Jo or Joe? My Response

My thing about voting is, everybody should do it, I’m very much in favor of voting every single time you have the chance, but be prepared for disappointment. I really like the saying, “Try again, fail again, fail better.” Voter apathy is this self-perpetuating thing where people don’t think voting does anything and low voter turnout makes sure of it, and that spiral continues.

Voting is just one political act. This last year, I donated, I phonebanked, I drove to Queens for a rally, etc. I did all that stuff because I was convinced that Bernie Sanders should be the next President. Now it looks like that was all for naught, and for a while I felt really shitty about it. I still feel shitty, but I used to, too. It sucks getting owned. After doing more reading and learning about the way political movements go, I get the idea: most of the time you’re going to take the L. Try again, fail again, fail better. I made a few friends along the way, I’ll take that as a win.

I’m voting in CT, which is a pretty reliable Democrat state, so it’s not like my one vote’s going to mean a lot, at least for POTUS. I’ll probably vote for Party for Socialism and Liberation – PSL candidate Gloria La Riva. I like the Jorgensen campaign’s Q and A section, the ability to say yes or no directly is admirable. But so many of her answers are completely opposite my political goals. So, gun to my head, Jo or Joe, it’s probably Biden (I’m going to throw up now).

But let’s not forget, we’re heading into an election that a hell of a lot of people have already decided is going to be illegitimate. What’s going to happen November 4th and beyond? It’s probably going to suck, but we should be kind to each other.

Portland Protests and Unconstitutional Detainment: Cause and Effect

In general, it’s a mistake to view the various BLM protests as primarily a Cause rather than an Effect. This is the mistake I’ve been seeing from many friends, particularly Libertarians, or at least I think that’s the mistake they’re making. It’s a completely inaccurate way to view the protests, it makes the protests out to be a bad thing, a thing that has disturbed the order and peace in the realm.

The truth is, the protests are an Effect that has been caused by the innumerable, unconscionable, egregious, heartless, vicious instances of inhuman treatment of human beings, performed and abetted by agents of government. That is the Cause, that has given way to this effect. The protests aren’t a Thing To Be Corrected, they are The Correction, or an attempt at correction. This is how we must frame it.

The Shape of Water

I watched The Shape of Water, the latest Guillermo del Toro film. It’s about Elisa, a mute woman who lives above a movie theater and works the night shift cleaning at a government science facility. Before and after work, she visits her neighbor, an older bachelor who is trying to resurrect his career as a commercial artist. She brings him food and they watch movies together. At work, her best friend is Zelda, who chats with Elisa about her husband and her family life.

The film is set in the early 1960s, in a world that can be described as “when America was great.” Michael Shannon’s Strickland is a Heroic Alpha Male, a total badass who singlehandedly wrangled the Creature from the jungles of South America. The Creature, played by Doug Jones, looks otherworldly and is thought to be a menace. Elisa and Zelda are tasked with cleaning the room that houses the tank in which the Creature is kept. From the first time she sees the Creature, Elisa is fascinated with him. By degrees, their relationship develops with boiled eggs and Golden Age Hollywood showtunes.

This movie has, without a doubt, the very best and most affectionate human/fish love scene in film. Seriously though, there is major commentary about love, about identity, and about people standing up for themselves.

This is an amazing movie. It’s very weird, and very beautiful. Sally Hawkins is outstanding, and Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, and Richard Jenkins give excellent performances. This is a story about finding love even though you’re different, about standing with those you’re close to, and about fighting against forces that would remove the unique things from the world.

How I Was Not Quite Right About Tomi Lahren

Tomi Lahren has been on my radar for a while now. I know her best from short videos shared on FB by my more conservative friends. The stylized typewriter intro to her signature segment, “Final Thoughts” is something I’ve seen more times than I care to remember. I don’t remember how, but I started thinking of her content as politically conservative punditry in new media – condemning BLM for being party to riots, refuting 3rd wave feminist talking points like the wage gap, speaking about the need for children to be safe from crossdressing predators. When I saw them, I felt like I knew the arguments already, so I continued scrolling. I didn’t think she added much to the conversation. I ¬†honestly thought she was nothing more than a younger, better looking conservative pundit, useful for churning out three minute “mic drop” talks so that barely literate, incredibly partisan people can announce their political conservatism on social media. I thought she was completely polar, and so I kind of put her in that box and didn’t think about it again. Barely literate, incredibly partisan people on the left have their own social media heroes, in case you think I’m saying that conservatives are barely literate by nature.

She appeared on the Daily Show and, according to her fans, completely SHUT DOWN Trevor Noah; MIC DROPs were happening left and right. Hyperbole aside, I have seen clips of it, and it looks rather like she got the better of Noah on many points. From the clips I’ve seen, I also get the feeling there was a bit of the “talking past one another” that I complained about in my last post. From this appearance, if not from the frequency of shares I’d seen, it’s clear that her profile was rising at this point.

Then Bill Maher. Now The View. Network television. She’s a star now. Was Glenn Beck ever on The View? Turns out, yes, he was. Not that The View is anything more than disposable daytime TV, but they have a big audience, and this probably meant exposure to lots of people who aren’t New Media savvy for Tomi.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Tomi was pro-choice, because it went against the grain. To go against the majority of the people that you politically identify with takes thought and a fair amount of courage.¬† I recall Dave Rubin bemoaning the tendency of people to simply go along with every position of their chosen party. For example, (with apologies to Dave, I’m paraphrasing) if I know your position on same sex marriage, I should not be able to predict your position on gun control, or abortion, or climate change, but in many cases, you can. Should your position on one issue be a 100% indicator of your position on the other ones? Are you allowed to have a different position than the expected result?

As I’ve found out, her position on reproductive rights isn’t exactly new. To quote the New York Times:¬†“She is pro-choice and does not object to gay marriage.” But I guess most people didn’t read that story either, because her View appearance and the reaction by The Blaze made headlines.

So, now The Blaze is suspending her. For disagreeing with them on an issue? What’s she supposed to do, change her position? I find it odd that this had never come up before on The Blaze during her meteoric rise. A rise which, it should be noted, raises the profile of The Blaze. They must have enjoyed a bump from her popularity. This ideological difference leaves The Blaze in a conundrum: how severely can they afford to punish their new star? Can you name someone else at The Blaze, other than Glenn Beck? I can’t.

Abortion is an issue that people have very strong feelings about. If The Blaze, or Tomi, for that matter, really wants to be ideologically consistent, this might be a dealbreaker between them.

I mentioned Dave Rubin earlier. He used to be part of The Young Turks, but left them because of ideological reasons. Now he’s got a great show of his own on YouTube, based around the idea of people finding areas of agreement and improving your understanding of differing positions. If Tomi Lahren wants to go solo, this might be a good time to do it. She’s a legit star, appearing all over media, this big story about her disagreement with The Blaze’s party line puts her in the spotlight while emphasizing her status as a person who thinks for herself. As of yet I’m not a fan, but this story has given me a reason to reconsider.