11/13/16

What matters and what's lofty irrelevance

11/13/16
In the long run, we're all spiritual servants of a spaghetti monster who manages a universe of self-replicating paperclips. Which is to say, we're all dead, but it's still super cool to think of nascent spaghetti-run paperclip economies and galactic culture dynamics. I guess.

I mean, I wouldn't know since I'm not getting a comfortable salary to think about that stuff.
And all three of these [Trump v. Clinton & historical] differences are small compared the variation in such things across the history of human-like creatures so far, and also compared to that history yet to come.
Put your crypto-nihilism down and deal with life and loss like a reasonable human being.

There are bad ways to deal with adversity and there are less bad ways. I'll go out on a limb and say that pretending to rise above and see this through some pantemporal lens is of the worse bad variety.*

Then there's the less bad, where at least some introspection and change is considered:
People don’t seem to understand this: you need to adapt and change and look outside of your tiny enclaves not out of some moral obligation, but because you are losing on every imaginable frontYou don’t have to get in touch with the rest of the country because that’s the right thing to do. You have to get in touch with the rest of the country because they’re kicking your ass. The Republicans will control the House, the Senate, and the presidency, have the chance to appoint at least one and probably several Supreme Court justices, run 68 out of 99 state legislative houses, and hold 31 gubernatorial seats. That is domination on an unimaginable level. Every minute you spend signal-boosting people who say that it’s Republicans who have to get on board with liberal values is a minute you’re not doing anything to change that condition.
Despite the Republicans winning pretty much everything, this election was close, percentage-wise. If a few more democrats turned out in a handful of states, we would be having a very, very different conversation. Unfortunately, neither conversation is good.

I agree having an "insular, self-aggrandizing book club that treats looking at other parts of the country as an anthropology exercise" is extremely off-putting. But maybe the assumption behind this thinking is also insular, self-aggrandizing, and so far off from much of the country that it is equally off-putting.

So here we are, talking about changing strategy just so we can stop getting our asses kicked. Fuck flyover country's backwards ideas, we just need to trick a few more of them to give us a win.

Apparently the old liberal maxim of re-evaluating one's views when faced with contrary evidence, only applies to peripherals, like strategy and messaging. You're so smart, therefore you must be right. Heaven forbid you soften or change some views.

If you want something to look forward to, then rest assured, Donald Trump will face much more scrutiny and criticism than George W. Bush. Why? Because you and your book club hate him, and you now have, more than ever, good reason to:
Yet, beginning in his first month in office and continuing through today, Obama not only continued many of the most extreme executive-power policies he once condemned, but in many cases strengthened and extended them. His administration detained terrorism suspects without due process, proposed new frameworks to keep them locked up without trial, targeted thousands of individuals (including a U.S. citizen) for execution by drone, invoked secrecy doctrines to shield torture and eavesdropping programs from judicial review, and covertly expanded the nation’s mass electronic surveillance. ...

The president-elect frightens them, so they are now alarmed. But if they want to know whom to blame, they should look in the mirror.
If you want to start genuinely courting the Other, start befriending people like Rand Paul. Most Republicans will probably just go along with whatever power grabs Trump can get away with. There are some however, like Senator Paul, who not only disagree with Trump on several major issues, but would be a far more tolerable opposition leader in the future.


* I'm not saying discussions of the future, even distant future are folly, but I am saying that it's a poor way to accept and deal with loss. And holy hell is it out of touch. It's fine if all you do is think about far-off and lofty ideas, but it is by no means constructive or helpful for those dealing with real or perceived adversity in the here and now.

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