Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jungle and Structure

I watched a bit from last night's Daily Show where Jon Stewart reacts with some incredulity to Obamacare being compared throughout the news media to Hurricane Katrina. It's hard to know whether the right response is to actually explain why this is absurd or if it's better to try and ignore the assertion instead of giving it any credence, which any attempt to dispute it may in some small way do.

I heard Chris Matthews say a little while ago--I'm not sure if he was quoting someone or not--that people on the two sides of the political aisle used to fight because they disagreed and now they disagree because they fight.

For over ten years, I lived with my Republican grandmother and we seemed to get along well enough until this year. From what I hear, the way she'd begun to treat me had mostly to do with my aunt and uncle wanting me out of the way so that any inheritance they received from my grandmother wouldn't meet with potential obstacles--my uncle had been fired from his job and they'd had trouble getting by for the past year or more (despite having gone on a cruise this year). So I guess this explains the phone conversation I overheard where my aunt was telling my grandmother that I was somehow manipulating her.

I shopped for my grandmother, buying groceries and other things she would have trouble lifting, I took out the trash and did other random jobs about the house. It's expensive to live in California so it seemed like we were both helping each other out. The idea of throwing me out must have even seemed illogical to her on some level which was why she had to contrive reasons for it, one of which was our political differences. One day she told me, without any apparent reason, about a priest who told her that the only things we don't choose when we're born are our race and our gender. Everything else is our choice.

And then of course there was Obamacare. She seemed to hold it against me that Fox News told her that her health insurance was going to go up. The day I was thrown out, I had lunch at a Mexican restaurant and as I was explaining the situation to my sister on my cell phone a couple Mexican women at a nearby table overheard me and one of them said wryly to the other, "White people problems."

There is a chicken and the egg quality to the culture war. Are we fighting because we disagree or are we disagreeing because we fight? Obviously in my case it was the latter.

Yesterday I read "Pickman's Madonna", a particularly nice Lovecraftian story in the latest Sirenia Digest. It involves two characters, Isaac and Isobel Snow, Caitlin developed in the MMORPG The Secret World and a lot of their strange personalities and relationship come through in the story despite it featuring little dialogue, instead concentrating on a ceremony the two participate in in Lovecraft's dream realm. Caitlin has written several stories describing strange ceremonies. It's ceremony as artform with the various stages of sacrifice, cutting, placement of naked participants, and decoration having an aesthetic effect like the arrangement of colours and shapes in a painting.

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