Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2018 inductees. Performer Category: Bon Jovi (inevitable), The Cars (voted for), Dire Straits (would have voted for if there weren’t 19 candidates for five slots), The Moody Blues (my pick), Nina Simone (worthy but hardly rock – see Baez, Joan). Award for Early Influence: Sister Rosetta Tharpe (should never have been on the competitive ballot; just put her in!)
The battle against bigotry and inequality continues.
In any civil rights struggle, it is natural to want to celebrate the victories, the accomplishments. Yet when I first heard writer Michelangelo Signorile talk about “victory blindness,” probably on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I knew immediately that it was fundamentally true, and not just with regard to LGBTQ justice.
In this 2015 HuffPo interview, Mike says, “Victory blindness is …a term I use to describe the phenomenon in which we focus on the wins, so starved for validation, that we allow them to blind us to the continued bigotry we face. We become enthralled, intoxicated — spellbound by even a little bit. The effect is that it obscures our reality — literally our vision — and it makes us lose our gumption, not wanting to rock the boat, fearful that we’ll lose what we’ve gained and not get what little bit we think we need, when in fact we need a lot and we should be strong and confident knowing our allies will stay with us.”
I would add that engaging in victory blindness often leads to great surprise and disappointment when there is the inevitable backlash. Signorile was speaking specifically about LGBTQ rights. After the victory of marriage equality being confirmed by the Supreme Court comes a county clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue some marriage licenses, e.g.
I think America suffered victory blindness in another arena, BIG TIME, when it elected Barack Obama. Racism is solved! We’re in a “post-racial” society! That did not quite turn out to be the case.
I suspect that the optimism following the November 2017 not-evil election results won’t lead to overconfidence. The battle against bigotry and inequality continues. Perhaps November 8 will, in someone’s words, empower and excite, not satisfy and placate.
Still, I was oddly pleased to see the so-called One Million Moms announce a Disney boycott over a gay character. My family happens to watch Andi Mack regularly, and the one boy’s feeling of jealousy that his male friend is interested in the girl who’s the title character rather than himself is just a small part of the texture of the series. The boycott seems to have had little impact on the enthusiastic fan base of the program.
The only movies I’ve seen with Gene Wilder are The Producers, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask, Silver Streak, Stir Crazy, and one of my favorite movies ever, Young Frankenstein, which he co-wrote. They were all released between 1967 and 1980. But he was always excellent then and in a couple of episodes of Will and Grace early this century. Gene Wilder on The Truth | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios, plus Evanier and Tom Straw remember.
“In 2008, 47 such students were admitted who had lower grades or test scores than Fisher. Forty-two of them were white. Only five were people of color.
“Fisher and her lawyer Blum were not challenging the admission of the 42 white students.
“Instead, Fisher’s argument was narrowly that she should have been admitted instead of one of those students of color. It was the case that collapsed any distinction between opposing affirmative action and demanding that white people be given preference.”
There were huge Google spikes in search inquiries for “What is the EU?” in the UK, after the polling closed but before the results were announced. Of course, this doesn’t mean it was just the folks who voted for the annoying portmanteau Brexit who were looking it up; it may also been the 28% who didn’t bother voting at all. The fervent nationalism, anti-immigrant and anti-elite drove the anti-EU agenda.
After the massacre in Orlando, there was a boring conversation about whether the events constituted terrorism. Naturallymit does. From the FBI:
“Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics: Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.
SO the church shootings in Charleston, SC: terrorism. But one should balk at limiting the term to those actions perpetrated by a Muslim.
This is clear when you hear the primary complaint about the sit-in, which is that it was just a publicity stunt. Obviously, they are not versed in non-violent direct action, for OF COURSE it was a publicity stunt. Most protests are.
Forty-nine people were murdered at the Pulse nightclub primarily from a Sig Sauer (modeled in the AK-47, for the pedantic who try to negate the gun control debate with semantics.) Then a Senator from Connecticut, who filibustered for four bills to be voted on; there was a vote, and they were all defeated. The sit-in created a tipping point.
The flaws in the various bills can be discussed. But I think there’s some reasonable bill that would ban assault weapons, get background checks for those buying weapons at gun shows, have a seven-day background check for those who are on the no-fly list to ascertain if they really represent a risk – the aforementioned John Lewis was once on the roster. The NRA has essentially blocked the Centers for Disease Control from getting funding to study the issue of gun violence on communities. A bill would require what has become a dirty word; compromise.
This is a picture of the remains of a banner set on fire on the front lawn of the Albany (NY) Damien Center’s temporary home at the city’s First Lutheran Church this past week. As the Facebook comment read: “In the wake of the Orlando tragedy, it is very disheartening to have this happen in our local community. We appreciate all of our community’s support and love extended and stand in unity with our LGBT community during this time.”
I WATCH the usual suspects saying WORN out statements.
I WAKE up Sunday morning and check my news feed. From the Los Angeles Times, 20 dead from at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and 42 WOUNDED. But the information is sketchy, as it is WONT to be early in an incident.
WENT to church. Put this event on the prayer list. WEIRD, because most people hadn’t heard the news yet.
Go home, check the news again. Now it’s reported that 50 are dead, and 53 WOUNDED. WOW, America, WE have a WINNER! WORST mass shooting in modern American history.
I peruse Facebook and comment on nothing, even though I WEEP inside. I become WARY of early reports about terrorism. I WATCH the usual suspects saying WORN out statements, WARNING us to be WATCHFUL, and that WHAT WE need is more guns, or fewer guns.
Someone or other says, “This cannot become the new normal.” Yet, at the end of the day, I figure that nothing will change. People will offer their thoughts and prayers, and WONDER if now might be a good time to talk about gun control. But it’s never the right time; we need to WAIT.
There are always those WTF statements about how the shootings were “God’s retribution” about same-sex marriage, WHICH are trotted out with almost every tragedy that fits a certain narrative. I just can’t WASTE my outrage on this WARPED thinking.
There is a new twist, though. Will the terrorism angle WIN out over the attack on the LGBT community as the most important narrative? OMG, I have to stop WATCHING this stuff. I understand WHY people turn off the news.
I’m pretty much staying off Facebook for a bit, because it’s toxic usually, it is more so now, and it makes me WEARY. Consider this my blanket statement of appreciation for every heartfelt response of WARMTH and compassion, and sympathy for those who mourn.