End of the week, and I’m bound an determined to get a third blog done before the weekend. Fortunately, I have a couple things to recommend, and recommend enthusiastically.
First is “Casa Susanna,” the latest PBS “American Experience” thing, which Alan watched late one night after I’d gone to bed, and liked so much he watched again, so I could, too. Here’s the link. It’s about a long-gone Catskills retreat for transgender women, and to make it clearer, specifically heterosexual men who had no other outlet to present as women. It’s absolutely fascinating, both for the level of detail, empathy and understanding it brings, without being sentimental or cringey or any of the rest of it.
It’s also an answer to those who talk about gender dysphoria as though it’s some weird, baroque mental illness. These men/women were highly functional, accomplished individuals whose main problem was that they were living in the wrong bodies. But you watch. You’ll like it.
I mention this other thing mainly because I find myself in the extremely rare situation of agreeing with David French, in the NYT. He’s writing about why the MAGA movement is so hard for people like me to fully understand. By George, I think he’s got it:
Why do none of your arguments against Trump penetrate this mind-set? The Trumpists have an easy answer: You’re horrible, and no one should listen to horrible people. Why were Trumpists so vulnerable to insane stolen-election theories? Because they know that you’re horrible and that horrible people are capable of anything, including stealing an election.
At the same time, their own joy and camaraderie insulate them against external critiques that focus on their anger and cruelty. Such charges ring hollow to Trump supporters, who can see firsthand the internal friendliness and good cheer that they experience when they get together with one another. They don’t feel angry — at least not most of the time. They are good, likable people who’ve just been provoked by a distant and alien “left” that many of them have never meaningfully encountered firsthand.
Indeed, while countless gallons of ink have been spilled analyzing the MAGA movement’s rage, far too little has been spilled discussing its joy.
He talks about the
boar boat parades, too.
Believe me, I was as surprised as you to find myself nodding along.
OK, it’s nearly the weekend. Enjoy yours.