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The_jackalope

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Member since: Sun Jun 4, 2017, 05:46 PM
Number of posts: 1,660

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We will not end Trumpism by voting.

The USA may be able to vote Trump and the Republicans out of office. However, Trumpism itself is not a political movement, except incidentally. It's a revenge movement, a movement of total retaliation. It has spawned a "kind of politics that is nearly impossible to deal with using reason or empathy or awareness-raising or any of the other favorite tools of the left."

This why I have suspected since halfway through the campaign that the USA is headed toward an abyss that looks a lot like some kind of civil war. And I don't have the first clue about how to prevent that outcome.

This Political Theorist Predicted the Rise of Trumpism. His Name Was Hunter S. Thompson

Most people read Hell’s Angels for the lurid stories of sex and drugs. But that misses the point entirely. What’s truly shocking about reading the book today is how well Thompson foresaw the retaliatory, right-wing politics that now goes by the name of Trumpism. After following the motorcycle guys around for months, Thompson concluded that the most striking thing about them was not their hedonism but their “ethic of total retaliation” against a technologically advanced and economically changing America in which they felt they’d been counted out and left behind. Thompson saw the appeal of that retaliatory ethic. He claimed that a small part of every human being longs to burn it all down, especially when faced with great and impersonal powers that seem hostile to your very existence. In the United States, a place of ever greater and more impersonal powers, the ethic of total retaliation was likely to catch on.

What made that outcome almost certain, Thompson thought, was the obliviousness of Berkeley, California, types who, from the safety of their cocktail parties, imagined that they understood and represented the downtrodden. The Berkeley types, Thompson thought, were not going to realize how presumptuous they had been until the downtrodden broke into one of those cocktail parties and embarked on a campaign of rape, pillage, and slaughter. For Thompson, the Angels weren’t important because they heralded a new movement of cultural hedonism, but because they were the advance guard for a new kind of right-wing politics. As Thompson presciently wrote in the Nation piece he later expanded on in Hell’s Angels, that kind of politics is “nearly impossible to deal with” using reason or empathy or awareness-raising or any of the other favorite tools of the left.

Fifty years after Thompson published his book, a lot of Americans have come to feel like motorcycle guys. At a time when so many of us are trying to understand what happened in the election, there are few better resources than Hell’s Angels. That’s not because Thompson was the only American writer to warn coastal, left-liberal elites about their disconnection from poor and working-class white voters. Plenty of people issued such warnings: journalists like Thomas Edsall, who for decades has been documenting the rise of “red America,” and scholars like Christopher Lasch, who saw as early as the 1980s that the elite embrace of technological advancement and individual liberation looked like a “revolt” to the mass of Americans, most of whom have been on the losing end of enough “innovations” to be skeptical about the dogmas of progress.
Posted by The_jackalope | Fri Jun 29, 2018, 05:22 PM (15 replies)

How long must your nation go without revolting

Before we can say your nation has become revolting?

Asking for an ally.
Posted by The_jackalope | Fri Jun 22, 2018, 12:38 AM (9 replies)

Home

by Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it's not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i've become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here
Posted by The_jackalope | Thu Jun 21, 2018, 12:33 PM (3 replies)

Scene on a bus

Written after I arrived at work this morning.

On the bus a greying civil servant
Clutches his strap with the grip of a drowning man.

Tears streak his cheeks,
Flooding from behind dark glasses
That protect his eyes from the sun
And the bovine gaze of strangers.

In his hand, an iPhone.
On its screen
A black-haired little girl
Screams forever in red shoes.
Posted by The_jackalope | Thu Jun 21, 2018, 08:55 AM (0 replies)

Scene on a bus

On the bus a greying civil servant
Clutches his strap with the grip of a drowning man.

Tears streak his cheeks,
Flooding from behind dark glasses
That protect his eyes from the sun
And the bovine gaze of strangers.

In his hand, an iPhone.
On its screen
A black-haired little girl
Screams forever in red shoes.

***
I wrote this after arriving at work this morning.
Posted by The_jackalope | Thu Jun 21, 2018, 08:19 AM (0 replies)
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