Rounding the Corner

I was going to talk about this nice bit of (now months old, I gather) intelligence from Tim Gunn, who has undergone a probably-wasn’t-very-drastic conversion to pro-acceptance fashion politics:  bodyhttp://www.npr.org/2016/09/14/493965878/tim-gunn-the-fashion-industry-is-not-making-it-work-for-plus-size-women

But really, people, really, has there ever been an election that was more about the body than this one. Whether the body of a woman can withstand the savage stresses of the Presidency? (dumb and retrograde, but the question is nonetheless out there) About whether the bodies of women belong to them? (Have you paid attention at all to Mike Pence’s record? And who, precisely, do you think will end up running things if the Cheeto-from-hell is elected?) Is the body worth protection from bad cops, bad medicine, bad water, bad air, bad education, bad men?  Are the bodies of women valuable/worthy beyond their surface conformity to grossly artificial standards? Are the bodies of non-white people worthy/valuable of anything beyond poverty and degradation? Are the bodies of non-cis-hetero-non-binary humans even human? And, in the end, are the bodies and minds of white males to go on being crippled by dangerous constructs about the nature of masculinity?

Although I’ve spent years and years studying the history and literature of the Holocaust, and though I understand WWII as a complex extension of the grossly stupid, vicious (and overwhelmingly privileged-male-driven) desire of revenge on the part of the winners (I use the term loosely–no-one “won” that war) of WWI, and though I have lived in and visited Germany over the last 40 years during which it has undergone massive and remarkable change (mostly) in the direction of facing up to and growing beyond its own wounds and idiocies, I have never truly understood Germany  1919-1939 and how it came to be the genocidal/suicidal horror that it did. I can’t say that I understand it even now. Something in me cannot grasp the capacity of so many humans engaged in such profound denial of obvious facts, even though I believe heartily in the capacity of individuals to engage in radical denial. But I can say that I know what it it looks like.

My country has made me sad and angry. My country has made me grieve. My country has made me furious. Under every administration of my politically-aware life (so, since I was 14), I have had occasion to be disgusted, frustrated, or baffled. And I believed we’d hit bottom with W., I really did.

It is 1939 here in the United States. Voting for anyone other than Hillary (I don’t care how much you don’t like her. If you don’t like her, please do look deep into your soul to find the part of you that is simply willing to believe any stupid shit about her emails because she has the “wrong” body parts and recognize that the media is complicit in teaching you to ignore that ugly fact) is voting for 1939. Understand this: Flint is 1939. Refusing to let refugees in the country is 1939. White supremacy in any form is 1939. The Alt-Right is 1939. I am trying very hard not to descend to the “shouting match” level so much of this campaign has been decapitated by. I still don’t understand Germany in 1939, except that I know it was not made by monsters who were “not like us.” It was made by the consent and silence of people who were precisely like us, and who were sucked in gradually by their own sense of grievances unaddressed, their frustrations with a world they couldn’t face or comprehend, and their enthrallment to a history they imagined, but that had never actually existed.

Vote, please. Vote like it’s Munich and 1939 and you have some idea of what’s coming if you stay silent. Because you do. You do.

 

 

 

Round & Furry

There’s this:

http://www.weightymatters.ca/2016/09/mouse-diet-studies-arent-conclusive-for.html

Lots of interesting material in that very brief piece. There is also an interesting subtext about the actual value of using non-humans to test human medical issues. I understand that human testing, especially in the early stages of trials for important (as opposed to bogus or pseudo-important profit-driven crap like most weight-loss meds) drugs are a complicated issue, but it does rather stand to reason that it would be good to not use animals where it is possible not to do so. Of course, that would mean that the companies making quiet billions by supplying animals to labs would lose business, and the humans working there would lose jobs–another case of nothing happening without un-intended consequences.

Somehow it seems like the problems/systems involved in moving folks from middle-class jobs in inherently un-ethical (and usually planet- or human-destroying) industries ought to be more solvable than it currently seems. I insist on believing that someone could apply a consortium of big brains to the global shifts in industrial (and academic, come to thing of it) structures so that the majority of the planet could stop living in a constant state of panic and instability. You’d think the Masters wanted the Workers to be permanently insecure so they don’t have the energy or resources to pay attention to The Man Behind the Curtain. Or something.