been through enough already without ongoing baseless political prosecution. Conceding that global agreements to mitigate climate change may warrant “an open mind.” Acknowledging that maybe torture isn’t such a good idea–for terrorists at least. Not sure if he still wants to lynch those journalists he tried so hard to please yesterday.

The only commitment he has not wiffle-waffled on in the past week is his commitment to self-enrichment through monetizing the Trump brand. He asserts that conflicts of interest don’t exist for presidents. He advocates for his children to simultaneously take over his business and serve informally in state roles. He anticipates the opportunity to stack the nation’s courts with pro-business, anti-worker judges.

The irony of a so-called people’s champion who shits in a gold-encrusted bathroom that we paid for has been too much to bear these past two weeks.

His actions as president-elect have crystalized his apparent goal of pure self-aggrandizement. He was suckled on a eugenic nationalist interpretation of Protestant capitalism and will govern accordingly.

People voted for a bully because they thought a bully might help them. But bullies only ever help themselves and their tight pack of fellow thugs.

We were supposed to have learned this in the schoolyard already. Long before voting age.

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We Are Now Less Free

Our president-elect ripped fistfuls of hair out of his wife’s skull because his plastic surgery operation hurt. Then he raped her. He mocked her pain the next morning.

He will outsource most presidential duties to a man who thinks of me as a walking uterus. In his ecstasy about reducing me to my reproductive capacity, he shut down Indiana health care clinics and gave hundreds of people HIV.

His chief of staff believes that schoolchildren who are Jewish, like me, are ‘whiny brats.” That is his nicest description of Jews, as far as I can tell.

I am among the least threatened by this election. I’m white, straight, employed, not Muslim, and not an immigrant. I fear for my physical safety only a little bit more than usual. But that little bit.  And my dear friends, colleagues, and compatriots who are scared for their life: We are all less free now.

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Masters of Sex Season Finale Reviewlet

In the year of Hillary, a nuanced drama about power and intimacy reverted to a story about ambitious women who are, in fact, lying bullies whose success depends on manipulating the good men unfortunate enough to love them. 

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Benevolent Avenger Angela Carter Still Watches Over Us

Jenny Turner’s review of the new Angela Carter biography provides a specific kind of succor during a dark, dark election season of the soul:

  • Someone else in the universe matches my passionate investments in Angela Carter
  • “You’re not what you like, you’re what you’re like” is some BS. Loving Angela Carter was who I was at 20 and must be who I still am now, even if I spent 10 years studying neurotic white guy writers instead of fulfilling my true feminist socialist surrealist satirical gothic destiny as a Carter scholar
  • “It simply happens, when writing about times and figures who are, as Hill says, still ‘on the cusp’ of living memory’, that one’s relationship with one’s material becomes ‘semi-detached’. And not like a house, more like a hangnail. It’s not just what you think you see in the material you’re dealing with, but actual bits of yourself.”

When a TfH holds an interesting but nonetheless noncreative job, and when she celebrates a decade-birthday, and when her experience of selfhood thus consists of flailing about for ever-receding glimpses of meaning/purpose, this reminder of her past bookish love seems an awful lot like stability. An awful lot like returning home.

Now I know how I’ll spend my holidays.

 

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