- Grover Cleveland’s Sex Scandal: The Most Despicable in American Political History
Cleveland almost certainly raped a woman, then had her involuntarily consigned to an asylum. What a scumbag. I really regret the nice things I’ve been saying about Cleveland for decades.
- A Twitter thread with highlights from Judge Walker’s injunction against the higher ed provisions of Florida’s HB 7 (aka the Stop WOKE Act).
- Opinion: Dr. Nasser ‘Nas’ Mohamed sought asylum in the US after coming out as gay. Here’s what he wants people to know about Qatar | CNN
- Against Transphobic “Moral Flounce” Behavior -Kate Manne
“And while cis girls are refused abortion care, even in the case of a ten year-old girl currently carrying her rapist’s fetus in Ohio, trans girls (among others) face potential removal from their families by the state if they receive trans-affirming care in Texas. In all of these cases, there is a common plight: a basic refusal to recognize that somebody’s body is for them and nobody else, and they should have moral jurisdiction over what it does, how it functions, and what it looks like, wherever possible.”
- The Exceptionally American Problem of Rising Roadway Deaths – The New York Times (and an alternate link)
There are proven solutions that could keep us from needlessly killing pedestrians and cyclists. But (although the article doesn’t discuss this) it’s important that this be a below-the-radar issue. Because the more this becomes a culture war issue, the more Republicans will resist simple, lifesaving policies that we know work.
- The Stripper’s Dilemma — Queer Majority“
Most authorities on the matter tend to agree that strippers in the United States should be considered employees, but clubs, for a variety of reasons, often mislead dancers into thinking the decision is up to them. On the one hand, it seems that strippers would significantly benefit from proper classification; however, a closer examination reveals that the question of whether or not they should fight for their labor rights is more complex than it seems.”
- The Upside Down Debate on Broad Sanctions
“Sanctions advocates are given the benefit of the doubt that their preferred coercive measures are beneficial until it can be proven that they are not, but the burden of proof should always be on those supporting economic warfare against an entire population.”
- This Couple Died by Suicide After the DEA Shut Down Their Pain Doctor
“What the DEA is essentially doing is telling a diabetic who’s been on insulin for 20 years that they no longer need insulin and they should be cured.”
- Anti-Trans “Grooming” and “Social Contagion” Claims Explained | by Julia Serano | Nov, 2022 | Medium
“What this essay is about is why, despite an infinite number of potential negativity-bias-driven explanations for our existence, today’s anti-trans movements seem to have coalesced around two main imagined causes of transness: “social contagion” and “grooming.” While these may seem on the surface to be very different claims, anti-trans (and increasingly anti-LGBTQ+) campaigners tend to invoke them interchangeably. Here, I will show that they are essentially the same charge.”
- It’s Not Filter Bubbles That Are Driving Us Apart – The Atlantic
“…It is not isolation from opposing views that drives polarization but precisely the fact that digital media bring us to interact outside our local bubble.” … “Our main problem, as Törnberg conceives it, is not that we spend too long listening to the comforting voices on our own side, but rather that we’re too attentive to the loudest, most enraged, and most unhinged voices on the other side.” Of course, this raises the question of what to make of it when one of those “loudest… most unhinged voices” is ex-President Trump’s.
- Against Deference Politics: Or, The Importance Of Building Shit
“Deference politics” meaning ” It’s the call to ‘listen to the most affected’ and ‘center the most marginalized’ and ‘stay in your lane.'” I have some criticisms (and left a comment about some of them), but still found this interesting.
- When will the US learn that sanctions don’t solve its problems? – Responsible Statecraft
“…The link between sanctions and regime change is tenuous and sanctions often seem to prolong the worst dictatorships, not overturn them.”
- Gay and Tonic suggests a lovely, sad and joyful whiskey commercial/short film from abroad that we should watch, and I heartily agree. It’s about 3 minutes long.
- I wrote a long twitter thread about “The Embrace,” a new, and enormous, public sculpture in Boston.
- How Rod Dreher Caused an International Scandal in Eastern Europe – The Bulwark
An extremely prominent American Conservative is comfortable shilling for an anti-Democratic regime, even though it makes him look ridiculous.
- Hiltzik: The stupid and dishonest idea of raising the Social Security retirement age is back – Los Angeles Times
- The Curious History of Anthony Johnson: From Captive African to Right-wing Talking Point
The existence of a freeman (sort of) and slaveowner from Africa in the 1600s has captivated racism-denying conservatives.
- James O’Keefe ‘Outright Cruel’ to Project Veritas Employees: Internal Memo
I think being cruel is bad, but if you think being cruel is bad, why work for Project Veritas? Seems hypocritical. Also, apparently he’s been spending lots of Veritas’ money on his musical theater projects, which is honestly the only likable thing I’ve ever heard about James O’Keefe.
- THE WORST THING WE READ THIS WEEK: Why Is the New York Times So Obsessed With Trans Kids? – Popula
Very good article. It also provides some context for that open letter from 180+ New York Times contributors objecting to their constant (and often front page) anti-trans coverage.
Photos by Gabriella Clare Marino – check out her Unsplash page and her Instagram.
I’ve been thinking to myself exactly what Tom Scocca lays out in #19. There are a lot of words about what is best for trans youth that present individual medical decisions for real children as things we can all weigh in on rather than relying on the doctors, specialists, therapists, and family members in their lives to help trans youth make the best decisions for themselves.
Personally, the trans boy I know IRL wore a binder for a year or two before socially transitioning at age 12. He hates his body, but has no access to any sort of gender related health care due to money/insurance reasons other than being on a very long waitlist to see a mental health professional for his gender dyphoria. I suspect this is the most common reality for trans youth in the US (even those with supportive families). For many families, arguing about puberty blockers is like arguing about the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin for all the relevance it has to their lives. Finding mental health care is hard for everyone, but particularly hard for LGBTQ youth.
This sort of coverage that relies on prurient interest to generate readers has far more chance to do real harm than the usual NYT obsession with the Ivy League at the expense of the higher ed experience of the 99%.
Gay and Tonic is me, dragon_snap, when I’m (occasionally) on twitter :) thanks for including the video and I hope everyone enjoys it <3
There’s no question that Cleveland was a truly despicable rapist. I’d venture a guess that an awfully high percentage of US Presidents were rapists. We can start with the ones who owned slaves – Jefferson wasn’t the only one to rape a woman he owned – and work our way all the way up to the credibly accused 45th POTUS, Dollar Store Mussolini.
Since this is an open thread, and I think this article touches on things we’ve been discussing here, I will comment on this NYT article defending JKR against people who call her a transphobe. That article pissed me off, especially in light of #19 and other responses to the NYT’s recent obsession with othering trans people on its front page.
Three things that irritate me about this on top of the blatant anti-trans statements in the op-ed:
1) Why is the NYT publishing an editorial that is literally the equivalent of “She can’t be transphobic because she has a trans friend”?
2) What is this obsession with bathrooms (loads and loads of comments on that!)? There are many places in Europe that ONLY have unisex bathrooms with actually isolated stalls. Why can’t we do that and remove this as an issue?
3) JKR’s horrible antisemitism is apparently A-OK!?!?! As long as she picks on trans people, we can pick and choose her public statements to make her sound progressive while letting her dog whistle to the bigotted set? As if the movies going full-on Der Sturmer with the goblins wasn’t bad enough, the main bad guys in the new game are the goblins? WTF!!!!
FTFNYT would be happy to see trans people rounded up and, umm, removed. They’re very good at luring liberals to their position of questioning whether trans people deserve human rights.
I haven’t talked to my dad in weeks because he feels that FTFNYT is just asking valid questions. To be fair, he also fell for their anti-Clinton coverage in 2016. Oh, he voted for her but thought she’d done quite a few shady things. He admits his error now so maybe there’s hope that he’ll get what FTFNYT is doing to trans people 5 years from now. I hope that won’t also come too late.
Fuck the fucking New York Times?
Fuck The Failing New York Times
Some of the immediate reactions to that piece of art is that it looked like MLK was going down on his wife.
I spent 3 years living about 5 blocks away from that site on Comm. Ave., so I’m familiar with the area. Art is subjective, so I’ll simply say I don’t like it. If the artist had depicted MLK and his wife actually embracing then it would make a lot more sense. But if your first reaction to a piece of art is “What is it?” and then after looking it over your reaction is “I still don’t know what this is or what it means”, which apparently is a common reaction to it, then I’d say it’s not a very effective piece of art.
Was his error that he thought she’d done quite a few shady things or that he voted for her?
One of my wife’s nephews was on puberty blockers for a few years, so I got to see and hear their effects. It had nothing to do with his self-image regarding his sexuality, though. He had some manner of brain tumor that was considered inoperable and that his doctors believed would start growing at a very rapid pace once he hit puberty. A few years later they found a way to operate on it (proton beam therapy, maybe) and he could stop – which he promptly did.
The Onion has a savage take-down of coverage of trans issues from the NY Times, Jessie Singal, et al.
Here’s a working link to that Onion pieceIt is just brilliant and perceptive and accurate.
Whoops! Thanks, Jackie O; I corrected the link in my comment.
One man’s fun tradition is another man’s sacred cow.
Any guess when we’ll see touring productions of Hamilton with white people in the roles of the Founders? (Indeed, when they hold auditions for those roles, do they specify that they’re looking for black actors?)
A generation from now, will people regard drag the same way we regard blackface?
nobody.really @14 – Some people already do, but the main difference is that as a whole, drag shows have not historically been used as a means to negatively portray women the way minstrel shows and other traditional uses of blackface have been used to negativfely portray black people. The stereotypes associated with drag are usually directed at gay men.
Of course, sensibilities will change with time. What’s more important is why they change. Blackface is now considered unacceptable because of a greater sensitivity to the harm it has historically done to black people, and a recognition that that harm is still perpetuated when blackface is used, even if the motivations are different. As I said above, I don’t think that’s the case for drag, but maybe I’m wrong or ignorant about that. Maybe in a society that’s more equal and respectful of a wider range of genders and sexualities there will be less room for drag, and that might be a positive thing.
If, on the other hand, drag becomes unacceptable because of growing intolerance and more rigid social norms, then that would be a negative thing.
How much does educational attainment explain the political affiliation of white Americans? Not as much as I’d thought. From 2000 to 2020, if you control for one variable,
And now the rest of the story:
In short, racial resentment utterly swamps educational attainment as a predictive variable.
Don’t have a link right now, but I distinctly remember reading an interview with the director in which he said they were not doing race-blind auditions but race-concious auditions. The only named characters who are played by white actors are King George and the guy reading his proclamtion against the idea of independence (forgot his name). This is absolutely intentional, as is the kind of music they are given ( Brit-Pop ala Beatles for the king, something with a harpsichord that sounds like old court music for the other one) to signify their separation from America and also them being “behind the times” compared to the others.
The way I understand it, they do not cast specifically black people for the founders, instead the other named roles are open to all performers who are not white (the chorus often has other white actors, and the proclamation guy is part of the chorus outside of that one scene). Hamilton was played by Miranda first, the british Hamilton was a back man, unsure about the ones on tour or the ones who eventually took over. I have seen Asian, Latina and Black actresses sing Eliza on Youtube.
So, it is one of the few (possibly the only???) job openings on Broadway where “Whites need not apply.” It’s ok, they have pretty much the rest of Broadway to make up for it.
Now, there has been criticism of the decision to make people of color – black men specifically in the original cast – play the founders, all of whom, by all accounts, were pretty damn racist, owned slaves and were in a hundred other ways problematic. I am not in a position to tell the people who think this is problematic that they are wrong, because I at least know that as a white woman, it is not my job or right to tell people of color (the ones I have read where allmost all black women) what they are allowed to be offended by. So there is a lot of room for debate (I know they made some changes during Covid after BLM-protests started).
I imagine it’s the show with the greatest number of non-white slots for actors. But of course there are other parts that are reserved for certain races: there are several parts and a bunch of chorus members in “Book of Mormon” that they’ll only cast Black actors in.
The main change I read about them making, was changing the way Jefferson’s intro song was choreographed so it doesn’t seem like his slaves are big fans of him.
“Book Of Mormon” went through much more substantial changes to become less racist, I’ve heard, although I haven’t seen the revised version.
Thanks for the link, Nobody – that’s interesting. Although depressing.
Do they? Are there shows that explicitly say, “We’re doing race-conscious auditions, so black people need not apply”? I imagine there are some groups you wouldn’t want to say that about….
I think it’s more likely to be posited as a positive requirement, stating what race is expected for the role. For example, I googled acting job openings, and the first job on the first job posting site I found had the following listing:
STATEN ISLAND SHAKESPEAREAN THEATRE COMPANY AUDITIONS: OTHELLO BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Obviously, Othello is, in part, a play about race relations, so this isn’t an example of race being specified unnecessarily or arbitrarily, but it is an example of how things can be done.
Thanks; that’s helpful.
Race-conscious “casting” may be more prevalent than I appreciated.
I imagine that’s about tourists wanting to feel they’ve had an “authentic” experience.
How do they define and measure racial resentment?
True. OTOH, it is not their (or anyone else’s) job or right to compel other people to change their speech or other behavior on the basis that they are offended.
Having lived in the Chicago area for (more years than I care to admit) my guess is that you’re right. The locals support blues singers pretty much regardless of race.
Hey cartoonists: Didja see that The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse won the Best Short Film (Animated) Oscar? It’s lovely. And derivative as hell.
It’s a 30-min. story about Winnie the Pooh’s Christopher Robin as drawn by E.H. Shepard (from the books) and voiced by Brady Bluhm (from the Disney films). He encounters Mole from Wind in the Willows. They proceed to encounter a fox and a horse, and languidly exchange aphorisms with the pacing of The Little Prince. They’re lost in a snowy wilderness without food or shelter from storms, and periodically fall into snow and water, yet there’s no urgency. I guess urgency is inconsistent with allegory? The animation is beautiful—especially capturing the distinctive animal motions—and the credit sequence rocks. But when I reflect on the rich source material the filmmakers plundered, the accomplishment seems less remarkable.
You’re young; there’s still time! We have faith in you.
I appreciate your trust in me!
Have I been banned for some reason? I posted on another thread and got stuck in moderation.
You put in a different email address, so the software thought you were a new poster. (New posters need their first post approved before any posts appear.)
Oh, weird. It must have been autofilled because I was using a non-standard computer at work and I didn’t notice.
Well, there’s nothing for it except for you to begin an evil twin plot arc.
Two fertile women with 46XY chromosomes https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2190741
It’s a mother and her daughter.