John Kelly and Convenient Cultural Amnesia

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Sympathizer,  comments about John Kelley’s remarks on immigrants:

Convenient amnesia about one’s origins is an all-American trait, since we believe ourselves to be the country in which everyone gets a new beginning.
What some of us also forget is that at nearly every stage of our country’s history, the people who were already established as American citizens found convenient targets to designate as unable to assimilate: the indigenous peoples; conquered Mexicans; slaves; or the newest immigrants, who were usually classified as nonwhite.

“I had not been prepared for the simple charm of watching someone you love grow. “

So far the most surprising, beautiful sentence in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ We Were Eight Years in Power. It’s about his wife and part of one of the meta-essays that introduce his previously published essays in this collection. Some have aged better than others, but the meta-essays alone are worth the read alone. Man, that guy can write.

The Point of Michelle Wolf’s WHCD Monologue

Comedians You Should Know in Brooklyn Sept21 2016

On-point analysis of Michelle Wolf’s speech roast at the White House Correspondents Dinner by Rhonda Garelick at The Cut:

 Yes, it’s a sexist epithet, using a slur against women (“bitch”) to equate feminine behavior with inadequacy. But beyond that lay Wolf’s greater point: The White House currently resembles a misogynist dystopia, but the press has some complicity in this. The press complains, but they return again and again to that briefing room, asking questions as if they might ever get a straight answer, as if this were a normal White House that hadn’t declared the free press “an enemy of the people.” And so, in level four of her insult sequence, Michelle Wolf directed her comedic firepower not at her ostensible target, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but at every member of her audience.

“Fact-Checking – An Effective Weapon Against Misinformation?”

Over on the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings’ blog, Jude Dineley writes about possibilities of fact-checking:

The rise of the fact-check is partly a response to the deluge of misinformation accompanying the internet and social media: never before could dubious claims be shared so easily, widely and quickly.

Fact-checking is also, however, a chance to document issues more thoroughly than in routine news reporting. An important goal of journalists is to cover all points of view to maintain impartiality. However this, along with increasingly under-resourced newsrooms and tight deadlines, can ironically result in false balance and misleading coverage. Coverage of climate change is a classic example.

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

Zora Neale Hurston – Their Eyes Were Watching God

Another Assault on a School.

So there is another mass shooting with an assault-style rifle in a U.S. school, this time in Parkland, Florida. 

The Governor again talks about this kind of event like it’s an unpreventable natural disaster, the young shooter is “pure evil.” Law enforcement is showered with praise, thoughts and prayers are offered. Pam Bondi, the horrid Florida Attorney General, stresses her cooperation with GoFundMe to prevent scam, and promises to not work with overpriced funeral homes. Mental health is talked about like the water temperature and pressure systems of an ocean after a hurricane. 

This is not natural. Both the Governor and AG have the power have to actually do something against what makes these events so deadly: The widespread availability of military-strength weapons. The US is the only country where this happens over, and over, and over again.

Unacceptable.