The Speech

Listened to Trump’s speech. It’s not going to work. It’s not possible to get anybody to see that the porous Southern border is not a huge benefit to humanity. People have convinced themselves that putting any obstacle on the path of human traffickers and cartels is morally wrong.

Trump wasn’t speaking to his supporters. He was speaking to people who have thrown their lot in with fluidity and won’t budge. But like I said in my MLA talk, the fluid elites refuse to see that fluidity isn’t that great for most. Because if they see it, they will have to face the possibility that fluidity might treat them cruelly, too. And that’s too scary.

Mockery

The problem with the Green New Deal is not that it’s expensive or ambitious. The real problem is that it is created purposefully to prevent anything from being done on climate. Promising, within this climate plan, to establish a federal jobs guarantee and UBI in order to “mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth” is a more polite way of saying “fuck you, losers, and your loserish concerns about climate.” I can kind of vaguely understand not wanting to bother with climate but you don’t have to mock it.

We have this expression in Russian which is actually a quote from a very good Soviet novel: “I’ll give you this and that and a key from an apartment filled with money.” It’s used to mock people who ask for things. This plan reminded me of it.

Jouissance

There are so many articles* about how parents today spend much more time with their kids than the previous generations. Like how working mothers spend more time with their kids than non-working mothers did in the fifties, or whatever. The explanation is always that this is because it’s harder to remain in the middle classes these days and parents want to make their kids more competitive on the neoliberal job market.

I have a feeling these articles were written by childless folks because they seem unable to arrive at a much simpler explanation that people’s standard of living improved, so they choose to spend more time with kids because they enjoy it. For women specifically, household appliances and food delivery have become more sophisticated, Amazon simplified shopping, and smartphones simplified the management of social obligations. For working parents, travel is easier. Finding information is easier. Finding activities for kids is easier. So people invest the time they have liberated with all this into something they enjoy. Which is being with their kids.

When folks see me take Klara to her dance lesson – which is a whole production because I rush home to make hot dinner to bring with us, then rush to school to pick her up, then drive to the dance school two towns over in bad traffic entertaining her with stories all the way there and back, then change her into ballet clothes, then change her back after the dance, and then do the return in even worse traffic with even more inventive stories because now she’s tired – they think I’m an amazing mother.

But the truth is that I’m not doing it for her. I’m doing this for me. I look forward to the dance lesson all week. Why else would I do all this if I didn’t enjoy it? To increase her chances of succeeding on the neoliberal job market with dancing skills she learned at two? That’s clearly nuts.

But forget me. There is a mom who brings her kid to the dance lesson after 8 hours on her feet in a service job. Another brings all her four kids and entertains three of them while one dances. One mom is heavily pregnant. None of them looks very driven by neoliberal preoccupations. We’ve been going to that school for over a year, and if somebody among the parents expressed any class-based wishes, I would have noticed. I think they simply love their kids.

* I could give links but somebody is transitioning to a big girl bed, so she gets up at the ungodly hour of 7 am and then is cantankerous and pitches fits. So I’m too tired and irritable to look for links.

Bolsonaro

Oh, so what, now it turns out Bolsonaro is not much of a fascist either?

I’m getting so I’m about to have a fit if I hear anybody use the word fascism ever again. Which is a tad inconvenient, given as I’m about to co-teach a course where one of the lectures (not given by me, obviously) is titled “Mussolini’s Fascism.”

Speaking about immorality, how moral is it to appropriate the suffering of others and use words like fascism and Nazis in lieu of “things and people I don’t like”?

The worst part is that this Bolsonaro fellow sounds like a massive dick due to his disgusting neoliberal policies. And we all know how much I disapprove of those. But people have so screwed the pooch with crying fascism that now saying “he promotes neoliberalism” sounds like approval. Because as bad as it is, it doesn’t rise to the level of fascism.