FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: 9/23/22.
If I had my way in this wicked world I would tear this building down.
• Got a couple of hot ones for you from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, a big underground hit on the Substack circuit. First, a little something about how the rich are “enclosing” all the good things that were once the domain of the poor. That comparison to the old English enclosure of the commons was a reader’s (in the very lively comments section, which you are invited to join), not my own, but it fits: in my reading the toffs not only increasingly take the fruits of our labor, but also take such bygone common privileges as the right to reinvent oneself, once a quintessentially American option that grows more difficult for us paupers to avail with each biometric innovation but which seems to be all the rage among the “rebranders” of the rich.
Speaking of which, another reader made a comparison between this diminution of options for the non-rich and rightwing rage against trans people:
Also it's getting harder and more expensive to legally change your name, and I suspect this is largely gatekeeping trans people which I'm sure they think is a win, but is also conveniently making it harder for everybody to get away from bad lives, and that's a bigger win.
In my view anti-trans bigotry is at bottom about conservative authoritarian misogyny (because how are we supposed to know which is the “weaker sex” if gender is fluid?). But it’s worth considering that part of what riles rightwingers about trans people is that their existence implies people has a choice about who and what they will be – which is obviously in conflict with conservative traditionalism, whether the MAGA choad version of the tradcath “Ye offend the Lord with thy top surgery” blather. Anyway, thinky fun!
• Also on the REBID free table: I had a laugh at Scott Adams’ cancellation claims over “Dilbert" being dropped by Lee Enterprises (no one’s idea of a “woke” organization). In point of fact Lee dropped dozens of strips at once, but Adams, being a prominent wingnut, was apparently obliged to hint that he was dropped for political reasons so as to titillate the cancelculture crybaby community. This is another great example of one of my famous equities: the Rightwing Mood Swing TM between delusions of grandeur and persecution mania! I really should make a gift book out of those.
• I don’t like to focus on Trump much because, as recent events have shown, the Republican Party is a vicious death cult that offers its followers nothing but brutal vengeance against their perceived enemies, and Tubby is just a giant symptom. But I do find this interesting:
Former President Donald Trump reshared a video on his Truth Social platform on Thursday night filled with numerous far-right QAnon conspiracy images, as well as references to satanists and pedophiles. The over a minute-long video contains a series of memes that show Trump alongside QAnon slogans and includes vague threats of retribution against his opponents.
"Every last traitor, liar, leaker and enemy will pay for what they have done to America," reads the text in front of one image of Trump.
Tubby going full QAnon can be seen a couple of different ways. On the one hand, of course, it’s terrible: QAnon is nuts and its adherents are dangerously deluded. On the other hand, MAGA people are already every bit as dangerously deluded – really, some of them may not know from the alleged central character Q and its mythology, but don’t a lot of them already think that anyone who’s decent to trans people is a Pizzagate pedophile, and that violent insurrection at the Capitol was A-OK?
One might argue the danger of the QAnon component is that it’s a social mechanism that pushes the already unmoored Republicans a little further out into la-la land. But if you believe, as I said, that it’s a death cult, maybe it’s better that their separation from the reality most of us share be made more obvious, so that more voters can see exactly how nuts they are and react accordingly.
Of course this relies on the prestige media paying closer attention, which is by no means a sure thing.
UPDATE. Back to the subject of control over one's gender/personal identity, and the conservative antipathy to it: I'll just add this link to my Twitter thread about something that's related to it: Conservatives trying to get rid of no-fault divorce. This too is part of the modern conservative drive to overturn the modern world and its signal feature, self-determination. I'll highlight the button, which I think is worth repeating -- and I expect I will, in days to come: