Somebody Else

There is this restaurant nearby that everybody adores. It’s so popular people line up for over an hour for a table, even on week nights. The popularity is mostly due to the owners marketing themselves as Californians, and everybody seems to think being from California is the height of chicness. N and I are not that crazy about the place because it’s quite pricey for what you get. We haven’t been back there since Klara’s birth, but we went today, for variety’s sake. 

“Hey, where have you been?” the waitress exclaimed. “I haven’t seen you in such a long time!”

“We have a baby now,” I explained. “She’s almost 18 months old.”

“Oh, congratulations!” the waiter beamed at N.

After a short pause she turned to me and asked, “He is the father, right?”

It was kind of fun to be confused for a woman who dates a guy, then has a baby with somebody else, then goes back to dating the previous guy. Made me feel young and altogether somebody else. 

New Theorists

Please meet my new favorite theorists, Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval. The European Union, they say, is built on the deranged idea that independence from citizens is the best guarantee of the pursuit of the general interest. Unless this entire principle is revoked, the EU project is hopeless.

The Anti-BDS Bill

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) supports the outlandishly bad bill that would make supporting BDS a felony. This is so sad. McCaskill is local (from across the river in Missouri), and I used to like her. What, what could possibly possess a good, normally intelligent senator from Missouri to support this disaster of a bill? This is the measure that gets bipartisan support, really?

I’m sure most people with a functioning brain realize that this bill is about a whole lot more than the BDS. To paraphrase Bauman, the only freedom that you don’t have in neoliberal societies is the freedom not to shop. The space of politics is now almost entirely colonized by monetary transactions. The anti-BDS bill strives to make a refusal to shop into a crime. Because there is nothing that neoliberalism detests more than defective consumers who, for whatever reason, abstain from buying.