sovay: (Viktor & Mordecai)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2017-08-13 03:01 am

Because I don't believe in innocence, but I know how much we've lost

We got out of the house in the evening. It was just around sunset and there were smoky peach and pink streaks in the sky, so we walked the same loop of the Mystic River that we had discovered in June and checked up on the Hasenpfeffer in their late-lit silflay field; this time we took the boardwalk under the Fellsway (water lilies, ducks, spiderwebs on the streetlights like set dressing for a haunted house) and came up in Assembly Square, where we acquired perfectly serviceable non-booze milkshakes from Burger Dive before negotiating the construction tangle of I-93 on our way to Stop & Shop. Dinner was grilled cheese made short-order-style in my grandmother's skillet. We locked Autolycus out of the kitchen after he made repeated attempts to climb onto the stove where all the delicious excitement was taking place, but his unassuming confederate Hestia slipped the latch on the door and let him back in. He hoovered the floor just in case we had dropped any cheese crumbs. Just now he stuck his head directly under the kitchen tap in order to lick the last of the goat's milk out of my mug before I washed it. Gentlepeople of all persuasions, the only mooch that matters.

1. Here is one list of ways to help in Charlottesville right now. There are two fundraising campaigns already for victim relief and medical expenses. See also this list of local anti-racism organizations and this post by a Charlottesville resident. I donated to University of Virginia's Hillel and Black Student Alliance and to Charlottesville Pride, which I figure should cover a reasonable (and not necessarily mutually exclusive) swathe of people neo-Nazis hate.

2. Several of the same neo-Nazi groups responsible for the violence in Charlottesville have a rally planned next Saturday in Boston. There is a counter-protest already being organized. I will be out of town due to prior commitments at NecronomiCon Providence. Anyone who will be in town and feels that they can counter-protest safely, strength to your arm.

3. People on Facebook have been posting this wartime footage of swastikas being destroyed. The exploding one at the beginning is surprisingly cathartic. Don't bother with the comments, which are predictably full of anti-Semitic trash fire.

I don't know what emotions I'm supposed to feel. A lot of people are talking about shame, shock, grief; I seem to be feeling a high degree of anger and what I think must be outrage in that it is anger specifically against a thing that should not happen—and it feels personal, but of course it is personal, neo-Nazis don't chant "Final stop, Auschwitz" as a historical curiosity—but not at the moment a lot of surprise. I was more surprised by the election results in November and even then I didn't think it couldn't happen here, I just thought this time it wouldn't. I guess my baseline of things that happen here has just been revising itself downward ever since. White terrorism in America has been going on for generations. This is an especially grotesque and obvious manifestation, but I think it is so obvious in part because it uses Nazi iconography as well as Confederate flags, because it indulged in a form of terrorism associated more with ISIS than with lone-wolf postal shooters. It looks now like the Other, like the half-mythical villains of our last righteous war, like the new demons of the war on terror. Insofar as it looked like the Ku Klux Klan, so long as it wasn't physically wearing a white sheet and those pointy hoods we can thank D.W. Griffith for, I suspect to many (white) people it was hardly visible at all. I'm glad the so-called alt-right has crossed the streams in public: I'm glad they have made the shape of their hatred visible from space. You start throwing around Sieg Heils and Orrin Hatch, for God's sake, denounces you. (The man in the White House doesn't, because white supremacists are the one demographic he can't afford to alienate.) I will continue calling these people neo-Nazis because they are wearing fucking swastikas and quoting Hitler and I have no interest in granting them the plausible deniability of their attempted rebranding, but maybe we should also call them neo-Confederates or neo-Klan, so not to enable the illusion of their racist, fascist ideology as a strain that infiltrated America from outside as opposed to a strain that has always been part of American white supremacy. My country didn't need Germany to invent lynchings or eugenics. These dreams of ethnic cleansing are homegrown. Terrorists, above all, whatever else we call them. Very definitely terrorists.

(I understand the above problem of definition is the reason terms like "white nationalist" or "white supremacist" exist, but even these have started to feel sanitized to me, as if they describe theoretical positions rather than active advocacy of racial violence: torches in the night, flags of lynching and genocide, deaths and injuries.)

On the other hand, there was a Charlottesville solidarity vigil held on Boston Common tonight and a kind stranger on the internet Photoshopped a panel of a peculiar vintage comic for me so that it now represents a black cat punching Hitler, so not all good in humanity is lost.

negothick: (Default)

[personal profile] negothick 2017-08-13 10:35 am (UTC)(link)
Suddenly, the "Is Lovecraft Racist" controversy seems less like a fannish flame war and more like uncanny synchronicity.

More uncanny synchronicity: the paper Jenna and I will deliver in the Armitage Symposium is about the controversy at the previous NecroProv, and the metafictions that were inspired by it.
moon_custafer: (Default)

[personal profile] moon_custafer 2017-08-13 02:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I've been thinking for the past few months that the reason the S.P.s haven't been attacking the Hugos as much this year is not because they were defeated, but because they've now got bigger fish to fry.
negothick: (Default)

[personal profile] negothick 2017-08-13 07:24 pm (UTC)(link)
The Sick Puppies aren't co-eval (or co-EVIL) with the Lovecraft lovers in the current wars. Weirdly, many of HPL's most ardent worshippers are left-wing politically.
moon_custafer: (Default)

[personal profile] moon_custafer 2017-08-13 09:28 pm (UTC)(link)
I certainly enjoy his work.
rachelmanija: (Default)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2017-08-13 07:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Did anyone seriously argue that Lovecraft wasn't racist? I only saw people arguing that even though he was racist, it's still necessary to not discuss it/keep the statues of him/the other side is worse/etc.

Um, silver lining? I just might get the chance to finally fulfill my childhood dream of punching a Nazi.
negothick: (Default)

[personal profile] negothick 2017-08-13 07:25 pm (UTC)(link)
The current kerfuffle is a sort of "second generation" to the original one: the "S.T. Joshi Enthusiasts" (yes, that's the name of the Facebook page) think that Lovecraft is to be worshipped uncritically, while acknowledging the racism.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

[personal profile] davidgillon 2017-08-13 12:21 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the pictures from Charlottesville of the Swastika and the Confederate flag being paraded together 1) show the rebel rag has found its natural level, and 2) may have fatally compromised the people campaigning to keep it "because it's our history" (yeah, right).

Someone suggested to me on Twitter last night that we should start calling them the Alt-Reich.
sartorias: (Default)

[personal profile] sartorias 2017-08-13 01:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I have no issue with calling them terrorist neo-Nazis. The behavior I saw on TV is horrifyingly like the behavior in film clips that I saw in organized action against the Jews in Germany in the mid-thirties.
sartorias: (Default)

[personal profile] sartorias 2017-08-13 01:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I should add that I also saw similar stuff right here when I was a kid, organized against segregation and civil rights. My hope is that we can claw our way away from the abyss, and to a relative peace in this country, as we saw in the seventies.
landofnowhere: (Default)

[personal profile] landofnowhere 2017-08-13 04:43 pm (UTC)(link)
There's a little-known song Je vous connais in French by the Quebecois group Beau Dommage that feels appropriate here. I think it's from the point of view of a Holocaust survivor singing "I know you" to the rise of xenophobia and neo-naziism around him. Here's a spotify link, hopefully it works; I don't use spotify myself. Unfortunately there's currently not even an accurate transcription of the lyrics on the internet (I know there used to be but I can't find) let alone an English translation.
landofnowhere: (Default)

[personal profile] landofnowhere 2017-08-14 12:13 am (UTC)(link)
Those are not super accurate; I'll make corrections when I have time.
landofnowhere: (Default)

[personal profile] landofnowhere 2017-08-14 01:36 am (UTC)(link)
OK, corrected version:

Je vous connais
je connais vos chaînes
vos murs d'injures
prisons, ghettos
de Soweto à tous les Harlems
sur notre blues se ferme l'étau

je vous connais
je vous connais par coeur

Je vous connais
je connais le cri
des trains de nuit
fonçant vers l'oubli
il valait mieux
ne pas appeler Sarah
à Varsovie en mai 43

je vous connais
par coeur
tous ce qui n'est pas vous
vous rend fou
je sens monter la peur
je sens tout près de nous
rôder les loups

vos croix gammées
vos cheveux rasés
pauvres enfants qui singez les grands
dans les métros vous jouez à tuer
ceux qui dérangent par leurs différences

je vous connais
par coeur
tous ce qui n'est pas vous
vous rend fou
je sens monter la peur
je sens tout près de nous
rôder les loups

je me souviens d'une nuit d'octobre
vous êtes entrée chez moi sans frapper
ne me parlez plus de paix et d'ordre
je sais déjà vos chiens prêts à mordre

je vous connais
par coeur
tous ce qui n'est pas vous
vous rend fou
je sens monter la peur
je sens tout près de nous
rôder les loups

je vous connais
je vous connais par coeur
landofnowhere: (Default)

[personal profile] landofnowhere 2017-08-14 12:52 am (UTC)(link)
I have an MP3 that I ripped from CD; if you have trouble obtaining it I can send to you.
landofnowhere: (Default)

[personal profile] landofnowhere 2017-08-14 01:59 am (UTC)(link)
Dropbox link sent via private message. I think the song is hard to find because it wasn't released at the time it was produced, but was added to the album in a later reissue.
a_reasonable_man: (Default)

[personal profile] a_reasonable_man 2017-08-13 11:01 pm (UTC)(link)
I expect to be out of town next Saturday, too. Not that I'd want to take my daughter, who usually comes with me to rallies, out to confront Nazis. But I see there's several Stand in Solidarity with Charlottesville rallies, many tonight, but one tomorrow, at 5:30, in front of Cambridge City Hall.

http://act.indivisibleguide.com/event/stand-in-solidarity-with-charlottesville/search/

gwynnega: (Leslie Howard mswyrr)

[personal profile] gwynnega 2017-08-13 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
I too have been feeling a lot of anger--and absolutely no surprise.

NecronomiCon Providence sounds like a lot of fun.

I am amazed that Hestia was able to slip the latch to let Autolycus back in. A cat that dexterous would probably be able to punch Hitler.
negothick: (Default)

[personal profile] negothick 2017-08-15 04:45 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm hoping to see you there, though I think we are programmed opposite each other a few times. I wanted you on the "Women in the Lovecraft Circle" panel, which originally had very few women, but you are on "Erotic Lovecraftiana" at the same time.
Meanwhile, our panel has morphed completely--S.T.Joshi (as you know, Bob) is off all programming, and the Brocks (Jason and Sunni) are not coming for another reason, so it will be a very different experience.