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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Archive for the day “June 5, 2017”

Audible Guilt 

So I decided to relax by scrolling down my Facebook feed. Item #2 was an ad from Audible titled How to Build Self-discipline. The worst part was that I immediately started an inner monologue about how I had worked all day and had only opened Facebook a second before and I’m not really lazy. Finally, the guilt became too much and I closed Facebook. 

Fuck you, Audible.

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Invest Inwards

People who are outraged by Trump being outraged by what Sidiq Khan said and people who are outraged by  people who are outraged by Trump being outraged by what Sidiq Khan said and people who are being outraged by those who are outraged by those who are outraged, etc.:

Have you considered, just for variety’s sake, to respond to the show that these clowns are putting on by investing inwards other than outwards? For instance, every other time or every fifth time that the show begins, one can decide not to purchase the ticket but instead to spend the energy and the time on oneself. The second the show starts, one takes all of the energy that is about to swell outside and feed the vampires and instead takes a run around the block. Or does pushups. Or reads 15 pages of a book one needs for work. Or memorizes 10 words in a language one is learning. 

‘Cause they are getting richer and more powerful. And we are feeding them instead of feeding us. It doesn’t have to be politicians. Any species of vampire (movie stars, famous athletes, etc) will do. 

Nation-building Toolbox

In Palin’s case, it’s an emotionalappeal to a romanticized, mythical past of “real America.” And that’s why I think the fixation people have on Palin’s complete policy incoherence and ignorance is missing the point. Her policy ignorance isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Palin is conceptually and intellectually poor because her politics are not about policies, but a romantic restoration of the ‘real’ America to its rightful place.

Because you, fuckers, have completely abandoned the toolbox of nation-building. These people can do whatever they want with the tools that you dropped in your eagerness to demonstrate how comfortable you are with fluidity. Who was publishing the idiotic screeds denouncing Thanksgiving and 4th of July? Pushkin? Or was it the same bunch of losers who are now stunned that this has been turned against them?

A Gift for Neoliberalism 

Finally somebody says something worthwhile about the UK’s terror attacks. From Kenan Malik’s blog:

The influence of institutions that once helped inculcate people with a sense of obligation to others, from the church to trade unions, has declined. So has that of progressive movements that gave social grievance a political form. The rise of identity politics has fragmented society and narrowed our sense of attachment and belonging. The social and moral boundaries that act as firewalls against inhuman behaviour have weakened.

Malik is absolutely right. National governments neither can nor want to do what they are supposed to be doing, which is to guarantee our welfare. Instead, they try to distract us and prop up their fading legitimacy by endless talk about security. While economic insecurities grow unchecked, the weakened national governments that are eagerly rolling over for liquid capital are displacing the conversation to the realm of increased policing and surveillance. 

As Malik correctly states, however, the kind of terrorism that is battering the UK cannot be legislated away. 

The real problem lies in the atomization of consumerist societies where people can see nothing deserving of greater allegiance than their stupid little “identity.” That’s why I’m so angry at the spectacle of Evergreen’s students. No, of course, they aren’t going to engage in terrorism. But it’s a milder symptom of the same disease: I’m convinced that there is nothing more important than my pouty little sense of grievance and to hell with anything that stands in the way of me expressing it. 

It’s the same with Trump voters and all of those people who can’t quit bashing Bernie supporters. Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with criticizing Bernie, of course. It’s the lack of solidarity with people who are just like you that bugs me. 

This identity obsession is the best gift neoliberalism could have hoped for. While we are distracted by barking at each other, our pockets are being emptied. 

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