Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Olga Tokarczuk, The Books of Jacob (2014)

OH MY GOODNESS GOOD LORD.  Yes, I've been reading this book on and off for...months.  I thought I was past lollygagging around like that, but in this case, not.  Well, I finally finished it.  It seemed like a good book to read; the wikipedia entry describes it thusly:

The Books of Jacob is a 912-page novel divided into seven books. It begins in 1752 in Rohatyn and ends in Holocaust-era Korolówka. Its title subject is Jacob Frank, a Polish Jew who claimed to be the messiah. The novel combines dozens of third-person perspectives of those connected to Jacob Frank.

It sounds like the sort of maximalist thing I have traditionally enjoyed.  Also, for whatever it's worth, Tokarczuk won the Nobel Prize in 2018.

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Sunday, March 12, 2023

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao...

 I'm doing language cafes at a high school for Ukrainian refugees here in Tallinn, so they're on my mind a lot lately.  Obviously, you don't need to physically be around them to empathize with them, and I don't want this to sound like some sort of ridiculous hipster-ish "I care about the refugees on a much deeper level than you," but, I mean, it's only human for people to be especially moved by things that are personalized for them.  There's currently a photo display of refugees in the town square:

It is extremely moving, or such was my experience.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Don't buy the monster's videogame! What the hell is wrong with you?!?

 People call JK Rowling a "TERF," but even that is giving her too much credit, I feel.  I mean, okay, it's not really giving her credit, but she likes to talk about what a feminist she is and how she cares about women's rights and supports abortion and same-sex marriage and all, but the fact is, she uncritically supports and refuses to distance herself in any way from the most nightmarishly hard right people there are--people who would strip women of all rights and force all gay people back into the closet at best--as long as they hate trans people as much as she does.  Actions speak pretty darned loudly, Joanne.  

The point is, she's a horrible person, and we live in a time where gruesome, evil monsters are literally trying to whip up a genocide against trans people.  So don't buy her fucking game!  What the hell is wrong with you?!?  This is the no-brainer of no-brainers!

Or so you would think.  But when you point out this extremely obvious moral calculus--moral arithmetic, let's say--you get a whole lot of dumb pushback.  So let's have a top-five list of disingenuous "it's fine to buy this woman's game" arguments.

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