Two decisions came out today, one from the judiciary and another from a private business. I’ve taken an interest in both of these rulings simply because they were both released on the same day, as the result of happy coincidence, and because they coincide with a general confusion, I would say, that grips present American society.
Trump’s whispers are heard in the atmosphere, hovering over the populace like clouds that threaten destructive floods to come. Someone reports seeing a blue bird, which has by now become the omen that foretells an inauspicious day. Another blue bird is reported, then another. The people have learned to let the flying beasts come, lest they risk attracting their attention and having the roofs of their houses collapse from the weight of the things. After a time, it becomes clear that Trump’s aviary, gold-plated and obtuse, no longer holds life, and instead hangs empty, extravagant, and dumb.
The blue birds perch on fire hydrants, stoplights, and cars. Their feathers are of such a brilliant blue as to appear celestial—somehow, they glow. The people can’t help but look at them, slack-jawed and mesmerized, in wonder of how creatures so strange could be seen every day and still look so new. But the people are careful around the blue birds, for the birds are eager to return to their aviary and feed their holder Trump with the bread crumbs gathered from the day. Added to the normal cacophony of the day are the blue birds’ cries: “McConnell! McConnell!”
“Oh, boy,” McConnell sighs. Continue reading The Ballad of Trump and McConnell
What you are about to read is biased. We can agree on this point right away—I don’t hide from making explicit my viewpoint. Read this with the knowledge, the affirmation, and my guaranteed re-confirmation that I am providing a view belonging to me. If one is to disagree with the points of an author, it does no good to say an author is biased and leave it at that. To call a source biased is to admit one’s comfort with redundancy. My reason for this introduction is the following: All too often, a source is instantly dismissed because of its biases, either obvious or implicit, and the ideas that inhabit a work receive no attention or consideration, since the author’s background, or ideology, or—as is increasingly the case—race, gender, and place of publication, prohibit serious discussion on those grounds. Everything has bias. The basic presence of bias does not merit instant dismissal of a work.
The inverse is equally true. Recognizing the inevitability of bias, favoring one bias over another, to the point of exclusively subscribing to one, at all times, and instantly writing off the other, creates the same kind of intellectual blockade I see as increasingly prevalent on the largest public space where discussions continue to exist: The internet. This great mechanism for worldwide connection gave rise to pockets of information, insular interpretations of every event one could think of, and increased the myopia of those who thought their mud was clearest. The Us vs. Them mentality has firmly entrenched itself in the minds of many, far too many, which is why, rather than keep their minds open, ideological zealots attack one another with ready-made slogans and catchphrases, you know, one is “mansplaining” and the other is a “snowflake.” The insult will either precede or proceed what’s bound to be a misunderstood reply, but the insult will always accompany the collection of words that the writer thinks combine to form a “mic drop” reply.
What Is My Problem?
For all of human history, it had been the scholars, the intellectuals, and the literate who were at the opposite end of the sword and the rifle, or inside the cellars, hiding, and in the jail cells, rotting, when a new leader, group, or government came to power, having first usurped it without provocation, without need, and without support. Continue reading The Assassinator