No, no, not the camel!

The Zookeeper’s Wife is an excellent movie, but daaaaaaamn is it ever begging for a trigger warning. I do not like seeing zoo animals get shot. You leave those elephants alone, rotten soldiers! While it does not show the act of violence directly, there is an incident early in the movie in which a pair of German soldiers rape a very young girl. (Jessica Chastain later gives her a sweet little bunny rabbit to cuddle.) Little kids getting loaded onto a train headed for a concentration camp, etc. Well-done, but you better have your stomach strapped in tight.

All that said, I think “Trump ist kaput!” would be very handy as a protesting slogan.

 

What about all the women we never heard of?

For all the dudes who are concerned about the backlash against sexual harassment, I have some questions I’d like you to ask yourselves:

If a man getting fired is comparable to murder, what about when someone is so miserable at work, they resign without another offer lined up? Is that suicide?

If a woman ends up leaving a job and ultimately gives up her career because the never-ending parade of abuse is fucking up her mental health, would you say she’s been driven to suicide?

Would you be interested in at least a partial accounting (a full accounting may be impossible) of all the people in the entertainment industry whose stories you never heard because they were still obscure and powerless when they were driven to career suicide? If the termination of someone like Harvey Weinstein or Louis CK is a tragedy of lost productivity, then are you willing to estimate the lost productivity of all the people who never got a chance to build the career they wanted because they couldn’t make it past the hurdle of sexual abuse?

For every Ashley Judd or Mira Sorvino, who knows how many promising talents never made it that far before some powerful predator killed their careers? Does their wasted potential count for anything in this discussion of the “brain drain” following sexual harassment accusations?

Or does the equation of job loss with death only count for powerful men?

 

Eat the Rich.

I decided to look around the Hermes website earlier today for fun. And browsing through their products, I was actually more surprised when I saw some items that were sort-of-reasonably priced.

It’s not that I expect upscale design-house merch to be affordable to plebes like me. I expect some relationship between what the item costs and what it has to offer the consumer. And when I see an office wastebasket—doesn’t even have solid sides!—costing $8200, I just want to know: why does this shit even exist?

The question should not be: “Why does this apparently not-rich person want to buy a $395 belt?” A better question would be: “Why does a rich person want to buy a $395 belt?” Why does the $395 belt even exist? Why is anyone making a product that costs so much to do so little?

I don’t think it’s morally wrong to have lots of money. (Up to a point. There’s no good reason to be a billionaire in any currency approaching the value of USD.) I don’t think the emphasis should be on making sure no one is allowed to accumulate wealth. I just think, if it seems like a good idea to spend thousands of dollars on a thing of which the cheaper version works at least as well, and even the best version of the thing doesn’t do all that much? Then you’re doing something wrong. Pay your employees (especially including domestic help) more, or give more to charity, or your tax rate should be raised.

Come the revolution, the people in possession of $4500 desk blotters will be first against the wall.

 

Deep Thoughts

I don’t want the US to become a one-party system. What we have right now, though? It’s worse than a one-party system. We have a party that is interested in actually governing. And then we have a party that’s mostly just interested in fucking everything up.

They’re gonna keep fucking everything up as long as they keep getting into office.

There are ways to respond to this.

For the wealthy people who were not in favor of the GOP tax bill AND who will get more money from the new tax structure, one way to protest the fiscal fuckery is to send lots of money downward.

If I had a few million dollars under my control, I’d use it to make my friends’ lives easier: pay off a mortgage, settle someone’s student debt, someone else’s credit card debt, pay someone’s legal fees, someone’s old medical bills, and on and on until all my peeps don’t have to spend valuable energy on trying to have enough money for the month.

For our “please raise my taxes” fellow citizens, I suggest doing something similar. Buy houses for low-income families. Pay off younger folks’ student loans. Set up a fund for medical coverage for poor children. Set up another fund to provide housing, meals, health care, incidentals, and counseling to homeless people. Keep on buying vacant houses and keep on giving it to the poorest people until there’s no one begging on your city’s streets anymore. Not because they’ve all been forced out to the suburbs, but because they’re not homeless anymore and they don’t need to beg.

And then in 2018, donate tons of money to the campaigns of Democratic challengers to current GOP legislators’ seats in Congress. Lest the pigs in charge say your generosity vindicates the myth of trickle-down economics, pull the financial rug out from under those fuckers. Donate every election cycle until every single shithead who voted Yes on the tax bill is out of office.

It looks like pretty soon, the rest of us won’t have as much money to spread around.

Some legislators don’t want to be re-elected.

I haven’t done a full accounting of the fuckery that’s about to start raining down on us from the new tax bill, but it sounds like a hell of a lot of GOP congressfuckers either don’t want to be re-elected or they assume they’ll keep getting re-elected no matter how hard they fuck their constituents with a chainsaw.

Those who voted Yes on the tax bill because they don’t want to get re-elected, should get their wish. Vote them out of office in 2018. Vote for Democrats or, where applicable, Independents for their seats. Those who voted Yes because they assume their districts will keep on electing them no matter how reprehensible they are, should be proven wrong. Vote for Democrats or viable Independents for their seats in 2018.

I mean, we’ll still have Bitch McConnell stinking up the joint until 2020, but if the Senate becomes majority-Dem, then he can’t be Senate Majority Leader.

Same thing with SCROTUS Cheeto Hitler. We still have his sorry ass squatting in the White House until 2020*, but if there’s a majority-Dem legislative branch, then there’s a lot less damage he can do with those two years.

*I actually don’t want him to resign, and I don’t want him to be impeached. At least, I don’t want anything to happen that gets us President Mike Pence. If we can get Cheeto Hitler out of the way at the same time as Pence and all the rest of their rogue’s gallery of fried dog assholes in the line of succession, good. Otherwise, just keep that toxic gas cloud contained until the next election cycle.

GOP is the party of voter suppression

No, seriously, you guise, the don’t-let-the-blacks-vote efforts in Alabama for this election were really quite astounding. That they ultimately failed to stop a sufficient number of people voting Democratic doesn’t change that the people in charge were putting major energy into undermining democracy. There were similar efforts at work in certain states during the 2016 presidential election. Wisconsin, for instance, would have easily gone for Hillary if not for voter ID laws.

Republicans are going to keep on fucking with voting rights as long as they can get away with it. They’ll get away with it as long as they keep getting into office. They’ll keep getting into office as long as people who COULD vote for Democrats, choose not to.

High fivin’ a million angels!

Despite the Alabama poll authorities doing their damnedest to make it as difficult as possible for black folks to vote, they voted anyway and chose Doug Jones over Roy Moore’s dusty ass for Senate. Congratulations, Alabama! Here’s to a narrow victory of good over evil!

 

I remember what it felt like to trust someone.

Damon Young has this to say about the confirmation of Louis CK being a serial sexual abuser, and I encourage you to read it all, but I want to highlight this part:

It’s not even how his work—which has frequently, delicately, painfully and hilariously delved into the politics of sex, sexual acts and sexual deviance, and his own sexual anxieties, proclivities and angsts—has to be seen as either him attempting to grapple with his own real-life demons or a performatively progressive cover allowing him a space to conceal his real-life misdeeds (or some combination of both).

See, this is what the truth about Louis CK means to me: it means I can’t enjoy his comedy anymore. It means I have to question what it meant to enjoy his comedy in the past. It means I can’t enjoy another apparently-progressive male comic doing similar material.

It’s not just that I can’t tell who the bad ones are. The situation now is more that I can’t tell who the good ones are. I can’t trust anyone.

What’ll it take?

I have actually, seriously, written up an idea for the mass shooting scenario that could finally, after all else has failed, get our politicians to get serious about restricting access to firearms.

As in, I’ve basically written the outline for a short story on what a mass shooting will have to look like in order to make effective bullet control happen.

That’s where we’re at, America. I am actually forming a positive answer to the question of “How many people have to die?”