Categories
Uncategorized

How the war in Ukraine reduces the risk of nuclear war

Liked Nuclear war! by Timothy Snyder (Thinking about…)

Why it isn’t happening

Our nuclear talk is a way to claim victimhood, and then to blame the actual victims.  Once we turn our attention to a hypothetical exchange of missiles, we get to imagine that we are the victims.  Suddenly the actual war no longer seems to matter, since our lives (we imagine) are at risk.  And the Ukrainians seem to be at fault.  If only they would stop fighting, then we could all be safe.  This, of course, is exactly how Russian propagandists want us to reason. And it is wrong.

[…]

It is an example of a narcissistic fantasy that looms over discussions of American foreign policy: the fantasy of omnipotent submission.  This is the notion, birthed in American exceptionalism and impatience, that since America is the power behind everything, all will be well if America does nothing.  If we do what the Russian propagandists want, and do nothing for Ukraine, then (in this fantasy) there will be no nuclear war.

Categories
Health

4% of the population, 30% of the deaths

Liked

jUsT a CoLd 🤪

Categories
Fantasy

Read Absynthe

Read Absynthe

In his sci-fi debut, Bellecourt explores an alternate roaring 20s where a shell-shocked soldier must uncover latent telepathic abilities to save himself and the people around him.

Liam Mulcahey, a reclusive, shell-shocked veteran, remembers little of the Great War. Ten years later, when he is caught in a brutal attack on a Chicago speakeasy, Liam is saved by Grace, an alluring heiress who’s able to cast illusions. Though the attack appears to have been committed by the hated Uprising, Grace believes it was orchestrated by Leland De Pere–Liam’s former commander and the current President of the United States.

Meeting Grace unearths long-buried memories. Liam’s former squad, the Devil’s Henchmen, was given a serum to allow telepathic communication, transforming them into a unified killing machine. With Grace’s help, Liam begins to regain his abilities, but when De Pere learns of it, he orders his militia to eliminate Liam at any cost.

But Liam’s abilities are expanding quickly. When Liam turns the tables and digs deeper into De Pere’s plans, he discovers a terrible secret. The same experiment that granted Liam’s abilities was bent toward darker purposes. Liam must navigate both his enemies and supposed allies to stop the President’s nefarious plans before they’re unleashed on the world. And Grace is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could prove every bit as dangerous as the President’s.

Stuck the landing! Saw one of the reveals coming but not the other. A really interesting world. I didn’t like the distant style of a couple flashback chapters. Ending fit the main character well.

Categories
Music Political Commentary

Played Born in the USA

Listened Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Born in the U.S.A. is the seventh studio album by American rock singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen. It was released by Columbia Records on June 4, 1984. The album’s music was written by Springsteen and recorded with his E Street Band.

My mom’s a huge Bruce fan so I’ve listened to this album many times over the years. Lately when I listen to Bruce I tend to avoid the more popular stuff like this album, or listen to covers, but today I wanted something upbeat while I was cooking.

Born in the USA – talk about depressing lyrics – if this came out today that background line would be dated but I think we all know it so well it disappears

Cover Me – I like this song, I usually put on the live version but this one’s good too

Darlington County – er, is this about underage girls?

Working on the Highway – er, is this also about underage girls 🧐 fun song though maybe a little dated sounding?

Downbound Train – love the line “now I work down at the carwash / where all it ever does is rain” – he snuck a sad song in that could fit with The River on this mostly uptempo album, although frankly the vast majority of his lyrics are depressing – I’ve been digging Kurt Vile’s cover

I’m on Fire – sweet now a song about cheating 😂 guess as long as you sing it sexy it’s not creepy – definitely hear the eighties in this one – I like the slower tempo cover by AWOLNATION

No Surrender – another song filled with despair covered by a major key and fast beat

Bobby Jean – the first half sounds like it’s about someone committing suicide but the last bit is I guess more straightforward that a friend left town

I’m Going Down – fun to sing along with, sweet backing organ

Glory Days – a popular kid’s anthem? I definitely wouldn’t consider high school “glory days”

Dancing in the Dark – very 80s backing on this – I’ve been listening to Hot Chip’s cover of this a bunch

My Hometown – don’t like this song much, and a low note to end the album on

I’ve kinda always assumed politicians didn’t listen to the lyrics whenever they use a Bruce song but now I’m wondering if they are trying to redirect a deep American disillusionment to their ends, that the depression is a feature and not a bug. If this really is the most American music – that being American means accepting your town’s been destroyed and there’s never going to be good (union) jobs there again, that your friends are gone, your best days are behind you, and there’s nothing you can do about any of it but try to grab a little pleasure? That this emptiness and hopelessness is what Americans identify with? But as long as we claim it we’re not admitting defeat, that we’re proud to be Americans even though our country is a dystopia? It must be some weird badge of honor that we endure this shit? That we must be proud of and defined by this shared suffering because otherwise we’d have to admit how wrong shit is, and how bad it is for so many people?

Categories
Comics History Relationships Society

Read Seek You

Read Seek You by Kristen Radke

There is a silent epidemic in America: loneliness. Shameful to talk about and often misunderstood, loneliness is everywhere, from the most major of metropolises to the smallest of towns.

In Seek You, Kristen Radtke’s wide-ranging exploration of our inner lives and public selves, Radtke digs into the ways in which we attempt to feel closer to one another, and the distance that remains. Through the lenses of gender and violence, technology and art, Radtke ushers us through a history of loneliness and longing, and shares what feels impossible to share.

Ranging from the invention of the laugh-track to the rise of Instagram, the bootstrap-pulling cowboy to the brutal experiments of Harry Harlow, Radtke investigates why we engage with each other, and what we risk when we turn away. With her distinctive, emotionally charged drawings and deeply empathetic prose, Kristen Radtke masterfully shines a light on some of our most vulnerable and sublime moments, and asks how we might keep the spaces between us from splitting entirely.

A bit of memoir mixed in with history and analysis, this is the kind of non-fiction book I like best: synthesizing and humanizing the subject, elevating it with visual symbolism, and honing in on the essential because of the length restrictions of the graphic novel format. Especially appreciated the section on the cowboy idol and American toxic independence. The chapter on monkey research was hard to read because the experiments are so upsetting, though she illustrates it compassionately.

She uses a color palette suited to the melancholy of loneliness: gray-blues, muted purple, beige, and an orange that in the context of the book reminds me of a streetlight or passing cars through the window at night. A variety of visual metaphors conveys concepts along with thematic and autobiographical illustrations. Shadows fall heavy on faces with dramatic lighting, and the line work is fine and precise, summoning the sterility and disaffection of Chris Ware or Adrian Tomine. In short, the mood suits the work well.

Loneliness influences the expression of our genes – and lonely people are more likely to die and get sick (also rad drawing of an octopus)

Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism: loneliness is “the common ground for terror”

Loneliness is contagious

Categories
Health Political Commentary Society

The Great Surrender on COVID

Liked The Great Surrender: How We Gave Up And Let COVID Win by Chuck Wendig (Chuck Wendig: Terribleminds)

I feel like I’ve lost my goddamn mind…our numbers are higher than they’ve ever been, in most cases not just by a hair’s breadth, but often by two, three, even four times their previous peaks…we are doing less now to mitigate cases than ever before.

It’s a relief to see someone else thinking that the world is going crazy to just give up on a disease that gives anywhere from 10-77% of people chronic illness – especially in a country that shits on disabled people (Exhibit A, the CDC Director saying oh the people who are dying were already sick, F U disabled people) (also can we stop diminishing comorbidities, which like a ton of Americans actually have when you consider they’re common things like depression and diabetes and heart disease and obesity – it’s like an ostrich in the sand invincibility mentality with the “it’s other people dying I’m not sick I just have all the common American health problems that’s not *sick* sick”)

My coworkers say they want to get it to get it over with. I’m just not ready to risk getting a disease that trashes my brain (with mild sickness (pre-pub)) and has a good shot of disabling me before I have to!!! Even the WHO says it’s too early to treat it as endemic.

Categories
Political Commentary Society

Child Labor is Alive in America

Bookmarked Get to Work, Children by Meg Meg (homeculture by Meg Conley)

Only poor kids have to work to have fun.

My daughter has the opportunity to go on a school trip abroad next year. I am sure it will be expensive. I don’t know how her school addresses the fact that access will be severely limited by cost. Maybe they have a good solution! But here’s how it usually goes,

“We know this opportunity is an extra expense. We encourage the kids to find opportunities to earn money to contribute to the cost of their trip.”

Find opportunities to earn opportunity! Just so American, right? Childhood enrichment is sold as some bootstrapping moment of working enlightenment for the kids. They can EARN this trip! It’s a LEARNING opportunity. But that line isn’t included for ALL the kids. It’s just there to make people feel better about the kids who can’t participate.

“Well, we told kids to work for the money. If they couldn’t figure it out it’s not because we failed. They just didn’t want it enough.”