My Blog Week: November 28 to December 4

Posted by ractrose on 6 Dec 2021 in The Latest

A black cat, nicknamed Nortie, who serves as Torsade's site ambassador.

All the Latest from Torsade!












Cartoon of couple on couch

Cartoon of the Week: Lessons for Later





A Word on the Week



Clip Art of GlobeThe Sensitivity Trap (part two)






Unbridled and unassuageable emotional states are the stuff peddled into the cultural discourse by trolls. The idea that all feelings are valid has been muddied into “all feelings are important”, “all feelings are equally important”, and “if I express my feelings with maximum noise, I am most important of all”.

That we feel what we feel by biochemistry, not choice, and that others can’t tell us what we feel, are fundamentals. Feelings are valid, but adulthood requires that we master them. Self-control isn’t self-denial. (And pop psychology is popular because it is so facilitative to bullies and predators.) To receive justice, we must be good faith participants in the processes of justice. The bad messengers of social media would like trauma to become radioactive. They happily exploit the liberal terror of Speaking the Wrong Word to a Disadvantaged Person. The victim in the bad faith storyline screams trauma continually, and no one dares approach to ask, “What role do you want to play in your own healing?”

The left wants to be inclusive; while the right wants to be exclusive. But we forget that the original motive for inclusiveness wasn’t kindliness, or social consciousness—it was coalition building, a means of balancing the power of wealth with the power of numbers. The weakness in ill-practiced inclusivity is easy to identify; candidates for attention are easy to mimic, excesses easy to exacerbate. New causes, or new demands from old causes, appear at the fringe, and the left seeks to bring the fringe to the center. If it’s “insensitive” to question legitimacy, then asking for a viable business plan: What rights are you seeking? How does this presentation help you get there?, becomes the insupportable offense.

We see in this the familiar magic of propaganda, the unspecified means to unspecified achievements that are always shining at the horizon. Activism is predicated on awareness campaigning, that wonderful money sink; awareness, on demonstrating the level of anger.

Since 2016, and the rise of the Trump/Brexit axis, we have seen a number of flareups—of trans rights, radical feminist backlash, do we Latinx or don’t we?; are Appalachian white people the real victims? We should consider that these are not reactions to the hard right emergence—they are creations of it. Which is not to say enclaves of sheltered thought don’t produce such ideas organically. And not to say some cultural bigotries (liberal blindness to its own core colonialism, among them), can’t benefit from reframing, or that wake-up calls don’t at minimum wake people up.

But consider the intermittent idea plaguing Europe, that gendered languages should be made neuter. Are English-speaking countries (America, England, Australia?) such perceived idylls of equality and respect? Or is it that all rights issues requiring the protection of laws, therefore the making and enforcement of laws, therefore the voting in of candidates who can ensure these, seem less important to European feminism than anthropomorphist notions about a chair or a book? 

Arch take aside, the answer is: a lot of the noisemakers aren’t feminists. Europe could easily go fascist on the strength of its liberal parties giving this language issue the time of day. The danger is real. The right, with their will to exclude all sorts of people, can deal with a Jesus Nation Under Gun fringe movement by ignoring its existence, while accepting its donations. The left can’t resist a trending hashtag on Twitter.







On Monday, The Sword Decides!, has Giovanna unhappy with the sacrifice her throne demands. On Tuesday, “The Blue Bird”, opens with an apocalyptic mystery. Wednesday, Hammersmith, and the Patriots at the mercy of the anarchists. Thursday, Catastrophe, the beginning of Hess’s personal reporting. Friday, a Jumping Off poem reissue, “Sand”. Saturday, a day off from posting.
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: November 28 to December 4


Marjorie Bowen: The Sword Decides! (part forty-five)
November 29


The Blue Bird (part one)
November 30


Hammersmith: Appassionata (chapter thirty-five)
December 1


Catastrophe (part four)
December 2


Jumping Off: Sand (poem)
December 3



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