Two for the weekend.

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.

Posted at 10:03 pm in Current events, Popculch |

46 responses to “Two for the weekend.”

  1. Heather said on July 6, 2023 at 10:31 pm

    I think you meant boat parades? Although if they do have boar parades, I would be totally into going to one.

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  2. Mark P said on July 6, 2023 at 11:23 pm

    Hmm. Internal friendliness and good cheer? Joy? Would that be the same internal friendliness, good cheer, and joy that a mob feels among themselves during a lynching? Or the joy the insurrectionists felt as they shat on the floor of the Capitol?

    I see two possibilities. Either those words don’t mean what he thinks they mean, or he’s full of shit.

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  3. A. Riley said on July 6, 2023 at 11:54 pm

    I nodded along with David French too, and we talked about it over dinner on the patio. The pep-rally, homecoming-parade aspect of it hadn’t occurred to me, but I think he’s got something there. It’s not ideology, it’s sociology. They’ve found a place where they feel they Belong.

    I keep telling my liberal-mainline-Protestant friends the same thing, when they moan about the young families who choose the nondenominational church across the street — it’s not theology or ecclesiology, it’s Belonging.

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  4. FDChief said on July 6, 2023 at 11:58 pm

    I’m told by those who attended them that the postwar reunions of the 2nd SS “Das Reich” division were boisterously cheery affairs, full of jolly old soldiers’ joy and friendship.

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  5. David C said on July 7, 2023 at 6:08 am

    I hope they’re as joyful when the purges come. Sure, they think the purges will only be for other people, but they never are. They can be tossed like Marjorie Three-toes was. Why was she tossed? I don’t think anyone knows, for sure. It wasn’t because she was too crazy. It wasn’t because she wasn’t crazy enough. I was just because. With any luck, they’ll crack up before they get any power to ruin the lives of the rest of us.

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  6. Suzanne said on July 7, 2023 at 8:32 am

    A sense of belonging, yes, but it’s also years of listening to preachers rail against the secular world which is coming to get them, of going to church because it’s such a great show never mind the message, of wanting to see life without any gray areas, of wanting to be told what to think, of being told never to question, and of Christian nationalism being so internalized that they can’t sort out if it’s true or not. Why do they hate Democrats so much? Because they have been told for years that if only the US followed the laws of a Christian God, who is naturally a Republican because He loves babies & hates gays, it will prosper. The country doing well under Dem leadership is, to them, impossible, even when the facts say otherwise because they know prosperity under a Dem is just a trick of Satan trying to lure them from God & Satan must be resisted at all times.
    I have read part of the French piece but didn’t finish. I am so tired of listening to evangelicals who got this ball rolling years ago and now are appalled it has picked up speed, crushing everything in its path. French gets close to the truth frequently, but can’t quite get there, can’t quite see that the system he has trumpeted for years has rot at its core.

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  7. nancy said on July 7, 2023 at 9:47 am

    I have read part of the French piece but didn’t finish. I am so tired of listening to evangelicals who got this ball rolling years ago and now are appalled it has picked up speed, crushing everything in its path. French gets close to the truth frequently, but can’t quite get there, can’t quite see that the system he has trumpeted for years has rot at its core.

    Yes, very much this.

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  8. Jeff Gill said on July 7, 2023 at 10:09 am

    Better than David French, read the more recent output of people like Beth Moore, Kristin Kobes DuMez, Beth Allison Barr, Karen Swallow Prior, and Rachael Denhollander. There’s a reckoning building within evangelicalism, especially among women, that the rot goes deeper than anyone had been willing to admit before Trump. Since Rachel Held Evans’s death, there’s been more willingness to speak clearly about misogyny in Christian circles (not all, not always); when Beth Moore, no progressive at all, simply starting saying clearly that Trump’s recorded behavior and actions made him unacceptable to her, not even trying to say that any Christian should be repulsed by his persona and candidacy, suddenly a more oblique and covert push to keep women out of pulpits & leadership became a visible & overt wave. I’m not sure how the endgame of the Mohlerite resurgence in Southern Baptist Conference circles will play out; and when I say SBC, it’s worth noting 99% of the so-called non-denominational contemporary worship churches are effectively SBC in their culture & polity, even if they’ve never had a single contact with SBC missions or agencies. That male-headship, complementarian view of Christian essentials, with a hefty dose of nationalism thrown in as a para-essential, is floating most of the big box churches that are booming, but I’m skeptical of their staying power.

    And as I’ve said before, they will say “we are growing!” but in many counties, where there was 200 churches with 100 average, that’s 20,000 worshipers; now you have five 500 some big box new starts, maybe a dozen with 100 a Sunday, and 70 with about 40 in them, if that . . . but that new landscape is 6,500 worshipers, and your area may well have grown 10% over that time. It’s exactly like a big box retail killing fifteen small retail outlets, emptying downtown.

    Meanwhile, there are people more pungently and pointedly dissecting the rot than David French is right now, and they’re mostly women. Some black SBC pastors who are heading for the exits are starting to speak up, like Jemar Tisby. Stuff is being said.

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  9. Dexter Friend said on July 7, 2023 at 10:22 am

    Breaking news for me, I just posted my first Threads entry. I quit twitter after Musk’s shenanigans. It’s already on fire there at Threads, this will be fun for me as I soured on twitter long ago.
    Life is fleeting. Word from Charleston, South Carolina reached me that my niece Melony, just 45 years of age, has succumbed to a rapid-fire cancer. She was a smart, cool kid who just had a sometimes tough life, time in residential homes and hospitals for months, then “cured”, then repeat the cycle. She was so smart and aware of politics and she could write poetry and paint houses and change car batteries and flat tires. Such brilliance tempered by bouts of awful rage and confinement for mental breakdowns. Her father died at age 47 of the same type of cancer she passed away from.
    And they both, dad and daughter, smoked tobacco like fiends, but I do not judge. Gone too quickly; my daughter beat her cancer and my niece died from cancer. Life is a goddam coin-flip. Fuck. And Damn. Damn cancer.

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  10. Deborah said on July 7, 2023 at 10:28 am

    I haven’t read her book about jesus and john wayne but have heard Kristin Kobes DuMez being interviewed on a few podcasts. It’s fascinating, I really need to get the book one of these days. I remember going to a Billy Graham rally with my family when I was a kid. My mother said we had to keep it a secret that we had gone, she said the people in our LCMS church would not approve. Now it all sounds like Billy Graham, if you ask me.

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  11. Jenien said on July 7, 2023 at 10:44 am

    Sorry to hear about Melony, Dexter. May her memory be a blessing.

    Thanks for that glimpse into the expression of dissent, Jeff. It sounds too thoughtful and muted to have much purchase with the loud majority. But I hope I’m wrong.

    Edited to add: ha! I spelled my name wrong. It’s been a long, short week.

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  12. Jason T. said on July 7, 2023 at 11:42 am

    I’ve written before about working as a board-op/producer for about 10 years at a radio station that ran right-wing Christian programming on the weekends.

    (We also ran a lot of quack alternative doctors during the week. The Venn diagram in the audiences between anti-vax quacks and right-wing Christians was almost a single overlapping circle.)

    Most of the people whom I worked with were unfailingly joyful and happy. It was common for them to bring in homemade candy or cookies for the radio station, and they always had a good clean joke to tell, and they always thanked me for producing their shows.

    But there was a real disconnect in the content of those shows.

    They’d be smiling and telling cute stories off the air, while a gospel song was playing, and then once the song ended, they’d go back on the air, and they’d be railing against gays and unwed mothers and gun control, and demanding (Christian) prayer in public schools.

    So no, nothing in David French’s column surprises me, but nothing about the Trump era has surprised me.

    As Suzanne at #6 says, this stuff has been bubbling under on right-wing AM radio, inside fundamentalist churches, and inside Bible and Christian colleges for 20 years or more.

    The mainstream media wasn’t paying attention, but all of this MAGA crap? I was producing those radio shows in the early 2000s and 2010s for a small but rabid (and very happy) audience.

    That small, insular, but emboldened audience is MAGA today.

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  13. Jason T. said on July 7, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Also, a lot of those hosts loved a song by a gospel group called The Steeles, “We Want America Back.”

    I used to have to play it a lot, and after a while, I used to have leave the booth when it was on, because it was so appalling.

    Tell me this isn’t the MAGA anthem, and tell me this isn’t what “Moms for Liberty” believes is literally happening in schools:

    Something is wrong with America.
    She once held the Bible as her conscience and guide.
    But we’ve allowed those who hold nothing to be sacred,
    Like Sodom of old, to push morals aside.
    Where are the men who once stood for right?
    And the women who championed their cause?
    We must return to the values we left,
    Before this country we love is totally lost.

    When our government can pass out contraceptives to children in school
    Without parental consent,
    And yet the Gideons can no longer pass out the Bible on campus,
    Something is wrong
    When our leaders can tell your children and mine
    That premarital sex is all right as long as it’s safe
    Something is wrong

    (To their credit, I believe one of the members of The Steeles has since said they regret recording the song.)

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  14. FDChief said on July 7, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    One of the soccer writers I follow moved over to Threads, so my only option was to take a look.

    Ugh. No desktop option (and while I can read on my phone I hate being forced to) plus needing Instagram plus the Facebook-standard-grade personal data harvesting? No, thanks.

    Personal loathesomeness aside, what’s so irking about Elmo is how he took a perfectly serviceable bulletin board and speed-ran it straight into the shitter. And all to get a reacharound from some goober who couldn’t even manage to score the first two tries at the username “catturd”.

    It reminds me of a terrific bit in Shaw’s “The Devil’s Disciple”, where his revolutionary hero is hauled up in front of a British court-martial.

    When asked if he understands why he’s there, he says yes, that Lord North intends to hang him because he objects to King George robbing him.

    General Burgoyne, there as a spectator, replies that it’s gentleman’s obligation to pay even if the payment is burdensome.

    Our hero says that it’s not the payment itself, it’s that he has to pay it to satisfy an incompetent idiot like King George.

    And that’s where I stand. It would be irritating enough to be jerked around by the finest people on Earth. But to be hectored and swindled and lied to by scum like Elmo and French’s jolly wingnuts? That’s the utterly infuriating part…

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  15. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    The people attending tRump rallies have long reminded me Grateful Dead fans. A guy I knew used to take the entire summer off to follow the Dead from place to place, camping out near their shows and reveling in the company of others who loved the band. The tRumpanzees are like that. Look at the attire! Many are wearing tRump branded shit from head to toe. . .so very recognizable to all other members of their tribe. (tRump recently said he doesn’t believe Joe Biden received 81 million votes because he’s never seen anyone wearing a Biden hat. No shit, Sherlock. I voted for the guy, but I don’t worship him.)

    This is why some political observers speculate tRumpism cannot survive his passing. I beg to disagree. The throngs who worship at his feet will find another idol. It’s just as predictable as the next pop star who will eclipse Taylor Swift. And the motivating principles of tRumpism –racism, sexism, homophobia, hatred of immigrants, anti-intellectualism, ignorance, isolationism and a fear and loathing of anything and everything that is different– is now baked into the QOP.

    Anyone catch that gayer than gay TV commercials for DeathSantis? It’s unintentional hilarity at its finest. (Sorry. You may have to suffer through a tourism ad for Cedar Rapids, Iowa before it comes up.)

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  16. Mark P said on July 7, 2023 at 12:45 pm

    Evangelicals and nationalism are best buddies from way back. About 60 years ago I attended a Baptist church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. They had two flags flanking the lectern, a “Christian” flag and an American flag. This in a denomination that had separation of church and state as one of their core founding beliefs four hundred years ago. I guess that was when they were afraid some other belief system would force them to conform. Forcing someone else to conform to their beliefs is not a problem.

    And, of course, that is the real legacy of coming to America to escape religious discrimination. They just didn’t like it when someone else did it.

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  17. FDChief said on July 7, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    Jeff: that salty liberal blogger Driftglass pegged that tribal signaling from wingnuts predating Trump; he tagged them “The Tribe That Rubs Shit In Their Hair”. Search his site and you’ll find one or more of those posts.

    And no, this won’t die with Trump. These people have found their wriggly joy in being out and proud asaholes to all the people they hate and lubricious delight in sharing their little tales of owning libs. They’re not going back in the closet short of the Red Army butchering them in their trenches storming the Reichskanzlerei.

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  18. Sherri said on July 7, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    No, they don’t see themselves as angry. But let me tell you, it’s just right there under the surface, all the time. David French should know, because he’s experienced it because of his Never Trump stance and his adopted child from Ethiopia.

    My experience is that these people can not tolerate even brief episodes of feeling uncomfortable at being in new situations around new people, so they lash out. As long as you don’t make them feel uncomfortable or stupid or wrong, they’ll be nice to you, but otherwise, you’re horrible. And all it takes to be horrible is to disagree with them.

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  19. Sherri said on July 7, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    The Episcopal church I attended until the 2016 election also has a US flag and a Christian flag in the sanctuary. Even though I grew up with that in every SBC church I ever attended, it still bugs me.

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  20. tajalli said on July 7, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    Apparently, Threads can be accessed on a desktop using an emulation layer. If I were to be interested in Threads (I have a Twitter acct but rarely use it), I’d get info from several sources, including Stack Overflow.

    This lack of desktop access may be the problem I’ve had with Post News. I’m not really big on social media – found Facebook’s feed annoying with the advertisements, so I made simple HTML pages with links to individual groups, pages, friends to circumvent the redirections to sponsored features.

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  21. Sherri said on July 7, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    I finally read the French piece, all the way to the end. He says we can’t replace something with nothing. What I don’t think he understands is, there is no something we could offer the MAGAs that they want, because they simply do not want a multicultural, multiethnic democratic America. Sure, they may love their half-Black grandkids, but they’re the “good ones.”

    They don’t hate Black people, as long as the Black people know their place. And it’s not cutting the line in front of them, as they view it anytime a Black person gets a job or a place in college they think should have gone to them.

    No, they don’t want their kids to learn anything other than what they teach them, because the whole thing is a house of cards that topples if the kids learn to think for themselves. But the entire history of this country from the beginning has been about keeping that house of cards from toppling. I just think we’re reaching a tipping point where something falls apart. I just don’t know what.

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  22. BigHank53 said on July 7, 2023 at 8:38 pm

    I thought about that David French piece for a bit, and then I happened to visit Roy Edroso’s place, and he is certainly no stranger to the fervid emanations of French.

    French’s closing paragraph:

    During the Trump years, I’ve received countless email messages from distraught readers that echo a similar theme: My father (or mother or uncle or cousin) is lost to MAGA. They can seem normal, but they’re not, at least not any longer. It’s hard for me to know what to say in response, but one thing is clear: You can’t replace something with nothing. And until we fully understand what that “something” is — and that it includes not only passionate anger but also very real joy and a deep sense of belonging — then our efforts to persuade are doomed to fail.

    And Roy’s response:

    What “something” are we supposed to offer these people? The lives of one of our more vulnerable minorities? A do-over in states where he loses next time? Furthermore, why should we offer them anything? They advocate terror, treason, and bigotry. They represent a third of the country and demand violent reprisals against the other two-thirds. Fuck those guys. They want to kill me. There’s nothing to discuss.

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  23. Jeff Gill said on July 7, 2023 at 9:07 pm

    Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” is controversial for reasons I understand (authorial intent, no clear chain of custody & permission), but it’s unambiguously her work, and I marvel on re-reading it that this was her first work, and “To Kill a Mockingbird” the second try, with her editor’s well-intentioned and very 1950’s Manhattan sensibilities pushing her to writing the prequel bildungsroman in a recognizable but redeemable South.

    What I think has left readers uneasy about “Go Set a Watchman” is how Atticus Finch develops, and this development, doubtless echoing at some remove Lee’s own father as others have dissected at length, is to see our beloved Atticus age, and to constrict his views, and to find an ambivalent common cause with the “Citizens Council” group which is next-of-kin to the Klan, as Scout, now Jean Louise makes very clear, to the point of physical nausea.

    I can’t say fuck them. Very few want to kill anyone, they just want to keep Mayberry or Maycomb as they think they have known it. Jean Louise doesn’t know how to speak to Calpurnia, and her inarticulateness in this first-written sequel is all too believable.

    And I think there is something to discuss. I agree with Hank and Sherri and Roy that there’s nothing to concede, but to write off 20% of our population (it’s no more than that at their core, but they do vote, damn them) is a waste and dismissal I can’t quite countenance. I admit some sympathy in wanting to just walk away from them, but for my own reasons I can’t, and not because I’m still pastoring a church that houses a goodly cohort of them, because I’m not. But they are my neighbors, and they do show up to feed the hungry and house the homeless and care for the ailing.

    These days I live with a 94 year old who insists racism was never a problem in his childhood or young adulthood, and that before the War (and there’s only one even though he is a Korean War era veteran) everyone got along. I know better, and have tried to redirect on occasion, but it’s talking to a testy wall. Everyone knew their place, and to point out that women let alone minorities did not appreciate the place they were given in, say, 1939 isn’t getting me anywhere.

    Should I say fuck him? Trust me, I’ve thought it. His willful denial of the realities of the century he’s lived through is deeply frustrating, as are some of his other entitled and manipulative ways. But he drove high explosives across Europe, handed chocolate to hungry German children, and came home to build an industrial powerhouse that for a time lifted all boats, even those not in boat parades.

    There’s something left to discuss. There are some willing to listen. The idea that any Trump supporter at this point deserves deportation to a distant point from my current location is deeply appealing. But they’re all around me, and in my family, and I don’t think “there’s nothing to discuss” is ever the right solution . . . but when I was last working, I was a court mediator, so you’d expect me to say that. And I still do.

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  24. Deborah said on July 7, 2023 at 9:29 pm

    Because you experience joy in finding “other” people horrible, that’s OK? Sorry, I don’t find that comforting. Because you find joy in dressing up in costumes that show your reverence to a cult, that’s OK, and I’m supposed to find comfort in that? Have you ever watched the Leni Riefenstahl propaganda movie about Hitler, Triumph of the Will? It shows throngs of people lining the streets, having the times of their lives, waving and cheering with huge smiles and ecstatic expressions watching a Hitler parade go by with swastika flags hanging by their doorsteps. Is that OK because they’re having fun and enjoying themselves? I couldn’t get through much of that movie, it was revolting and nauseating to me to see that. I’m sorry I don’t get it. It’s wrong, it’s awful and the people finding joy in that kind of thing are not comforting to me at all.

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  25. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    Comfort is the last thing those viruses offer. It’s the primal thrill of blood hate they offer. And damn them for it. Hate is as addictive as fentanyl.

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  26. Jeff Gill said on July 7, 2023 at 10:05 pm

    “One of the emotional through-lines in both “Mockingbird” and “Watchman” is a plea for empathy — as Atticus puts it in “Mockingbird” to Scout: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” The difference is that “Mockingbird” suggested that we should have compassion for outsiders like Boo and Tom Robinson, while “Watchman” asks us to have understanding for a bigot named Atticus.”

    Atticus is my father-in-law; this latter day Atticus is my father. Both the idealized figure and the awkward, painful reality of the later character in the astoundingly earlier book.

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  27. Ann Fisher said on July 7, 2023 at 11:07 pm

    Dexter, I’m sorry about your niece. Where do I find you on Threads?

    If I learned one thing as a lawyer it’s that no one is ever persuaded by an argument. If you want to change someone’s mind, it’s got to be with a story. Perhaps I’ve already posted here the one I pull out when I hear a homophobic comment or nostalgia for times gone by. My father grew up on a ranch in Wyoming. High school graduating class of nine. I asked him once if in retrospect he thinks any of his childhood friends were gay. He said yes, and named one. I asked what happened to him. “He killed himself.” It at least tends to shut them up for a moment.

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  28. Sherri said on July 7, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    I don’t lack empathy for them, Jeff. I made a conscious choice not to say fuck ‘em and just walk away from my family. But I don’t fool myself into thinking I can change them. I can’t. They don’t respect me enough to listen to me; I have become the other (in truth, I always was.) We love each other, but we can not talk about these things, not and maintain relationships.

    It’s not so much that I think they actively want to kill anyone, it’s that they don’t care if people die as long as they don’t have to change. The day I knew I could no longer accompany my parents to their church when I was visiting was when I couldn’t keep my mouth shut when people were talking about how God had sent a hurricane to Florida to tell us we’d better get our lives right with God. I reminded them that people had died in that hurricane.

    I know these people aren’t evil caricatures. I’ve seen their loving, generous sides. I also know what the other side looks like.

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  29. FDChief said on July 8, 2023 at 1:01 am

    The guys in field gray that were behind the machineguns in Normandy and in the panzers in the Ardennes were just…guys. Husbands. Fathers. Sons. Lovers. Nice guys. Assholes. Nuts. Scholars. Wits. Pedants.

    And we killed the shit out of them.

    Because they were goddamn Nazis.

    So, no, Jeff. I don’t lack empathy for them. I just know better than to think because they do nice things and have kind words that they wouldn’t happily kill me it they believe that I am “grooming” or “stealing elections” or standing up for gay or trans people or whatever fucked up weird QANut nonsense they believe.

    Just because some nice people are your enemies doesn’t make them any less dangerous.

    So I agree. We can’t just “write them off”, any more than we could just simply “write off” all those nice Nazis and leave them be.

    We had to kill them to stop them.

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  30. Sherri said on July 8, 2023 at 1:14 am

    I also have empathy for my friends who are Black, and I see the way they are treated and the way they have to conduct themselves. I have empathy for my gay and lesbian friends, and my trans friends, and especially my friend with a trans child, as they simply try to live their lives. I have empathy for every person who might need reproductive care, including abortion, who no longer has any assurance of bodily autonomy in this country. I feel empathy for all my friends who were not born in this country, regardless of their immigration status.

    In my experience, none of these people thought I was a horrible person even when I disagreed with them, as long as I recognized their humanity. My experience with Southern evangelicals, even family members, is much more painful.

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  31. Dexter Friend said on July 8, 2023 at 2:53 am

    My IG is frienddexter and so that is me as that moniker on Threads. Man, most all my friends are just SO HAPPY to be able to leave that creep Musk.

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  32. David C said on July 8, 2023 at 5:53 am

    Out of the Musk frying pan and into the Zuckerberg fire. Such choices we’re given. I tried Post for a while and it’s OK but boring. I’m on Spoutable. It seems pretty clear that it isn’t going to be replacing Twitter any time soon but Christopher Bouzy isn’t an asshole so I’ll stick with it and hope.

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  33. Suzanne said on July 8, 2023 at 6:55 am

    “It’s not so much that I think they actively want to kill anyone, it’s that they don’t care if people die as long as they don’t have to change.”
    You nailed it, Sherri. Add to that the notion so many have that they are following a higher power so if a few deaths happen to keep the country pure from sin, what can you do? If a few mothers with pregnancy complications die to save all those babies from abortion, they might be a bit sad but see it as an overall win.

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  34. ROGirl said on July 8, 2023 at 7:33 am

    They may want their humanity recognized, but they also need to recognize the humanity of the people outside of their belief system.

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  35. Icarus said on July 8, 2023 at 11:21 am

    I made a promise to stop after whatever came after Google+ and I’m keeping my word.

    but I’m also upping my Yelp game.

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  36. jcburns said on July 8, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    Icarus: “but I’m also upping my Yelp game.”

    I’m disturbed that I have any idea what that means. But I do.

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  37. Sherri said on July 8, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    Sadly, it’s not just MAGAs who are okay with people dying as long as they don’t have to change. They are the loudest and most prominent, but they’re not alone. People who don’t want universal health care because they might have to pay higher taxes are okay with people dying. People who don’t want more housing in their neighborhoods and want homeless people arrested are okay with people dying. People who call the police every time they see a Black person are okay with people dying.

    Lots of these people are not MAGAs, would be horrified to be associated with MAGAs in any way, some even call themselves progressives and want these problems to be solved, just as long as they don’t have to change.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on July 8, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    Since I never joined Twitter I’m holding off on Threads. I’m not sure I want to follow yet another site.

    Most pastors hate having those flags in the sanctuary but figure it’s not worth the fight. Some I’ve known have sloooowly moved them away from the altar into corners or the back of the sanctuary.

    Our daughter’s denomination just voted to kick out a church that was marrying gays and it wasn’t even close, 75% in the majority. So many moderate to liberal pastors and congregants have left that the hardliners have solidified their power base. She would like to leave and still serve her current church, but the church would have to leave too, and that’s sticky.

    A small miracle happened today: our son took all his crap from our house to his. Guest room, here we come!

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  39. LAMary said on July 8, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    Julie, what was the magic word or threat you used to get your son’s crap out of the house? I have two sons’ crap and I would very much like to use that bedroom as my office and use what I currently pretend is an office as a spare bedroom. The skateboards, clothes, guitars, boogie boards and bicycle frames and luggage taunt me whenever I open that door.

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  40. Sherri said on July 8, 2023 at 7:08 pm

    LAMary, I gave my daughter a deadline to remove anything she wanted from her old bedroom. After that deadline, I warned her, the contents of the room would be disposed off. And they were.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on July 8, 2023 at 8:29 pm

    The magic word is fiancée, who in all ways has been a positive influence. When he moved down here he left a lot behind because partying with friends was more important than sorting and packing. Mom and Dad were not pleased to have to load it up and it all went away. Since then there has been significant maturation.

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  42. Sherri said on July 8, 2023 at 11:48 pm

    I developed the deadline technique to keep from killing my husband, who doesn’t like to make decisions. This drove me crazy for a while, until I finally started giving him deadlines; you can dither over this all you want until this date, then we’re taking action. The date was always sufficiently far out enough that he couldn’t argue that it was unreasonable, and we could actually make progress.

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  43. alex said on July 9, 2023 at 9:33 am

    Just arrived home from a brief vacay in Canada. No smoke, in case anyone wonders, and a great exchange rate too right now. Wish I could go live there because it strikes me as so much more diverse, cosmopolitan and tolerant than this country at this moment in history.

    One thing I noted is how everyone abides the rather low speed limits on the roads and highways. I saw very few scofflaws and no accidents anywhere. After coming across the bridge into Detroit yesterday, we were guided onto a frontage road in order to get onto the interstate. The speed limit was marked as 25 MPH and my husband was yelling at me to slow down because I was going 50 and I told him to chill out, this is Detroit and the people tailgating us are pissed that I’m not going 80.

    I get what French is saying. Yes, there is definitely a good-natured camaraderie amongst the Trumpers. It’s the same sort of mood that animates groups of male teens who engage in sprees of wanton vandalism. And I don’t think these folks believe half of the shit that comes out of their mouths. They’re just seeking out fellow travelers. Is there a solution? Vote. And do so as if your life depended on it, because it does. And there’s more of us than them.

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  44. LAMary said on July 9, 2023 at 12:29 pm

    The more I think about it the more I believe a Trump boar parade would make perfect sense.

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  45. Mark P said on July 9, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    A Trump boor parade would be too high-class for them.

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  46. tajalli said on July 9, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    At this point, a Trump is a Bore parade might be the thing.

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