Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
On the Treyvon Martin murder
But Trayvon Martin pushes the envelope too far again, because his killing was so much more extreme. He was a kid, for starters. He wasn’t shot by cops, but by some random idiot with a gun who didn’t even get arrested. When the conflict started he walked away. These facts are not in dispute.(Naturally, this means conservatives have started trying to justify Trayvon’s death, which tells you all you need to know about modern American conservatism.
From mightygodking.com bold mine for emphasis.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Great Crooked Timber post about the Greek/euro financial crisis. Creatively in the form of a choose your own adventure.
03.19.12 at 1:14 am
Salient (38.), I’ll be rude and say this reads like an exercise in essentializing to me.
Neither rude nor incorrect. You might say it’s counter-essentializing, in the direction opposite to the essentializing that Thomas Frank does.
The biggest of the problems with what I’m saying (and there are several) is that I’m whitewashing the fact that ‘white male bigot’ and ‘American lefty social-democrat’ are categories that overlapped extensively and gradually decoupled over time and then got blown in different directions during and immediately after WWII. There are still a number of white male bigot American lefty social-democrat folks, but they’re a relatively small and completely unorganized and somewhat marginalized subgroup of lefty folks at this point, composed of folks who are generally speaking quite chronically self-unaware of their own racist or misogynist streaks, and testy about getting called on ‘em.
Salient seems pretty upset in 38. I take he or she is channeling conservative Republicans.
I do write in a style that sometimes sounds much more upset than I actually am (something I’ve been working on correcting for years, with only slow and partial progress) but the second sentence is probably accurate, I am channeling the white male bigot, just in a kind of indirect way.
I guess academics are liberal elites in the US. But, here in Ghana we are unionized so we are definitely working class.
In America, being ‘working class’ has nothing to do with being working class, and everything to do with being a prig. Yarrow’s got a perfect example of someone who is literally working class, but not ‘working class’ in the evocative sense the phrase is used by, say, David Brooks.
I suspect I’ve missed a good many subtleties in the rest of your comment, which would render this reply to the above sentence nugatory.
In what follows I try to use brackets to be clearer about the subtleties, but I’m struggling to express them successfully, so it might take me a couple tries…
But just to be literal-minded about it: by “liberal elites,” Republican propagandists mean
…wellll, let me pause there, the whole thing we’re arguing about (or at least the whole thing I’m on about) is whether this is something deviously implanted in the white male bigot’s mind by crafty Republican propagandists, or whether this is something in the white male bigot’s mind that is explicitly acknowledged and catered to by modern-day Republican operatives who want to undo the damage [to white male bigot security and comfort and supremacy] that liberal elites inflicted [by pursuing the establishment of civil rights].
In other words, we’re disagreeing about who is leading whom. Did the Republican operatives mislead the white male bigot, or did the Republican operatives read the white male bigot mindset and decide to represent it accurately? You would say the former, I would say the latter—and yes, this definitely includes the vast majority of the Republican businessman’s platform both in letter and in spirit (but I feel a need to try to be clear about my basic perspective before getting into that, so I don’t say much about the details of that).
The pre-1950s are the archetypal time that [white male bigot] Americans wish to revert to because at that time [white male] Americans got all the advantages of a fully functioning welfare state [read: the GI bill, the GI bill, the (white) Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, and the GI bill] but didn’t yet have to contend with any of the destruction that liberal elites [e.g. civil rights activists] inflicted on [white male bigot] America in the decades that followed [by extending the goodies of the welfare state to persons who were not white male veterans; seriously, the heyday of the white male bigot began in 1944 and ended less than a decade later with Brown v. Board of Education].
By this definition, you are an un-American liberal elitist. I am an un-American liberal elitist.
(nodding) … are you trying to suggest we’re not? I’d take that as an insult.
But we are not responsible for all the ills—both real and fancied—that afflict Kansas and the rest of the Republican base.
…but we are. If it wasn’t for us [so to speak], they’d be able to contentedly enjoy the spoils of the GI Bill welfare state, without any trace of concern that colored persons or WMB-unapproved women would be eligible to compete for them. What ills are you talking about? There’s only one ill, and it’s the provision of opportunity to people who shouldn’t get a share of the opportunity [because they are not white men].
[Given that in these comments I’m conceding the language to the white male bigot crowd without conceding the correctness of their perspective,] I am personally quite proud to be an un-American liberal elitist [which means ‘supporter of undermining white male bigot supremacy’], I am pleased to be in some way partially responsible for at least some of the ills affecting [white male bigots in] Kansas [such as the unprecedented destructive horror of women having more extensive control over their own reproductive, marital, and economic fates], and I’m thoroughly relieved that liberal elites destroyed this country [for white male bigots] as far as they were able. I see the work of destroying [white male bigot dominance in] America [by extending civil rights, security, privacy, and liberty, to persons who are not white male bigots] as an important and explicit goal of my political self.(Brackets throughout are a kludge, and probably are so obviously redundant as to be painful to wade through, but I wasn’t sure what else to try. I tried to go back and put scare quotes in to emphasize this, but I ended up with nearly every word in everything I’ve typed scare-quoted, making it illegible. Which brackets probably also did. This stuff is hard…)
Friday, March 16, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Friday, March 09, 2012
Now, see, that's significantly different in theme, tone and execution from the following - The Realm has been ground into near-defeat by a constant, millenia-spanning war against the Anathama.
Let's address the subject of the Anathama, as well, because these new authorial directions have implications there, too.
How does the Realm view the Anathama?
It might surprise you, but the material is relatively consistent in saying - they are not particularly concerned. In order to understand that, first understand that not everybody in the Realm can read charmblocks and the 'tiers of power' meme that is so common on the forum is not widely held knowledge. Let me propose to you some very realistic statements --
'Aren't the Anathama mostly defeated?'
'Why are we continuing to fund the Wyld Hunt? Who is in charge of it? Are they being payed too much?'
'How dangerous are the Anathama -really-. Isn't a Dragonblooded just as powerful, or even more potent than one of these things?'
'I wonder if the history of the world is actually genuine. I've noticed people in this country tend to play fast and lose with historical accuracy, and it's fairly common knowledge that history is written by the victor. Did the 'empire of the Anathama' even really -exist- as they describe it?'
'I bet the Anathama aren't really a big deal at all. I mean, we run the whole world now, pretty much. What the hell is -one guy- gonna do against our cultural inertia? Please. The old empire became what it was because it was in the right place at the right time; any farfetched notion that the Anathama could even come -close- to defeating us now is a paranoid delusion.'
Now, from our OOC perspective?... these are all incredibly stupid statements. However, the Realm is not exposed to what we are exposed to. Rather, they are constantly educated in how awesome and infallible the Terrestial Exalted are; which leads on to naturally speculate whether the olden kings can even meaningfully -threaten- the Glorious Imperial Dynasty.
So, this leads us to the modern Realm, where actual -ANATHAMA CULTS- exist amongst -DYNASTS-. This is a world where Dragonblooded will actually make backroom dealings with a Solar and really only worry about getting caught. Never portray a modern dynast as overly hostile, if you want to be authentic - confronted with a Celestial, they are likely to vastly underestimate the mortal danger such a being poses (both socially and martially) in order to try to subvert the situation or twist it to personal benefit. After all, what's the harm? How bad could it get? They have been told since birth they are FUCKING AWESOME and they can handle most situations. This tends to affect people.
Is every modern Dragonblooded this ignorant? Nope. But most of them are.
THIS is why the Wyld Hunt keeps getting less and less funding every year.
Now, examining this, you can see it's reasonably gameable. It produces an environment where you can have many varied, nuanced interactions between Dynasts and Celestial Exalted.
So, now we can begin to see another potential problem of introducing the notion that an ongoing conflict with the Anathama has ground the Realm into dust --
This makes this far less reasonable. Anathama Cults change in tone and character completely; they are described in the book as being 'bored dynasts', but now they take on a feel more like terrorist cells. The Wyld Hunt becomes not only a priority, it becomes the MAJOR NATIONAL PRIORITY and is no longer a dwindling branch of government thought largely obselete, it's -the central purpose of current governance-.
So, this actually changed not only the theme and tone of Lunars quite a bit, but it adjusts Dragonblooded and Realm theme as well.
These are observations, not complaints. So don't read this and think of it as an attack on this -- this is meant to be a description of what is happening, so the ideas can be examined and refined/dismissed/attacked as required.