Two Things I Put Together Just So Every Post Today Has Two Things

1. We watched True Grit tonight. Wow. I mean, really. Wow. And I laughed so hard when she was all calling Frank James “trash.” I mean, I guess I should stick up for my neighbor, but… well, he was a murderous thieving ex-Confederate guerrilla bank robbing murderer. So, what could I do?

2. I got to tell someone about my manuscript and she said it sounded cool. Ugh. I hope so.

Two News Items that Made me Raise my Eyebrow a la The Rock

1. I find it interesting that these stories never have any quotes from the women who might be affected. The actual main stakeholders in the story, the people whose lives will be at risk. There’s never a quote from them. It’s honestly as if the reporters (and it’s not just Sisk; it’s systemic) believe that this really is just a story about how Planned Parenthood will be affected and not a story about the reworking of healthcare for poor women.

2. I said this in a story in A City of Ghosts and I believe it. I think the police use the excuse of a tip from a psychic when they want a reason to search a place but don’t have probable cause. How else to explain this?

Two Thoughts About Hatecrap

1. I’m struck by this effort to rally people to counter-protest the Westboro people who are coming to protest a kid’s funeral here in town. And I realized it’s never occurred to me to ask this question–how do families come to discover that Westboro is planning to be there? Because it seems to me that, though you certainly can’t stop them from protesting–they have a first amendment right to be evil assholes–there are enough stalking statutes on the books now (thank gods) that the targeting of families might be a legal problem for them, especially if that targeting involves informing the families that it’s going to happen. That, then, starts to seem like a campaign of harassment.

2. I don’t think Gargamel is a deliberately anti-Semitic caricature . I think that’s kind of the point. I don’t know. This just dawned on me like ten minutes ago so I haven’t really lived with it long enough to spout off on it (and yet I’m going to!). But I’ve wondered how these ideas about races or ethnic groups that are so harmful get propagated over hundreds, if not thousands, of years and often among people who have no direct contact with the disparaged group. But I think Gargamel is it. I mean, not that he’s personally responsible. But that the negative caricature and the ethnicity have to be separable, at least slightly. Like you’re making yard and you spin two plies together to make a thicker, more durable yarn. But those plies are separate things.

So, in order for the “money-grubbing, balding, hook-nosed Jew bent on killing small children and eating them” stereotype to endure, of course there are times when non-Jewish people are learning that “money-grubbing, balding, hook-nodes people bent on killing…” well, Smurfs, in this case is a type and that it’s bad. That way, when you bring antisemitism back into it, the way is prepared. But the Gargamel part… that’s like those runners in the garden. It goes on ahead and spreads.

Does that mean you get rid of things like Gargamel? I don’t think so. Does it mean you see it for how it works? Yeah. I think that’s the important thing.

It occurs to me this is how something like “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” works when viewed here in the US. The idea of trailer trash has been separated in the United States from “gypsy” pretty thoroughly. I doubt many people my age or younger even knew Gypsies were anything but a trope in horror movies. But when you watch MBFGW, don’t you kind of feel how you’ve been primed to look down your nose at these folks, to understand them as trashy?

It’s a prime example of the two plies being somewhat separated in our time but brought back together.