New post. Gratuitous although relevant Doors music. Shakespeare. List of Russian Movies on Afghanistan. General Character assassination of Trump, although there's really not that much to assassinate. Call for Jesus to Smite Mike Pence. Normal Wednesday here in Wolf Country.
alright, i'm going to tell you, guiltily, what i like about trump, why i keep returning to a seemingly sympathetic tone, or why i sometimes 'relate,' though i utterly reject his politics. on the charlottesville weekend, i wrote this on saturday. (on saturday a counter-demonstrator was killed by a white supremacist, trump gave a lame reaction or a 'both sides do it' sort of thing. then on monday he said exactly what everyone demanded he say. then on tuesday he went off, in the disastrous way that finally convinced me that he actually is sympathetic to white supremacism.)
through my life, i have done a lot of saying what i was not supposed to say, from the slightly continually inappropriate to the in-your-face transgression. i have calmed down a lot through the years, actually, but i definitely have an impulse, in any given situation, to feel for the verboten position, word, line of jive, and then find a way to deliver it, perhaps with a slant that makes it a bit hard to interpret. when i feel that people are telling me what to say, i have a vivid physical sensation of constraint; i might comply for awhile; ultimately it won't go well. the peeceer the people around me, for example, the more i talk wrong, or work on ways to undermine the constriction.
this impulse, i feel, has stood me in good stead many a time, and if you ever want a counter-consensus position, i am the wholesale outlet. it's led me to important moral insights, i believe, including that the political state is completely incompatible with any decent ethics whatsoever. but it will also tempt me toward the dark side, toward, for example, the views that are the opposite of the pc views. but that they're not pc, of course, does not entail that they are not evil, and so on. i sort of sometimes end up on the wrong side even by my own lights.
trump has that same set-up, which is more or less why i connect with him. whatever his views on race, etc, his very being was rebelling at the notion that everyone was writing a script for him, that they didn't care what he thought as long as he said a pre-rehearsed set of words that anyone could write in their sleep. that press conference tuesday was his whole being just saying 'fuck you'; he was chomping at the bit; he had the sensation of a release from physical constraint, of selfhood and self-respect and defiance. but he also expressed considerable sympathy with fucking neo-nazis, alright? you cannot have that in a pres of the united states, however he got there.
what disturbs me more than anything about the current situation is that the left and the alt right seem to agree that free speech = fascism and white supremacism. that's ironic, etc, but it certainly portends disaster for the future of free expression. when i say that, i hope not to be expressing nazi sentiments. maybe you think the nazis were big advocates of free speech, har har.
i doubt that neo-nazis are free speech advocates when push comes to shove, for they are totalitarians. but i don't doubt that the left of this moment is more or less entirely opposed to free speech in any form at all. they are totalitarians too. i feel that overall this is not a good moment politically.
sorry about slow blogging. i'm not missing everything, however, in this wild and woolly period. real-time political commentary has basically moved to my weekly column on the world's liveliest website, splicetoday (today: political idolatry and iconoclasm, on confederate memorials and such) and my twitter feed @crispinsartwell. i'll be back on the blog too, i expect.
people who regard themselves as journalists came out of this weekend thinking that the main news story on charlottesville is what the president didn't say. this obsession with the presidency and cult of leadership is so stupid on so many levels, but it's also really quite evil. it is a devastating reflection on the personalities of those it holds in its thrall. that's my splicetoday column this week.