New Battle in Job Wars

The NYTimes informs us about the next target of cancellation:

John T. Edge, the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, is urged to step down after longstanding concerns about his leadership.

This time, though, there are no allegations against the victim, not even of the most ridiculous kind:

No racist images of the sort that led to the recent and speedy exit of Adam Rapoport as the editor in chief of Bon Appétit have surfaced. There are no homophobic texts or reports of sexual harassment. By many accounts, the work around the intersection of race and food that Mr. Edge, 57, has spent 20 years attending to has been crucial.

So what’s the problem, then? The guy never sinned against the ruling dogma, he’s sweet and nice. Why should he get fired?

A chorus of voices is rising, though. Mr. Edge, they say, is a statue that needs to come down.

“I view him as a dear friend and a close ally, but principles don’t mean anything until they cost you something,” said the author Lolis Eric Elie, 57, a founder of the organization who has also written for The New York Times. “And John T. is a man of great principle who may end up paying a great price in this context.”

Say, what? Well, the guy is white. That’s his crime. So, like a statue, he’s got to be smashed.

The rest of the article offers a litany of quotes from eager mediocrities who think the job should be theirs and who won’t rest untill they chase this Edge fellow out of employment. There’s still only one job, so they’ll keep eating each other alive long after he’s gone.

Are Latinos Black?

While many Latinos are, indeed, black (most Cubans and Dominicans are black and at the same time undeniably Latino, for example), I don’t understand how one can be a Latino and speak no Spanish. It makes zero sense. Latino is not a genetic, racial, or ethnic category. Latinos can be of any race or ethnicity (Google Keiko Fujimori for an example of a Japanese Latina). The only thing they have in common is their Latin ancestry, manifested in the Spanish language they speak.

In the US, there’s this cute antiquated affectation of referring to descendants of immigrants as Italian-Americans or Russian-Americans. Older people do it but everybody knows it’s not serious. There’s zero difference between people whose great-grandparents came here from wherever. Gosh, forget great-grandparents. My kid isn’t going to be Ukrainian or Russian in any meaningful way. Everybody understands that and has no problem with it.

And yes, AOC is a total idiot but when she says “Latinos are black,” she’s absolutely right. Many Latinos are black. Associating the word Latino with a specific “look” is ignorant. AOC is a mumbly person, so she tends to express herself in a clumsy way. As a result, even when she says something factually true, it sounds moronic.

My point is that using “Latino” as a stand in for “not white but not black either” is about the tiresome racial hangups of Americans and nothing else whatsoever. And the world is very tired of the racial hangups of well-meaning Americans.

Private and Public

Zygmunt Bauman, the greatest philosopher of the early 21 century warned about this 15 years ago. The private will colonize all public spaces until there is no public dimension left to our life.

Bauman was right. It’s now fashionable to expose personal neuroses and all of the suppurating pustules of one’s unhealthy psyche to public view and claim they are evidence of “systemic” or “structural” societal issues. Nobody is a depressive sad sack, a lazy bum, or a shitty date anymore. Everybody’s dysfunction is a result of gigantic societal injustices.

Developments in Russia

The day before yesterday, Russians overwhelmingly voted to erase Putin’s previous presidencies. That’s the official term used in Russia. Erase.

Putin’s presidential terms need to be erased so that he (or his double hence nobody knows when it’s actually Putin or one of his many doubles who make public appearances) can continue to be president. Question #1: why is it not a deeply smart idea to quote Russia Today as if it were an actual news source?

One might ask, if Russians want “Putin” to be president for 40 years and not just 20, why can’t they just proclaim him a monarch, cook up some familial links with the Romanovs (the last royal dynasty in Russia), and be done with it? Why go through the farce of a referendum and then repeat it with periodic elections?

That’s because Americans made it uncool and a sign of barbarity to have a multi-decade dictatorial rule. Everybody in the world now needs to pretend they have a democracy even when they don’t want it and can’t comprehend it. This is one of the many reasons Russians detest the US so much. This is why they constantly complain about the US exporting its icky values everywhere and imposing them on people.

I wouldn’t mind what they do in Russia and what sort of barbarity they espouse. (Did anybody hear about the recent law legalizing domestic violence in Russia? Cute stuff.) But they keep invading other countries and trying to act as “the real America” on the world scene.

People complain I don’t give regional updates any more, so I decided to share. As usual, anybody who tries to educate me about Russia will have to pass a small language and history proficiency test first.

A Good Saint

At church, we have been divided into rosters to observe social distancing. Rosters take turns attending service on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. At first, the rosters were named after different colors but that’s beyond confusing. I can’t remember colors!

Finally, the priest named rosters after saints. I got St Herman of Alaska. I was glad to get such a wonderful saint. Even thinking about him makes me happy.

But then I realized that I know absolutely nothing about this saint. It’s the word “Alaska” that makes me happy. The weather here is unlivable it’s so hot. Anything to do with Alaska sounds attractive.