Your GOPPer Mom

I’m heading west this weekend for another heroic 36 hours not talking about politics. Lefty thinkpieces about your racist uncle, your DT-voting parents, your post-C-ville family ties don’t help much when you have one non-abusive, basically accepting parent who’s getting older, whom you very much want to get along with, and who maintains a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell stance on her 2016 pick-a-card-any-card blue state throwaway GOP vote.  

Adam Kotsko’s sensitive discussion of political dissent within families actually helps. What if the smug liberal elite that so many parents/grandparents have heard mocked for decades in conservative media are their kids and grandkids? How must they feel?  

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Bookishness Roundup

I wrote about whether or not Jewish people feel more anxious than others (they don’t, but don’t they?) (This mommyblog post does not refer to my dissertation, which argued that anxiety = contemporary culture and gimme a cookie. For my feelings.)

I recently enjoyed The Tiger’s Wife. Obreht’s magical realist novel uses the horror of ethnic violence to rip apart all the boundaries: between nations, ethnicities, and religions, between animal and human, between life and death. As editors are legit assigning stories about potential nuclear war not even a fucking year into this administration, it’s worth thinking about the senseless dehumanization of violent tribalism. Also, while I’m no expert in Balkan culture, the novel seemed to conspicuously, uncritically, surprisingly (given its investments) marginalize its Muslim characters.

I coulda written this about how the afterword in The Handmaid’s Tale (a bunch of historibros debating whether or not the account is valid) is the most important part of the book, by reinforcing the sexism that persisted before and after the Gilead period. Gendered knowledge practices delegitimate women’s experiences and silence their voices. But also: Gilead ended. Political eras end.

This story of Kathy Acker’s last year breaks my heart.

“Surrounded by friends, she began to stop breathing, intermittently. She asked Viegener to look for the list. What list?

The list to call the animals. Kathy, we didn’t make a list. It’s the list to call the animals back home.”

 

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Pigoons!!

Science! is building a way for us to install pig parts into ourselves. To be healthier.

Margaret Atwood already wrote this, obv.

On the other hand, maybe if human DNA is slowly and deliberately integrated with porcinity, we’d get a little bit f-ing smarter.

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That R Kelly Thing

Last night I gave myself the gift of finally finishing TV’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which, despite its frustrating offness about race and its Girl with the Dragon Tattooism, entertained and evoked. Still, I was relieved to see the finale and move on to less passively torturey entertainments.

So when the R. Kelly story broke–or rather, when the latest in a multi-decades-long string of R. Kelly pedophile/abuser stories broke, I was already dwelling on assholes using religion to justify structural domination of women, people of color, and gender/sex minorities.

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Updates on the End

While I was on vacation, my Mazel Together post on wedding registries (!?!?! I know!!!) went live. Then, lest I feel too cozy in such lighthearted reflections on bourgious comforts, I read a terrifying and plausible reported tweet chain about how literal my “Trumpocalypse” language is w.r.t climate change and the high likelihood that my grandchildren will live on a planet that is too hot for organized human society. So I’m postponing reading this on same and instead reading this on post-apocalyptic religious terror. And dwelling on the possibility that my grandchildren will be living in isolated, iron-age multifamily settlements far, far north. Or underground. Cuz, realistically, Earth hollows are more likely than Mars.

So, you know, happy summer.

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AHCAWUUUUUT Part 4

I keep thinking of this article by Jill Lepore, about the ways in which the health and safety of children have been politicized and destroyed by decades of government budget-slashers.

State child welfare programs are block-granted. I dare you to read Lepore’s article about the consequences of limiting the resources available to pay for essential human services. I dare you to come away from that article believing that capping funding for the medical care of vulnerable people is anything but cruelty.

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