My Blog Week: May 12 to May 18
A Word on the Week
Problems You Didn’t Know You Had
Starting small and going large, let’s consider a little story followers of late night TV will have heard. Last week, a twist of plot stirred fans of Game of Thrones (I don’t myself receive HBO, but I look at YouTube). Late Late Show host James Corden made a joke about the denouement, and was tweeted a vile “wish” from a fan.
Spoilers, you see, that offense that a decade or so ago, anyone would have supposed a frustration at best. A disappointment. How a spoiler could materially harm anyone remains a mystery, but through social media, people have come to see not being exposed to them an entitlement. A person denying you an entitlement is aggressing upon you. An aggressor attacking you is an enemy. An enemy attack should be retaliated, or otherwise punished. Hence…persons capable of hatefulness because someone told them what happens in a story. The key to this line of propagandist reasoning is to speak on behalf of others, excising yourself from the need to justify the injury.
As to the massive thing of the week, the Republican brainstorm on abortion, we see the same procedure. Life is an entitlement, yes, and we can start with the ones we’ve got. Affordable healthcare; housing, educational, and income equality, would reduce abortion and improve futures for present children (and their parents, both mothers and fathers). But if women can be characterized as attacking the rights of the unborn, then women become enemy actors and must be punished. These legislators could not explain how a private episode in the life of a woman they care little to nothing about, harms them personally. But they don’t need that…because they claim harm on behalf of the fetus.
For Whom the Poll Tolls
It’s a curiosity that we have to buzz about “electability”; that a special class of voters, The People Who Can’t Change, need the strange dichotomy of being buttered up, because they’re the finest, goodest-of-heart people in our country, and being wielders of terror, lest they take up guns and start shooting strangers at random. Women, a special class of voters known as The Largest Percentage of the Population, have lately been belittled, shoved to the margin and sneered at (witness William Barr’s chivying ways with Nancy Pelosi), and no one expresses any fear of not catering to women. The candidate for our times ought at least to be one who knows what non-privilege feels like.
Now, polls. In 2016, the numbers touted were signally inaccurate. Millions, I’m sure, rarely answer their phones. When the phone rings, you let the phone get it, and call back if you know the caller. You might envision some combination of people willing to answer poll questions augmented with data purchased from a company like Cambridge Analytica, as the Bold New Polling Formula. To be relied on? Accepting the premise that only a top-poller can win? Polls, in fact, have always been political tools to summon the herd instinct, to convince voters to go ahead and do what everyone else seems to be doing.
Blog rescue continued this week, so lots of poetry. Monday, a piece from The Poor Belabored Beast, “Put to Sleep”. (Beast is undergoing a fresh edit, but will be back on sale soon.) Tuesday, no time for Sequence, but a new poem in the Jumping Off series, “Entrée”, touching on detractions writers are familiar with. On Wednesday, “Transposed”, another from Beast.
Thursday, Catastrophe, with Hess recording some bigoted remarks of military officers, as to relief distribution. Friday, another section of the short story, “Tourmaline”, Anton getting an ambiguous directive in the form of a ring. And Saturday, the last poem in The Folly’s Pale Knight arc, “Poison in the Marrow”, wherein the creature raises its best alarm about a future horror, sprouted fresh to no one’s comprehension, in 1934.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: May 12 to May 18
La Catastrophe de la Martinique: fifty-six