Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Apparently Anger is Not a Strategy

Regular readers may have already read Rebecca Traister’s profile of 2017 HRC. If not, now you know how you’ll spend Memorial Day weekend: mourning the memory of democracy last summer.

Here’s my favorite passage, in which Hillary Rodham Clinton, who doesn’t have time for therapy except for a few sessions with Bill in the 90s, echoes what my therapist recently told me about my own feminist anger:

There are plenty of people who yearned for Clinton to get mad; during the campaign, an imagined litany of Clinton’s fury entitled “Let Me Remind You Fuckers Who I Am” went viral. “Oh, I am [pissed],” she says. But as a woman in public life, “you can’t be angry for yourself. You just can’t. You can be indignant, you can be annoyed, you can be frustrated, but you can’t be angry … I don’t think anger’s a strategy.”

You mean it’s not a strategy for you, I clarify. “For me, yeah.” She pauses. “But I don’t think it’s a good strategy for most people.”

But this was an election that was, in many ways, about anger. And Trump and Sanders capitalized on that.

“Yes.” Clinton nods. “And I beat both of them.”

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The only way to prevent chaos is to create better chaos

He’s already setting explosive charges around the structures holding up our country, anticipating their imminent collapse.

I’m not saying he plans to destroy every single institution that together have made our country a beacon of freedom (a beacon wobbling on its foundation of slavery, theft  and continued perpetuation of inequality, but a beacon in a blighted world nonetheless).

I’m saying that if he wanted to destroy our democratic institutions, this is exactly how he’d do it: nominate known enemies of government to head the agencies they most hate; appoint billionaires, abusers and exploiters to manage systems designed to protect our most vulnerable; refuse the legitimacy and relevance of empirical facts–including those gathered by our intelligence officers, not to mention those required to prevent our grandchildrens’ necessary future evacuation from U.S. cities too hot to sustain human life; plant surrogates that openly question the benefit of a free press; proudly praise autocrats for killing their political enemies.

And whither the Democrats?

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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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Reading Women’s Anger

Highlights from what I’ve been reading:

The Woman Upstairs, by Claire Messud

This novel launches auspiciously with a rant by a self-identified middle-aged angry woman, about the nature and depth of her anger. Methought “yes, please!” And I enjoyed it. Lovely sentences, interesting characters. But the symbolism was too on the nose. An unfulfilled, meticulous, self-contained woman artist making meticulous, self-contained dioramas of famously unfulfilled women artists. Her foil, a fulfilled, vaguely exploitative, worldly woman artist making room-sized joyful worlds out of “trash” and, it turns out, exploitation. Didn’t you hear? The Art Machine grinds people up! OTOH, Alice Munro said that all the women she knew upended their lives between 36 and 45. This is a decent story about that.

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I’m Baaaaaaaaack

My Munro article is in the can, y’all, and here are the things Imonna do now:

  • Read the fourth Neapolitan novel
  • Write a long think piece about my mixed feelings about Hillary Cl– oh wait Rebecca Traister locked it down already
  • Negotiate at least three cease fires
  • Clean out my car
    • which farts trash every time I open its door
  • Purchase and assemble a standing desk so I can finally be vaguely smug like the toe shoe people
  • Resist calculating the hourly rate of my contract to write an Alice Munro article for a lump sum, thus maturely strolling past the rabbit hole of post-academic rage about labor equity social value of humanities knowledge should I really have quit academia etc etc without even a cursory glance back into said hole wait too late daaaaaaaaaaaaaang
  • Relish having weekends back again again
  • Acknowledge getting paid in love, still, in my current child health policy gig too, is better than getting paid in hate but still not as good as getting paid in adequate dollars
  • Drink beer
  • Read all the reviews of Purity so I can maintain my opinion of Franzen without having to read more than the New Yorker excerpt through which I couldn’t hack the slog
  • Drink wine
    • Cuz Wine is Fine
  • Blog more again
    • For reals
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Nothin Better than an Algorithm

I’ve already taken it upon myself to issue advice to the GOP once. That was a pretty good post.

The Garance has some advice, too. And it’s a pretty simple, nigh-algorithmic set of principles to guide conservative talking points about Clinton, should she decide to just friggin say she’ll run already.

  1. Can the ad, statement, website, or what have you be seen as encouraging violence against women or perceived as showing a lack of concern for the well-being of female victims of violent crime?
  2. Is it physically derogatory, overtly sexual, or obscene?
  3. Does it suggest the candidate has failed at being a woman in some way — too many kids or too few, too concerned with appearance or not concerned enough, etc. etc.?

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