Shitty Consumers

Consumerism is beyond disgusting when taken to these extremes:

Spikes have been fixed to trees in a leafy neighbourhood of Bristol in an attempt to prevent birds from perching there and creating a mess on residents’ cars.The spikes, of the sort normally seen on the ledges of buildings to ward off pigeons, have been spotted on trees in Clifton, near the wildlife-rich Downs and the Avon gorge.

Cheap Populism

We all know how much I detest Rauner but the following criticism is just dumb:

When asked when the last time he visited [Southern Illinois], a spokesman for Rauner said, “Given the distance, I’m not sure he’s gotten that far down in Southern Illinois in recent months.” The distance –3 hours from Springfield to Carbondale by car – however, seemed not to be a factor in the Governor’s decision to visit China (18 hours), Japan (17 hours), and Israel (20 hours) in recent months.

Let’s criticize Rauner for the many – and I mean, tons – of things that he does wrong but noticing that globalization happened is not one of them. If cheap populism is how we plan to fight his reelection, then oy.

The Grandpa Story

Klara’s favorite story right now is the one I call “The Recalcitrant Grandpa.” In the story, grandpa refuses to follow his daily routine and Klara helps him understand why he should. The story is endless and goes as follows:

“Then mamma said, ‘Grandpa, please put on your pink tutu.’ And Grandpa said, ‘No! I don’t want to put on my pink tutu.’ And Klara said, ‘Grandpa, you have to put on your pink tutu because we are going to the dance lesson.’ And Grandpa said, ‘OK!'”

Grandpa also refuses to take his orange paci, eat yogurt, brush teeth, play with his toy Santa, wear a green dress with horses, etc. The story doesn’t have a manipulative component because Grandpa only refuses to do things that Klara likes to do. What’s really cute is that Klara understands the humorous aspect of Grandpa in a pink tutu and screams “Funny!” whenever Grandpa does something particularly hilarious.

Another fascinating thing is that when Klara wants to hear a story, she links her little fingers to show a chain. Which means that she understands the nature of a narrative where one thing leads to another and everything is linked. 

Can’t Go Liquid

The new Republican tax bill has a provision that will allow companies to write off the full cost of new buildings and equipment. That’s a clear attempt to tie capital to land. And there are dozens of provisions like that, attempting to bring some solidity into the liquid. This is a big country, it’s not Estonia, it can’t get on going fully liquid right now.

The Real Message

Responding to the anxieties arising from the eriosion of the nation-state by stoking xenophobia and hatred is wrong. But once you’ve pointed that out, you need to offer a response of your own. Because if you don’t, you are sending a message that strengthens the very position that you pretend to condemn. “Yes, it’s bad but it’s the only way.”