NSW

When I enter “home” in my Maps app, it tries to take me to a very different place.

There’s a mystery by Sophie Hannah where a woman enters “Home” on her GPS, and it takes her to another woman’s house. And then creepy things begin to happen.

I don’t suspect N of anything, though, because my home, according to the Maps app, is in New South Wales, Australia, right next to Australian Reptile Park.

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Statement of Faith

At a certain school I won’t name, every faculty meeting starts with a statement read aloud that says, “We recognize that we exist on an occupied land that belongs to the X Native American tribe and we bear full responsibility for the colonialist nature of our presence here.” Moreover, every MA and PhD thesis has to include this statement on the cover page.

Given that there are no Native Americans present at those meetings and that Native Americans have better things to do than pore over every MA thesis the school approves, these efforts aren’t doing much to benefit any actual Native American. And any power that the statement might have has been eroded by endless repetition.

Anybody who questions the use of the statement is labeled a racist, a colonialist, an imperialist, and a white supremacist. So nobody wants to speak out any more. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that there are many people who passionately and sincerely believe that you can’t possibly oppose the repeated use of the statement for any other reason but bigotry and hate.

Extremism and Globalization

There is this popular blogger in Russia who does funny reviews of video games. N has been following him since his gaming days. The point of the reviews isn’t really to review but to take a piss out of video games. The blogger uses tons of potty humor, goofy jokes, it’s not high culture but it’s sometimes funny.

Recently this blogger was given an 18-month jail sentence (suspended) for extremism because he made a joke about the Koran. “Ha, ha, I went to a public toilet, there was no toilet paper, so I used this Koran thing to wipe my ass.” The joke’s hardly funny but a jail sentence?

I’m sharing this story because there is a deep misunderstanding in the US of what Putin is and what he stands for. It’s this kind of stuff that makes Russian nationalists detest him. Putin is a globalizing imperialist of the first order. He’s not anti-globalization. He’s anti-US-led-globalization.