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The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: June 27, 2018
Welcome to Brunch. Each week just seems to get crazier and scarier. I’m running out of things to say and feeling the futility of the words I do find. Colt Clark and his Quarantine Kids put their finger on the source of my weariness, the fatigue so many of us are dealing with these days.
I think John Mulvaney has had the best take on our leadership for awhile now.
[Note: Language warning]
Definitely “Darwin Awards” material…
And here is a sober assessment of where we are and where we might be going…
What do you think of what David Brooks says here?
…a quasi-religion is seeking control of America’s cultural institutions. The acolytes of this quasi-religion, Social Justice, hew to a simplifying ideology: History is essentially a power struggle between groups, some of which are oppressors and others of which are oppressed. Viewpoints are not explorations of truth; they are weapons that dominant groups use to maintain their place in the power structure. Words can thus be a form of violence that has to be regulated.
…The loudest theory of change is coming from the Social Justice movement. This movement emerged from elite universities, and its basic premise is that if you can change the cultural structures you can change society.
Members of this movement pay intense attention to cultural symbols — to language, statues, the names of buildings. They pay enormous attention to repeating certain slogans, such as “defund the police,” which may or may not have anything to do with policy, and to lifting up symbolic gestures, like kneeling before a football game. It’s a very apt method for change in an age of social media because it’s very performative.
…The core problem is that the Social Justice theory of change doesn’t produce much actual change. Corporations are happy to adopt some woke symbols and hold a few consciousness-raising seminars and go on their merry way. Worse, this method has no theory of politics.
How exactly is all this cultural agitation going to lead to legislation that will decrease income disparities, create better housing policies or tackle the big challenges that I listed above? That part is never spelled out. In fact, the Sturm und Drang makes political work harder. You can’t purify your way to a governing majority.
Apparently, there will be a (sort of) Major League Baseball season. 60 games. Training camp starts this week, on July 1. First games will be July 23 or 24. The schedule will include 10 games for each team against its four divisional opponents, along with 20 games against the opposite league’s corresponding geographical division (for example, the AL East will play the NL East, and so on). Team personnel and players not likely to participate in the game (for example, the next day’s starting pitcher) will be sitting in the stands or another area designated by the club, at least six feet apart; non-playing personnel will wear masks in dugout and bullpen at all times; no spitting or chewing tobacco (gum is permitted); no celebratory contact (high-fives, fist bumps, hugs, etc.). Will fans be allowed to attend games? It appears uncertain at this point.
This year has brought a remarkable convergence of strange and seemingly portentous events…
I can’t think of a better time for a new Dylan album.
You don’t know me darlin’
You never would guess
I’m nothing like my ghostly appearance would suggest
I ain’t no false prophet
I just said what I said
I’m just here to bring vengeance on somebody’s head