Blog

On Disruptions and Defeats

Of all the memorable scenes in Boots Riley’s enchantingly bizarre Sorry to Bother You, the most politically salient is when union organizer Squeeze (Steven Yeun) tells the fuming, disillusioned Cash (Lakeith Stanfield) why simple awareness isn’t enough. To truly puncture the veneer of spectacular (mis-)information, you need to cut off its ability to reproduce itself. “If you get shown a problem, but have no idea how to control it,” he says, “then you just decide to get used to the problem.”

Will the Forgotten Remember This Red Planet?

I cannot remember the accident. It is a hole, a blank spot, an infinitesimal chasm in what was my cognition. The moments leading up are hazy, as if viewing them through layers of gauze. It is the first moment I day most clearly: the day I realized that my only two options were starving or going under these red mountains. No third option. There never is. Everyone wishes there were. In the end you would rather sign away your life than let it wither and crumple in the basement of a salvation center.

Bigger Cages, Smarter Bombs

With a disoriented far-right having made its exodus off the most popular social media, we have now entered the historical moment of the Twitter Liberal. They existed before of course, and for some time. Always some of the most insipid and annoying people you would find on that abominable site, the Biden administration has ushered in their heyday. Because if anyone is in need of a platform through which one can transmit the feeblest ideological excuse-making, a site for kind of “I can’t believe anyone actually thinks this” bullshitcraft that through its sheer volume can act like a shield for the powerful, it’s liberals.

Texas

How much more is there to say about Texas? Words aren't really up to the task. It’s not just that people have died, either freezing to death or resorting to deadly means to keep themselves warm. It’s not just the flagrant greed and negligence leading to events which otherwise would have been entirely avoidable.

California Is Coming for You

It would appear that Joe Biden will have his honeymoon period after all. I’ll confess, I was ready for it to be vanishingly small, largely because Trump and his millions of minions were on the offensive, however increasingly embattled they felt. Now in the aftermath of January 6th they’ve scattered, in some cases turning on each other and Trump. They’ll be back, and sooner than we might think, but for now they are frustrated and chastened, unable to build on their success. Trump is, compared to even a month ago, isolated. His staunchest supporters in Congress are starting to get a sense of what they’re up against, relying on increasingly performative batshit to keep themselves in the headlines.

Little Pink Nothing

I always wanted Ariel Pink’s music to do more for me. The initial allure was mostly there but ultimately I never found he was able to do much with it. His best albums never left me more than lukewarm. I’m not just saying that because he’s now being (reasonably) treated as persona non-grata since he and John Maus were spotted at last week’s putsch, or because of his pathetic interview on Tucker Carlson. Pink has had credible allegations of abuse swirling around him for years, and he’s never really bothered refuting his scummy statements on race and gender. It hasn’t been easy to take him seriously for a while now.