The best way I can think of to describe the current status of the GOP is “malevolent inanity.”
The elevation of nonsensical, yet still hateful, rhetoric whose sole intention is to rile up the aggrieved, while not new, is now the primary (only?) strategy of the GOP’s desperate attempt to maintain relevance and cling to power.
A good example of the effect is to watch the New Yorker video of the invasion of the senate chamber at the U.S. Capitol. President Trump, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, et al. managed to animate a cadre of pathetic golems taking the form of giant toddlers. Overgrown preschool escapees whose power resides in falling on the floor and shitting themselves.
Remember when your kids first discovered that pushing a plate of food off the high-chair tray resulted in all kinds of excitement and chaos? That’s these guys.
The bar for becoming a freedom fighter is now low enough to step over. You just have to be willing to zip-tie the constitution to a chair.
“I was stunned by Mary Karr’s memoir, The Liars’ Club. Not just by its ferocity, its beauty, and by her delightful grasp of the vernacular, but by its totality—she is a woman who remembers everything about her early years.”
I found a copy of this book at The Dusty Bookshelf here in Lawrence, KS today. It’s reputation proceeds it but I would have purchased it on the strength of the epigram alone.
“When someone is honestly 55% right, that’s very good and there’s no use wrangling. And if someone is 60% right, it’s wonderful, it’s great luck, and let him thank God. But what’s to be said about 75% right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100% right? Whoever says he’s 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal.”
—An old Jew of Galicia
It was only toward the middle of the twentieth century that the inhabitants of many European countries came, in general unpleasantly, to the realization that their fate could be influenced directly by intricate and abstruse books of philosophy. Their bread, their work, their private lives began to depend on this or that decision in disputes on principles to which, until then, they had never paid any attention. In their eyes, the philosopher had always been a sort of dreamer whose divagations had no effect on reality. The average human being, even if he had once been exposed to it, wrote philosophy off as utterly impractical and useless. Therefore the great intellectual work of the Marxists could easily pass as just one more variation on a sterile pastime. Only a few individuals understood the causes and probable consequences of this general indifference.
On the reading page for Terrible Ideas, the Currently Reading section now contains 9 books. The list doesn’t contain any books that I want to give up on, so it’s time to get moving.
The On Deck section, on the other hand, is completely ridiculous. I’m going to have to do some revising and reconsidering there. There are forty books “on deck” and for some of them, I should consider adding a “wishful thinking” section. There are also quite a few unlisted recent acquisitions that are trying to push for the top of that list. It’s time for a little planning and purging.
There’s definitely going to be more poetry read. Poetry increases strength and builds muscles.
A nice thing about living in Lawrence, KS is the increased likelihood that you will get to say the word Wakarusa.
Try it. Wah-kah-roo-sah! It feels pretty good, yeah?
The etymology of the name “Wakarusa” is not known. According to tradition, the name is from a Native American language, meaning “knee-deep in mud”. A more recent source claims a settler named it after a location in Kansas.
It was one of the mixed blocks over on Central Avenue, the blocks that are not yet all Negro. I had just come out of a three-chair barber shop where an agency thought a relief barber named Dimitrios Aleidis might be working. It was a small matter. His wife said she was willing to spend a little money to have him come home.
I never found him, but Mrs. Aleidis never paid me any money either.