Friday, October 28, 2016

Professional Left Podcast #360

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."
--  Anton Chekhov, writer



Habitat Vic said...

Wow! So literally as you were recording the podcast, Junior Dude was present for Mark Kirk's sniggering put down of (war vet, helicopter pilot, double amputee) Tammy Duckworth: “I forgot that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington." Her mother was Thai, but Tammy's dad (Vietnam vet; military family back to 1776) was in Bangkok working for the UN. So, she was born overseas - like McCain in Panama, or Romney's dad in Mexico (Grandpa skipped out of Utah to avoid bigamy charges).

What a Republican idiot. But I repeat myself.

jim said...

One wonders if there won't be sufficient motive for commercial media to produce an epic (albeit Sanitized for Shareholder Comfort) bean-plating of 2016, just to refute the rising public chorus of "Now let's watch these glorified camwhores try desperately to handwave/Imagineer away America's new & improved "alt-right" suicidal flirtation with fascism -- while jackhammering the living hell out of the DELETE button on that newly-extinct putrid hellbeast of an election to hide their own contemptible role in helping it to reach a new crop of Millennial rubes." Those 24 hours of lucrative air-time won't fill themselves, after all.

"I don't believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws."

Give me the pen that writes law & I will gladly let the hearts go where they will.

The thesis is elegant & functional but also false: laws very much can & do sway hearts, which not-so-subtly explains the lack of contemporary mainstream sex-appeal for historically generic everyday Traditional Family Values like animism or slavery or public human sacrifice. Changing a mind feels awesome - & it's Shooting The Moon in the card game Hearts. Changing law feels like shitting out jumping jacks by comparison - & it's effectively getting to choose your own cards in that same game of Hearts. Look not to your elected reps for ethical benchmarks but to your courts. Your reps will only reveal how well an ethos is made real via action - that ethos always looks to the law for cues as to where our collective norms exist at present.

The near-total blackout on ecology throughout the US election in 2016 is going to loom like Kilimanjaro for many years to come. Donald Trump may have grabbed all the headlines, but in contrast we can't hold out much hope that Gaia is going to peacefully sulk in seclusion at a posh tropical golf resort in 2017, or beyond.

dinthebeast said...

The happiest I've been about politics in a long time was when I read that Barack Obama was prioritizing taking back statehouses in the run up to the 2020 census. It doesn't take the kind of resources to flip a state assembly or state senate seat that we see burned up on congressional or US senate races, and I see this project as both doable and necessary, and I'm fucking ecstatic that he's taking it on.
Also, there's something about working for things in the future, beyond who said what in the frickin' news today, that I find very calming and uplifting.

-Doug in Oakland

banker puppy said...

I agree with jim. Laws get written by legislators, who get elected by voters. If there isn't an impetus (Heart) to create/change a law from the voters or the courts, it usually doesn't happen.

Note that Heart cuts both ways. After decades of Southern Strategy and rage radio, our country now has a sizable population of angry, resentful, victim-afflicted, white-centric authoritarian-loving voters who want revenge more than democracy. And their Hearts tell them they want (or have been convinced they want) a government in that image.