Saturday, December 20, 2008

i've been trying to pull my head out of the aethosphere a little bit lately.

mostly out of political junkyhood, i've been living out in the universe of discourse a lot for the last couple years. it's a funny, private little way to live in the world, confined as it was to interacting with my computer screen and taking my stories and facts pre-digested by mama birds whose insight and disgust mirrored my own. occasionally i'd toss my own two cents in the ring; mostly not. i've always been more of a reader than a writer, though i've read you can't be the latter unless you're the former. unless you're bukowski maybe. and even he had a hero or two.

but i just can't do it anymore. the good guys won, or something. i'm cautiously optimistic about the new crew in dc, but who can say for now? they're not actually governing yet. everybody who's got their panties in a bunch about anything other than real problems either just really likes and is used to having their panties in a bunch, or is getting paid for it, or, more likely both. dunno about you, but my parents always told me to do what you love, and figure out how to make money from it after.

i don't know if i love what i do. but i do a lot of the things i do well. that's what i tell myself, anyway. other people tell me that too.

anyway, i feel like i'm coming back to the world. i'm reading books again, instead of using up all my reading time online. i let my subscriptions to harper's and the atlantic lapse. i'm watching way less tv.

it's good. i think everyone should do it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The regnant strain of "conservativism" in America uses a rhetoric of "personal responsibility" in order to denigrate and scapegoat the less privileged and more marginal members of our society because it is not conservativism: it's conservativism's tatooed ex-con brother-in-law: white ethnic nationalism. Its fundamental ethos is a hastily constructed set of cultural resentments. Its commitment to economic liberty is window-dressing for mere acquisitiveness. Its cultural exceptionalisms would make a young Kipling blush.