“Every decade or so, it seems, the economy seizes up, central bankers go into overdrive, and commentators temporarily converge on the view that the neoliberal era is over. Then everything goes back to normal, only worse. The recurring crisis of neoliberalism has proven to be a central feature of neoliberalism itself.Of course, this time could very well be different. But if we want to assess neoliberalism’s prospects for survival, we shouldn’t yet go looking for clues in, say, the fluctuations of the junk bond market or Eurogroup communiqués. It’s too early to know what the long-run effects of those machinations will be once the acute phase of the pandemic is behind us. Instead, we should start with a more basic question: If neoliberalism were to end, how would we know?” – Seth Ackerman
“People still read Marcus’s private writings on stoicism, published thereafter in a collection known as The Meditations, in search of the solace and guidance his work sought to bring to honourable souls troubled by the impossible task of living nobly in a world of madness and stupidity. ‘I learned to be religious, and liberal,’ he wrote, ‘and to guard, not only against evil actions, but even against any evil intentions entering my thoughts.’ He advocated (and personally adhered to) living with only simple comforts, a strong work ethic, manly integrity, and other such calmcore (sic) macho beard-strokery befitting of a Good Dad who thinks the world revolves around him. At least in the emperor’s case the world did revolve around him, which is perhaps why the Meditations are so popular among entrepreneurs, politicians, and business bloggers who are surely gonna make it big any day now. Pompous white men who creep on women and believe that they are anointed for great things worship the guy: Bill Clinton claimed to have read the Meditations twice on the campaign trail. Eric Trump quoted the movie version (Gladiator released by Dream Works 2000) of Marcus thinking he was just a fictional character, because that’s American meritocracy for you. – Laurie Charles
“Tradinistas: These unusual Catholics, to put it politely, combine the aesthetic sensibilities of a French royalist with the political instincts of a Cuban apparatchik. Originally used to refer to a small band of committed Latin-Mass Marxists, the term now refers to anyone attempting to reconcile theological orthodoxy with Leftist politics, such as Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig. Tradinistas hold liberalism responsible for the collapse of Christendom and see capitalism as incompatible with Catholic social teaching. On the grotesque failures of socialism, and its condemnation by successive popes, they prefer to observe the monastic tradition of ‘the Great Silence.’ Tradinistas have a sense of humour, but it fails them when fellow Catholics giggle at their intellectual contortions.” – Michael Warren Davis and Damian Thompson
“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” Loose translation, commonly attributed to (Antonio) Gramsci by Slavoj Žižek, presumably formulation by Žižek
“If we make the praise or blame of others the rule of our conduct, we shall be distracted by a boundless variety of irreconcilable judgments, be held in perpetual suspense between contrary impulses, and consult forever without determination.” Dr. Johnson
(ABOVE: Tip o’ the tinfoil lined M’s cap to Hizzoner Emeritus, The Prop for making a newsstand run for us.)
“Bolshevism! Sheer Bolshevism! Ripe for the quashing!” C. Montgomery Burns
This was the week that began placidly enough. Special Old Coot Shopping Time at the grocery store was particularly leisurely as many of our fellow shoppers stopped to consider the canned goods as if they were hanging in The Louvre. As the fluorescent la light fell across the many colors of the fruit cocktail label they became transfixed and very stationary. While it added an additional 20 minutes to our shopping trip it was worth knowing that these people had come away with both their bodies and their souls equally nourished. That’s why it was a damn shame that the governor got everybody all pixelated a few days later when he went on tv to say we could leave this house next week. So as not to be upstaged, our mayor ordered a curfew last night with only 15 minutes notice which was fine as we probably could do with spending some time at home.
With such little notice the streets still had normal traffic or at last what passes for normal traffic these days. On my way home – as I am nothing if not a law abiding libtard – while stopped at the light at one of our larger intersections there were was a delivery struck in front of me and another delivery struck in front of that. So while downtown was on fire and the National Guard was called out no tanks rolled through the streets.
But the Amazon delivery trucks did.
And that’s probably all any of us need to know about where America is at right now.
The mayor had a press conference and while she did a miserable job of explaining why she gave everybody 15 minutes notice, but she was adept enough to not blame outside agitators. Up here in the Big Damp Woods nothing will get you un-elected faster than blaming outside agitators. Make no mistake, several pols tried that one and most found that the words “one term” are always applied to whatever office they used to hold. Sure, you can get a little cheeky and say the agitators came from “nearby” just so long as you make it sound like a 20 minute drive. Even if there’s incontrovertible proof that these nogoodniks came from the South Pole you just sit on it because Seattle and the South Pole are both on the same planet and that – as they say – is good enough for horseshoes and gummint work.
Long story short – the local electorate doesn’t care who did it or where they came from – they want their electeds to make sure nobody makes a dog’s dinner out of downtown.
“For the apparel oft proclaims the man.” Polonius from Hamlet Scene 1 Act 3
Speaking of outside agitators it pains me to have to do this.
Friday night on libtard Twitter some guy in Minneapolis put of a picture of a truck parked across the street from his house. He said he’d never see it nor the driver before, but he was curious as to what the big decal on the back of the truck was.
It looked like this:
The conservatives among you can now go get more coffee as I must talk to my fellow libtards, especially the ones whose information diet is made up of so much pre-chewed food from NPR.
Over the past weeks you’ve seen demonstrators demanding to be let out of the house. (We’ll deal with the sticky issue of how they got out of the house to protest at another time.) Many of these folks believe that there’s going to be another civil war any day. They refer to this upcoming conflict as The Boogaloo and somehow Booglaoo as morphed into the use of the word “igloo” for reasons unknown. While they were at it they have also decided that they shall be known by the colorful Hawaiian shirts they wear in public.
I find this deeply disturbing as they’ve appropriated clothing meant for short, fat, middle-age men. If I were to wear my purple one that’s covered with plumerias, which looks amazing under a black light, I wouldn’t look snappy – I’d look like one more pistol packin’ old spoot with an agenda.
And I will never be able to forgive the Boog-ie Men or whatever they call themselves for co-opting my wardrobe.
Now that we’ve established that –
The truck suggests that there might be a Booger in the midst of the Minneapolis riots. That differs from those who believe Antifa is involved. In either case it denies that the people who are in the streets are there as a matter of active consideration. Despite three months of near isolation, massive job losses at the minimum-wage level, and across the service industries, despite the fact that using public transportation is a serious health risk, and despite adequate access to health care should they need it – these people are not out in the streets of their own volition.
Somebody put ’em up to it.
After all they’re merely innocents. God knows, the lady who cleans the house would never riot. She’s always so punctual and has such nice manners and the Junior League goes that community center in her neighborhood to put on a little something for the children at Christmas. The place is as drafty as an old barn, but you do it for the kids.
Those people wouldn’t repay us by rioting would they?
Of course not.
It’s all the work of some naughty white kids who want to stir things up and organize unions.
Which leads to the question – if you blame outsiders are you merely taking The White Man’s Burden into the 21st Century?
Wanna know why we want to blame outsiders?
Too many us no longer own our own hot buttons. Sure, we have the personal ones, (e.g. Who left the cap off the toothpaste?) but at the more macro level what self control do we have left after years of cable news and social media?
Here’s a little exercise.
Please watch these videos in the order presented.
How much of the second video did you discount because of what you saw in the first one?
Could you determine that there was anything of worth in the second video after watching the first one?
You can take your time with that.
If there’s one thing to take away from this week it’s how quickly we want to blame the match while never acknowledging the gasoline.
You can work on that one at your leisure as well.
Hey – we get to leave the house in less than 48 hours.
Not that we have anywhere to go, but we get to leave the house.
The governor said so!