Last chance to email me for an invite to the fundraiser, this afternoon at 4:00 Eastern Time!
We're in a period of great public pressure for criminal justice reform, and a large part of that is electing progressive prosecutors who are committed to doing whatever is possible toward reducing the damage done by the carceral state. To that end, an extremely close friend of the blog is running for a position as a local prosecutor from a progressive political stance.
We're not naming them here, because who'd want this place all over their Google results? But if you're FB friends with me or k-sky, you should see an invitation for a Zoom fundraiser for their campaign on our FB feeds -- if you contribute in the next day or two you can be a co-host. And if you're not FB friends with me but you're interested in contributing, or even just curious, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the information. Lurkers specifically and expressly welcome.
UPDATE: Sorry, the way k-sky set this up, you can't see it even if we're FB friends unless he sent you an invitation. If you didn't get one, it means we missed you, and you should email or message me for an invite.
I had a related question: he's going to be dead in a month, isn't he? Then I googled and found out, yes, others have this opinion as well.
I assume that this:
Last week, Navalny started a hunger strike to demand proper treatment for acute back and leg pain.
means "a hunger strike to keep from being poisoned"? or to receive treatment when it happens? idk. It just seems like his fate is awfully grim.
Last week, Russia's prison service denied Navalny's allegations that he was not receiving proper treatment, saying he had been given "all the necessary medical assistance in accordance with his medical indications".
reminded me of "Lil Giblet is being treated as appropriate for the condition"
I am going to assert that nearly every person who moves to Texas or the South, and adopts "y'all" sounds like a dumbass. I grew up in the South and I have always felt like a dumbass saying it! (I did in fact say it in high school and part of college. But I knew deep down that it was forced and unnatural.) Lots of people don't agree with me, and lots of people say "y'all", and in fact people love to point out what a useful non-gendered collective pronoun it is, and chide other places for not being so clever, and then you go down the well-trod conversation about yinz and coke and kitty-corner vs. caddy-corner.
I am here to tell you not to use y'all. Instead, just say "You all". It is useful, sounds normal coming out of your mouth, and doesn't make you sound like you have a secret admiration for the simple ways of Trump supporters. "You all are going to need to turn in this assignment by Friday, and then start studying for the test," or "Are you all hungry? Anybody want to order food?" Etc.
(I felt like this entry called for a sort of judgey tone that we all used a lot in blogging about 10+ years ago. Now I'm much more wishy-washy and mushy. Will I regret this? It depends on who I inadvertently called dumb! "Y'all" probably sounds good coming out of your mouth. I didn't mean you. I meant them-all.)
This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
Minivet writes: Is it not so much "long COVID" specifically, as a cluster of related long-running symptoms that seem to crop up after many kinds of serious viral infections, that have not been gathered into a syndrome partly because our medical system considers them too nebulous or unmeasurable?
Heebie's take: Mostly free associating, but an academic at a different institution was telling me recently that their HR department, Disabilities office, nor Rank and Tenure are willing or able to communicate with each other, and the problem was faculty that need accommodations to teach and don't want to be penalized in the R&T process. I'm missing the details, but it hinged on the fact that HR would only accept a diagnosis, and if you had symptoms, and a doctor was willing to say "This is a collection of symptoms that is compromising the individual's ability to do their job, but we don't yet have a diagnosis," that was insufficient for one of the gatekeepers. "Idiopathic" was not acceptable.
1. Sara Gruen, author of Water For Elephants (which I will always mush together with Like Water For Chocolate somehow) really unraveled during this six year fight for justice for an incarcerated man. The journalist is a friend of Gruen's and portrays her very sympathetically. The whole thing has this whirling centripetal force feeling of someone whose mental health is rapidly fraying and is not getting professional help from a therapist. It's kind of harrowing to read.
2. On the other hand, the excerpt from Boehner's book is probably the exact opposite in every regard. I personally enjoy schadenfreude, but I imagine other people may find it just enraging.
I think I most enjoy how clearly the writing style is actually what a pissed off Boomer sounds like.
Under the new rules of Crazytown, I may have been Speaker, but I didn't hold all the power. By 2013 the chaos caucus in the House had built up their own power base thanks to fawning right-wing media and outrage-driven fundraising cash. And now they had a new head lunatic leading the way, who wasn't even a House member. There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Senator Ted Cruz. He enlisted the crazy caucus of the GOP in what was a truly dumbass idea. Not that anybody asked me.
That's definitely not ghostwritten.
Nworbie writes: This is an old study, which I have only just discovered. But I am a fan of Maryanne Wolf anyway, and what she writes here rings true. Only 12% of American youth read anything printed at all every day. I really think this makes them much more stupid, in measurable ways. Meanwhile, the news here in Knifecrimea is full of the statistic that as a result of covid school closures, 200,000 children are going to start secondary school thia year without reaching the required (low) standard of literacy.
A collaboration between Pacific Standard and the Stanford Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioural Sciences notes that for under-25s (today's Gen Z-ers), daily consumption of any printed material (which was taken to include digital-form books and journals) declined from 60 per cent in the late 1970s, to just 12 per cent in 2019.
The author of the report, Maryanne Wolf, proposes a "crisis in reading" in which the capacity for critical analysis and empathy has become unforeseen collateral damage. Non-consumption of imaginative writing reduces the ability "to be transported beyond ourselves" at a neurological level. The sense of what is real and what is invented, the Stanford paper suggests, might become a source of sincere confusion and anxiety.
I wonder whether those who dismiss the woke concerns of ownvoice advocates have thought about the extent to which Gen Z live in a consistently fictional world. Constantly posting on social media is a permanent form of fictionalising the self and of absorbing the fictions of others. What place for actual fiction or actual authenticity if the two are seamlessly, endlessly conflated? To get this, you have to consume it: take a look at the immersive world of Tiktok POVs or Wattpad One Shots to see how "you", the self or consumer, is conflated with the creator or ostensible protagonist of millions of mini-fictions in an infinitely more sophisticated fashion than those old-school Choose Your Own Adventure stories.
The wider point of this article is that it is not just reasoning skills, but empathy which is being eroded by the loss of literacy. I think there is something in that, too.
Heebie's take: I think this is some strong Offa My Lawn fake nostalgia.
First, it depends on what we're counting as reading. In the 90s, high schoolers essentially never communicated with each other over writing. Now the kids are constantly communicating with each other over text. I bet the 60% to 12% is accounted for by ingesting the bare minimum of a daily newspaper or magazine - is skimming the headlines that different than skimming social media?
I do think there are some perils of self-fictionalizing, but if anything, the noblesse oblige class has been most guilty of this over the centuries, and we could look to them for cues as to how it affects us. But either way, I'm mostly skeptical that Gen Z is worse off than previous generations.
That said, I do think there is a broad mental health crisis among the remote learners due to Covid. I don't know if it will resolve itself when schools resume, or whether it will have longlasting consequences on significantly many kids. I also think that a huge chunk of students have fully lost a year of academics, but it's not obvious to me what the cost of that will be.
Is it the diploma in hand that affects life trajectory, or the academic knowledge gained? (surely both.) Should we modify graduation requirements or lengthen the time that students have to meet graduation requirements? (surely both.)
CharleyCarp writes: Scale of 1 to 10, how likely do you think it is that Dick Cheney has played some role in Rep Gaetz recent troubles?
Heebie's take: If he didn't, let's do the responsible thing and speculate recklessly.