“Second-tier complaints”

A daily joy of mine – a true joy – is reading whatever Kristi Coulter has put on her FB wall. From yesterday:

Someone named Chad emailed to let me know “Enjoli” is all about First World Problems. Thank you for crawling out of your lean-to, watering your team of oxen and then walking barefoot from your shantytown to the nearest WiFi cafe to tap out this message on a donated TRS-80, Chad. Especially with your energy as depleted by scurvy as it is. [link added]

She adds:

The week after Enjoli came out I set up a Gmail filter that auto-deletes any mail containing “bitch,” “Nazi,” “cunt,” etc. Might be time to extend to “First World problems,” “whiny,” “privileged,” and the other second-tier complaints people have about me.

Something from today apropos my post below:

Dear “mass shootings are caused by violence in movies and video games” crowd: you do realize this is the era of globalization, right? You do know that people in other developed western countries are consuming many of the same movies and games we do in the US, correct? That the children aren’t out in the meadow playing hoop-and-stick and reciting psalms all day?

I just want to make sure you understand that, so that we can eliminate Violent Entertainment as a causation candidate in this, the most drawn-out and torturous A/B test in world fucking history.

Thanks. I’ll be here later on when you want to have the same conversation about secularism or single-parent families.

Kristi’s book of essays, Nothing Good Can Come from This, comes out this August. Everybody I know and kind of like will be getting one for Christmas.

The worst

This quote from King Lear is ever apt:

The worst is not. So long as we can say “This is the worst.”

The photographs of the United States president smiling and giving a thumb’s-up sign among hospital personnel and first-responders in Florida two days after the school massacre was literally nauseating.

Good advice

Don’t think with your fingers.

Merry morning reading …

… from two favourite bloggers.

Atrios:

I do think one element of conservatism is imagining that they’d win the post-apocalyptic feudal games. …

Let’s suppose you’re minding your business in a lovely suburb of Honolulu. Honolulu gets ALL BLOWED UP. But, hey, you don’t die in the initial fireball. OK let’s say you don’t die of radiation poisoning within the next week or two. You’ve survived! That cancer will be along in a few years, but, hey, no worries for now.

Best case scenario, you live in current day Puerto Rico for a bit. No electricity, no water, but, hey, you’re alive. Also, nobody is going to get near your radiation zone. No rescues, no supplies, no nothing. Enjoy your last couple of weeks on Earth, I guess. I suppose you can forage for fruit, for a bit, and as a good conservative you own guns so you can shoot all the “looters” who are trying to take “your” fruit, but…

No, I do not want to survive the initial blast.

Clarissa:

A cultural apparatus always arises to serve the needs of capital. It’s not a conspiracy of any sort, of course. People intuit what would make them more competitive and promote these qualities in themselves, declaring them socially desirable.

What does capital currently need? A rootless labor force that won’t he held back by networks of human relationships from picking up and going whenever capital needs it at this point.

In order to create such a labor force, human relationships need to be devalued and come to be seen as fraught, dangerous, and really not worth the hassle. Remember all these checklists of “How to Support a Bereaved Colleague?” or “How NOT to Talk to a Special Needs Child’s Parent” variety? Obviously, nobody is going to memorize all those laundry lists of prohibitions and exhortations for every occasion. It’s easier to pretend that the bereaved colleague or SNC parent don’t exist.

Another strategy is to displace liquid capital’s qualities, such as unpredictability and endless mutability, onto human relationships. It’s not capital that’s making you feel confused and like you can’t keep up. Oh no, not at all. It’s the changing nature of dating norms and workplace flirtation.

Workplace as a space where people work together for protracted periods of time is positioned as extremely dangerous. Capital prefers self-employed, alienated workers who simply don’t have colleagues they know in person and could, say, form a union with. The next best thing (for capital but clearly not for workers) is a revolving-door office where nobody stays long enough to create any meaningful links.

Enjoy your day, everyone!

[Addendum: My daily feed.]

The Wilson School of Design

Students in the design programs at Kwantlen Polytechnic University are some of the most talented people I have ever met. These programs just got themselves a beautiful new building.

The new Wilson School of Design will add 140 full-time seats for a total of 681 spaces for design students. New facilities will include innovative teaching studios and labs, a testing centre, gallery space and expanded study and design spaces for students. It will also house advanced technology, such as laser cutters, 3D printers and ultrasonic welders. …

The $36-million building will provide a space for a range of existing design programs at KPU, such as the bachelor of design in fashion and technology, bachelor of interior design and continuing and professional education. It will also house KPU’s product design and technical apparel design programs, which educate students in the development of performance, technical, medical and protective apparel and gear. …

“B.C.’s environment creates a demand for technical apparel that is unparalleled in the world,” said Chip Wilson. “The province is home to world-class technical apparel companies, and we now have a state-of-the-art facility and training programs to supply the technical demand.” …

“Our vision is for B.C. to continue as a globally recognized leader in athletic performance apparel,” said Shannon Wilson. “Chip and I share a passion for nurturing creative talent, and we are thrilled to partner with KPU to help develop the next generation of designers and innovators.”

The $36-million Wilson School of Design building was funded through a $12-million contribution from the B.C. government, $12 million from KPU and $12 million in donations that include $8 million from Chip and Shannon Wilson.

I’m proud of my school.

“We have always lived in the world we built for the poor”

We created a society that has no use for the disabled or the elderly, and therefore are cast aside when we are hurt or grow old. We measure human worth by the ability to earn a wage, then suffer in a world that undervalues care, community, and mutual aid. We base our economy on exploiting the labor of racial and ethnic minorities and watch lasting inequalities snuff out human potential. We see the world as inevitably riven by bloody competition and are left unable to recognize the many ways in which we cooperate and lift one another up.

When a very efficient technology is deployed against a scorned out-group in the absence of strong human rights protections, there is enormous potential for atrocity. Currently, the digital poorhouse concentrates administrative power in the hands of a small elite. Its integrated data systems and digital surveillance infrastructure offer a degree of control unrivaled in history. Automated tools for classifying the poor, left on their own, will produce towering inequalities unless we make an explicit commitment to forge another path. And yet we act as if justice will take care of itself.

From Virginia Eubanks’ book “Automated Equality,” excerpted in the January issue of Harpers magazine.

More:

[Programs] that serve the poor are as unpopular as they have ever been. This is not a coincidence: technologies of poverty management are not neutral. They are shaped by our nation’s fear of economic insecurity and hatred of the poor. [boldface mine]

The new tools of poverty management hide economic inequality from the professional middle-class public and give the nation the ethical distance it needs to make inhuman choices about who gets food and who starves, who has housing and who remains homeless, whose family stays together and whose is broken up by the state. This is part of a long American tradition. We manage the poor so that we do not have to eradicate poverty.

“Party Bus”

Shannon Raymond died in 2008. Her sister and her Mom are friends of mine.