Friday, October 30, 2020

When Facebook Becomes Blogging

Just in case it's not clear, I fucking loathe the Corbynistas so very very much and they deserve every bit of the daily vitriol they give. Just now I couldn't take it on twitter when an ex-friend was complaining that a Jew was scared because it sounded like he was inciting people to violence against her, she literally thought he said something along the lines of that someone should throw acid in her face, and he said he was planning on suing her for saying that he said that. I only knew because another person I followed retweeted him. The truth is, I'm sure he didn't say that or if he did he was being hyperbolic and catty, and god knows I can't hold hyperbole and snark against people. But I'm also utterly positive he believes many Jews deserve it. There's only so many times you can advocate for advocates of violence before people start to believe you. The two morals are, 1. stay off of twitter, 2. ideology can warp the best people into the worst.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

When Facebook Becomes Blogging

I have few actual feelings on Jeremy Corbyn. He's not in my country, and the world is beset with right wing authoritarianism literally everywhere, and yet Corbyn, Corbyn, Corbyn, what about Corbyn? is the watchword of half the Jewish people I know over the age of 50 and they somehow find a way to react to scandals like this with 100x more outrage than they ever summoned for Trump or Netanyahu - as though they know in their bones that Corbyn is the only one of the three who would truly jeopardize their safety rather than the safety of others. BUT, I have dealt with Corbynites: and they are morons, they're crrrazy, they can justify literally anything in the name of their dear leader, and authoritarianism means literally nothing if they're not that.
But they're gone, they're powerless, there was never even much of a threat that they would take Downing St. Trump is still here, Putin is still here, Netanyahu is still here, Assad is still here, XI is still here, Erdogan, Orban, Duterte, Modi, Johnson... and they are all supporting each other, laying so much ground work to make America and the world itself live dictatorship for the rest of my parents' lifetimes and possibly for the rest of my lifetime.
This is the fight that matters. And no matter what happens next week, it's only just beginning.

Friday, October 23, 2020

When Facebook Becomes Blogging


I don't like moderates. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of them personally, but their beliefs rests on the same sort of complacent naivete that so may leftists I keep excoriating here do. Against all evidence, they willfully persist in believing that you can have partners in peace with the Republican party who won't exploit every inch of ground you concede. If you can live through the last forty years and not see by now that the Republican Party is a fanatical cult, literally willing to let the world burn and risk the lives of billions rather than concede a few business interests, you're not a serious person. At this point, it's just as naive to believe that people like Mitch McConnell would honor any agreement as it would be to believe that Assad or Kim Jong-Un would.
The difference now between Republicans and leftists is that Republicans control every single piece of the American governmental apparatus, and while many socialists/anarchists/communists/intersectionalists/ even progressives are willing to support terrorists who want to inflict nuclear weapons on cities to kill hundreds of thousands and dictators who mow down a million at any given time in the name of socialism and anti-Americanism, conservatives/libertarians/alt righters/even moderates, are willing to support the intermingling of government and big business that can literally burn the planet, kill billions rather than millions, and have already lead somewhere between 1 in 9 to 1 in 6 species on earth to the verge of extinction. One side is a huge threat, but there is no question for the moment which threat is ultimately so much bigger.
I fucking hate the Overton Window, the idea that the framing of dominant ideologies makes people's ideological perceptions drift over time, and makes some ideologies seem extreme that didn't used to b,e or never should have been, and every extremist uses it to support the idea that they are the misunderstood, aggrieved side - the Overton Window must literally be made of silly putty if you believe anything like every time it's used.
But there's no question that American ideological perception is warped. Conservatives consider themselves conservatives who are authoritarian reactionaries, and moderates consider them moderates who are in fact conservatives. Liberalism, the only ideology that truly evolves from generation to generation when new evidence presents itself, is the ideological center of any functional society, and we are anything but functional these days.
Liberalism is not a mushy peacenik center, it is a dynamic, relentlessly critical ideology, always pragmatically adjusting and accommodating to the new realities. It is, in some ways, the absence of ideology. Liberalism meant something completely different, almost the opposite, of what it meant in the 19th century to what it meant in the 20th, and it very well may mean something utterly different by the middle of the 21st. When socialism evolved, it first became communism, then anarchism, syndicalism, decolonizationism, and now it seems to be identitarianism, but from generation to generation, the goal that people should be treated equally never changed, but the ends of it - the belief of what causes inequality that has to be rooted out, always changes like a fashion, and once a new root cause of the problem is identified, half the old ideology has to be shed like snake sheds its skin. On the other hand, when conservatism evolved, it became at times monarchism, imperialism, racial supremacy, nationalism, nativism, libertarianism, and certain other isms we won't mention....
Liberalism was never completely immune to any of these sentiments either left or right, but in all this time, those toxins never dominated and with time, they were all overcome.
The word 'liberalism' comes from Latin 'libera' which means something between freedom and deliverance. The goal was always to both keep people free to live their lives, and simultaneously to deliver them from life's agonies, whatever those may be. The means always changed, the goals never did.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

When Facebook Becomes Blogging


Why I didn't move to Europe when I had the chance (y'know... aside from disabilities...)
We are so not the best country in the world, we're probably not even in the top 50, but we are, without a doubt, the most exciting, the most diverse, the most fun, and the most ridiculous place on earth. We are clearly the world's most decadent country that has such amazing amazing features and qualities and achievements and advantages amid such a welter of shit. One day soon, all that good stuff and all that shit are clearly primed to do battle with each other, and once the battle is over, everybody left will realize the things we have in common, then cross-pollinate and synthesize. Perhaps creating a stable, decent place like the EU now is, that is far less diverse intellectually because everybody has come to realize how much bullshit got us to an explosion of death. Whatever it is, it will be kind of boring compared to what our country is now. The standard of living may be objectively quite a bit better, but whether whatever's in our future seems like a dream to us now, it will be less interesting, and less fun, and the new funnest place on earth will migrate, probably to somewhere in Asia. So many people here wish that we could replace all the shit with better stuff, but shit is fertilizer, and everything and anything that's good and dynamic and creative and life-sustaining in this country and everywhere else in the world grew from existential fecal matter. What creates joy is the overcoming of conflict - and objectively, it is so much better to not have conflict, but without conflict, there is no need for invention, no need for thought, no need reflect and evolve. Once we cleanse America of its shit, it's just another 1950's when everything again feels like a heterogenous prison in which personal expression that deviates from the norm becomes a near impossibility. Whether it's good or bad, it won't be as fun, and for all the shitty things we've all lived through in the last twenty years, politically and personally, I'm gonna miss this America we all were formed by. There'd be no golden age of cuisine without all that shitty McDonalds and Pizza Hut baseline to measure it against. There'd be no Peak TV without Two-and-a-Half Men and Big Bang Theory on the one hand and special-effects eardrum busters in the movie theaters on the other. There'd be no modern comedy without mobs clamoring for censorship. There'd be no massive boom of long form journalism without fake news on the one hand and critical theory bullshit on the other. There'd be no internet without the world's worst people commandeering it. No thriving local scenes of music and theater and restaurants and brewing without mass produced corporatized nation-wide products. There'd be no explosion of scientific research without a Christianist backlash. There'd be no Obama without the modern Republican Party. So much of living in America is terrible, but without the terrible, there's nothing particularly great either. So even if this era is drawing to a close, whatever comes next, I'm so glad I got to live through all this with you.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Tales from the Old New Land - Episode 1 - Transvaal 1901 - First Three Scenes

What is the Old New Land? Where is the Old New Land? We have no idea what it is or where to look or where we'll find it, but the material who, the how and the whither, the warp and weft, the length width depth and time, the dwelling foundations splendor and even eternity, are mere surface on the face of the deep. The Old New Land is the space between space, where exists possibility, plane, history, law, condition, and infinity; glory, law, lovingkindness, the sources of wisdom, and the crown of creation itself. If it exists at all, and of that existence there shall always be doubt, then it abides in that apogee of maximal cosmic tension to which we all arrive in the instant before the great celestial snap, a place of the world of no end that by wrestling to realize, we seem to bring tiny emanations down to our own, if only for a specific and small indeed finite time, if only in a specific and small indeed definite place. It is that land that within all actions seem motivated by greatness, and much in that brief instant even by goodness, for from that unboundedness of spheres above, we carry those best selves which comprise our share of the divine creation. Once we see it, we work, and we work, and we work, and we wait, and we wait, and we wait, but we're always thrown out of the Old New Land. 

(Begin with a clip of the last minute from Elgar's March of the Mugal Emperors)

(Scene 1: 1901 - The commandant's office in a South African prison camp during the Boer War. The Commander's Office, should have the noise of a grandfather clock, tea cups and sipping.)

1. Commander Hastings: an officer of the British empire who is clearly part of the gentry who talks with a stiff upper lip - you should be able to hear the twittering mustache in his voice.

2. Simon Charlap: a new British soldier in the camp: Jewish and trying desperately to conceal his identity, speaks with a mild Yiddish 'heccent' he is clearly trying and failing to conceal, feels like a gefilte fish out of water)

Commander Hastings:

And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?

(takes sip of tea..., puts the cup down on the saucer)

And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold:
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem(put emphasis on Jerusalem, as though to indicate that the Commander knows Charlap is Jewish...)
In Englands green & pleasant Land.

(turns page of paper....) ....Charlap eh chap?... You seem to have a mild Polish accent but that's a Portuguese name, how did that happen?

Simon Charlap: (with Yiddish accent) I wouldn't know. It's the name my father gave me. 

Hastings: (reassuringly) The Empire accepts all. Whomever you were, Mr. Charlap, you're a British subject now: civilisation, duty, freedom; ordinary decent respect, dear boy that is the English way, ...was the Queen's way, the Empire's way.

Charlap: It's why I've come here. 

Hastings: 'ts'a shame you weren't out in the Empire when she was alive, ..."wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set."

Charlap: I'd heard many stories. Read the news. 

Hastings: How I envy and worry for those among you just beginning. When I began in '74 I was like them that dream. If you haven't yet Mr. Charlap you'll see very quickly that the world is a squalid, debased place, but we were its shining beacon. We've made ourselves rich and glorious, but we kept our ordinary decency and civilisation, and through all those temptations we brought millions of lives out of agony into the light. 

Charlap: That's what it always seemed. 

Hastings: Roads, schools, medicine, farming, sanitation, order, peace.... (sigh) It's not like that now... this horrid war, decades of barbarians make their impact upon us, and we begin to resemble them as they resemble us. But that's a small price, and soldiers like you who truly work are the glory of the Empire, and those whom you assist will always be grateful. 

Charlap: I look forward to it sir. 

Hastings: These bloody Boers, they're winning Charlap. They're not like us. They enslave the Africans and put them in the mines, call them Niggers and Kaffirs in the streets before they beat them, one in five dies in Johannesburg every year, one in five! Can you imagine? ... a million savages are Shakespeare and Wordsworth compared to any one Boer.   

Charlap: They do sound horrible. 

Hastings: Once they die Johannesburg brings in more Africans and the next year claims another one in five. That's why our victory is so important dear boy! Not just for Africa, not just for the Empire, for the world! 

Charlap: I understand sir. 

Hastings: We should have listened to Stanley and taken the Congo before  Leopold and we could have prevented that Belgian horror, but Disraeli, our great hero, betrayed us all, betrayed the cause, betrayed everything we worked for everything our confreres slaved for everything they died for....

(awkward silence) 

Charlap: He does seem rather deceitful... sir...

Hastings: Maybe they were right about him....  

(another awkward silence) 

Charlap: It's quite abominable sir. 

Hastings: Dear boy,... I'll tell you exactly why England is the greatest nation in the world. We are the greatest nation in the world because we evolve, we acknowledge our errors and work bloody hard to reform them. Those Belgian simians, they still preserve the old ways as though it's 1780 with the technology of 1900. But we, the English, are the nation who banned the old practices, while the Americans and Russians were still profiting from slavery fifty years after we renounced the horror, and dear boy, look at us, we still beat them. 

(Charlap anticipates the silence this time) 

Charlap: It does speak to how good the Empire is. 

Hastings: Precisely old chap. And all the more reason we must fight to right the wrongs we so perpetrated. The world needs our Empire to thrive my friend, whenever left to its own devices, the world collapses: war, death, pestilence. From generation to generation, millions upon millions, like a yesterday that quickly passes. It needs an overseer to right its wrongs, and that overseer is you, Corporal. 

Charlap: It's all I've wanted sir. 

Hastings: It's a matter of will dear boy. The Boers want to win more badly than we do because they fight for their land, but this is our land! That's what so many our men don't understand. Do you understand Corporal?

Charlap: (understanding he's being challenged) Yessir!

Hastings: The world needs for it all to be our land, from Cape Town to Cairo and all that dwelleth within. Britania rules the waves dear boy but never has it ruled the land. Britania needs land, and she requires of us the same will of a Boer to rule it. 


Charlap: ...Yessir.

Hastings: It is imperative that every one of our men understand that the British Empire must win this war and every war thereafter. Do you understand Corporal?

Charlap: Yes sir. I certainly do. 

Hastings: Good chap. (beat) ...Polish you said?

(awkward pause) 

Charlap: ...Yes?...

(uncomfortable pause) 

Hastings: You wouldn't have happened read anything by Conrad?

Charlap: Who?

Hastings: You can read English?...

Charlap: (slightly offended) Of course!

Hastings: In my possession is Joe's newest volume, called Lord Jim, ...copy given me by the author over a wee dram at Boodle's. Capital fellow!

Charlap: I see.... (doesn't see) 

Hastings: He's Polish, you understand... 

Charlap: I see... (doesn't see)

Hastings: Seems to be his third language, English, ...writes like an Englishman but you can't make heads or tails of his speech... 

Charlap: I see... (doesn't see)

Hastings: Take the volume down, seventh book on the right of the third shelf down.

(Charlap immediately walks over and takes the book down)

Hastings: Please, read it, come back in a week and we'll speak of it.... CLARKSON!

(door opens office noises of people shouting with British accents, typewriters, telegraphs, and closes)

Hastings: (with impatient air of authority) At ease. This is Corporal Simon Charlap, Charlap this is Sgt. Major Nigel Clarkson. Clarkson you are to show Charlap around the camp and tell him what's what. 

Clarkson: Yessir. 

Hastings: You're excused. 

(door opens again into the sounds of an office with a door close again)

Charlap: (sounds of walking briskly through the office) So what should I know about the camp?

Clarkson: Oh piss on that! We're goinn'a fucking mess hall. 

(Opens door to the mess hall, immediate sounds of men cheering)

Clarkson: Everybody 'is is'a new lad, Charles commander said'is name was?

(Indian officer speaks up)

Patel: We have a Charlap coming this month, not a Charles. 

Clarkson: Sod off! You'll have to excuse Patel, bloody wog's the only soldier who takes the outfit seriously....

Patel: If it weren't for the wogs you lazy limeys would have have no Empire!

(everybody laughs heartily) 

Clarkson: Alright he's fucking Charlap. These bloody Pakis always have to show off how much better they are at their jobs. 

(soldier with Manchester accent) 

Mackenzie: He's not a bloody Paki! They don't all come outa fuckin' machine! 

Clarkson: How do you know? 

Mackenzie: 'Gettin'a Lahore from Bombay takes three times London to Edinburgh!

Clarkson: Oh don't mind Mackenzie he's pissed. Back in his fuckin' bed a sheep's waitin' for him. 

(everybody laughs, Northern Irish accented soldier speaks)

Murphy: Well while you're all tearing the Empire apart at the seams a fine impression you're givin' Charlap of our company. 

Clarkson: Is it wrong?

Murphy: The only one who's gonna make an impression on him's Patel. Gotta admit, brownies are feckin' generous for runnin'a operation'at steals from'em! Lemme see that book under your arm.

(Charlap gives it to Murphy) 

Murphy: Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad.... never heard of him but sure he's a bloody cunt.

(everybody laughs) 

Mackenzie: Tell us what Charlap, what'dya think the Commander?

Charlap: Seems like a very nice chap. What do you think?

Mackenzie: Bugger goes to bed with his rifle in his ass every night. 

(hardest masculine laughter from everyone yet)

Clarkson: Not a bad group o'lads Charlap, take a punch and yal fit right in. Where you from Charlap?

Charlap: Poland

(cockney London soldier says)

Tucker: Makes sense. 

Clarkson: What?

Tucker: A'mon y'all see the letters on'a Bible in Hastings' office, Commander always seemed a bih'of a Heeb lover. 

(awkward silence)

Tucker: Come on! Poland? Charlap's a Yid!

(awkward silence)

Charlap: I'm,... I'm not...

Tucker: Loo'at him! Look'a'his nose! Stand up MacKenzie, barely comes up to your chest!

Mackenzie: Fuck no! I'm not touchin' some new bloody Yid just to make him squirm! 

Tucker: Come on MacKenzie! I'll make it interesting!

Mackenzie: Look a'im Tucker ya makin' him shite 'is trousers!

Tucker: Charlap'll give you 70 shillings! 

(some laughter) 
Charlap (agitated): I'm not a Yid!

(another awkward silence) 

Clarkson: ...If he says he's not a Yid he's not a Yid. 

Tucker: S'no big deal'f he is. Back inna city 'erewas Sheenies everywhere, wadn't so bad lads....

(Christian soldier with a Irish accent)

Kelly: They isn't?

Tucker: (mischievously) 'ey always had'a' couple pence fa Bulldog. 

Kelly: Issa big deal if he's a Jew!

Clarkson: Oh here we go, Thomas fucking Becket over here....

Kelly: He killed our savior! I certainly hope he's not Jewish. 

(awkward silence)

Clarkson: Kelly'f he says he's not Jewish he's not fucking Jewish, no treat'in him like bloody Shylock!

Kelly: If he says he's not Jewish that's half the battle for his soul, but I told you they're everywhere and when they come it's poison to everything they touch!

Clarkson: (explodes) If he says he's not a Jew he's not a Jew!

(everybody laughs) 

Tucker: Alright Rabbi, he's not Jewish. 

Mackenzie: Look at fuckin' Disraeli over here gettin' mad for the Jews!

(everybody laughs) 

Clarkson: So where'sa game lads? 

Patel: It's very low score today. 

Tucker: Why don' we let Charlap roll?

(everybody nods) 

(somebody says under their breath) "Jew" 

Clarkson: Oh come on who said that! 

Tucker: This is the game of Pachisi, a noble game of Patel's race dating back to when they were living in huts. 


Charlap: (mischievously) Don't they still live in huts?

(everybody laughs hysterically) 

Tucker: What'd I tell you, you're gonna love this kike. 

Charlap: I'm not a kike! I'm a Pole. 

Tucker: Alright, Kike, Pollack what's the difference?

Charlap: I got more reason to hate the Zhids than all you limeys!

Clarkson: Ats'a spirit!

Charlap: Hey, vwy there no whores in Jerusalem?

(everybody asks why, no, why)

Charlap: 'cuz all deh fucking Jews are over here!

(eruption of laughter)

Clarkson: By gum 'ats'a best one about the Kikes I heard since aw been here! 

Murphy: Patel! Give Charlap your turn! Giv'em the dice!

(Charlap rolls dice)

(everbody shouts cheering)

Charlap: What happened?

Tucker: Ya rolled a twenty-four, that's the highest anybody's rolled all day! 

Mackenzie: Maybe these kikes are good luck....

(Alarm Siren goes off)

Everybody: Oh shit, bugger, fuck, bollocks, feck, balls, son of a bitch, arse, feckin' arsehole, that goddamn git, useless gobshites, 

Clarkson: Alright let's go. 

(slight bit of music against a backdrop of Dutch noise) 

Clarkson: Where are we?

Dlamini: We're already halfway through registration. Not a big crowd this week. 

Clarkson: Good. We'll make quick work of them. You must be tired. Patel's gonna take over for you?

Dlamini: Is no problem, I started shift an hour ago. 

Clarkson: Nonsense, you're tired. Patel's taking over for you. He's better at this.  

(awkward pause) 

Dlamini: Yessir. 

Clarkson: Come on Dlamini, you're so good at the manual stuff. Why not keep doing what you're best at. 

(awkward pause Dlamin shuffles out of chair and footsteps as Patel sits down where Dlamini used to be)

Clarkson: Atsa good lad! 

(start hearing Patel registering new prisoners in Afrikaans, will write background dialogue later) 

Clarkson: Why aren't you leavin?

Dlamini: You got anywhere for me to go?

Clarkson: Suit yourself, but you won't like what you're gonna see. 

Dlamini: Whatever you do this time you gotta do in front of me. 

Clarkson: We never done shite they didn't have comin' to'em, you should know better than us. 

Dlamini: And you gonna do that shite in front of me. 

Clarkson: Oh yes we will. 

(foreground now) 

Patel: Naam?

Boer 1: Willem de Klerk

Patel: Vrou?

Boer 1: Noeline de Klerk

Patel: Kinders?

Boer 1: Eliza en Friedrik

Patel: Dankie... (sound of stamp) Volgende! (footsteps) Naam?

Boer 2: Andries Botha

Patel: Vrou?

Boer 2: Janel Botha

Patel: Kinders?

Boer 2: Theron en Christal

Boer 1: Danke.... (sound of stamp) Volgende! (footsteps) Naam?

Boer 3: Pieter Swart.

Patel: Vrou?

Boer 3: Yolandi. 

Patel: Yolandi Swart?

Boer 3: Ja. 

Patel: Kinder?

Boer 3: Pieter, Dannell Swart en Elmarie Engelbrecht

Patel: Sgt. it looks like one of the kids isn't theirs.

Clarkson: Which one?

Patel: The small one. 

Clarkson: (mischievously) Well... in that case we gotta separate them. Mackenzie!

(Kelly hoists the girl onto his shoulders and takes her outside)

Boer 3 and wife: Nie! Dis ons niggie!

(awkward pause) 

Clarkson: Well look here Dlammini? Did you just hear him say what I just heard him say?

Dlamini: I didn't hear shite. 

Clarkson: I think this clutchpate done called you a nigger!

Dlamini: That's not what that word means. 

Clarkson: Don't tell me I didn't hear what I heard. 

Dlamini: He said niggie.

Clarkson: I know what I heard and you done been called a nigger.

Dlamini: Niggie means niece. 

Clarkson: He done said nigger and you fuckin' Dutch lover you're coverin' for him. 

Dlamini: He said niggie!

Clarkson: We can't have it said that we let Boers insult the good darkie soldiers of the British empire! Mackenzie show this Cheesehead what happens when a Marshnigger insults a British soldier. 

(Mackenzie starts beating him. All kinds of screaming from women and children, invent phrases for them to shout later)

Clarkson: Oh no, don't use your hands, he's not good enough for them, use the butt of the rifle. 

(sounds of a rifle against human bone. The screaming becomes even louder). 

Clarkson: He's not even screaming. The clothes must be cushioning your punches, get his clothes off. 

(screams reach fever pitch. Boer man finally screams.)

Clarkson: There we go. That'll teach Dlamini that we stand by our own. Now Charlap, take him outside and tie him to the gun cartridge on your left. 


Clarkson: Well what are you waiting for? Go on! 

Mackenzie: Boss he doesn't know where it is!

Clarkson: Well then go help him find it then! Better yet, Dlamini, you go and help Charlap tie him up, and be back in 10 minutes. We have more registrations to finish!  

Monday, October 5, 2020

When Facebook Becomes Blogging

A lot of people I know who frankly should know better consider me a pessimist and/or an apocalyptarian, friends and family both. I'm neither. But I do think radical opposites are always present in existence: creation and destruction, good and evil, life and death, peace and war, being and becoming, victory and defeat, humor and seriousness, dynamism and inertia, light and darkness, and they make themselves equally manifest in every development. Within every dark moment is the seed of light, within every light moment the seed of darkness.
Life is a probability map of binary choices: with every thought, we're faced with a choice of action: we act on every thought, or we do not, and therefore we make thousands, sometimes millions, of binary choices every day, each one of which leads to an un-traceable infinity of consequences from other binary choices which our choices cause. Sometimes the choice is not binary - there are times when there are multiple choices, and times when there is only one, but the majority of choices consist of one choice, or the other. Usually: action, or inaction. So therefore, anyone who thinks that you can root out an evil actions as though we can rid ourselves of those quintillions of binary choices that happen throughout the world every day, is not just wrong, but self-fulfillingly destructive to the purposes they wish to fulfill, because the seed of evil is in every good action, and leads to a series of consequences that both seem unpredictable at the time and seem easily foreseeable in hindsight.
No one is more deadly than a person who thinks they have good on their side and evil on the other. so when we come to Manichean moments like right now, when two sides of America are at each other's throats, whatever my political inclination, and mine is surely toward the left rather than to the right, and however obvious it currently is (and it really fucking is....) that the right has so many thousands of times more to answer for in our generation than the left, a very deep alarm goes off in me when people start embracing all the conflicting pathologies of the other side -one side secular yet with the credulousness of religion, the other religious yet with the means of secularity, and both simultaneously utopian yet retributive. The 'both sidesism' of this is not Republicans vs. Democrats, it's not conservatives vs. liberals, it's reactionaries vs. revolutionaries. One side believes in all means to forestall progress, the other believes in all means to expedite it.
But there is no such thing as limited war by unlimited means. Life is a cold war. Life and death are the two facts of existence, and if all options are on the table, all options will eventually be used.
There is no such thing as life without the anxiety that it can all end tomorrow, and there never has been in the entire existence of life on earth. Even the supposed acceleration of human progress was achieved at the expense of the planet's other species, and the planet now threatens us with revenge.
We either make our peace with the idea that arguments and people we loathe will always be at the other side of our table, or we kill each other by the millions until we get too tired of death and we go back to the table again, this time with far less of us.
That's the binary choice: make your peace with people you will always loathe, try to defeat them in a cold war and know that you'll lose some battles that are at least relatively deathless, or kill each other until you're tired of people dying, and it goes without saying, one side currently has most of the weapons....
Some kind of long-term civil conflict on American soil seems almost inevitable in our lifetimes: the planet is just too hot, the internet is just too fractured, America is just too damaged. But how bad it gets depends on how willing mainstream Democrats are to throw over their previous willingness to be the rational side at the expense of Republicans getting more and more insane, and how gullible they become in a potential Biden administration about the idea that justice and equality is just around the corner if we empower revolutionaries who say plainly every day their desire to overthrow liberals forever, or how desperate they become in a second Trump term to willingly give the party over to its most illiberal elements. The time may come where we have to really and truly resist Republican insanity, but don't kid yourselves about what that means. However bloody you can imagine it will be, quadruple it. Once we're there, the only way out is to be just that ruthless until everybody is exhausted into negotiating concessions.
So let's not fucking get there.