Coming out of blog retirement with a new kind of post. Today, I’m sharing with you some of my hottest takes. Sure I’ve shared one or two controversial opinions on this space before, but never have I made a post that is nothing but hot takes. Takes you may feel entitled to cancel me over. Takes that are so red hot that I wouldn’t blame you for doing so. I will definitely regret this post in the future! Let’s get to it then:
The Ford and Kavanaugh hearing was one of the most significant political events in an era rife with chaos. What Trump brought to US politics is much of what he brought to television, namely, shocking twists, moral turpitude, and an insatiable hunger for attention. So it should come as no surprise that the hearing to weigh the sexual assault claims made against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh by Christine Ford Blasey, and his subsequent confirmation, reflected this environment. Just to get this out of the way, I believe Ford, I think Kavanaugh is lying, and he absolutely shouldn’t serve on the Supreme Court based on his performance in that hearing alone (specifically his partisan meltdown and conspiracy mongering). What got me interested in writing this though was the pathology of how many Americans responded to this, particularly the mainstream “respectable” conservatives in America. Some analysis has claimed that it was the anti-Kavanaugh side that was informed by misguided emotions, but it seemed clear to me that the American conservative movement was deeply terrified about what was happening in ways they may not have fully understood. There was palpable fear from huge swaths of of them, a fear that’s been written about before but never put on display like it was those last few weeks.
It’s probably a cliche at this point to say “Actually, comedians are sad”, but ya… My time at a comedy club was fun and left me envious of the improvisational talent of these comedians, but it also left me a little sad about some things. Like it felt like every stereotype about comedians that I’ve heard over the years turned out to be right on the money, and that some of the sets crossed over from amusing to subtle cries for help. Another thing is that there were certain… recurring themes that I think are worth looking it.
Easily in the top 5 most embarrassing facts about myself is that I was born in Montreal but cannot fluently speak French today. I had it back then, but it slowly drained away from me after I moved as I neglected to take French immersion courses all throughout elementary and high school like a Goddamn fool. Now, it’s relevant to my interests and career to learn the language, and it’s tough. I still hate that everything has to have a gender! I hate that so many words in English come from French words, but some don’t, so you look like an idiot when you say an English-only word in a forced French accent in front of your coworkers and they laugh at you. I also think it sucks how uncultured it makes me feel as a Canadian to not know our second language, which led me to a painful truth and a horrifying contradiction.
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, discussion of sexual assault, and the ways powerful men abuse their privilege, has dominated our cultural discourse. The insidious ways Weinstein leveraged his power to abuse and destroy countless women was disturbing, and the way he hid behind his wealth and dedication to good social causes was a particularly sickening facet to the scandal. The pathology to Weinstein hit such a strong cultural cord because he doesn’t represent an isolated case; he’s just one of many men in Hollywood, in the corporate world, in politics, in every arena men have power and influence over women, who behaves this way. This scandal resonated because men like Weinstein are universal, and the dawning acknowledgement of that in our society has led to… interesting reactions from people. Men in particular have taken this scandal as an excuse to express some of the classic stupid replies to sexual assault scandals, and today I’m going to call out the three that have littered social media that I hate the most. Note that the usual “Why didn’t they come forward sooner?!” response won’t be included here, because I think that question comes less from a place of misguidedness (as the subjects of this list do) and more from a place of malice.
It’s been a while since I’ve last done one of these, but it’s about time I start writing about some of the things on my mind these days. These Mind Spill articles, much like the current US government, is an assortment of losers in a way. They’re different ideas and thought trains that I think are interesting, but not quite so interesting that they deserve to be developed further into their own article. So here are some things I’ve been thinking about that you now know I believe aren’t worthy of more than a few seconds of your time.
In the age of Trump, millennials, a generation raised by popular culture, have been looking to it to draw meaning and make sense of the world. Everything that happens these days is apparently just like that one moment from Harry Potter, every time someone gets fired it brings to mind a shocking character death on Game of Thrones, every government official is just like that villain from Star Wars; even that horrific Charlottesville march and the President’s equally horrific response to it reminded people of that one time this character did that thing in this book/movie/TV show. We can argue until we’re blue in the face about whether or not this is a dumb way to look at the world, but it’s the way things are now for a lot of people. As we begin to isolate ourselves through technology and media, those things become enormous influences to us. The irony is that pop culture has become less explicitly didactic, TV creators these days aren’t interested in teaching word for word blatant lessons of the day, and more writers are content with trusting audiences to figure things out for themselves. We have such a diverse group of people consuming media in these increasingly confusing times, and in a lot of cases, people are taking the wrong lessons.
I went to a club about a week ago, and it was an interesting experience. As one could probably tell from the quantity of Good Wife articles I’ve written on this site, I’ve never actually been to one before, and a lot of my preconceptions were blown away. For one thing, a club feels like a sad to place at its core. I don’t mean that it makes you sad or that I was sad being there, but it feels like a place who’s essence is based on something more depressing than the music suggests. Another thing I noticed is that it’s basically impossible to have a conversation because of how loud the music is. I mean, I knew it’d be loud, but I didn’t realized you literally had to scream into someone’s ear for them to know what you’re saying. Because of the noise, most communication is done through body language and gestures, and this is key because you can read a lot more from a person’s behaviour than you normally would in a setting where you’re distracted by what they’re saying. Finally, as a friend said to me, people there are mostly just there to bone, which really contributed to the depressing vibe of the place overall.
Oh boy, this election huh? This soul crushing, agonizing, overlong stretch of e-mail scandals, groping tapes, false-equivalences, clueless punditry, and general loss of faith in humanity has been trying for a lot of us. It has also been oddly poetic. We’ve got the first female major party candidate in U.S. history up against this great big orange misogynistic buffoon we can’t afford to stop talking or thinking about until election day. It’s been tough sure, but it also taught this Canadian a lot about America and its people. Continue reading “5 Things This Election Taught Me About America”
Ted Cruz has a weird face. You’ve heard your friends tell you this, you’ve heard family members tell you this, and you’ve heard strangers on the internet tell you this as well. From random internet trolls, to even some professional journalists, it’s one of the key things people discuss in regards to him. It was so prevalent that at one time, scientists had to weigh in on why we hate Ted Cruz’s face so much. The point I’m driving at here, is that Ted Cruz’s face has entered the political discourse surrounding him at a level most would consider inappropriate for just about any other candidate. What I’m wondering is if this “Cruz is ugly” discourse is a response to the general awfulness of his personality, or is the hatred for him amplified because of his face. There are definitely worse politicians out there that we hate more, although I have trouble thinking of more than one.