Two links for your consideration today. The first is from Anton Vowl at The Enemies of Reason, pointing out that too much column space has been given to the fact that a punchable-faced hoofer has said the P-word that could have better been devoted to reports on more disturbing forms of racism. Personally I can't stand anyone connected with Strictly Come Dancing, but I know which of these two is the more serious story.
The second link is from the 'Cafe' section of US Progressive Women's magazine On the Issues, wherein the always-interesting Kate Bornstein presents an excerpt from her book Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide. It's an interesting book, but I link to the cafe article because it contains quite simply the best description of the reactionary, right-wing, neophobic mind-set that I've ever read, and the toxic effect that those who give in to that mind-set have on the world:
'People who are reactionary try to keep the world from changing, rather than do the hard, but ultimately more realistic, work of changing themselves. People who don't see any way of changing themselves or the world spend a lot of time wishing they were dead.'
Think about that the next time you see Glenn Beck or Richard Littlejohn fulminating about how the world's going to hell in a handcart because people recycle and a black man is President and people care for the feelings of prozzers, poofs and gypsies. They're afraid of change, afraid that they might have to abandon their rigid self-concept and meet a changing world halfway. So they scream and they rage and they make up turgid racist shite while at the same time claiming to be victims of a racism they can't even define, all because they're too cowardly to examine their own assumptions. And the worst thing is that their views, and views like theirs, are aired across large parts of the media, and people who are young and isolated and frightened see the vast edifice of bullshit these neophobes have erected, and fear that they live in a world which doesn't want to change, and which won't let them change either.
This is why I write: to show that these people are wrong. And that's where efforts like this blog, the blogs in my friends and followers list, and the Transgressive Poets I try to promote have value: we each, in our own minor ways, create a tiny chink in the edifice of bullshit which the neophobe media and culture have erected. We let through a million, tiny shafts of light and illuminate the possibility of a different kind of life for everyone who feels left out of the dominant narrative. In counterpoint to a vast chorus which cries out despair, we sing a fragile song of hope.