2017-02-09

sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
So it's snowing in Boston. It has been snowing in Boston since sometime early this morning, although it was only crisp and overcast when we had two blackouts last night. (One at half past midnight, one about two hours later. The cats rocketed through the darkened apartment, chasing flashlight beams. I wrote a poem by hand on legal paper by the artificial flicker of those little plastic tea lights that were all CVS was selling the last time we had a real blackout. I felt like a very hipster garret.) It's the fine dry kind that blows around a lot, so I have no idea of the total snowfall so far, but I can see about six inches piled on the ledge outside my office window and a fire hydrant down in the street looks drifted about halfway up. There's a shallow channel down the center where the occasional car can pass without spinning out its wheels, but the equally infrequent movement of heavily bundled people through the merrily spinning snow devils is still best described as "slogging."

This is some political stuff.

1. I could not leave a message for Governor Baker this afternoon because his mailbox was full, but I will try again tomorrow: I want to let him know that I appreciated his statement in support of Senator Warren. It may have been cautious, but it was still a party break and I am operating on a theory of positive reinforcement. Also, when he says, "I do find it hard to believe that a letter from Coretta Scott King would be out of order in any public place or space anywhere in the United States of America," I agree with him.

2. [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel came home last night and said, "So you heard Mitch McConnell gave Warren her campaign slogan." Works for me. Meanwhile, I like the damnatio memoriae suggestion—shared and expanded by Bernice A. King in the version I was linked—of strategically limiting use of the name of the man who currently occupies the Oval Office. I've already seen some people simply calling him "45." I assume that none of his unnecessarily crimefighting new executive orders will, in their investigation of international organized crime in America, look into things like the circumstances of his election and his relationship with Russia. I still can't believe I have to type that sentence. The Manchurian Candidate (1962) is supposed to be a period piece. I feel quite sympathetic toward Raymond Shaw, anyway.

3. You may have seen this tweet about the reverse-applicability of the insult "snowflake." I'd heard Chuck Wendig's Fight Club (1996) claimed as the origin of the fragile-SJW connotations, but I had no idea the term was also Civil War-era Missouri slang for anti-abolitionists. Under those circumstances, perhaps we should use it to describe white nationalists and all who tacitly align themselves with their views. Like a president who signs an executive order prioritizing the prevention of crimes against police when the vast majority of police-related shooting deaths go the other way, a little Blue Lives Matter just in time for Black History Month. House Republicans who actively blocked a resolution to affirm that Jews were targeted in the Holocaust, I am also looking at you.

4. It's not that I contest the information, but the wording of the latest Harper's Weekly Review leaves me feeling that at least someone on their staff must listen to Welcome to Night Vale.

5. One of the foremost Hitler biographers of our generation weighs in on the current administration. Because I haven't read Ron Rosenbaum's Explaining Hitler (1998), I had not heard the story of the Munich Post and their decade-long refusal to normalize anything about Hitler's politics, tactics, or self-presentation. It's worth reading the article for their story alone. That said, I think Rosenbaum is wrong that we're dissolving back toward acceptance again. CNN, of all people, just declined to give Kellyanne Conway a platform for her fake news. When people I know talk about settling in for the long haul, they're not talking about ceasing to push back.

And since all of that raised my blood pressure, I am going to make dinner and see if I can watch a movie. I'd like to write about one. I haven't in too long.

[edit] Except I was just given some positive political news: the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled to uphold the nationwide restraining order on the travel ban. Their full text of their ruling is here, if you would like to read some levelheaded application of law: "For the foregoing reasons, the emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is DENIED." The Guardian has some continuing updates here, including Trump vowing to see the federal judges responsible in court, which strictly speaking he has already done and it didn't go well for him.
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