Unspeakable Cruelty

What kind of an evil, evil creep does that to people who have been in lockdown for six weeks?

Newspapers are a joke.

Public Health

Some places are actually tightening restrictions on outdoor activities:

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announced Friday that it will close courts, athletic fields, playgrounds and skate parks by May 1 in an effort to limit groups from congregating in parks during the coronavirus pandemic.

The restrictions will include removing or blocking basketball rims, removing tennis and volleyball nets, and posting signs notifying park visitors that soccer fields, playgrounds and skate parks are closed.

Given that 80-year-olds don’t come out to shoot hoops en masse and the teenagers who do are at a much, much greater risk from obesity and obesity-related illnesses, I sincerely believe that only the stupidest person in the world believes that this is about public health.

Find a Way

I really wanted to find a way to publish something on Ellmann and Rushdie, and I did. The article will come out in the leading literary journal in Ukraine. I just finished making requested changes.

There’s even some Russo and Sam Quinones in the article.

And since it’s in Ukrainian, this is the first piece of mine my mom has been able to read.

Finally, being Ukrainian is coming in useful professionally.

P.S. Come to think of it, it’s not true that being Ukrainian hasn’t been useful. Whose name is it easier to remember in the context of Hispanic Studies, mine or somebody named Gonzalez?

Not That Special

Developments in allegations against Biden amplify efforts to question his behavior https://t.co/OWXvnKzvvN

This tortured headline brings to mind how we all pored over Kavanaugh’s yearbook captions in search of evidence. There was some woman who was feeling devastated, all over the pages of the same paper that is now telling us how “developments amplify efforts”, about those yearbook captions. I’ll never get over those yearbook captions.

People were interrupting their classes to teach about these crucial developments. Other people were clawing the doors of Congress they were so distraught. There was a report about somebody spotting Kavanaugh next to a punch bowl, which had to be proof of everything and worse.

Now there’s a lot more corroboration and not just because anything is more than zero but because there’s actual corroboration. I know there are many good faith people who were sincere about Kavanaugh. They need to ask themselves why they don’t feel the same intensity about this.

We are all impacted by propaganda. Nobody is a special cookie who’s immune. The more you resist the possibility that you can and have been impacted by propaganda, the more it impacts you.

In my experience, Americans are a lot more easily swayed by propaganda precisely because they like to believe that they aren’t. It’s always “yes, of course, everybody is impacted except for me.” Curiously, this is especially bad with the folks who denounce American exceptionalism.

The truth is, though, that nobody is that special. Everybody’s mind is colonized, to a degree, by the lies implanted in our brains to control us. Everybody’s, and mine, too.

But we are lucky because these kind of situations when cracks appear in the monolith of propaganda can help us notice what’s going on and gain a degree of freedom.

I highly recommend not letting this situation go to waste. It’s not even about Biden or Kavanaugh. It’s about decluttering our brains a bit and freeing up some space for a tiny measure of freedom.