Whoo-oop, just a little bit

1 07 2013

dmf is right: I gotta lay off the blogs that are leading me to screw myself into the ground.

Y’know, Sullivan with his Baldwin-proves-liberals-suck rampage (and before that, Clinton, and Palin, . . .). I don’t disagree with him (that Baldwin’s an asshole, and his Tweet, hateful), but jeez, make the point, and move on.

I mean, Alec Baldwin is an actor. An actor. That’s it. So you don’t like the people who like him, which gives you a chance to get all tribal and everything. Fine. We all get tribal some times. Just. . . own the tribalism, man, and stifle the it’s-the-principle! nonsense.

And Dreher, oy, reading him of late (Paula Deen, Trayvon Martin, liberals always and everywhere) is plucking my last nerves. The meanness, the double-treble-quadruple standards, the pissiness at pushback. . . .

Oy doesn’t begin to cover it.

~~~

Oh, and then there’s this.

Makes me so proud I work for CUNY.

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There’s a difference between motive and intention, isn’t there? It seems that there’s a difference.

Motive is where something starts, and intention is where it leads, right?

Yeah, I think that’s right.

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So I’ve been turning over this thought in my head about the whiteness of the GOP and arguments (click here for a Crooked Timber post that has the various relevant links) that Republicans don’t have to worry about being the party of the pasty.

I think they do.

I don’t have this all worked out, but it seems that in order for the GOP to be the White Party they’re going to have to entice voters based on their whiteness, and I don’t know how many folks think of themselves primarily as white.

This is the crumbling underside of the default standard of white: regular [i.e., non-academic, non-race-politicized] white folks haven’t had to think about their whiteness. To bring them to you, you first have to bring them to their whiteness, convince them that their whiteness ought to be their primary concern, then further convince them that their candidates will do the most to preserve their white privilege.

Yes, whitey-first appeals have worked and will continue to work in a number of districts, but I don’t see how this appeal can be expanded, largely because I don’t know how much white folks who aren’t already racialists really want to be racialists. I think white-first appeals would turn them off, maybe make them less likely to vote Republican.

Most Americans don’t want to think of themselves as racists—even the racists don’t want to be seen as racists—and aren’t in a hurry to separate themselves (in their imaginations, at least, if not always in practice) from their fellow Americans. We’re not always large, but an awful lot of us aspire to be.

I don’t know, I’m probably talking out of my nose. It just seems like  focus-on-the-whites is a losing proposition with many of those very same whites.

~~~

Okay, back to Dreher—but to one of those posts that make me go Hmm rather than AAAAAAARGHHH! Namely,  on the problem with ‘the right side of history’ arguments.

Someone as non-whiggish as me casts a similarly skeptical eye on those claims, but skeptic that I am, I go even further: If there is no right side to history (which there isn’t), why the fealty to moralities anchored deep within that history, i.e., traditions?

I mean, isn’t the advocacy of tradition based on a notion of the judgment of history (properly threshed, of course)?

More talking out of my nose, I suppose, and maybe these are really two separate things.

But I kinda think not.





I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses

1 11 2012

I am beyond lucky to be bored.

CUNY reopens tomorrow, but since I teach on a T-Th schedule, I won’t be back until next week, and the office for my other job is closed tomorrow.

Upshot: A week off.

And what have I done this week? Fuck-all.

Dmf suggested this would be good writing time, and he was right! But did I write? Nope. I have a bunch of pants that need to be shortened and skinnied; did I haul out the sewing machine and do this? Nope. Files to go through, the Civil War site to be updated—nothin’. Sat on my ass, my near-but-not-yet-recovered-back  even keeping me out of the gym.

Now, I did think of volunteering, but since my work schedule was day-to-day, I didn’t want to sign up for anything and then have to back out. Thought I might donate blood, but it’s not clear that, as a shrimpy person, I meet the requirements (and I’ve been turned away in the past). I did manage to donate some money to a relief fund, but, really, how hard was that?

This is shitty to admit to feel, but it’s as if my city has gone through this horrendous event and all I’ve done is hang out in the alcove above the Real Action™,  refreshing my browser and wondering if I should do something. To put it more baldly, the Big Bad happened and I feel left out.

I know.

Now, I do immediately remind myself that I am lucky to feel left out, that it’s one thing to pine for a shared experience and another thing actually to, well, experience it. I’ve been in shitty situations and they’re called shitty for a reason: ain’t nothing fun in having the elemental supports of your life washed out from under you.

Anyway, I thought, Do I sit here indulging in self-flagellation, or do I actually get out and do something? Well, when you put it like that. . . .

So, yes, since I know I’ll be off work on Friday, I signed up through NYC Service to volunteer. I don’t know what, if anything, will happen, and of course I’m both kicking myself for not signing up sooner (shoulda played the work odds in the other direction) and fretting over my motives (am I doing this to help or because I want that Real Action™?), but, at least, it’s something.

And in this case, mixed motives or no, something is better than nothing.