Friday, February 23, 2024

I despair.

I really do.  The plight of the Palestinians is clearly one of the most, if not THE most, important issue today.  It warps reality with its gravitational field.  At first I was reluctant to use the word "genocide"--gawd, am I turning into a centrist?  I was worried on some level that it would make me look extreme or hysterical; there's no point in denying it.  But, I mean, the UN definition fits like a glove.  

And the US reaction to it is NOT GREAT.  And I'm talking about the putative left here; obviously anyone on the right is too far-gone to even expect better from.  Or maybe on the left too, oddly: whenever the issue comes up, an awful lot of people who on any other subject you'd nod along with suddenly turn into these terrifying, bloodthirsty psychopaths.  Thus has it ever been, but now it's worse, what with the possibility of Muslim Americans boycotting Biden in the election (as far as I can tell, not voting for Trump instead, which would be truly nonsensical; just sitting it out).

The responses to this are generally some mixture of two things:

1. If they think Biden's bad, they should see how bad Trump'll be.  They're just insulting our intelligence on this one; the ways that Biden is better than Trump are too many to count, but on this specific issue, it's goddamn difficult to see any daylight between them.  I mean, obviously Trump would be rhetorically worse, sure, but when Biden is bypassing congress to give death machines to Israel--it's hard to see how Trump could really be any WORSE (and yes, I'm perfectly ready to prove to have been naive about this--but the anticipated differences should be MUCH more stark).  I mean, yes, we can appeal to practicality when we talk about voting, but the fact that this shit is considered okay--it's just not fucking acceptable, and no amount of tepid denunciations of Netanyahu will make is okay.

2. Stupid Muslims are probably bad on LGBTQ rights, so fuck 'em.  So first--I can't help it--I have to note that when, you know, Israel is conducting an actual genocide--and a non-trivial number of Israelis are laughing and joking about pictures of this unspeakable, unending nightmare--it seems a bit rich to be dehumanizing Palestinians by appealing to Their Basic Savagery.  Just look at THIS, okay?

I swear this isn't from a right-wing site (it's the liberal/leftish Lawyers Guns and Money), and the poster is not a troll.  How does confronting the idea of people not supporting you just immediately degenerate into the worse kind of dehumanizing racism?  And since you're making it pretty damn clear that you don't WANT Muslim support, why is this even a thing?  Also, what's the end goal here?  I thought the message was meant to be "Muslim American voters should suck it up," and now it seems to be more, everything Israel does is SUPER RAD 'cause fuck Islam."  This is all SO fucking ugly.

(Note also the very obvious slippery slope: if we accept THIS genocide because the victims really, let's face it, deserve it, then what's to stop anyone from unleashing further horrors on ANY people that they judge insufficiently woke?)

(I don't know how I feel about the fact that I used the word "woke" in the above parenthetical, but that's an internal debate for another day.)

Here's this, also from LGM:

For context, this is in response to a post about a Palestinian-American who was trying to organize a Biden boycott after his entire extended family was killed by weapons that the administration thoughtfully provided (and--this probably goes without saying--the poster has zero information about his feelings on LGBTQ folk).  At least this one didn't get any up-votes, but I mean, DAMN--the idea that ANYONE could be so empathetically stunted as to just brush this man's suffering aside like it couldn't matter less, not realizing or not caring that this makes you look like the world's biggest fucking asshole...look, I don't think of myself as super emotionally intelligent, but this seems very easy to me.  Is it just that there's something terribly wrong with everyone ELSE?

But hey, maybe it's not actually a big deal?

"The media are inflating the war in Gaza."  Jesus fucking wept.  Although I guess they do at least acknowledge that the situation is horrifying.  At least...I think they do; it's not that clearly written.  Regardless...

I knew that America was a racist country, yes.  But somehow, I wasn't aware of just HOW fucking racist it was.  Now, my intention here may not actually be quite as extreme as that may sound--all or most of us DO have some racism in them, especially when it comes to foreigners.  I mean, during the Iraq War, when confronted with the strange fruits of our labors, most Democrats would be outraged...but there's always still this idea in the back of your head that, well, yeah, it's awful, but also those people are over there, where things like that just sort of happen, so you know.  Nonetheless, the problems with this are becoming ever more apparent.  And, at least in part because of them, we don't remotely have a general understanding of the visceral horror being perpetrated daily.  If we did, we couldn't just go on, la la la, sure there's Middle Eastern violence, but what else is new?

So if a Palestinian American came up to me and said, GeoX, should I vote for Biden in the upcoming election? I would respond, yes, you should.  There are many, MANY people who will be hurt if Trump is put in power again.  And's just hard to really put my back into it.  Because this hypothetical Palestinian American and I both know goddamn well that, although what I just said is true, one thing that they absolutely DO NOT HAVE is anyone to vote for who actually gives a shit about their family their friends their people.  And when we find ourselves in a situation where THIS is the calculus that a person is required to make when they vote...I mean, why are we even having this conversation?  America has failed so comprehensively that it's difficult to comprehend.  Our failure is woven into us so deeply that voting for anyone or anything just seems like so much Titanic-deck-chair-rearranging.

I mean, don't get me wrong.  I'll vote for Biden even though I live in DC, where my vote makes about the least difference it could possibly make, and you should too.  But let's not be myopic.  Shit is REAL, and you can't pretend it doesn't exist just because it's politically inexpedient.

(And no, when I call this issue the most important, I'm not forgetting about Ukraine; that too is terrible, and another problem we have is that there's just SO MUCH demanding our attention.  I will say that our comparative willingness to provide military hardware to Ukraine vs Palestine is fucking TELLING.)


Blogger Pan MiluĊ› pontificated to the effect that...

Sorry to hear you are having so many hard emotions - I been there fighting my own depression is hard. And yes, it's extra hard having Ukraine next door and after of months literaly living in fear, have now a sense that the entire war is just now sort of normalised in media :( I get people have to get on in their life - so far we are safe in Poland - shame that we can't do more to help Ukarine but we are doing our darnest. I wish sanctioning the hell out of Russia would gave better results.

Going back to your post which I found very thought provoking : This is why I hate about elections - the entire picking of lesser evil. Yes, obviously you should pick the smaller evil, but it's still have the world "evil" in it. And let's also lets not kid ourself that the world is black and white. One politician can be wrong on one issue, but be 100% right on another and vice versa. It's just realy suck when two man you have to pick are terrilbe in their own right. I for once would love to take part in a election when both candidates are swell guys.

So long story short I just don't think there is any shame and is (sadly) natural thing to say and feel "Yeah, I'm voting for this guy, but I'm not happy that's one of two options I get to have and I still think he sucks on many levels and I don't like him".

12:53 AM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. pontificated to the effect that...

In light of recent events, I'd like to concede that, yes, Trump would definitely be worse on Palestinian rights. Biden at least makes noises about them. The thing is, though, it's just hard for me to take anything he's doing in this regard super seriously as long as he continues to supply Israel with weaponry. I mean, what the HELL? Do you want to kill more Palestinians, or not? Because I am getting VERY mixed signals here.

3:10 PM  

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