Donald Trump described anti-fascist and anti-racist demonstrators who converged on Boston as “anti-police agitators” on Saturday, in a tweet that seemed destined to revive the still simmering controversy over his remarks equating the far right and anti-Nazis in Charlottesville last weekend.
“Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston,” Trump tweeted. “Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you.”
But he later seemed to back the right to demonstrate, posting: “Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!”
He added: “I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!”
It's this: the symbolism of them carrying torches. Something about that apparently goes back to a primordial bit of the brain that keeps the fear going. Maybe it's the shared ancestral memory of towns and cities burning centuries ago -- every one of us has, somewhere in our history, some ancient family member who was burned out of a home in some war or other. (I can tell you that my own ancestral fear of being burned out goes back two generations, to when my grandfather's blacksmith's shop went up in flames in midwinter, and it was a hard fight by the local fire brigade to keep the house nearby from going up as well. If both hadn't been next to the river, the family would have been homeless.) But the point is that something nearly primordial in us sees campfires as friendly (we cook over them) and torches as hostile, unfriendly and dangerous. And when it's a mob with torches? Especially dangerous and frightening.
And those of us who post and repost news items are spreading images of torches. We're doing the frightening for them and keeping it going. Think about what happened when we kept seeing the Twin Towers collapsing in the weeks after 9/11, when the horror and the fear just did not go away because those images kept feeding it.
So this is what I am asking you to do:
1. If, anywhere on any social media, you have posted a picture from Charlottesville with torches in it, please delete it. Or edit it so it's a bunch of ugly white men without torches. We already know what happened there -- everyone knows. We don't have to see that picture any more. We don't have to spread their message of hate for them. That's not our job.
2. Take extra care to keep your own mind free from that image, and from the fear that it and other images of the Charlottesville riot can foster. Make sure to spend time with loving pets, or out in nature, or with people you love or doing things you care about. Make sure to put joy in your life on purpose, not by accident, in whatever way pleases you. Take time to appreciate good things around you. Joy and appreciation are powerful weapons against fear; they set the ground for generosity, caring and peace.
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Petra: when I was there, St. Bonaventure University was 1800 people in all, plus 200 or so grad students, so fairly small. Not without its bad behavior by some and a number of outright scoundrels, but I don't recall Paladino being one of them.
- just on reading the the cover of the Guardian Saturday Review, which promised its readers a letter from Karl Ove Knausgaard to his unborn baby.
And when Tonstant Weader had finished fwowing up, she wondered how much nappy-changing KOK (fnarr, fnaar: am 13 at the back of the class) signs up for, rather than providing Deep Existential Insights?
Will concede that I am somewhat cynical about the entire genre of 'Bloke becomes father and has EPIPHANY' - in particular we may note that KOK already has two children. Also KOK has admitted that 'he has achieved huge success by sacrificing his relationships with friends and members of his family'.
And in other bloke news, maybe it's just me, but why is Rosa Bonheur 'less well-known' than other French C19th horse painters whose names ring no bell with me, Vernet and Fromentin? If someone has a massive great canvas in the NY Metropolitan Museum... I think this is a deplorable case of the reviewer not having heard of her.
And also in Dept of Unexamined Assumptions, What Internet Searches Reveal: as I am sure I have heretofore remarked, what interests people in porn, what their sexual fantasies are, doesn't necessarily map to what they like to do. So not entirely sure that Big Data on the topic is quite as revelatory as claimed here.
What is striking about the bus boycott is not so much its passion, which is easy to relate to, as its restraint, which—at this moment, especially—is not. No outraged Facebook posts spread the news when Colvin was arrested. Local organizers bided their time, slowly planning, structuring, and casting what amounted to a work of public theatre, and then built new structures as their plans changed. The protest was expressive in the most confected sense, a masterpiece of control and logistics. It was strategic, with the tactics following. And that made all the difference in the world.
There is much to contemplate in this article that reviews a number of studies on activism. You won’t agree with all of it, but it will give you food for thought. “Is there any point to protesting?” in The New Yorker by Nathan Heller.
The better option is to care less about work because we care more about other things.
Most of us have had meaningful experiences—finding love unexpectedly, feeling awe when asked an intriguing question—that we quickly dismiss as being no more than passing moments, or which turn into nostalgic episodes to be recalled wistfully now and again. But these experiences are clues that reveal a different lens through which we can see life: The more important things take us out of the endless pursuit of “being useful” while enabling us to lose ourselves in the flow of time.
By caring less about work, we open ourselves up to caring more about other dimensions to life—about what matters more.
Once we’ve gotten the knack for embracing the idea that certain things in life are wondrous because they’re not focused on getting through, onto, or ahead of something, we can turn our attention to ourselves, inquiring into our own lives. Socrates’ great insight involved showing his conversation partners that they thought they knew themselves, but it turns out that they didn’t.
Following Socrates’ lead, we can ask ourselves, “If I’m not just a worker, then who am I?” Let this question sit in the back of your mind for a few weeks before you try to answer it.
From “The secret to office happiness isn’t working less – it’s caring less” by Andrew Taggart in Quartz.
Mavis: I spent all last night sharpening my sleeve-wings—if I don’t draw first blood in this year’s Dirigible Dollies Derby, I’m just going to plop myself right down and cry!
Doris: Don’t worry, dear, I’m sure you’ll shred the other girls—you always do! Fingers crossed that this is the year I take the Puppy Picnic Princess crown!
Mavis: Either way, we go halfsies on the judge, right?
Doris: You betcha! I think he’s almost recovered from last year.
Since the police refused to protect the Charlottesville synagogue, the synagogue has hired armed security guards.
You'll never be as radical as this 18th Century Quaker dwarf. So you know: Quakers did not wear military uniforms or take up arms. This is relevant.
White pride is not a culture. And Southern pride in a time of terror, which talks about real Southern culture.
A social justice syllabus.
The entire US military has broken away from Trump and openly denounced racism.
The ACLU will no longer defend hate groups protesting while carrying firearms. This is a first.
A 21-year-old Nazi sympathizer who marched in Charlottesville is now whining that his life is over because he was identified as marching with Nazis and KKK. I don't have a violin small enough.
The real horror of Trump's response to Charlottesville.
A Charlottesville ER nurse talks, after a day of decompression.
Retracing Willa Cather's steps in the south of France.
Are we different writers when we move from longhand to a screen? I can say that I write poetry differently with a pen in hand, and essays differently, and I don't write nonfiction there at all.
The landscape of Civil War commemoration. 13,000 monuments, and descriptions.
Churches Uniting in Christ statement on white nationalism and white supremacism. The member churches of CUIC include the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church, the International Council of Community Churches, the Moravian Church (Northern Province), the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.
The president's Arts and Humanities Council, founded by Obama, has resigned over Trump's Charlottesville response.
Bannon's out of the White House; Trumpists are more afraid of him now.
3 major charities canceled Mar-a-Lago galas.
Charlottesville forces media and tech companies to draw a line on what they will allow.
In Oregon, rural Muslims fight for safety and inclusion.
In Iran, cracking down on journalists.
Ranking countries by their blasphemy laws.
New Dallas police officers face questions on how an ethical officer would act.
It's hard to find an impartial jury for pharmaceuticals scammer Martin Shkreli's