1. I was reading a comment thread where New Yorkers were raving about the e-book library app Libby and Los Angelenos were complaining about the selection, and I worked out a post in my head about how the library e-book system should be nationalized.
But of course I couldn't work out the details, because capitalism.*
2. My other tidbit was a passing thought about a passage in the book Spiderweb for Two, which I'm reading with the kids. Unfortunately, I don't have the passage in front of me, but the gist of it is that the child has struck out into the woods on a day's adventure, and after a while he sits down to eat the lunch that the housekeeper/nanny has packed for him. It contains some sort of main entree, and a chocolate cupcake for dessert, and lastly: "an orange to slake his thirst".
An orange! to slake your thirst! I don't understand if oranges were waterier back in the day or if I've absorbed this "chronically dehydrated" mumbo-jumbo that we hear constantly. It does not seem that the child also has any sort of flask with water to last him for the day.
* "Because [Noun]" is an overused expression, but when I wrote "because of capitalism", it altered the meaning of the sentence, as in "Capitalism prevented me from properly understanding it" as opposed to "Capitalism precluded the existence of a solution". I guess I could have just written, "because capitalism precluded it," but unfortunately this is written in permanent sharpie and cannot be edited.
Should we have a stupid thread about the debt ceiling? And while we're at it, the fucking posturing by Manchin and Synema to weaken or kill some really sound legislation?
I enjoyed this photo essay on the artwork of Janel Lessing.
I've decided not to let the Axis of Craven/Stupid that we will always have with us in America blind me to the fact that the development of the vaccines is an amazing triumph of human society. Many scientists, over many years, contributing some technique or idea, passing on their knowledge, not to mention our ability to make and distribute this medicine safely to hundreds of millions of people. I say, hooray.
Relatedly, if you know who these people are, what do you think of this formulation: Kyrie Irving is the world's dumbest smart man, and Joe Rogan is the world's smartest dumb man.
Is there a compelling reason to switch from saying homeless to houseless? I'm seeing reasons like "you're devaluing the unhoused person's community and shelter" but houseless sounds even easier to nitpick: we're mostly not trying to put unhoused people in an actual house. Is this word upgrade really intrinsically needed to preserve the dignity of homeless people's lives and respect their current situation?
I'm annoyed because I recognize that what I'm saying is awfully identical to the classically conservative backlash reaction against any progressive linguistic shift, and I can't tell who is being a snowflake here. I am not going to continue to argue with a legitimate substantial reason for the shift for the sheer sake of being right, though. I am committed to being a durable flake.
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.
I liked this article, I Lived Through A Stupid Coup. America Is Having One Now, even though I'm not entirely sure I agree with the conclusion.
Two years ago, I lived through a coup in Sri Lanka. It was stupid. The minority party threw chili powder at everyone in Parliament and took over by farce. Math, however, requires a majority and the courts kicked them out. They gave in. We'd been protesting for weeks and yay, we won.
I didn't know it at the time, but we had already lost. No one knew -- but oh my God, what we lost. The legitimate government came back but it was divided and weak. We were divided and weak. We were vulnerable.
(I do want to note that this was written last November, two months before January 6th.)
However, one thing that I've come to believe is that sometimes things come to a head, but sometimes they don't. Sometimes things just slowly deteriorate forever. There are so many ways for things to fall apart. Maybe there will be an outright overthrow of democracy - the forces are all there in place for it to happen! No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, but then big things do happen! But it's not a foregone conclusion, and things could just continue to disintegrate, little by little, and never all at once.