Posts in the Stuff category
Via Sad and Useless
- By MC
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- Tagged with addiction authority Christopher Ryan conservatism copulation call doing the dishes drugs human connection improv Johann Hari John Zorn Laurie Anderson liberalism loud mowing the lawn music politics Roger Cohen rulers sex sobriety society sperm competition stoicism War on Drugs whining women
- On 26 Jun | '2015
- Christopher Ryan: “Women aren’t the only female primates who make a lot of noise in the throes of passion. British primatologist Stuart Semple found that, ‘In a wide variety of species, females vocalize just before, during or immediately after they mate.’ These vocalizations, Semple says, ‘are particularly common among the primates and evidence is now accumulating that by calling, a female incites males in her group….’ Precisely. There’s a good reason the sound of a woman enjoying a sexual encounter entices a heterosexual man. Her ‘copulation call’ is a potential invitation to come hither, thus provoking sperm competition.”
- Johann Hari: “…the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.”
- Laurie Anderson: “I love playing with other people and, recently, I’ve been doing a lot more improvisational work. It started out with John Zorn. I was so suspicious at first: ‘What’s the structure going to be like?’ ‘We’re going to find that out.’ ‘Who plays the first note?’ ‘I don’t know, let’s see.’ ‘Who does it? How long is it?’ All the things – it all seemed like a very bad idea, just to get up there and play. I’ve really changed my mind about that now, though, because it depends on whom you’re playing with, and playing with Zorn was completely exhilarating. It was like building a huge boat in the air above you, that you can then move around and do different things with it.”
- Roger Cohen: “I’ve grown suspicious of the inspirational. It’s overrated. I suspect duty — that half-forgotten word — may be more related to happiness than we think. Want to be happy? Mow the lawn. Collect the dead leaves. Paint the room. Do the dishes. Get a job. Labor until fatigue is in your very bones. Persist day after day. Be stoical. Never whine. Think less about the why of what you do than getting it done. Get the column written. Start pondering the next.”
- Samuel Goldman: “The conservative position has never been simply that a hierarchical society is better than an egalitarian one. It’s that an egalitarian society is impossible. Every society includes rulers and ruled. The central question of politics, therefore, is not whether some will command while others obey. It’s who gives the orders.”
One of my biggest beefs with progressives — besides the baked-in authoritarianism of their ideology — is how infrequently you see prog voices in media or social media doing any sort of critical self-analysis. Almost zero energy is spent looking inward and examining progressivism’s flaws. Instead, we get reams of groupthink and tribalism.
And if those of us outside the enlightened progressive spectrum dare critique its monolithic shit factory, we can expect to be characterized as racist/sexist monsters, or low-information voters — or whatever — and punished accordingly.
Nice then, that prog writer Freddie DeBoer provided a truly great piece of progressive criticism in a blog post last week.
He writes (bold emphases are mine):
Criticism of today’s progressives tends to use words like toxic, aggressive, sanctimonious, and hypocritical. I would not choose any of those. I would choose lazy. We are lazy as political thinkers and we are lazy as culture writers and we are lazy as movement builders. We ward off criticism of our own bad work by acting like that criticism is inherently anti-feminist or anti-progressive. We seem spoiled, which seems insane because everything is messed up and so many things are getting worse. I guess having a Democratic president just makes people feel complacent. Well, look: as a political movement we are in pathetic shape right now. We not only have no capacity to move people who don’t already share our worldview, we seem to have no interest in doing so. Our stock arguments are lazy stacks of cliches. We seem to want to confirm everything conservatives say about our inability to argue without calling other people racist. We can’t articulate why our vision of the future is better than the other side’s, and in fact many of us will tell you that it’s offensive to think that we have an obligation to educate others on that vision at all. We celebrate grassroots activist movements like Black Lives Matter, but we insult them by treating them as the same thing as hashtag campaigns, and we don’t build a broader left-wing political movement that could increase their likelihood of success. We spend all day, every day, luxuriating in how much better we are than other people, having convinced ourselves that the work of politics is always external, never internal. We have made politics synonymous with social competition. We’re a mess.
More (again, emphases mine):
If you want us to stop being a mess, you have to be willing to criticize, and you have to accept that every criticism of an ostensibly progressive argument is not some terrible political betrayal. Not everyone who complains about white people has enlightened racial attitudes. Not everyone who constantly drops “mansplaining” or “gaslighting” into conversation actually helps fight sexism. One-liners don’t build a movement. Being clever doesn’t fix the world. Scoring points on Twitter doesn’t create justice. Jokes make nothing happen. We’re speeding for a brutal backlash and inevitable political destruction, if not in 2016 then 2018 or 2020. If you want to help avoid that, I suggest you invest less effort in trying to be the most clever person on the internet and more on being the hardest working person in real life. And stop mistaking yourself for the movement.
The entire thing is worth reading. Find it here.